The Conspiracy Metric

A useful metric to measure the degree of corruption and degradation of a ruling class would be to plot the distance between official truths and actual truth. The greater the distance between official truth and reality, the greater the degeneracy. North Korea, for example, makes fantastical claims about the ruler, while Switzerland barely notices it has a president. The former is a madhouse run by a cult of personality, while the latter is the model of sober-minded, popular governance.

Another possible metric for measuring the health of a society would be the number of popular conspiracy theories and the degree to which people accept them. The Y-axis would be the number of popular conspiracy theories floating around in general conversation, while the X-axis would be the intensity of belief. The Turks have loads of conspiracy theories and they really believe them. The Swiss, of course, have never been in to such theories and are regarded as skeptical by nature.

There is an obvious argument against using such a metric, as it could simply be a proxy for the general intelligence of the population. Stupid people are more prone to believe fantastical explanations for events than smart people. The QAnon stuff, for example, is a clever mocking of the sorts of people inclined to believe such things. It’s a very clever person with too much time on his hands having fun at the expense of those who are not so clever. Dumb people tend to fall for conspiracy theories.

The thing is, smart people tend to control public discourse in a society, either through owning the means of public discussion or through their influence. A healthy society would have a healthy smart fraction that provides believable and reasonably accurate explanations, so that conspiracy theories are unnecessary. For example, 1950’s America had its tin foil hat crowd, but they were objects of mockery. They did not have millions of paying customers to their internet video operation.

The conspiracy metric would pick up two important factors. One is the size and influence of the smart fraction and its willingness to shape public debate. North Koreans probably have loads of wacky theories about their society, because the smart North Koreans spend all of their time lying to them about what’s happening. That and making sure they don’t get on the wrong side of the tubby cult leader. North Korea has a smart fraction, but it is exceedingly corrupt and paranoid.

That’s an important part of conspiracy theories. The reason they appeal to stupid people is stupid people struggle to understand things. The conspiracy theory allows them to have a simple answer for observable phenomenon. This is an important part of the human animal. We evolved for a very long time, paranoid about what was lurking in the bushes, under the water and in the shadows. Recognizing patterns and creating useful explanations for those patterns is our nature.

In the modern age, that need to fear the dark is still there, so it expresses for many people as belief in harmless conspiracy theories about UFO’s and secret government agencies that run things from the shadows. Even smart people struggle to accept that serendipity and fate are often the powerful forces behind events. People need to know why things happen. If there is no rational explanation for why something happened, then they will gladly accept an irrational one.

Of course, con-men often play on this reality to get people to believe some nonsense that aids the con man in his schemes. Government is also fond of using conspiracy theories to promote their interests. Getting people to believe, for example, that a secret agency using special software can read your e-mail in real-time has enormous benefits to the security state. It causes the people they are tracking to act in ways that are more easily monitored and more easily detected.

If you are a small group of people with an enormous amount of power, people will eventually notice it. Trying to hide this fact is a waste of resources, so the better course is to own and amplify this reality. If you can turn your opponents into aluminum hat wearing nutters, that directs attention away from the truth and onto the conspiracy theorists. All of those theories about secret government programs and 4-D chess, cloak and dagger operations serves the interests of the state.

That’s another reason the conspiracy metric would be useful. The more corrupt the government, the more likely they are to foster conspiracy theories. Of course, people with a corrupt ruling class are more inclined to believe bad things about their betters, so the metric would pick up that side as well. The conspiracy metric would be capturing one aspect of social trust. That is the horizontal bonds that bind the ruling class of a society to the layers beneath them.

Now, the major flaw, at least at this stage, is measuring the number and degree of conspiracy theirs in a society. It’s another one of those things that we can sense, but we struggle to define. We know the difference between pornography and art, in a general sense, but drawing the line is difficult. The same can be said for the line between conspiracy theory and simple suspicion. We can easily identify the extremes but figuring out where to put the line is difficult.

Maybe like the truth gap between official reality and actual reality, the conspiracy index does not have to be precise. We don’t need an exact number to see that the official truth from the current ruling class is much further from reality than in the past. We have enough examples to know the gap is much bigger. The same can be said for the conspiracy metric. QAnon would not have fooled people 50 years ago. We have more stupid and paranoid people today than back then.

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207 thoughts on “The Conspiracy Metric

  1. I guess that I should always believe what the government and the press tell me, then. Reason can take you only so far if you don’t get the facts or have access to them.

  2. Some of the Conspiracy Metric boils down to P.T Barnum’s axiom : “There’s a sucker born every minute.” My take is Grifters gotta grift in order to make a buck. Too many out there are like J.P. of ‘Angels in the Outfield’, “It could happen.”

  3. The government has created the conspiracy culture in the states. There are Kennedy documents waiting to be released and Trump wouldn’t do it. The reason is obvious it would be damaging to the government itself, and that is the only reason why they can’t be released at this late date. A conspiracy culture is created when the government does evil and then lies about it. It’s nothing more than realizing your government lies to you. The crazy people get wacky with it, but it’s also insane to deny that the government isn’t responsible.

  4. From reading this post and the comments, I have come to the startling conclusion: the rumored presence of the very word “conspiracy” in the dictionary is itself conspiracy nuttery. TPTB never plan things in secret and tell us the contrary as they carry out their plots, never; only rubes and country bumpkins believe and speak of such nonsense.

  5. Wasn’t it Freud who famously once quipped, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”? OK, so the statement is almost certainly apocryphal but the principle is sound. Seems a lot of folks commenting here are REALLY HEAVILY emotionally invested in various conspiracy theories. Seems a tad ironic given the title of ZMan’s essay.

    I also wonder if people who are so quick to believe everything is a massive conspiracy – especially a [shudder] GOVERNMENT conspiracy – are not attributing to deep state mandarins a machiavellian competency for conspiracy that they would not accord their next door neighbors. Hell, I have a retired county bureaucrat living across the street from me and he has yet to indicate the sort of cunning craftiness required for most of the government conspiracies I’ve read about. He’s a nice guy and all but hardly the brightest bulb on the marquee.

  6. >Backchannels are important.
    Attacks will only intensify.
    You attack those who threaten you the most.
    Enjoy the show!


    Conspiracy? what Conspiracy exactly

    US government claim that Chinese stealing information by running Huawei
    apparently US government are the real perpetrator stealing foreign information by running Swiss company as CIA front company
    Seem to me All phenomenon of Conspiracy came out both sides were entirely caused by corruption of white upper class

    Speaking of White upper class, I never saw the wealthy white person speaking out for dissidents or supporting the dissidents cause
    but I do witness so many wealthy white person hating their own kind

    It feel so wrong about this

  8. A factor driving the belief in “conspiracy theories” is the penchant of the powerful and authorities to a make assertions with no basis in fact and to lie when for vanity’s sake when there is no real reason to do so. The targets of this deception realize that they are not being told the whole truth and nothing but the truth and then assume that they are being lied to about everything and for some nefarious reason.

  9. The United Stares was founded by a group of men largely conspiring in coffee houses to commit high treason so its in our nature.

    Given also the term “Conspiracy Theory” was invented by the Rand Institute as a thought stopper and to denigrate conspiracy theories in general well, people who don’t believe in conspiracies are at best naive.

    People who think are “ruling class” isn’t capable of anything in pursuit of money or status are complete idiots given recent history and human nature.

    This doesn’t prove any specific conspiracy but given the world we live in, believing that all but the most outre conspiracies have at least a kernel is the sign of a healthy mind.

  10. Look at what AG Barr did to Trump today. The real conspiracy is before our eyes. What a nice little back stab from the warmed over BUSH appointee. How stupid is this orange fu*k anyway? I could have predicted this in my sleep. Actually I did. Even if you like Trump, you can’t defend stupid. He’s been very lucky in getting out of his messes, but so many of his messes come from rookie moves. No one ever saw rookie moves like this from the the gay black man who served eight years toiling to destroy the country as it is.

    • The problem is that you can’t change anything without a shadow cabinet and because of the money and status involved and the long term cultural lack of integrity in America, you can’t assume anyone has honor that exceeds the desire for status and money.

      Trump doesn’t know anything but status and money or offer much else but he can’t offer as much as the other side and so what honor he posses is moot, anyone working for him is in it who is not family is probably in it for the money alone.

      President Obama OTOH was the system and didn’t try to not have to change anything.

      The key to real change is essentially the things our side fears more than anything , fanatical determination to a collective end.

      The madness of the American Right is they’ve mythologized a Leftist ideology (individualism) into a Right Wing thinking structure and thus are crippled. There is no point in acting collectively for anything the Right wants since too many of your people favor individualism which you already have,

      Until recently it was very easy to be Conservative and Left alone and only the singular stupidity of the Left has disrupted the situation.

      The only two exceptions that energize folks seem to be abortion and guns.

      I’ve been over abortion before and so will a\void the topic this post.

      Now guns? Guns are fine and good but fighting a civil war over gun laws is a lose condition.

      If the Right gets in charge it must actually deal with all of the problems and start shaping society thew way they want to by force or they will be eliminated.

      Understand that society is essentially traditions reinforced with authority and when the former fail or are subverted, than more force must be used till the traditions become ingrained

      That is how you win.

      The easy mode everyone wants that allows the a reset and that President Trump is valiantly trying for is not a thing. Best case scenario, economic collapse and mass repatriation Middle Case, end of the USA Worst Case Bosnia X Rwanda

      Embrace it and embrace the authority needed to make a better future or the Left say what you want about them will and they’ll win.

      Until people get there, President Trump for all his failures is at least trying which is better than most and in another term, maybe he’ll get a lot more done or just leave abetter ground for real change

      • The problem with appointing a shadow administrator form inside the beltway who breezily passes through the Senate (as Barr did) is that this person is looking for just the right time to put the dagger in your back, like in an election year. They’re not loyal to YOU, they’re loyal to the Georgetown cocktail circuit. Any by the way, anyone with round tortoise shell glasses should be automatically disqualified for said reasons. They’re not there to grease the gears, but to throw sand. Get outsider activists from middle American state capitals. He should always ask his idiot daughter what she wants to do, and then do the opposite.

  11. The biggest problem I have with conspiracy theories – ALL conspiracy theories – is that they violate the K.I.S.S. Principle (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”) AKA Occam’s Razor, AKA the “parsimony principle”. Formally stated the parsimony principle goes something like “Do not unnecessarily multiply complexities.” Every conspiracy theory I have ever heard or read started out more complicated than anything Rube Goldberg ever – in his wildest imaginations- ever drew. And they got more complicated every time someone called the holder on some point of divergence from fact or reason.

    • This is the midwit’s version of Occam’s Razor. The real world is complex, which means more complex explanations are often required. Quantum mechanics is less simple than Newtonian mechanics but has the advantage of being a better explanation and predictor of reality.

      • I don’t appreciate the appellation “midwit” but you clearly didn’t read the description of the parsimony principle. The operational word in the definition is “unnecessarily”. Another statement of the principle would be ” “Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate” ( “Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity”) as formulated by the Irish Franciscan philosopher John Punch in his 1639 commentary on the works of Duns Scotus. The parsimony principle simply provides a tool for choosing between two explanations for purposes of TESTING. Recall, if you will, the days before the heliocentric view of the solar system was accepted. I would direct your attention to the complexity of mechanisms created to depict the motions of the planets and the term “epicycles”. Descriptions of the observed motions of celestial objects grew ever more complex. Then Galileo and Copernicus tried making the sun the center of things and suddenly planetary motions became very simple.

        By the way, Newtonian mechanics still works. It simply does not explain everything. But you can compute the trajectory of ballistic objects to a high degree of accuracy using it. Also,my understanding is that Newtonian mechanics was supplanted by Relativity, not quantum mechanics.

    • There was a group I stumbled upon long ago that debated the flat earth theory. One side would say this observation is consistent with a “flat” earth, the other would discuss why it was false, or present their evidence for the round earth theory to be refuted by the flat earthers.

      I thought while reading for quite awhile that these exchanges were tongue-in-cheek and made all in good fun. An intellectual exercise to strengthen the mind so to speak. Took me about an hour or so of reading before it dawned on me that these exchanges were deadly serious. Damn, was I naive. 😉

    • So… This must mean you think the Trump/Russia investigation was just a bunch of honest cops doing what they thought was right, correct? If not, then it was a conspiracy involving the Clinton campaign, the DNC, the FBI, the CIA, etc., and it crossed the ocean to London and on to Russia and Ukraine… But that would be so COMPLICATED…

      • Yet another lackwit who does not understand the parsimony principle. Sometimes one MUST go with a more complicated explanation as the opposing one is too easily proven wrong.

        From the Wikipedia article on “Occam’s Razor”:
        “Occam’s razor says that when presented with competing hypotheses that make the same predictions, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions,[3] and it is not meant to be a way of choosing between hypotheses that make different predictions.

        Similarly, in science, Occam’s razor is used as an abductive heuristic in the development of theoretical models rather than as a rigorous arbiter between candidate models.[4][5] In the scientific method, Occam’s razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result; the preference for simplicity in the scientific method is based on the falsifiability criterion. For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. Since one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable.”

        In my experience, conspiracy theorists pretty much “always burden [their] failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified.” Also, I’m not entirely sure that all things explained by conspiracies cannot be equally well explained by simple flocking behavior. To me the whole “Russiagate” mess is less an example of a (possibly criminal) conspiracy than of merely birds of a feather flocking together. Yes, I believe that some people in the Clinton campaign, the DNC, the FBI, the CIA, etc. communicated but I do not believe that everyone in the groups mentioned actively conspired. It is similar to the 2000 election. Once DAN RATHER declared Florida for Gore (over the expressed protests of the IT team who fekking well KNEW that the model was spitting out garbage at that point) the other networks HAD to jump on the bandwagon or risk looking like fools. No conspiracy needed. Hanlon’s Razor would seem to obtain here: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” I would paraphrase Hanlon’s Razor as “Never Never attribute to conspiracy that which is adequately explained by (stupid/simple) flocking behavior.

  12. > There is an obvious argument against using such a metric, as it could simply be a proxy for the general intelligence of the population.

    That’s not really an argument against the conspiracy metric because low intelligence and corrupt governance are correlated. The conspiracy metric has the advantage over the official-truth metric in that it’s easier to quantify.

  13. Stupid people are more prone to believe fantastical explanations for events than smart people.

    Smart people believed for decades that if you take the Arab out of Arabia, you take Arabia out of the Arab.

    The conspiracy theory allows them to have a simple answer for observable phenomenon.

    Not a stupid strategy at all, it is Occams Razor and conforms with daily observations: put three people in a room, you have four conspiracies going on in a matter of hours. Also, we know conspiracy theories are right way to go, because the word “conspiracy theorist” is leveled as an insult to people who question official narratives.

    Add money to the mix and you’re off to the races – if you assume that “politicians are only in it for the money”, you get a helluva lot closer to understanding how the world works, than by believing anything that comes out of the mouths of the globalist trusties in media, academia and politics.

    A friend of mine was working on a PhD, and at one point she and the other people in her study group had a modest sum of money left over from some grant – a couple of thousand dollars or so. They asked their professor what to do with the surplus funds, and since university is 100% publicly funded in Denmark, he didn’t find it worth the trouble to reimburse the tax payers for the monies not spent – too much paperwork. “Just split the cash between you and keep your mouths shut.”

    This was way too simple, and in a matter of days, there were three factions in the five-person study group, bickering about what to spend the money on. There was enough to send two people to Sicily to study Mount Etna, which was undergoing an eruption at the time, and whaddya know: two of the guys happened to be volcanologists (or whatever) and they found the recalcitrant egotism of the other three absolutely mindboggling, them going to Sicily was critical to science and blablabla.

    This eventually made so much noise, that their professor told them to pay back the money and get a fakking receit. The study group broke up, some of the people never came on speaking terms again.

    Hm. This anecdote was supposed to have something to do with conspiracies, but now I can’t remember what it was. Please drop me a line or two if you have any idea what I’m talking about.

    • Well, not what you were talking about, but here Fed grant money, albeit often spent foolishly is not usually spent illegally (outside of grant parameters as agreed to by the primary researcher). Grants are audited by both the University and the Fed’s and misappropriation can result in a minimum of repayment by the University, to sanction of the University wrt future Fed grant applications, to criminal charges to the primary researcher. In the case of my last University, we’re talking 100’s of millions of dollars on the line.

  14. I take mild exception to the term “smart people” to describe those who take advantage of conspiracy theories. Instead, I’d prefer “clever people,” i.e., conniving, dirt bags who prey on the naivety of the general population. Are clever people smart? Sure, but not all smart people are clever, at least not as described above. And yes, some smart people are naive enough to be taken in by the clever…

  15. Since we’re on to “conspiracy theory”, how ’bout something truly frightening:

    “The best-laid plans of mice and men,” and all that. Once again, we are well informed, since investment in BSL4 labs is on everyone’s lips, and their funding records are wide open.

    This is hair-raising.
    Buy your supplies.

    The thread is also largely about the role of disinformation and misdirection.
    It is twitter, so it won’t last long.

  16. “Conspiracies” have utility for people who believe that the government, or elites, or secret societies, (or bagels) are super geniuses with plans that they implement with ruthless efficiency over decades or in the case of the Bagel People, thousands of years. Looking at the instances across history of governments, elites and bagels, I’m amazed that these idiots are credited with such powers.

    Just look at the track record of the FBI, those doofuses couldn’t figure out the Mafia, failed to prevent Communist agents from infiltrating the government (when the agency was actively anti-communist), and has routinely failed to orchestrate the removal of Trump. Far from being able to successfully conspire, these idiots are completely incompetent at it.
    Hoover, Comey, and Strozk ain’t supervillains. They’re clumsy ideologues who think they’re way smarter than they are.

    • Conspiracy theories don’t need to be true to be useful, they just need to be able to predict the actions of institutions.

      Jews may not meet in dark, smoke-filled rooms to discuss how best to defraud the goy, but they still act as if they did.

      • I agree completely with that. I’d like our tribe to do the same to protect our own, but that realization is slowly dawning as the white population decreases. Many whites aren’t interested in their own culture and identity and acting collectively…yet. They might not be interested in identity politics, but identity politics is interested in them, which will become unavoidable.

        • They might not be interested in identity politics, but identity politics is interested in them

          Well stated.

          Most whites are not interested in ID politics, because they don’t feel personally threatened by POC, but once they figure out that New Politics is all about ethnicity, I figure their interest will perk up.

          The latest woke ad from Scandinavian Airlines – which definitely took an interest in normie Scandinavia – has redpilled a lot of people here in Skyrim – even the Swedes went bananas.

          I sense the Lawrence Fox-groan is spreading.

          • Felix, did that ad get a lot of airtime amongst the various talking heads of your neck of the woods? And did anyone in the media have the stones to suggest that maybe this wasn’t such a good thing?

          • Felix, did that ad get a lot of airtime amongst the various talking heads of your neck of the woods?

            I don’t know about television, but in the online MSM, yes, it was yuge – still is.

            And did anyone in the media have the stones to suggest that maybe this wasn’t such a good thing?

            A few, at least here in Denmark.

            Most went with playing stupid: “What’s wrong with the ad? It’s true, isn’t it, we got most of our ideas from Johnny Foreigner, didn’t we?” – as if that were the problem with the ad.

            Some went with muh Russian bots (yes, seriously!), some went with “Oh, how clever of SAS to rile the Nazis, they get more bang for their ad buck that way.”

            Nobody (that I’ve seen) nailed the most insidious aspects:

            1) The choice of actors, music and lighting to represent legacy Scandinavia


            2) The ridiculous selection of Scandinavian “achievements” in the first place: “Look at these silly goys investing their identity in meatballs and cheese slicers, lol, and here’s a smug, blue-haired slope with a facefull of fishing tackle telling them that, sigh, the windmill was not invented in Denmark, you silly man,” as if anyone ever believed that.

            It’s a double-whammy: first you ridicule the Scandis by suggesting they desperately cling to meatballs as a measure of cultural achievement, because that’s how shallow their identities are and how insignificant their achievements, then you have pocs explaining how that shallow identity isn’t even theirs, isn’t even real, in fact.

            (The above is called the “Meatball Dane”-position, civnats and fellow Danes trying to tell us that “danishness” is about some random, idiosyncratic Danish habit, so they can poke fun at Danish culture. )

          • I know Cultural Marxists gonna spread their propaganda but why are they so obvious?

            Even I know the Vikings had their own version of democracy, the thing, independent of Greece. I suspect all the other claims were scurrilous too.

          • It’s not that the claims were wrong as such. They were, but that was not the point of them. The point was to insinuate that the Norwegian self-image was entirely dependent on having invented the paper clip and the cheese slicer. They could’ve chosen to mention that Norway has the highest number of Winter Olympics gold, silver and bronze medals in the world – not just per capita, but overall.*

            But they didn’t go there, they deliberately chose silly stuff and pretended like this was Norway’s claim to fame.

            Borderline micro-nations aren’t as hung up on cultural achievements as world powers are. We understand we’ll never lead the space race or clean the Noble Prize sweepstakes, so telling us we didn’t invent everything, doesn’t really hurt.

            But the (people) behind this commercial, have their identity closely tied up with being the smartest and the most creative, so they imagine other people feel the same.

            Now, there were a lot of factual errors in the ad; I figure that was a troll, the plan being to get Scandis to argue the material case, make us list up our actual cultural achievement so everybody could laugh at how insignificant they were.

            But again: if you’re from a micro-nation and of a patriotic bent, you learn the term “per capita” very early. Denmark might only have a handful of truly groundbreaking scientists, but if you count them per capita, we’re comfortably in the top five on the science Nobel prizes and, more important – most existentially critical, even – is that we have more than the Swedes.

            *The secret to the Norwegian success in the Winter Olympics is that they’ve convinced the world that weird local hobbies like cross-country skiing, curling or speed skating are actual, international athletics disciplines. Back in the eighties they interviewed some Norwegian who just won the Olympic 50 km cross-country: “It was harder winning the club championship back in the village”.

          • I’ll tell you what I consider one of Scandinavia’s greatest cultural achievements; I’m afraid it features an American as the bad guy, but here goes:

            So way back when, I met this American guy who had visited Norway. In one village, he approached a fisherman and asked him if he would be open to doing some tourist cruising on the side, and he readily agreed. The American took his family out to see the fjord and they had a great time.

            Towards the end of the cruise, he whips out the cash, pays the skipper generously. The skipper disappears into the wheelhouse and comes back with a receipt. For the taxman.

            The American tells this as if it were the greatest joke ever told: “can you believe those Commie robots?” and back then, I admit I laughed along, because it’s just so typically Norwegian.

            Today, I wish I could go back and tell him: “that’s how a civilized society works, buck.”

          • VE VUZ VIKANGS

            Never liked that attitude myself.

            Mind you, I think Vikings are cool and we’re lucky to have them in our past for a great number of reasons, but harking back to ancient history to claim vicarious fame is pathetic, something only nations with no cultural self-confidence do. It pains me that so many Scandi nationalists retreat to such a retrograde and infertile mindset.

            I believe a healthy nationalism should rest on a forward-looking attitude, not raking over a past that hardly anyone outside a small circle of academics really understand today. The Vikings were pagans and had pagan beliefs and ethics that are, well, still pagan today, barbarian, even. They make awesome television, but so does WWII.

    • Proof that it isn’t plans that last for years or centuries, but beliefs.

      The active ingredient, guesstimating which way the cat will jump.

    • Dev Patel as David Copperfield!

      The best part about these period pieces, is the exquisite attention to the smallest detail.

      • Brought to the screen by that great British film company:

        Film Nation Entertainment
        150 West 22nd Street
        NY, NY

        Key People – Producers:(((Steven B. Samuels, Glen Basner ,Aaron Ryder)))

        Directed by someone of Italian descent who gave us Veep.

        No conspiracy here, they do it out in open and shove it down our throats.

        • Now hold on. You know darn well Achilles, Ceasar, and Joan d’Arc were black.

          And the Vikings. Black men have blond, pale, blue-eyed daughters all the time.

          I wonder how well a black Moses would go over? Or where did Noah’s black son, Ham, come from?

  17. There’s no need for learned discussions of the essence of “conspiracy theories,” which are usually just ad hoc theories to explain why the writer’s ideas aren’t conspiracy theories but Theirs are. The phrase was created by the CIA as a tool to smear those who were voicing doubts about the Warren Commission. A “conspiracy theory” is simply what the government doesn’t want you to talk about. Everything else is just arguing about evidence (i.e., rational discussion).

  18. I read a Kennedy assassination book or two and watched a dozen shows over the years. If I was a betting man, I would have put $20 on a conspiracy (secret shooters, cover-up, etc).

    A few years ago I was in Dallas and toured the museum and walked the area around Dealey Plaza. After spending a few moments looking out the window where the shots were fired and the markings on the street below I realized how shockingly close everything was. An average shooter could have made at least one of the shots, perhaps both. For someone with Marine Corp rifle training it would have been relatively easy. After that day, I would have placed a $20 bet on Oswald being the assassin.

    Part of the problem with forming a realistic opinion on most conspiracy theories is who has the time and money to conduct their own investigation? In a society of “experts” it’s easier to read a book or watch a video . . . defer to the expert elite. Add-in the relentless mass media onslaught of non-stop talk and it becomes impossible to form a well-examined assessment.

    Maybe I’ll drive to Roswell this summer?

    • Sorry, professional snipers have recreated the scenario as accurately as possible, even to measuring the curb heights.

      They used gel-filled mannequins, yet none was able to make the shot(s) after repeated attempts.

      Time, effort, and money. That’s science.

      • That experts could not replicate hits does not mean that one person was not exceedingly lucky and/or the president exceedingly unlucky. The initial knock on the assassination was that the three shots could not have occurred in the 2+ seconds of the attack. That was shown to be false in the Warren report. I saw the filmed recording of an expert rifleman easily firing those shots at targets in the time allocated. Now it has switched to Oswald couldn’t make the shot. But the reality is that the shots in theory could be made. We can go on, but as far as I can recollect, all challenges have been refuted. Folks simply won’t be placated in their suspicions. That’s fine. But is somewhat different than with the building #7 collapse in 9/11 for example.

        • Replicability doesn’t count?

          Hard to focus indeed, my honest friend.
          Too much information, far too many competing claims. Maybe God went away like the Deists say, because He’s off in a room trying to verify our wild hypotheses.

          God: “Wait, what? Did I miss something?”

        • Pray tell, then how do you explain that the back of the president’s head was blown away while his face was largely intact? And the Zapruder film? This would seem to weaken the case for an assassin shooting from behind.

      • The major difficulty I have with JFK theories is that I don’t know of any threat this guy posed to people with powerful interests. He was the most blackmailable President in US history, his life was mostly occupied with getting more gash, and his health was abysmal.

    • Maybe I’ll drive to Roswell this summer?

      I recommend a book about the RFK-assassination instead.

    • My mother believes the government is lying about JFK but is telling the truth about Trump being elected by Russians. The contradiction doesn’t even phase her. She also has a Masters degree.

      The most telling “conspiracies” are the ones where the conspiracy theorists take the null hypothesis (the simplest explanation) and yet are roundly mocked. (ie: The Moon Landing).

      The first thing people learn to do is lie and the first person they lie to is themselves. Seems to be a feature not a bug.

      • (the simplest explanation)

        That’s not (necessarily) what the null hypothesis is: the null hypothesis is the position of the scientific “consensus”, the established truth your new-fangled theory is trying to challenge, so conspiracy theories, by definition, never occupy the null hypothesis.

        The reason Moon Hoaxers don’t hold the null hypothesis, (even if we were to agree that they offered the simplest explanation), is that there’s a mountain of evidence for the moon landings which is accepted by the selenological community.

        • Guess, just guess, the ethnicity of the guy who started the “Moon Landing is a Hoax” fad. More chaff.

  19. Dissidents, by definition, suppose that orthodoxy is based on untruthful narratives. These are conspiracies by fiat. Why would one place their own heterodox opinions in the same basket as fluoride man’s latest raving about inter-dimensional demons?

    • Flouride man, in part, had best be seen as a harmless lunatic, if he’d like to avoid the D.C. Madam’s fate.

      She was found hanging in her mother’s garden shed, and her little black book went missing.
      Thanks for outing this moral menace, WaPo!

  20. Sandwich—Yes it is an interesting take on religion. It is kind of like the “God of the gaps” viewpoint. As science explains more and more the religion shrinks to fill in the gaps.

    In the Cloud people’s current religion they are ironically anti science because they don’t want nature or genetics to explain any differences between tribes because that would defeat their illusion that we can create the perfect world if we just get rid of racism and the patriarchy.

  21. Oddly, the same people who tell me that “three people can’t keep a secret” also confidently assure me that the Bad White People created a nefarious program involving vast movements of peoples and materiel, yet they did it in perfect secrecy.

    Gigantic Hollywood supervillain engines of death were built in secret, then dismantled and erased- along with all the records and all the bodies!

    Postmortem: these are the same types who can say “a matter of national security” without thinking about the implications. Yet they are often very smart, capable people, even hired and trained for their qualities.

      • Moi? Would I dare such an outrage on the celebration day of Dresden, a civilian city housing tens of thousands of refugees?

        Those 50,000 little kids needed to be baked into the pavement. Bad White People needed to be turned into living torches with clinging phosphorus.

        After all, they moved Anne Frank to five different hospitals, they were trying so hard to kill her!

        • Honestly, I think the underground room with the electrified elevator steel floor- when flooded, the hapless victims were electrocuted; when drained, the current sizzled them into ash, floating off in a black snow- that was the villianest.

          And did you hear about Dr. Mengele’s horrific experiments?

          So tell me, which super-engine of genocide did you find the most super-evil?
          **blinks stupidly**

        • “Civilian…” Ha! Camp guards to the last man!

          So when you ask Breitbart-level Brits about Dresden, they’ll tell you that Hitler started it, therefore it was okay.

          In other words, they use Uncle Adolf as a yardstick of ethical behavior: if Hitler did it, then it can’t be wrong.

          Glad to see our guy get the recognition he deserves…

          • Winston played a classic sucker move on Adolf there by sendiing the RAF at night to sprinkle a few random bombs on Berlin. The Englishman took advantage of the Austrian’s short fuse and saved the RAF from destruction. The Gulf of Tonkin by comparison was just a carny ruse.

          • Winston played a classic sucker move on Adolf there by sendiing the RAF at night to sprinkle a few random bombs on Berlin.

            Yes. But you can’t tell a normie Brit that the British started the targeting of civilians, because they’ll never believe you.

          • Please stop lying.The German Condor legion was bombing civilian areas in the Spanish civil war. The Germans bombed Warsaw ,Rotterdam, Belgrade in WW2 before the British hit Germany .Then there was the slaughter of fleeing French civilians after the collapse of the French army at Sedan The Luftwaffe admitted to killing over 500k Soviet civilians in WW2 even though the Soviets had no strategic bomber force. The Germans initiated aerial bombing of civilian areas in WW1 -again attacking Britain with Gotha bombers and Zeppelins

            The Germans had a long and sanguinary history of turning bombers on people who had no chance of fighting back. The constant whining about Dresden is that the Germans believed that war was a moral force and that their ability to devastate cities showed that God had turned against their enemies. Came as a bit of a shock when the British didn’t break and fought back. Losing your delusions can be a very painful exercise.

            Stay mad ,Germany

            Britain responded to German bombing with bombing to defeat Hitler and reduce his ability to impose his will and immoral objectives on other peoples. If they did want to emulate that quack they would have exterminted the Germans after WW2 as Hitler intended to do to the British if he had won the war.

          • Please stop lying, yadayada, Holland, Poland, Spain…

            You forgot the bit where they started bombing British civilians in WWII. Sorry, dude, the British – Churchill, to be precise – started the party. Painful losing your delusions, I know, but there you have it.

            Britain responded to German bombing with bombing to defeat Hitler

            Except it did next to nothing towards that end. Early on, the British had decoded police intercepts documenting that if anything, the massacre on German civilians strengthened morale, and even without the intercepts, they could’ve simply polled the locals in Coventry. The War Office knew it didn’t work – this is borne out by the documentary evidence – and yet they persisted, at great cost to a cash-starved to Britain.

            No, apart from the famous Churchillean bloodthirst, the only reason they bombed German civilians is that those were the only Germans they could reach, and they owed Stalin some dead Germans. One might speculate – given the Morgenthau plan – that the destruction of the medieval German town centres was an assault on their cultural heritage, part of the attempt to destroy them as a people. If you ever go to Prague, consider that there were hundreds of such towns in Germany before WWII.

            The Germans initiated aerial bombing of civilian areas in WW1 -again attacking Britain with Gotha bombers and Zeppelins

            Fair point, and I’m not defending that, but the butcher’s bill ran in the hundreds, a couple of thousand casualties at most.

            The Germans had a long and sanguinary history…

            All great peoples have.

          • Pay attention, Arthur. The British targeted German civilians with a sympolic raid to provoke the massive German misuse of their air power, saving the RAF from destruction. What the Germans did to everybody else and when was never the point. Winston 1, Adolf 0.

          • Well, that’s simply a application of von Clausewitz. Coventry did happen before Dresden. Unfortunately for Germany, they initiated night urban area bombing, but without the ability to do it properly. When the Royal Air Force properly retaliated, then escalated, that’s simply war. The object of war is to break the enemy’s will. Considering that Germany had initiated war in 1914 and 1939, British interest in ensuring that Germans would never again attempt a third war seems rather reasonable in the light of 1945. It’s nothing new.
            Ruthless application of war goes back to the dawn of war. The Romans perfected it.

          • Well, that’s simply a application of von Clausewitz.

            Clausewitz never mentioned killing civilians as a military strategy, he was from an era where uniforms were invented to distinguish, not one army from the other, but the soldiers from the civilians.

            Peasants and burghers alike would sometimes picnic next to a battlefield to watch the show – granted, they might have their towns and villages pillaged by the army afterwards, but in that golden bracket of time, civilians were not directly targeted militarily.

            That’s why, when the English firebombed Copenhagen into submission, it created an uproar in the civilized world and Wellington himself called it a stain on the British honor.

          • I’ve got a copy of the book on my shelf. Clausewitz came out of the upheavals after 1789. That particular boogaloo used civilian terror with a capital T as a military strategy, did it not?
            I know it’s popular to wail over Dresden among some circles on our side of the fence, but I am not one.
            Vae Victis

          • That particular boogaloo used civilian terror with a capital T as a military strategy, did it not?

            To a certain extend, yes – as I said, the British used it on Copenhagen. Twice. However, this was during a siege of a fortified city, a shooting situation, they didn’t just kill random Danes. (Such tactics are still legal by modern rules for warfare, by the way.)

            But it was not something Clausewitz condoned. To quote:

            Clausewitz wrote a lot more on this subject than is commonly acknowledged. He was aware that civilian suffering was not simply an accidental by-product of war but also the result of deliberate strategic intent to compel an enemy to do one’s will. Clausewitz did not endorse such methods because he had a moral and theoretical preference for decisive battles between conventional armed forces. He tended to dismiss violence against civilian persons and property as morally wrong, militarily ineffective and politically counter-productive


            I know it’s popular to wail over Dresden among some circles on our side of the fence, but I am not one.

            Neither would I, if it weren’t for the constant, sanctimonious Kraut-shaming. Mind you, I am still speaking of the Breitbart-segment of British nationalists, here in our camp there’s a lot more sympathy for the Germans, as you noted. And a lot more actual knowledge about Ze Var, I might add.

          • Under a certain theoretical view, certainly among acolytes of Douhet and Trenchard, with mid 20th century sea and air power an entire country could be placed under siege, instead of a single city, so chucking high explosive into targets was an extension of siegecraft on an unprecedented scale. Even Mustache Guy himself pointedly called his new holdings Festung Europa.
            Have you read Overy’s book? It’s in my library and I highly recommend it.


          • Strategic bombing is deeply immoral, whether done by the Nazis or the British. If not for the British employment of strategic bombing, it would probably have been declared a war crime at Nürnberg. According to international “law”, napalm is illegal, hollow-point bullets are illegal, triangular bayonets are illegal, but nukes are fine and so is mass targeting of civilian populations. That’s why the Nazis got off scot free on Warsaw.

            And just for the record, here. Uncle Adolf was the bad guy and the Germans are no angels. The treaty they imposed on Russia in 1916, makes Versailles look like a slap on the wrist, and the Nazis were nowhere to be seen in 1916.

            Virtually everything they’re accused of having done to the Jews, they had actual plans for as regards to the Polish, the Belorussians and the Ukranians: culling the population by 90% and have the remainder serve as illiterate and, most likely, castrated slaves.

            Mustache Guy

            It doesn’t count, if it doesn’t twirl.

            Have you read Overy’s book?

            Thanks. Goes on my list.

          • I’m half Slav on my father’s side (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Slovak) so you know I am well aware of Generalplan Ost. I absolutely drive Mustache Guy’s fans insane when I mention that Slavs are white, and their incessant nattering about the supposed 14 Words is utter nonsense, since there were upwards of 25 million white Slavs put into graves by white Germans. It also causes Bagel People to short circuit, when I mention that MILLIONS more Slavs were murdered than even the sacrosanct Six Million…

          • It also causes Bagel People to short circuit, when I mention that MILLIONS more Slavs were murdered than even the sacrosanct Six Million…

            Yes. The official Hollycaust dogma is that they don’t count because they weren’t killed because of their race. Apart from the chilling inability to recognize that a murdered innocent is a murdered innocent, it’s an almost provocative act of genocide denial.

            My grandfather was conscripted for forced labor by the Germans, so that’s a good play with the bagels: “how much would he have been due in reparations if he’d been a Jew?”

            (I don’t tell them that he was conscripted for being unemployed, that he never was in a camp or that he got paid, just like I don’t tell them that this was probably the only time that drunken bum did an honest day’s work in his life.)

  22. So get with the program and ORGANIZE.

    Look; what differs us from our many enemies?

    They’re organized. Crime, politics, activism, social justice; all organized.
    Some like to go on about bioleninism; well the bioleninists win. Hell they won – its just now their fuckup kids and grandkids are blowing it. But they are still odds on favorites. Why?

    Because they’re organized.

    The Mafia are lowlifes with 55 IQs (Jimmy Breslin). But they had a system and they organized. Mexicans and MS13s are CHUDS. But they’re organized. So organize.

    And yes I quite practice what I preach.

    Organize. Conspire (breathe together).

    • Your examples now and before are really bringing the lesson home, vxxc.

      30 years fighting other organized groups in MENA, in the most organized entity in the world, the U.S. military?

      We’re listening, brah. We want more.
      We got some wicked smart people here trying to bring things along, the more, the merrier.

  23. The conspiracy mindset thrives in any society where the common folk are aware that their leaders feed them bogus information on a regular basis.

    When you can’t reasonably evaluate the quality of the information you’re receiving, it’s hard to be “rational” or “smart” about what’s a crazy conspiracy theory and what’s an accurate description of elite behavior.

    Fact-finding in Clown World is subject to its own sort of insurmountable “Heisenberg Uncertainty.”

    To the degree a source has access to the elites (and thus accurate insider info), they are co-opted by the system and can’t be trusted to accurately report facts. To the extent a source isn’t co-opted, the less likely they are to have accurate insider information to report.

    Every one of our sources of information is some shade of grey on this dingy spectrum.

    Strategies and solutions for this deserve their own separate post – tossing this on the to-do list – but shooting from the hip, focusing on the outcome rather than the process/motives is one way to simplify things – as in “Trump may have conned us or been subverted, but either way we’re not Winning.”

    • “focusing on the outcome rather than the process/motives is one way to simplify things”

      Icebreaker strategy.
      Cleave right through the frozen bullsh*t.

  24. The whole Russian interference in the U.S. election thing is one of the most idiotic conspiracy theories for people who actually believe in it. But from the point of view of a lot of the people who talked it up, it was effective. Sometimes believing that a conspiracy theory is true is stupid but getting others to believe that it is true is smart (although possibly evil).

    • Now ask yourself “Who promoted that theory?” “Who sticks by it to this day?” “What were/are their affiliations?” “Have any of them produced evidence?” “Or recanted?” “Why isn’t this being investigated based upon evidence? Witnesses, etc?”

    • I’ve discussed this before elsewhere, and have been ridiculed to the nth degree for adhering to the position, but I hold it nonetheless:

      I would literally be shocked (and I’m not often shocked by anything the current world order throws in my face) if in fact there wasn’t a Russian conspiracy to affect our elections in 2016. (if someone or other wants to call it by another name than “conspiracy,” then that is fine by me as long as we recognize the meat of the issue) I mean, for goodness sakes, this is what governments more or less hostile to one another do. Duh!

      The U.S. does it too, when we’re not otherwise militarily invading sovereign nations and overthrowing their existing regimes by brute force of arms. But that’s okay because of course “greatest nation on the planet” and all that.

      But I’ll just inform all of you that one of the big reasons (THE big reason, in fact) discussed in the Federalist Papers for what the writers termed the “mode of electing president” (the electoral college method, for all you unschooled nincompoops who haven’t read the Federalist Papers – LOL) was in fact the danger of “foreign intrigue” in our elections. This preemptory arrangement implies of course that our founding fathers understood that foreign intrigue in our elections would always and forever be an ongoing threat. They understood this because, as I said (or implied), they were students of history and therefore knew that, while they couldn’t prevent it altogether, they could damn sure throw up a road block or two in its way.

      • Yes, literally speaking, Russia and I’m sure a number of other governments try to influence U.S. elections all the time. But the insidious criminal plot amounted to posting opinions on social media. Some of what was posted was “misinformation.” Hell, between advertising, the media, and our government, most of what we hear is misinformation. It was so important to Russia that they spent a laughable $100,000 on Facebook ads. The Russians involved should have been prosecuted by their own government for gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.

        At first, we were told that Russia “hacked” the election. Hacking clearly implies actually changing the numbers through cyberattack. As that became obviously bullshit, it changed to collusion so that they could go Trump supporters. We had a special prosecutor and a major investigation/scandal/fiasco over Russians saying Hillary sucks on Facebook.

        • Yeah, the discussion often conflates “probing” with “changing”. Russians often probe for weaknesses and to learn. We do the same. Hell, we used to fly into their air space to see if they caught us on their radar and reacted/alerted. Fun games that pushed them to shoot down that Korean airliner during the Reagan years.

      • Heck, it was Ukrainian amateurs trolling for “political donations”, not even Russian government contractors, unlike Mossad’s Unit 73- where most of the bots come from, per Haaretz.

        (Ukraine holds the Black Exchange, where actual criminal hackers do their business.)

        –Woops, sorry, replying to Federalist.–

    • Truth isn’t the point.
      Declaring sides is the point.

      Russia Theory is a flag, a flag to rally around.

      Boy howdy, it sure was idiotic, though!
      One for the record books.
      And based on a 4chan prank of peeing prostitutes at that!

      On the positive side, have we ever heard so many names brought to light before?

  25. The term “conspiracy theory” is used as an epithet in current parlance, but the reality is that most white collar crime today involves a cabal of criminals acting in concert covertly, e.g. a criminal conspiracy. And investigating this type of RICO often requires developing a theory of the conspiracy in order to effectively focus the investigation. IOW, most LEO detectives are “conspiracy theorists.” We’re not becoming stupider because we believe in conspiracy theories. We’re becoming stupider because there is no existential penalty for being stupid.

  26. North Koreans probably have loads of wacky theories about their society, because the smart North Koreans spend all of their time lying to them about what’s happening.

    I think this is the key point right here. When your government is constantly lying to you about what’s happening — and ours is — how is that different from a conspiracy, and is there anything simple-minded or unintelligent about speculating what is really going on?

    Pizzagate was roundly mocked and proclaimed “debunked” practically the instant it became known (on essentially zero evidence for the debunking), but in the wake of the Epstein scandal is there any doubt that sex trafficking and some bizarre sexual practices were — are — occurring routinely among our elites, and that Pizzagate was correct in generalities, if not specifics?

    “The pizza place doesn’t have a basement! Case closed!” Yeah, that’s some slick sleuthing there, Columbo.

    Does anyone here doubt that there is a deep state conspiracy to undermine Trump? Do you have to be unintelligent to think that?

    When your government lies to the people, it is conspiring against the people. And that is why there are so many conspiracy theories.

    • They have “wacky theories” because their gov’t controls the flow of information. No doubt along with the approval of the ChiComs. For folks concerned about slavery and human trafficking, all you can do is document.

  27. I think adding an z-axis for ‘proven true’ would be very helpful. Calling something a ‘conspiracy theory’ is just a species of ad hominem attack originally proposed for use by the Federal government (CIA) with regard to counter-theories to the official explanation of the JFK assassination. Over time the Warren Commission Report seems less credible precisely because non-aligned investigators uncovered more data. We know much more about what went on in Dallas (and elsewhere) connected to the killing of an American President *because* of ‘conspiracy theorists’.

  28. Considering that origination of the term “conspiracy theory” is itself a conspiracy theory, I think this post is more a rumination on the usefulness of the *metric*.

    ExNativeSon bravely touches the third rail, that religion itself, since history began, is a conspiracy theory. And official religion serves the ruling class.

    My first reaction was that the glaring, unspoken flaw would be that our benevolent betters have some clear, far-reaching version of the Truth. That they don’t believe their own superstitions.

    (Upon re-reading, I think the Zman somewhat quashes that, attempting to define a slippery gradient.)

    Being simple, I see it like this:
    The alphas at the top of the tree have an exquisitely limited range of vision.
    I say about ten feet. They only notice the immediate, personal threat to their position.

    That’s why they fought their way to the top of the tree. The same focus that insulates them from more general threats leaves them unconcerned with fripparies like honesty or the consequences to the wider society.

    “By any means necessary” is their only law.
    Putting out fires is their only concern.

    The extent of this belief, I think, is the slippery index that the Zman is trying to measure:
    “How corrupt and self-serving are they?
    How big, then, is their army, how powerful their grip?”

    Not I.Q., then, but *grip*.

    • Ugh. Way too TLDR.

      Let me rephrase:
      I think what the Zman is attempting is a useful metric of how much our betters are lying.

      Not the level of truthiness or intellect- as vxxc explains, those don’t matter.

      In other words, how strong, really, is their grip?

      They aren’t going to tell you.
      They’re too distracted by their own b.s. as well.

    • Re: Seth Rich. The FBI said there were no docs and now (highly redacted) docs are being released. Oopsie! (Why would the FBI even be involved in a “robbery gone wrong?” A daily occurrence in our big cities.) All you need to know about Epstein are the names in his “little black book.” It’s a “Who’s Who?” of banksters, politicians, and every sort of plutocrat and oligarch. It’s no wonder that story was killed. (SWIDT?)

  29. Governments don’t promote conspiracies as much as they use propaganda and PR agencies to insert various lies into society. through the MSM Although they are not above conspiring against the American people. Remember the “Kuwait babies being bayoneted by Iraqi soldiers?” Story that that Bush the elder used to invade Iraq? It was purely a creation of a American PR agency. Ten years later in another case the government used the MSM to run a massive agit-prop campaign to generate support to invade Iraq because Saddam was behind 9-11 and had WMD’s. The propaganda was so good they had Americans believing that Saddam was a James Bond villain.

    And it’s not just PR agencies being used to bamboozle the public. The government often uses corporate funded “Think tank” experts whom they trot out on TV to push a certain POV. In reality those “Think tanks” are nothing but propaganda agencies for hire.

    When Clinton wanted to promote NAFTA, he trotted out the various spokesholes from the conservative think tanks to promote it and attack Perot. Later he had all the newspapers in the country run positive glowing op-eds about NAFTA while silencing the opposition voices.

    Is it being conspiratorial minded when Google, Amazon and other Big Tech firms are constantly monitoring our actions on the web like reading our email or monitoring our conversations at home with Alexa or NEST? No.

    Orwell’s Big Brother with those two way screens is here today.

    Are people more stupid than they were in 1950? NO!!! What has changed is the how systematic and comprehensive the propaganda that comes from our government and corporations and we are immersed in from the moment we start watching TV.

    • Not more stupid people today, but instead more stupid people today, who are articulate or look good for the camera, who are promoted and held up as people to believe and to follow. Back in the day, we would have been much quicker to call “bullshit” on such people. Now political correctness and the taking away of the freedoms to speak and to disassociate, along with the stripping of personal agency generally, means that we are allowed to politely listen when stupid people are given the mic and are encouraged to speak up.

      • Back in the day the media was more diverse and competitive. Now they’re few, owned by the same handful of corporations, and poorly disguised advertising outlets.

      • Modern theorists like JMSmith of The Orthosphere would tell you that it amounts to the difference between “mere politicians” and “statesmen.” I tend to think this is basically right, but what do I know? I’m serious; what do I know? Not much when you get down to it.

    • The enormous pouring of resources into propaganda- rather than, say, streets or bridges- is most certainly a conspiracy itself.

      • Back when I used to listen to radio, I’d marvel at how much time on late night shows was taken up with spots produced by The Ad Council. I’ve always assumed it is the official propaganda arm of the state. It’s a “non-profit” with about $48 million in net assets and $52 million per year in revenues. It’s got about 100 employees, but pays out about $20 million in “salaries and related expenses” which works out to a pretty nice average salary plus benefits package.

        • The Ad Council drives me nuts. I hear a ton of their ads on streaming radio and they’re almost all dedicated to propagating the pozz.

  30. “If you are a small group of people with an enormous amount of power, people will eventually notice it. Trying to hide this fact is a waste of resources, so the better course is to own and amplify this reality.”

    Or simply make it a literal crime punishable by imprisonment and/or social pariah status to even -question- whether it is true or false. Take a look at the image, click into it and expand it to full size. It is an important picture and will give you just a small taste of how deep the (((rabbit hole))) truly goes. That is the problem w/ conspiracy theory, true conspiracies can easily hide in plain sight if you sow enough disinformation. We live in this reality now. BTW, I’m not dead or imprisoned, I read everyday but am busying myself to leave District One ASAP, so I only comment when I think I have something semi-profound to add vs. just ‘chit-chat’.

    • “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” – Matthew 7:16

    • That image is an important step along Redpill Road. We have to make sure that every white person in the world sees that picture.

      • I’d be pretty satisfied if every white person in Dixie, and her Western territories, saw that image and internalized it. There ought to be one done on Hollywood and the Universities t’boot.

  31. Z writes “conspiracy theories. The reason they appeal to stupid people is stupid people struggle to understand things. The conspiracy theory allows them to have a simple answer for observable phenomenon.”

    Religion can serve the same purpose. And we are not necessarily talking about stupid people; the world is complex and most people are more comfortable with having an all encompassing set of beliefs than having to try to figure out reality.

    Most people who are born into a religion stay in that religion. If you live in a Muslim society few people are going to become Zen Buddhists. The current set of beliefs about nature vs nurture in the West is that reality is a social construct, thus all nurture. This is why if a certain pool of people don’t do as well in math as other pools it is because of a racist structure and thus structural racism is to blame not genetics.

    The social construction of reality is the current religion in the West. You don’t need conspiracies to explain reality you simply believe in the religion and don’t allow alternative explanations.

    • Steve Sailer said at one point that he thought religion was a form of IQ conservation: one didn’t have to get into the weeds of philosophy for every decision since he could just outsource that to his faith and concentrate on other matters. Well, I thought it was an interesting take.

      • I much agree with Sailer, that’s why I call religion a framework, a worldview or mindset, that allows one to quickly sort things and get on with their day.

  32. Meh, I’m not sure general claims are so useful here.

    Sometimes people are accused of conspiring to do something, and it turns out that they are.

    Sometimes people are accused of conspiring to do something, and it turns out that they aren’t.

    It should be judged on a case-by-case basis.

    And the label “conspiracy theory” is often slapped on true explanations by the j-left in order to discredit them in the public’s eyes. Usually because the j-left is the very group doing the bad thing in question.

    It’s one of the many labels the left uses to prevent discussion/awareness of important truths.

    Not sure Z is doing us any favors by adding to the authority of a j-left shut-down label.

  33. Whenever I see somebody start bitching about “conspiracy theories” – I wonder what they’re trying to hide.

    I think conspiracy theory stuff gains a foothold because people don’t tell the truth. It’s a core part of human nature to look for explanations of why things are the way they are. I can see this urge to understand even in my 14 month old kid.

    So when you lie about things – and the lie has cracks in it, or people prove the lies to be wrong – you’re instantly opening the door to “conspiracy theory” type explanations of things.

    Ever since I was in my 20’s – when I was out of school and more fully exposed to the world as it really is , I would dig around trying to get more information on what is going on with the world. Back then (80s) – it was newspapers and going to the library to read more publications and books. It wasn’t too hard to find conflicting claims – and then compare those claims over time to how things unfolded – to see who was incorrect or lying. Even then I wondered why most of what I had been told about how the world worked – simply didn’t match up to reality.

    The internet only turbocharged that IMHO. Now there was so much more information available – it became a lot easier to debunk much of the BS that gets put out there trying to obfuscate the truth.

    Following a number of these topics over time – I’ve noticed over and over again that there has been quite a few cases where the initial “conspiracy theory” take on things – has been proven to be correct over the longer time line once the MSM bullshit story has fallen apart.

    The Benghazi incident was one of the more prominent examples of this that I remember. Literally as the event was happening and over the few days after – the correct version of the incident was out there on the internet – might have even been Infowars. Then the “some guy in CA made a movie that pissed off Muslims” story started getting pushed – and that seems to have buried the truth for a few years.

    The Chinese coronavirus thing is a perfect example of the dynamic of what happens when you don’t tell the truth. There are a ton of “conspiracy” stories floating around about what is going on over there, and it’s pretty obvious people were paying attention weeks ago. When I first heard about this probably three weeks ago now – I went online looking for masks – and they were already all sold out.

    People don’t trust the official party line on what is going on – so they seek their own explanations. When the alternative explanations prove out to be correct – you’ve now got a person who will not ever fully trust the party line again.

    • COVID19 (as it’s now officially named) is a good one. But I don’t think it was fooling anyone, at least not here in the group. Too many prior instances of governments telling a “noble lie” to folks to “prevent panic” immediately spring to mind. Today, we see with the new Chinese “definition” of infected coming out, that even they have given up trying to hide what is generally known to folks that have “caught wise” to government’s official BS in these matters.

      Sad really, getting up day after day to a world where you have to figure out what is the latest “con” to be circumnavigated is decidedly unpleasant. I’m old and tired. These are not the end days I had hoped for.

    • It’s strange how the willingness to consider alternative explanations is cubbyholed into “conspiracy theorist”. If one doesn’t consider alternative explanations, one is setting himself up to be run all around the block by the powers that be. It seems to me that the amount of disinformation (you might call it “chaff”) being produced seems to have blinded the powers to their own lies, as it becomes so easy and simple for them to simply state what they want you to think is reality, and then wrap themselves in the assurances from a sycophantic media and supporters, all seeking a piece of their power and wealth in doing so. The rest of us are left with the wretched realities created by such behaviors.

      • If you’re not at least on some level a “conspiracy theorist” – you’re not thinking. The people who typically get used to portray the prototypical conspiracy theorist – are pretty much on the same level as Joe Normie in that they settled on some outlet to get fed their view of the world – and they stayed there. Joe Normie settled on CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS a long time ago and hasn’t changed. The nutso conspiracy theorist type at least has a distrust gene in his or her makeup, so they just refuse to believe anything coming out of the mainstream – and because of that they settle on sources that just feed them a constant diet of mistrust.

        The seasoned “conspiracy theorist” is like an intelligence analyst IMHO. They take in all of the sources – discard the bs stories that experience has shown are most likely misdirection or just wrong , and then look at all that passes across their desk.

        If you look at events this way – and consider ALL sources – you can often hit things right on the money, especially if you have been using this technique for a while and quality checking your conclusions over time . Sometimes you have to wait for years (Benghazi is a good example) to get verification that you were correct.

        Adding in historical results also helps – like they say: history may not repeat – but it often rhymes. Apply that historical results layover across your conclusions and see if your conclusions are fitting the pattern.

        I don’t think it’s really “strange” that the willingness to consider alternative explanations is labeled conspiracy theory.

        They’re trying to shut you up by pigeonholing you as a nut and thereby making people not listen to you.

  34. Conspiracy theories running amok is what happens when you can neither speak nor even think bad thoughts. When reality becomes heresy fantasy becomes its substitute.

    • Certainly true wrt the influx of non-Whites into this country. Discussion is suppressed and folks look to all sorts of explanations and have all sorts of non-directed fears. Many justified sadly.

      • Well duh! Everybody knows that the problems of non-whites are entirely due to institutionalized white racism always and everywhere. 😶

    • Conspiracies happen all the time. Look at the attempt by the spooks and the FBI along with the MSM to take down a sitting President.

      Or the flooding of Chinese opioids into the U.S. along with allowing U.S. pharmaceuticals keep pill mills flush with Oxycontin that kills some 60,000 a year and not a peep out of the WH or Congress. Add to the fact that I can go to certain Chinese web sites and order synthetic opioids like Pink and Carfentanyl and have them sent to my home. And oh if I wanted to be a PED dealer I can order bulk steroid compounds by the kilo.

      Now if someone tells me this isn’t a conspiracy to kill Americans off then I’m looking at one delusional person.

  35. I wanted to start with “this is a miss by the Zman,” but won’t go that far. Depends on how you define “conspiracy.” Here are some things derisively labeled “conspiracy theories” in recent history: Disbelief that Oswald acted alone; disbelief that Seth Rich was murdered in a “robbery gone bad”; disbelief that Assad committed a gas attack on his own people; disbelief that the “white helmets” are neutral international do-gooders; belief that the Clintons have people killed who threaten their crimino-political operations; and belief in the existence of an antagonistic “Deep State.” While there are plenty of *real* nutcase beliefs (UFO’s, flat earth, fake airliners hitting the twin towers, fake moon landing, fake Sandy Hook massacre, etc.), some “conspiracies” are indubitably based on fact.

    • The importance of reading all the way to the end. Second to last paragraph: “Now, the major flaw, at least at this stage, is measuring the number and degree of conspiracy theirs in a society. It’s another one of those things that we can sense, but we struggle to define. We know the difference between pornography and art, in a general sense, but drawing the line is difficult. The same can be said for the line between conspiracy theory and simple suspicion. We can easily identify the extremes but figuring out where to put the line is difficult.”

      • Drawing the line can be difficult. But I think it has gotten easier of late.

        Maybe I’m just getting older and by merely having been around longer I have become more suspicious of what TPTB are capable of inflicting upon the masses in order to maintain control.

        But the Trump era seems to have finally tilted the axis of the grand inversion to its natural resting place at 180 degrees.

        The lines are more easily drawn when the truth and lies exist on the same axis.

        Its just a matter of the origin and direction. IOW, projection.

        Everything they point and scream about is probably true; just turn the finger 180 degrees.

        Systemic racism exists. Its called affirmative action. Russian collusion exists, but its Hillary/Obama/DNC not Trump. Racial hate crimes exist, its called black on white violence. Gun violence is indeed a problem but its not suburban white legal hobby gun owners, but urban black illegal gun owners.

        Thats my tinfoil hat approach for now. I am probably way off. But thats because there are no tinfoil hats anymore. Only aluminum.

      • Well, sure, but you know as well as I do that judging an article by its first and last paragraphs is the wave of the here and now. Not accusing Mr. Smith you understand, but the younger generations can’t be bothered to read the entirety of an article (or an essay, or a book, or whatever) as we both know.

        BTW, spell check is correcting your writing of “theory” as “theirs,” just to let you know. It’s in the O.P. as well as here in your above comment.

        • FWIW, TM, that’s how composition is taught in schools. (Outline: Thesis. Supporting paragraphs. Restatement of thesis. Conclusion.) It’s not inherently bad.

        • It’s not just the younger generation, it’s the older generation as well that have attention difficulties. I have a difficult time focusing and am impatient to get to the point. It’s the damn media to be sure. There is so much out there that needs to be perused, but time is limited. However, it is often fatal to regurgitate others’ postings as authoritative. Second hand sourcing becomes all too common these days. I am often guilty of this, whereas once a long time ago, this would never have happened. Indeed, I’d have been embarrassed quickly when presenting among peers.

          • Being on the leading edge of the boomer generation, I would speculate that I, and many others, received most of my ‘facts’ from one of the three networks or various newspapers – generally home-town newspapers. How much really bad information and slanted interpretations that I passed on to others later referencing those ‘unimpeachable sources’ in conversations. “Gee, I read this in the NYT”

            Today it does take a lot more effort, but if one has acquired the gift of critical thinking skills and has a decent foundation of history, you can come closer to accumulating the necessary facts and draw more accurate conclusions as to the truth. As we have seen in the shameless impeachment trial, people can look at a black-letter, exact copy of the transcript of one telephone call and weave it into an incredible variety of different agendas.

          • Those are all actually pretty good points, so touche’.

            I developed this habit years ago – it works (or so I tend to think) for me, but not necessarily saying it would work for anyone else – of reading a book, say, very quickly, then going back to it a second time, and reading more slowly and methodically. I generally don’t waste my time with the second half (or two-thirds, as it were) of that process unless I’m convinced by something in the initial reading that there is something more here that a quick reading, as such, isn’t going to reveal. Of course one perfects the process over time, like reading “Old English” or something. But like I said, it’s just something I do, not necessarily something I’m recommending anyone else do. I do this with articles and essays too. Our host almost always gets my attention one way or another, so I, in turn, almost always go back for a more methodical second reading.

            P.S.: When I proof read this comment I realized very quickly that I had written the word “something” at least a half a dozen times. Whoa!

      • It appears to me that democracy is an invitation to a conspiracy for the most clever and ruthless to form an arrangement where the rubes think they have control of the rulers and are ever compliant in that state. In fact I am sure this is so because I wore that suit for so long.

    • Some acts are not conspiracy per se, but rather sophisticated PR operations meant to sway public opinion. Both Iraq wars were examples of this. The fact is tha tthe American public had to be goaded into supporting these elective wars.

      The promotion of Free Trade was another example of this.

      Coverups(aka: Whitewashing) can be considered a form of conspiracy. Such as the spraying of our troops with Agent Orange, etc. Or using American citizens without their consent as radiation test subjects from the 1940’s to the 1960’s.

      • Some acts are not conspiracy per se, but rather sophisticated PR operations meant to sway public opinion. Both Iraq wars were examples of this. The fact is that the American public had to be goaded into supporting these elective wars.

        Damn right! I’ve been saying this same thing for a long time now. No one seems to remember that the whole justification for the second Gulf War, for example, started out as an existential threat, which essentially nobody on this side of the pond bought into. When that didn’t work, Bush & Co started talking about what a meanie Saddam Hussein was, and how we needed to go in and rescue the Iraqi People from his tyrannical government. Right then and there is when I for one said “to hell with this bullshit.” I had a nephew who was a Marine and on the proverbial “tip of the spear” for the invasion, and I supported him as much as I could, but also let it be known far and wide that Bush & Co were out of their effing gords. It wasn’t a very popular position to take, especially within my precincts here in the “buckle” of the Bible/patriotic belt, but I weathered the storm best I could sticking to my principles. I don’t regret it. Not at all.

        • Similar experience here. Son of a friend was held up from discharge immediately upon 9/11. Then while Bush was ostensibly urging inspection of Iraq for WMD’s, friend’s son was in the CA desert undergoing training for house to house combat in a mock model of a typical Iraq/ME city. The city was built practically over night and training progressed all through the period when Bush claimed to be looking for a peaceful solution to a “non-problem” of WMD’s. But as you note, the reality was that he was looking for he right hook pull in American support for a useless war.

        • No one seems to remember that the whole justification for the second Gulf War, for example, started out as an existential threat, which essentially nobody on this side of the pond bought into.

          A few days after Washington officially admitted that there were no WMD in Iraq, I listened to a radio program where journalists talk to other journalists about journalists. Present in the studio were four major players in Danish media, editors of some of the biggest media outlets in the country. And while the subject for the program was something else, at some point the missing WMD were brought up.

          This lead to some hemming and hawing, and then one of the guys blurts out: “I never believed in the WMD-story anyway”. The three others quickly echo this: they don’t want to be the slow boys in the classroom.

          But if they never believed in that, how come all four dudes had banged the WMD war drums incessantly up until the moment Washington declared it kosher to tell the truth?

          A few years later, during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, when neocon rentboy, Georgian president Mihail Saakashvili, provoked a war with Russia, the initial reports were as accurate as MSM journalism gets: Georgian troops had shelled South Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers with MLRS, and started moving towards the Roki tunnel to cut off South Ossetia from Russia.

          So I told people in the comments fields that they better pay VERY close attention to what the MSM was writing today, because tomorrow, they’d be telling you that the Russians were the aggressors. And weren’t I just right. Again.

          Bloody prostitutes. Some Swede made a very interesting remark about Swedish media: “It is not a law of nature that there must exist journalists.”

    • I think the point of the essay was no so much to say X is a conspiracy theory, but Y is not, but rather, if your society is responsive and trustworthy,you don’t need to resort to such theories because the generally accepted knowledge comports with the observable facts (that whole gap thing mentioned in the piece). When your government constantly lies to you, you have to parse together what you can. Therefore, the proliferation of theories is a sign of a low trust society.

    • Bernie, great point, well made. I’d add however, the Southern border may get all the attention, but it is estimated to allow only half the illegals. Rest come by other means—in particular, VISA overstays. If Trump is re-elected and declares victory wrt IA’s then he has truly failed in this mission.

      • Bearer of Bad News and all that, but the Trump administration has massively increased the number of visas of all sorts over what the Obama administration allowed. VISA tracking was voted into law in 1996 (IIRIRA), but never enacted. Even after 9-11. Conspiracy? What Conspiracy?

    • Exactly. White existence as a desire or value of a white is a conspiracy, while “White privilege” is just a fact.

      Whiteness itself is a kind of conspiracy theory, as it can exist or not exist depending on the point of observation.

      White culture? White achievement? White Nation? White identity? There is no such thing. You can’t define whiteness.

      White pride? White power? White privilege? Racism (a “white” thing)? Easily identifiable and universally agreed upon as problems in the way of progress.

      To the death cult that runs things whiteness only exists when it is illuminated by a special anti-white light.

      Without illuminating whiteness with the special anti-white light, we would never be able to see the reasons for POC shortcomings, otherwise known as “institutional racism”.

      There are nazis in every town. Probably next door to you right now. Be afraid. And help us cleanse the continent of the whiteness that doesn’t really exist and never really existed because we are all Africans anyhow.

      • Whiteness itself is a kind of conspiracy theory, as it can exist or not exist depending on the point of observation.

        It’s called the Whitesenberg principle, and it is the foundation of Quantum Redistribution.

  36. With what has come to light in the last few years i would be hesitant to conclude that only dumb people go in for teh conspiracy theories. Given the demonstrated sociopathy of the ruling class it would be a surprise to find that they are not conspiring to control through blackmail, and failing that, murder and other obnoxious means.

  37. I am willing to accept people may have been smarter in the past but they didn’t believe or need to believe in conspiracy theories because they just accepted the general knowledge at the time. When war comes they are all in. The Owen Benjamins didn’t have a platform of any consequence back then.

    Where is that line from nutter to truther on say, 911? From vaporizing the twin towers to wanting a better explanation of how building 7 went down? Russian interference? How many believe that nonsense as opposed to many that use it as a divergent from their own complicity and treason.

    • How does one assess the brains of those who, without examination, accept the official account of 9/11?

      Is there a correlation between intellectual horsepower and the willingness to buy government conspiracy theories?

      • I don’t know about the government explanation of 9/11 but the problem I have with all the other explanations is that they violate Occam’s Razor/AKA the K.I.S.S. principle. To me it is not difficult to believe that a group could so wish to hurt the American psyche as to plan to drive airliners into skyscrapers. It occurs to me that a given destructive modality’s utility as a terror weapon is inversely proportional to its utility as a military weapon. For example: a radiological bomb (dirty bomb) is a pretty poor military weapon. Sure, it makes a decent area-denial weapon but it really does not do much actual damage and its area of effect can easily be mapped, marked and avoided. But such a weapon detonated in the heart of a major city can potentially have a devastating effect upon morale in the target nation and the cost to clean up the result can be bankrupting.

        Likewise an airliner is not at all an efficient destructive device. Militarily it admits of too easy a defense. But as a terror weapon, an airliner can be pretty damned effective. Two of them did a pretty good job of setting US back on our heels, IMS. What the planners of that “mission” failed to take into consideration was that it just might piss us off enough to get us to go to war. The Empire of Japan made a similar error in late 1941. I have read that the goal of the attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to make us roll over and surrender before we ever went to war (which at that point was approaching inevitability). Instead it just really got our collective dander up. I once read that there are three groups (unfortunately I do not recall the author’s labels) in America such that if you can convince any two of those groups then the U.S. will go to war. Japan managed to piss off all THREE groups and set the stage for Hiroshima and Nagsaki – i.e.war to unconditional surrender of the Empire of Japan.

        For me, the simplest explanation for 9/11 is the best. Some really bad people wanted to strike a really big blow at the national psyche of the “Great Satan” and decided to fly airliners into very famous skyscrapers in a major city to do it. The attack on the Pentagon, IMHO, was part of the same design only it was against the “heart” of our military establishment. Unfortunately – for them – they believed that the attacks would effectively “unman” us and “teach us a lesson”. Clearly it did NOT work.

        P.S. I do not know what the target of the 4th (“Let’s roll!”) was but the passengers took care of that part of deflecting the weapon.

        • Word was the third plane was supposed to hit the White House but couldn’t find it from above, so it went after the Pentagon. The fourth (flight 92) was supposed to hit the Capitol building. I still believe the inspiration came from the flight simulator computer games. Once you had taken off, flown around some, and landed a few times, the only thing left to do was to fly it into prominent structures…

    • We’ve been on a war footing since around 1940. It is probably no coincidence that the conspiracy movement started to grow just after the war. Being on this war footing has meant having a gigantic government with a whole lot of secrecy, black budgets and lying to the people. Almost all of the population in America has lived their entire lives under this secrecy and empire. It is just a base assumption that there is a lot we do not know that the government is deliberately concealing from us. It’s not a surprise that even some really smart people allow their imagination to fill in the blanks with conspiracy theories.

    • Hard not to think the nutters aren’t some interference operation to marginalize the truthers. Though I was thinking back to my youth and one of my high school teachers full on believing the bit about the 100mph carburetor, so maybe there’s enough nutters out there to keep those afraid of the truth from worrying too much..

      • My 10th grade science teacher once told me that I could “drive your pickup as far as you want without gas, but you’re not going to get very far without oil in crankcase.” Same teacher lived a mile (as a Crow flies) from what was then known as “Stiffy’s Bar,” where the building still exists to this day. He explained to our entire class one day that there was a trail leading from his house to “Stiffy’s” that was a mile long, and that there was another one leading back from “Stiffy’s” to his house that was three miles long. Conspiracy theorist? Probably.

  38. A good metric is the more complex your conspiracy the less likely it’s going to be true because these people are not competent enough to keep it going. However, there is perfect continuity in this world. Even if you can’t see it you know it’s there. This isnt a show where the writers fudge something to make the story move along.

  39. “The Swiss, of course, have never been in to such theories”
    And they built the worlds best defense system because they didn’t believe the conspiracy theory that they might be invaded.

    • Not sure that’s a conspiracy theory. Keeping reserve stocks of grain or building levies for floods are not inspired by conspiracy. Just a simple precaution against the vagaries of Nature. Given the history of nation states in Europe, I’d attribute their defense posture as wise precaution as was their stance as a neutral in WWII.

      But you make an interesting point, as Z-man said, “where does one draw the line”?

      • Our sense of imminent doom comes from the fact that our rulers openly spend the seed corn defending their conspiracy theories, rather than preparing for those vagaries of nature.

        “White Man Bad!” doesn’t slop the hogs.
        Or prepare for the weather, either.

        Screw ’em, we’re White People- we don’t need to be told what to do. Even Elmore knows what to do.

        Elmore will have the kids on a raft, a splint on your leg, and a fire going before media even thinks to call the taxi.

  40. Low trust societies spawn conspiracy theories among their citizens. A good argument can be made the United States has been a low trust society since at least the Revolution generation died off. Conspiracy theories accelerated on the cusp of the Civil War and have continued to intensify. Of course, a government that actually cares about its citizens would not engender so much distrust. We don’t have that, hence the paranoia.

    Mass immigration and recent coup attempts have intensified the distrust. It’s not misplaced even when QAnon and so forth are total frauds. Assuming conspiracy theories benefit the government in the short term, in the long term when citizen support is needed–such as during a foreign attack–it will prove fatal. Even now, people no longer make the egregious mistake of joining the United States military. It will get worse. I cannot imagine an event such as 9/11 wouldn’t be celebrated even now by many of the same people who shed tears over it.

    • Noah Webster (the fella who wrote the dictionary) once wrote that “I consider it a matter of infinite consequence, the cautious admission of foreigners to the rights of citizenship.” I won’t quote the entire essay from whence that sentence is extracted, but he went on to say in the same paper that “many of them [foreigners] come here with violent prejudices against arbitrary government, and they seem to make no great distinction between arbitrary government, and a government of laws founded on free elections.”

      That’s from memory, so don’t hold me to a word-for-word rendition. It’s close enough in any case, though.

      What Webster is essentially saying in that essay is that we’ve been importing conspiracy nuts (among other types) since way before the ink dried on the Constitution, which of course supports your assertion to begin your post.

  41. >>> The QAnon stuff, for example, is a clever mocking of the sorts of people inclined to believe such things<<<

    Hey, cool it with the Anti-Boomer remarks, young whippersnapper!

    • “The reason they [conspiracy theories] appeal to stupid people is stupid people struggle to understand things.”

      Cool it with the anti-anti-Semitic remarks!

      • Yeah! And knock off the paranoia slander! Paranoids are people too!!! You hatey crime thinker!!!! 🙂

        • Yeah! But ‘paranoids’ haven’t yet been anointed with the coveted ‘victim’ status that launched the browns, blacks, gays, trannies, etc. Plus paranoids don’t regularly buy wedding cakes…

    • You shamble flank him right with your favorite cane and I’ll muddle a flanking left with my tennis ball-equipped combat walker!

    • Given all of the black pills just laying around and littering the landscape, to the extent that Q is a white pill for many people, it’s not a big deal and may give some of our people hope and higher morale.
      One could always argue false hope being evil, but we gotta take wins where we can.

    • Oddly, as a Boomer I did not take such amiss. Folks of any generational cohort believe crazy things. If more Boomers do, well that’s their fault. Hey should know better at their age.

  42. “QAnon would not have fooled people 50 years ago. We have more stupid and paranoid people…”

    Perhaps, but I offer the Rothschild manufactured panic after Waterloo, the Spanish American War manipulation off of the top of my head as evidence that people have always been gullible.

    • I think Carlo Cipolla pretty well nailed it when he wrote the first law of human stupidity – “always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.”

      I don’t know whether or not we have more stupid people (as a percentage of the population) than we had in 1950, or 1850 for that matter, but Mr. Cipolla would have said that where we went wrong in either case is in having empowered stupid people. Can’t do that!

      Anyway, here is a link to Cipolla’s paper for anyone interested who hasn’t yet read it.:

      • Morris, yes we do have more “stupid” people than in the past. Dutton and Woodley has done some interesting work in establishing such as have others. However, that goes hand in hand with “ignorance”. We are in general more ignorant and uneducated thanks to our State run school systems and influx of low IQ immigrants replacing the White establishment population.

        A lot of conspiracy theories depend on simple lack of understanding of basic subjects once de rigor In High School, but no longer taught in most. For example, after 9/11 one of the female discussants on the tv show, “The View”, loudly pronounced her “proof” of an inside job by saying, “…steel don’t burn…”. She was so proud of this “insight” that she said it over and over again louder and louder to a cheering audience. Sigh.

        The above is not to reargue 9/11 suspicions, only to say her “facts” used as proof were woefully out of line with known chemistry, metallurgy, and physics. Hell, even a mediocre Shop class would have caused her to rethink that statement.

          • Yeah, but it could have been Joyce. If there ever was a show to convince one of the problem with women’s suffrage…

            I hate to bring the subject up mostly out of respect for the few wonderful women who post in this group—all of whom have more insight and vision than most of my male friends.

          • My overall experience has been that the smarter, more down to earth women tend to be a lot more receptive to the idea that women’s suffrage maybe wasn’t such a great idea after all. I know several, and know of several more, in point of fact, who are downright hostile to the whole idea of women’s suffrage; in some ways more hostile to it than even I am.

            Speaking of “conspiracy nuts” (ha, ha) Ann Barnhardt and Laura Wood come to mind off the top of my head. The woman who has been writing as “Vanishing American” for years is yet another. Then of course there is Ann Coulter, who did that interview some months back in which she revealed her position on women’s suffrage to be the same.These sorts of women also tend to be smarter than I am, so there ya go.

          • Yes, it’s definitely that. The “women’s suffrage” thing is just a cog in the wheel of “progress.” Which is why it should have been stopped long ago.

          • I have four daughters, three of which are “of age,” one of which is married with her own family of choice. Those three say the same, and I expect the fourth (who is now just nine) will say the same when the time comes. But we’ll see.

        • Boom, Whitney.
          Gee, I never heard that one either.

          Everyone knows that complicity depends on the melting point of steel.

        • It is at least slightly ironic that my (then) 21-22 year-old son turned me onto that essay a decade or so ago. So much for elderly “wisdom” and greater knowledge and all of that, right? Dang!

        • Men are unsophisticated in the ways of women. Women grow up in that hive, deal with it, avoid it, master it, or suffer it. Men really have no practical idea. I only really learned through driving my youngest daughter to school for three years with her friends. My point is that a sophisticated woman with no axe to grind quickly sees the danger in allowing herds of women to direct the flow of society, especially because the herd is led by the most clever, the most calculating, and the most ruthless. Universal suffrage was already a mistake when it was extended to include all men. Tocqueville admired American democracy in 1831 but he warned that universal suffrage would produce nothing like that, it was instead purely an instrument for revolutionaries of a new sort, one that had never before been witnessed and for which society would have no defenses.

      • Bonus goes to “where we went wrong in either case is in having empowered stupid people.”

        Boy, do we have a lot of examples!

        I don’t think people are stupid, myself, only limited. But, that may only be me trying to salvage the shreds of my self-esteem.

        Every day I come here to punish myself.
        I’m shocked at my profound ignorance, and delighted by the depth and variety of thinking on display.

        I’m not kissing azzes here, but how you people do it, I’ll never know.

        • Well, we strive not to leave our giftings laying up in a napkin, as it were. These comboxes are a convenient outlet and all of that, but our biggest contributions will always and forever be that we ‘raised our kids right.’ That is our everlasting legacy. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess, but we can’t be dismayed by the current state of things, no matter how bad it gets. Duty is duty, and that is just the way it is.

          • Brings to mind the quote from Robert E. Lee. In a letter to his son he said:

            “… Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less…”

      • “always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.”

        What if you estimate it at 100%? 😉

    • The Roswell conspiracy theory has been around since the 40s. I can remember all kinds of conspiracy theories from when I was a kid. Secret carburetors capable of getting 100mpg and cars that could run on water and of course, UFOs and ghosts. Being 50, this would be like 40 years ago. Even as a kid I thought most of them were dumb. Also, there was the Kennedy conspiracies.

      But there are probably way more conspiracies that are true than the ridiculous ones that permeate the culture. There was the attack on the USS Liberty, the VD conspiracy with the black soldiers, operation paperclip, the cover-ups of nuclear testing injuries and radiation exposure. The claim of weapons of mass destruction to justify the Iraq invasion. The list just goes on and on. And these are the old ones that we know about, where 1/2 the people are dead and all are retired (besides the WMDs Iraq). I absolutely do not believe the official 9/11 story. I don’t know which parts they are lying about, but I have no doubt that there are lies. There is zero chance we know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

      • I remember the secret carburetors, but only kooks thought that was real. Today, lots of people think Sandy Hook was staged. That seems like a big difference to me.

        • I remember it was popular with blacks. They also had secret conspiracies about history too. Basically whites stole everything from advances made by blacks. That one is still going strong.

        • Part of the problem with major events like Sandy Hook, 9-11, Las Vegas, etc. is that there is instant news and often contradictory information. For example, I distinctly remember a report about multiple shooters at Sandy Hook and an allusion to terrorism. If I were more conspiracy minded I would ave latched-on to that and gone down a number of rabbit holes. I can see how it happens.

        • Do “lots” of people really think it was staged? More than believed in secret carburetors? Before social media, they had no voice, no way to be counted, and also fewer ways to receive information. A tiny, tiny group of people believe Sandy Hook was staged — but they never shut up about it and they have easy, free access to global media.

          People are more or less the same as they have always been. All you have to do is read the Bible to understand this — the behaviors of the people depicted in the various stories are entirely consistent with the behavior of people today.

          That’s why I also laugh at the “OK, Boomer” stuff — as if people of different generations wouldn’t have acted in exactly the same way put in the same time and circumstances.

        • I only remember the carburetors as an anecdote about conspiracy theories that people would tell as a warning – don’t be like those guys who believed in the 100mpg carburetors!

      • “The Roswell conspiracy theory has been around since the 40s. I can remember all kinds of conspiracy theories from when I was a kid. Secret carburetors capable of getting 100mpg and cars that could run on water and of course, UFOs and ghosts.”

        Most conspiracies cannot be disproved, because of the logical difficulty of proving a negative (at least if the theory has a lot of moving parts). By the same token, it’s hard to prove a conspiracy because by definition a lot of it is hidden. Actually, the “believe/disbelieve” response is almost a matter of fashion, either in the general public or in a subculture.

        It comes down to assessing the balance of evidence to determine the probability of a theory, which is much more useful than trying to prove or disprove it.

        If you analyze the evidence taken as a whole, it appears that a UFO did crash near Roswell. I don’t “believe” it; it just seems more likely than not. Some of the testimony and theories are questionable, others come off as honest and reasonable.

        The secret 100 mpg carburetor and water-powered engine sound dubious, but it’s hard to say impossible where technology is concerned.

        Ghosts (better referred to as apparitions) very likely exist. Again, if you look at the evidence as a whole instead of selected dodgy stories, that’s a sensible conclusion. What apparitions mean is a tougher question.

        The term “conspiracy theory” hardly applies to apparitions. Who would conspire to induce experiences of apparitions in people throughout history? Were the Cambridge scholars and scientists who founded the Society for Psychical Research mind manipulators? They had nothing to gain and their own reputations to endanger.

        • Well, as to ghosts, one idea I enjoy is that some of them are the missing time travellers.

          (Just having some fun here, but I love the thought.)

          • More fun (from twitter)

            Dean Koontz Facts

            *Book about leaked bioweapon in 1981
            *Bioweapon is Chinese
            *Bioweapon is from Wuhan *Chinese scientist in book is named Li
            *Doc in China who warned people was named Li

            *First infected in book was a boy scout
            *First super spreader was a British scout leader

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