“America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.” -John Updike
I’ve been pretty damn clear about my feelings towards conspiracy theories and the people that buy into them. Yes, we landed on the moon. No, no one “blew up” the Twin Towers. No, vaccines don’t cause autism. Yes, climate change is real. No, scientists aren’t hiding fossils that will prove that Jesus rode around on a pterodactyl. No, AIDS isn’t man-made and yes, it’s a real disease. Oh, and yes the Earth really is flat.
In fact, so many people buy into whack job conspiracy theories, that NewScientist did a whole series called “Living In Denial.” From the article:
“Denialism is typically driven by ideology or religious belief, where the commitment to the belief takes precedence over the evidence.”
You should read the whole thing; it’s quite interesting.
Not that this is going to change the mind of any “vaccines = autism” people, but the hero of their movement, Andrew Wakefield, was just found guilty of serious professional misconduct regarding his behavior and methods in the original study. Part of this charge revolved around giving children unnecessary medical procedures, including lumbar punctures. Spiffy. As far as I’m concerned, the guy is a psychopath. No one who knowingly and repeatedly hurts children deserves any other sort of label.
Have you ever tried to keep a secret in an office? How well does that work out? Usually, badly, because people suck at keeping secrets. If a secret as unimportant as the fact that your coworker’s sister slept with one of the groomsman before her wedding can’t stay a secret, how the hell do you think a secret like our government secretly blew up the World Trade Center stays a secret?
It doesn’t. Because the government didn’t do it. We would know if the government even thought about it. Why? Because people suck at keeping secrets.
There’s a percentage of the population who have strong moral convictions. For whatever reason, these people can’t live with themselves if they don’t do “what’s right.” All the threatening and bribing in the world won’t stop them from telling the world you killed 3000 people.
Then there’s the fame and fortune people. Deepthroat became a cultural icon. You don’t think the guy that shows up with the documents showing the Bush administration killed 3000 people wouldn’t at least end up with a book deal?
Why else do conspiracies fail? Because people are fucking stupid.
You really think the Bush administration had the kind of intellect to pull off a 9-11 fake out? The same administration that put an Arabian horse racing guy in charge of FEMA? Are you honestly suggesting that those people are that much smarter and that much more clever than you are? Because I’m not. To pull of a conspiracy as vast as faking HIV or suppressing fossil evidence, you’re going to need a lot of REALLY smart people who keep their mouths shut to be on your side. Look around your office, your family, your neighbors. How many of those people could pull off faking HIV? Probably none.
I can demonstrate the stupidity of people. They believe in conspiracy theories. That’s pretty much all you need to know.