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One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
- Voltaire

To tell the truth, I'm secretly in love with fringe "theories" because most of the time they are imaginative, entertaining and even thought-provoking. On the contrary, mainstream "theories" are just sickening, or boring at best.

"Fringe theory" is roughly synonymous with "conspiracy theory." But, is there any antonym for this phrase? It's really amazing to know that not a single conspiracy theorist in the U.S. understands the word conspiracy means absolutely nothing because there is no such thing that is NOT a conspiracy in this world.

Another semantic question that arises from this argument is how to refer to pundits and scholars who make their living by working on something which they don't think has anything to do with conspiracies. It seems as though the only possible way to call them is "mainstream pundits and scholars." But this is ridiculous because as a matter of fact, there are many conspiracy theorists in the mainstream, or even non-conspiracy theorists in the fringe.

If there is something that separates mainstreamers from fringers, it's the source of income. To me, a mainstream theorist is one who is getting paid by the media and political establishment whereas a fringe theorist is someone who is currently out of work and desperately seeking an alternative source of income, such as royalty from his book targeted at a gullible audience.

My estranged friend Benjamin Fulford is a Canadian journalist who has long settled down in Tokyo, capital of the nation where he can find millions and millions of suckers. It is true that he has been practically banned from Japan's mainstream TV networks in the last 7, 8 years because of his conspiracy theories. But nevertheless, he could make a fortune or two by publishing dozens of Japanese books targeted at the world's most credulous readers. He is a typical example of mainstream conspiracy theorists.

Actually, conspiracy theorists and non-conspiracy theorists are the two wings of the same bird. They share the same rotten body. Aside from the bird analogy, the single most important thing they have in common is the basic premise that they should seek the "truth" about the things which have been identified as issues by someone else. In the vast intellectual vacuum prevailing in their country, virtually all American people, from mainstream to fringe, from liberals to conservatives, from peaceniks to war-mongers, have been asking the same questions as to what exactly happened on September 11, 2001, who was behind the collapse of the WTC buildings and what his motive was.

The death toll from 9/11 was a mere 2,996, but when these unfortunate people were crushed under the rubble of the falling Towers, every American took it for granted that "the world would never be the same again."

Don't make me laugh.

67 years ago, Little Boy and Fat Man massacred 150,000-246,000 citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and tons of incendiary bombs incinerated another millions who lived outside the sanctuary exclusively reserved for Emperor Hirohito. When the unprecedented tactic for something to be called a selective genocide was carried out, some of us said that our life would never be different till the end of time. Deep inside we felt the then "2,605-year-old" imperial reign had been frozen for permanent preservation. Our premonition has proved absolutely right.

You can't kill a dead man.

If the 9/11 incident should still be looked at from a conspiracy angle, the only conclusion that would make any sense is that the conspirator singlemindedly intended to give the finishing touches to the burst of the intellectual bubble in the U.S. With their brains irreparably damaged by the ultimate conspiracy, Americans have lost the minimum brainpower to understand that relevance varies from country to country, especially from America to the rest of the world. To them it's a no-no to question the universal relevance of the event beyond national boundaries.

Needless to say, the same process of idiotization is going on even more rapidly in Japan. When I wrote in this blog, for instance, that the loss of 20,000-plus Japanese lives in the "once-in-a-millennium" disaster was not a big deal when arithmetically compared to more than 30,000 people killing themselves every year, practically everyone pretended not to hear me. It is true that some gave me comments. But they were all Japanese epigones of conspiracy theorists in North America. They kept talking about a 3/11 plot hatched by Negev Nuclear Research Center in Demona, Israel, without being able to tell magnitude from intensity, let alone Mj from Mw, or JMA seismic intensity scale from other yardsticks used in other countries.

Aside from the issue with relevance, not a single conspiracy theorist has ever really substantiated his "theory" with solid evidence. Unlike mainstream idiots who swallow every official announcement at face value, conspiracy theorists are always looking around for plausible evidence supporting their heretical allegation. At the same time, they carefully weed out information that runs counter to it.

As computer-savvy people are well aware, it's a piece of cake these days to manipulate audio/visual materials leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to cook images and sounds as you like. But conspiracy theorists don't give a damn because to these guys with cultist mindset, the single most important thing is to BELIEVE in whatever fits well into their ideological delusion or delusive ideology. If the guru says the evidence is authentic and genuine, it's authentic and genuine. If the guru insists he didn't find any counter-evidence, there are none, for sure. The fact of the matter remains, though, you've got to be a fully-equipped and duly-authorized forensic expert to reveal a trick.

In the last 8 years since I started blogging, I have talked a lot about conspiracy theories. I think that's more than enough. I'm uploading this post, nonetheless, simply because I think one of the most important factors for the miscarriage of the Intellectual Revolution started by the former obstetrician is the fact that in the U.S., practically everyone, who has an inkling that something is fundamentally wrong with the status quo, is under the influence of conspiracy theorists, in one way or the other.

Actually the conspiracy theory is the farthest thing from Thomas Jefferson's principled way of thinking, or Voltaire's, for that matter. ·

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One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: Diogenes on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 06:54 AM JST
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: "If there is going to be an opposition, we will lead it."

What do we know, really? Our perception is so carefully managed, that all of us could even be dead, and we are simply just sharing a gigantic dream, like the Hindus claim. What to do? Live each moment as if it were our last, for even this dream of time may suddenly disappear, if our "god" decides it's time to go to the big, dreamless sleep.

One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 08:51 AM JST


Thanks, Diogenes. To be honest with you, I have difficulty figuring out what exactly your esoteric message implies. But I'll think it over in my "sleepless dream" tonight on an unreliable assumption that I won't fall into a "dreamless sleep" yet.

As far as "dreamless sleep" goes, actually that's not the way I think of my death. And that's why I still keep chitchatting about trifles such as conspiracy theories. Actually I don't give a damn about these somniloquies I hear day in, day out.

Yu Yamamoto
One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: samwidge on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 07:17 AM JST

Wait a minute!

I certainly hope that this will not be your last time on conspiracy. These discussions are extraordinarily valuable. Today, you have brought a number of truths forward, self-evident truths that are hidden in life, hidden in plain sight and your presentation on conspiracy reveals much.

The human animal is his own best/worst friend. Theories that unite and theories that divide will always abound. Like the horns, hooves and hair of a cow, everything can be used one way or another. Theories sharpen the mind.

UFOs, HAARP, Kennedy assassination, USS Liberty, the presumption that all politicians are crooks, noble savages, ghosts, industry is evil, capitalists are selfish. All these are worthy of analysis. Each theory is a teacher.

In the United States someone generated the theory that all women are badly mistreated and defenseless. That theory looked good and thereby new theorists were created. The most active of theorists decided that the cure was a change of singulars and plurals in English grammar. The reason alleged was that you could de-sexify life and make life safe by removing sex from possessives. In a curious path of logic, we can no longer use expressions like, "a boy and his dog." We are now required to say, "a boy and their dog."

The powerful sex-equality theorists do not claim that they have improved life but they can claim to have changed life.

Sigh! Another theory cast like a noose around the people. Its value may be to demonstrate how helpless we are in the hands of theorists.

As you so correctly point out, "...not a single conspiracy theorist has ever really substantiated his "theory" with solid evidence." Belief, whether based on reality or not, is the issue.

Take, for instance, paper currency; It is our belief in its value that gives it value. That belief is a long-held theory that has worked well for centuries. In the shadow of the present difficult American presidency, world belief in the American dollar is fading. Sales of gold and silver as potential replacements for paper currency have advanced in the last three years. Nobody knows how far this will go. Not even Ron Paul (though I would place my bet on him).

Getting rid of mindless theories is like trying to remove cat hair from dark clothes.

I suppose that some day soon we shall hear a theory on some conspiracy to destroy or to enhance the value of paper currency.

In the meantime, keep telling us about conspiracy theorists.
One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 09:11 AM JST

Thanks, samwidge. I will try to comply with your request although my physical condition is so precarious right now that I'm not very sure if I can discuss the same topic once again.

In the meantime, please keep in mind that "theories" proliferating in the U.S. these days are actually not theories. They are closer to delusions.

I'll elaborate on this point in the next few days, in yet another post in which I analyze the failure factors for the Intellectual Revolution.

Yu Yamamoto
One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: Gabriele on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 02:28 AM JST

"conspiracy theorists are always looking around for plausible evidence supporting his heretical allegation, while on the other hand carefully weeding out information that runs counter to it."

The great Sherlock Holmes says pretty much the same about the Scotland Yard detectives. They build up a theory about a crime without analyzing the details properly, and afterwards try to prove it, ignoring the facts that run counter to it. Holmes goes the other way round: He observes first, drawing special attention to the "odd details" and, when he's got enough material, creates a theory which includes these odd details. Everything else falls into place. I highly recommend reading the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Back to conspiracies: I know from both experience and observation that conspiracy theories attract mostly people who cannot cope with life's complexity. But, as a matter of fact, life is frightfully complex (today even more than in the past), and sometimes it's even painfully banal. Believing in a conspiracy does two things:
1) It gives the writer/reader of it the feeling that he/she understands the world and therefore doesn't feel helpless anymore. There's hardly anything worse than the feeling of utter helplessness.
2) It nurtures the belief that man is strong enough to cope with every kind of problem. I mean, this sounds really intriguing: A bunch of clever guys able to control the world. Wow. We are saved. Well, unfortunately, these almighty conspiracists are always on the wrong side...
One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 03:53 AM JST


Gabriele,

Thanks for your comment.

I used to read a lot of Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories and see the TV adaptations of them. But until you exquisitely pointed out the similarity between conspiracy theorists and detectives in Scotland Yard, I had never realized that it's the best way to explain the fundamental flaws involved in the method used by conspiracy theorists.

Indeed, Sherlock Holmes' approach applies to everything in our life, though only on the premise that we also have above-average intuitive faculties, if not as good as Sherlock Holmes'. Without good intuition, we would end up just beating the bushes as if we have an eternal life.

This also reminds me of the Dutch-American architect named Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who said (or quoted Gustave Flaubert as saying) "God is in the details." When I was a senior manager at a Swiss company, these words always guided me in the right direction. That is why I still don't side with any half-baked ideology.

Yu Yamamoto
One Last Time on Conspiracy "Theories"
Authored by: samwidge on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 09:00 AM JST

I agree with Gabriele and Mr. Yamamoto.

On a smaller scale; I recently quit a weight-loss group of around 35-people. All have been trying to lose weight and some of the members have been in this group for 35-years.

One of the theories proposed is that food companies "conspire" to sell unhealthy food. The feeling is "They're out to get us. Beware" Each week the group discusses "healthy: food and "unhealthy" food. They focus relentlessly on food. They show color pictures of food and they share recipes for food they believe is good for them.

At the end of each meeting, these heavy people can only think of food because that's all they have discussed... so they go out together to eat a really big lunch! They do it every time.

35-years with no weight loss!

With no loss of weight, they continue in the group because they feel that they are nobly fighting some conspiracy.

When you want to control large masses of people, you can do it with relative ease by convincing people that somebody is out to get them. If you are in politics, you can do better by claiming to protect citizens by fighting a conspiracy.