[This post has been cooling its heels in my drafts for 18 months! What? It’s bananas, but I kind of like the insane energy of my 2020 summer brain storms, so maybe you will too!!]
A fake conspiracy has some clear markers, and if you pay attention you’ll spot them easily. They appeal to fearful reflexes, have shifting or unclear objectives and have their hands in your pockets. Finally, a real conspiracy has very, very few knowing participants, while a fake can have millions of people thinking they really understand something about whatever.
Fake conspiracies are fueled by end times worries, which are perfectly natural since we all grapple with our own end times. Sorry. I didn’t invent death, it’s just the way it is. When their foretold catastrophes fail to appear, there’s always someone willing to say, “Perhaps it was an allegory for fire comet, which translates to stock market dip in the original Latin, and just give up in the original Punjabi.” Nonsense has no obligation to ever make sense, you know–it’s in the essence of the nonsense.
If the spin keeps spinning, you can be certain the conspiracy is not a real threat, but that people are pumping life into it in order to sell some snake oil or snake vacations. A real threat has to be consistent. If it’s ever going to amount to anything, it needs to have the same goal every Tuesday. It’s not a real conspiracy if the goal is to torch one week and tacos the next.
When evaluating a conspiracy ask yourself who benefits? If everyone is going to suffer, who is gaining ground? Nobody? If it’s some dopey “watch the world burn” conspiracy, they really haven’t thought it through and it cannot be very sophisticated. So the world burns… and then what? That’s not a mastermind idea, it’s half an idea, or more of an impulse.
Assuming the conspiracy has consistent focus, you may then inquire, how many people have to keep quiet to perform this feat? Do you know how 99% of all hackers have ever been caught? Bragging over beers or rootbeers! People cannot be quiet, even when their own interest is threatened. If you know anyone who can keep a high-level secret, they are disciplined enough not to get involved in garbage projects in the first place. They are already rich and do not feel compelled to tell you about their private island’s power plant.
A real spy will never tell you they are a spy, silly.
When evaluating your source on conspiratorial information, ask yourself how do they benefit? What are their credentials? Are you sure? That man who claims to be former CIA–was he actually a CIA janitor? Nothing against janitors, naturally, but are you going to buy your horrifying secrets from them? Or buy terrible cookbooks from them? Are you going to buy their spy vitamins? Why?
Some people have credentials that are beyond dispute. If I told you that I got my PhD from Harvard in Communications you might be impressed, but it’s not true and it’s easy as pie to prove that Harvard doesn’t know my name, other than that embarrassing incident, which no one can prove I was party to.
ANYWAY, not all experts are in on the conspiracy because it’s simply not possible for all of them to agree on anything long enough to collude. If all the experts agree on something they are probably just trying to avoid looking stupid to other experts, or they have some pesky evidence in their way.
When a platform dabbles in mind control, you can be certain that somebody else is going to stand up and complain about it. Maybe they only complain because they want the suggestion that you buy their terrible cookbook to be included in the mind control menu. Whatever. It’s never going to be perfect. All you have to do is pay attention and think sharply.
One more thing. You may see a lot of information that is upsetting and/or compelling that may or may not be part of someone’s cult project. The more exposure I have to social media over time, the more obvious is this tendency for inflammatory garbage to float to the surface. It’s too easy to promote something that provokes an urge to share. Upsetting items feel important and urgent, even when they are actually old rumors of dubious value.
When you see such things, don’t just pass it along. You may feel a duty to investigate, but before you waste a bunch of time validating it, ask yourself: are they pumping up the hate?
It’s much simpler to consider this one thing rather than dragging the suggestion over to the hate scale. Sure, we can all comfortably hate monsters, but is that where you want to put your time and energy? How do groups get a bunch of lazy idiots to blow up a building full of kids? By pumping up their hate of anything! Hating the government, hating animal experiments, hate the dictator, it’s all still hate.
Put down the hate and look for a way to put love in the picture.
Anger is an energy. Angry love is still love.
Go ahead and argue with me!!
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