Skip to main content

Why do we find conspiracy theories compelling?

I believe the reason is very simple.

First, humans get a pleasure response from doing survival related things... hunting, growing things, eating, having sex, solving puzzles, recognizing patterns and building things. Our advancement as a species is directly related to the fact that we love to do these things even *beyond* what is needed for survival.

As bizarre as it may seem, the compulsion that gives us science also gives us conspiracy theory. We are hardwired to seek out and make sense of patterns of every sort. The more complicated the pattern the better.

Secondly, there is something utterly seductive about having knowledge that other people do not have. You'd think, logically, that if most people are satisfied with a mundane or obvious version of events we'd question our more elaborate version... but we don't. It's riddiculously easy to believe that all the experts are wrong/compromised/in on it, if we can believe in our own greatness at the same time.

What brought this up? Public access television. It's useless to argue with the conspiracy theorist because opposition to conspiracy is the basic proof of it's truth. I think that's part of what makes it so maddening.


Synova said…

Hey, my post mentioned sex. Just like I said. :-)
Anonymous said…
"Because dark skinned natives are just doing what comes naturally"

This is your comment on the ultranationalist neoneocon blog.

You are an outright screaming racist. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Ymarsakar said…
Hey Synova, I was reading your comments at Neo, and I was intrigued by your thinking towards consequences and actions. That people pay for actions taken, even if it is not taken by the guy who did the action. And also that you can't run things in parallel and benchmark both results, only one result can be benchmarked.

Those things are familiar thoughts to me. Yha (Ee Ha) was really funny when he said 'reality based crowd' dontcha think?

Now, I *can* talk politics with my parents, which is probably unusual in the grand scheme of things, so that helped a little bit. But still... being off-line is weird.

CDR called it his period of "Zen", a period of no internet or outside news.

Are you as amused by people like skep, calling you names via the comment section of your blog as I am? All those guys, Neoneoconned, the Probligo, Confudeforeigner, and so on all seem to have their inhibitions lifted when they comment on my blog. I'm thinking these people have no self-control other than the veneer of civilization and societal habits.

You are an outright screaming racist. You should be ashamed of yourself.

This is funny to me, what is it to you, Synova?

Anonymous said…
So, you think racism is funny?
Synova said…
My e-mail has been glitchy.

That skeptikwon saw racism rather than a condemnation of racism in what I wrote on neo's blog says a heck of a lot.

Yeah, I think it's funny. Funny and typical. It certainly doesn't make me feel bad at all.

The failure to condemn terrorists is very often racist. Just listen to the justifications as to why we can't hold these people to civilized standards of behavior.

Why can't we?

Because "enlightened" people have decided that moral behavior is relative to culture. At the same time as they excuse "poor dark skinned people doing what comes naturally" they pat themselves on the back for being tolerant and all that other good stuff.

The reality is that they are bigots.
Ymarsakar said…
The Left disarmed themselves a long time ago. At first it was cause they the Democrats could better lynch blacks in the South after Grant's Federal Army was recalled by the next President in power. Now they have disarmed themselves so utterly that if they did anything to terroists, the terroists would kill them and they know it. They have no defenses, other than propaganda. But not even propaganda will reattach your head back on.

It's the power of the sword vs the power of the pen, terroists have one, the Left has the other, and Bush and America has a little of both.

It's more complex than that, but in general that's how I see it.

I realized that some Americans and other folks valued their own culture and race above others a few months ago. I kept hearing from Democrats that "we must be better than the world". I always thought that was unpersuasive but it wasn't until after a few things happened that I realized something. The Left decided to keep their hands clean because they valued their own purity over the fate and status of others. They believe America should be superior to all others in standards because they believe Americans ARE superior to all others, the uber-menschen. Of course, it is only "specific" AMericans that they believe to be superior, not people like Bush or the Marines. Those people have blood on their hands, they are dirty, impure, not enlightened.

This Puritan like self-righteousness always rubbed me the wrong way. To value purity, moral purity, over life. To kill women because they were abused by others, instead of helping them live. This, this is not the standard of America for me, this is not morality, ethical, or righteous to me. It is anathema to me, it is evil, and it is contradictory to self-actualization, the fullfillment of human potential.

It is a weakness, to be unable to sacrifice part of your soul to do what is necessary. Intelligence doesn't factor in to the secrets of the human soul, since as Grim said it, it requires wisdom. Wisdom is never gifted to anyone via genetics or via birth or wealth or family. For those who have wisdom, it is because they have earned it, they are worthy folks.

I can't remember, Synova, but were you the one that said David Weber had better finish the Sword of Oath series? Because if you were, I have another fantasy series in mind that you might like, if you loved Weber's fantasy stuff. I posted a link on that comment-thread, but you might not have seen it given its date.
It's the firestaff series and you can read it online here. It's what Wheel of Time should have been, and it has many qualities similar to War GOd's Oath. (iirc the name)

Fire staff
Synova said…
Yes, that was me. :-)

Do you know the author of Firestaff?

I gave up on Wheel of Time... I forget at which installment.
Anonymous said…
So, America, is an enlightened society. Or Israel?

Hmmm, let's see, the 2 most aggressive nations on earth, responsible for far more deaths than islamic terrorism. Won't negotiate, won't allow democratic governments to govern.

Yes, very enlightened.

You are a racist Synova. Your willfull ignorance of our interference in the arab world and our approval of Israeli atrocities makes you complicit. Racism.
Ymarsakar said…
Why do you ask if I know the author of the Firestaff? He mayhave wrote down his name, but he may also have not. I myself don't know because I have not read the forums that discuss his writings, I am only on Book 5 of his FireStaff 5 book series.

I first read his/her book Subjugation, a science fiction synthesis, via something I downloaded as a curiosity. When I googled to see if more chapters could have been found, I hit the site(s).

Hmmm, let's see, the 2 most aggressive nations on earth, responsible for far more deaths than islamic terrorism. Won't negotiate, won't allow democratic governments to govern.

We gotta impale the terroists before democracy can begin. Can't have those terroist buddies of our Euro friends pulling and dragging hardworking men and women from their sleep at 2 A.M and putting a bullet in their backs. Since I favor impalement as an execution for terroists, I'm pretty sure after we impale a few terroists, that this will make all the other terroists tell us where their buddies are as well as making them so afraid that they won't ever come out. You ever see someone get impaled by a short wooden stake in the ground? Gotta love those Indians, think they came up with that execution method, just as the Romans came up with crucifixion.

Crucifixion takes a long time to kill someone, and I don't want to deprive the jihadis of their heavenly rewards, ya know. Not even fanatical terroists are immune to seeing their buddies on DVD having a six inch wooden stake shoved up their arse, writhing over their own guts and scheisse. They wanna get off, but they can't. They think stringing some women and boys up along a mound of dirt and shooting them in the back with Ak-47s is going to scare me when they release it in DVD format? I got something a lot worse than that for them.

People like you skep, you don't know what you're talking about. Because if you did, you would go on your knees and give thanks that Bush was the President of the US after 9/11. You would have given thanks that Bush was a compassionate conservative. People like me, we have no compassion for terroists. We party when terroists are eliminated, the more gruesome the means of execution the better. We weren't always like this you know. Naw, I think watching people being killed and terrorized by Islamic Jihad gave me a few ideas that weren't exactly gentle and civilized. If you got a problem with me, take it up with those guys on 9/11 that flew the planes into dat them office building. If you got a problem with Bush, then you should thank your lucky stars that someone like me wasn't in power at the time. You haven't seen aggression or destruction or killing yet.

Skep is so clueless he probably thinks Bush is ruthless and unmerciful in his killing. Ain't even close, ain't even close.

I gave up on Wheel of Time... I forget at which installment.

It was around 6th for me Synova. The characters and their actions and the morality and the lack of plot completion, was too much for me. The ethical philosophy sucked, the characters acted like 9 year old idiots with just enough talent to get into trouble, and the plot was like watching Band of Brothers with all the good parts cut out. You see the battles, but the plot's gone loopy. Then even the battles are gone.
Synova said…
I was just curious if the author was someone you know. There's some good stuff self-published on the internet but without a publishing house it's often friends who spread the word. I'm interested in authors and why they write what they write, it was at least within the rhealm of possibility that this was someone you knew, so I asked. :-)

I put a new post up. Can you believe it? I'm a bad blogger. LOL.
Ymarsakar said…
Well, for me, it was free ebooks that spread the word.

The Eric Flint-Baen-Free Library philosophy you could say.

I only write posts on my blog when I'm inspired by something. Otherwise, I'm empty. Most of the time I put stuff up on my blog because I find it too tiresome to jack load up a bunch of links that I want to post in a comment to another blog. Why do everything piecemeal when I can have a central database to streamline it, eh?

Popular posts from this blog

Some times some people.


It's Not Projection

Take the case of "fascism". When you can see clear as day that the person who is accusing you of fascism is a fascist, they aren't projecting. They're talking about something ELSE. Basically, in the case of fascism, the basic set of fascist government controls are the default assumption of reality for a whole lot of people. The government is supposed to control every part of your life. The government is supposed to make you moral and good and reflect "justice". The government is supposed to do this by picking winners from the good people and losers from the bad people. The government is supposed to control the way people do business, how businesses (and farmers) function and what they produce. And people should be made to cooperate with this control because they are part of society and society is dependent on everyone being in compliance. This is simply the Truth. It's how the world works and how the world is supposed to work. The Socialist Nationalism,

What You Know That Isn't So

  The saying goes like this, It's not what you *don't* know that is going to trip you up, it's what you know that isn't so. I believe that the first lady might possibly have been feigning helplessness, just a little bit.  She already had concept art and visuals, so I think she'll be okay.   But someone might truly be so new that they know nothing about science fiction as a genre or how it works in the world.  That person, the truly "new" person, might not realize that the second lady, no matter how assured she seems to be that she's passing on vital Wisdom, is wrong. So lets unwrap her backpack a little (to steal a metaphor). Stories about space pirates are Space Opera, generally.  "Soft" science in science fiction usually refers to sociology or psychology, social "science".  A story about space pirates might be "soft".  But that's picking nits.  The first big boo-boo is this: "not as popular *because* it is women