Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

August 24, 2012

Carryin’ On the Cosmic Struggle

The universe doesn’t suck, people don’t suck. People who want to control the universe, suck.

In this video, pompously entitled “Humanity’s Greatest Secret,” Alex Jones preaches on ultimate meanings with way more insight than I’d have credited him with. His mythology speaks to my recent interest in balancing wonder and curiosity with the need to keep an eye on the dangerous and disgusting. For Alex Jones, the evilness is totally embodied in the globalists and their various plans for New World Orders. If that’s not your worldview, relax, it can’t be that hard to imagine it for twenty minutes. You already know of about a million instances where power corrupted…

“Humanity’s Greatest Secret” puts the struggle for the control or freedom of humanity onto a grand and magnificent scale, as in the Wrinkle in Time or His Dark Materials series-es. Don’t let the Spectres or Echthroi take you, friends…

“I’m merely an ant in a great colony,” cried the human being. But you are special: you are the universe having a lucid dream, pretty much. It took a lot of “Creation” to get to this point. You therefor deserve some respect (NOT to be treated as an unwitting experimental subject, a member of an unwanted caste, a draftee in a war of aggression, or any of that other bullshit the great Masters of the Universe do to us. Nor to take shit from anyone else.)

Next post, I swear I will just make pickles or something. Things are literally taking their time to ferment or ripen around here, so I will report back when I’ve learned something sufficiently interesting!

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February 19, 2012

Conspiracies are a Fact of Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — paragardener @ 4:45 pm

From time to time, I see a book or article published that asks why people believe in conspiracy theories, and what can be done to help the poor fools. Michael Shermer, writing in Scientific American, sees conspiracy theory as a result of cognitive biases, such as “patternicity,” the human tendency to find patterns, whether or not they are there, and “agentism,” the tendency to imagine that intelligent actors have caused things to go the way they’re going. Erik Hayden, writing in the Atlantic Wire, suggests that Machiavellian people believe in conspiracy theories because they would participate in conspiracies themselves (“Sure Cheney flew remote control planes into the towers. That’s what I’d have done to push the Patriot Act through and invade anywhere I liked.”)

Asking why people believe in conspiracy theories is totally ridiculous, like asking why some people believe in apes. The skeptic can point to a mountain of shady evidence that leaves one in doubt about Sasquatch, but we know damn well that there are chimps and orangutans in this world, and we know just as well that there are real conspiracies (people working together to commit crimes). John Wilkes Booth did not act alone!

The role of conspiracies in history is highlighted by that most charming of American institutions, the CIA. The CIA defines covert operations as activities “conducted or sponsored by this Government… but which are so planned and executed that any U.S. government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them.” So besides intelligence gathering, the CIA is the authorized criminal wing of the government. Obviously, there are going to be a lot of conspiracies hatched there: toppling the democratically elected governments of Guatemala and Chile, installing the Shah in Iran, conducting “secret” wars in Laos, Cambodia and Angola, attempting to invade Cuba and assassinate Fidel Castro, slipping johns LSD and watching them get in on with hookers from behind a one-way glass, selling heroin and cocaine in America, arming the Taliban, and on, and on…

At this point, some conspiracy skeptics differentiate between “conspiracies” and “conspiracy theories.” “Conspiracies” are undeniable and well-documented crimes like the Watergate break-in or the murder of Julius Caesar; “conspiracy theories” are any conspiracies I don’t or won’t believe in. People who abuse the language in this way deserve to be called “deniers” — denying things is neutral, and you should deny false things, but just the same the word suggests “Holocaust denier” and “addict in denial,” so go for the cheap hurt. Allow me to illustrate:

Conspiracy theorist: “FDR totally knew that the Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbor.
Skeptic: “Nuh-uh. There’s no way that people in government knew the attack was going to happen, yet no one leaked the information to the public. That is just a ludicrous conspiracy theory.”
Conspiracy theorist: “Oh, well, I guess I should’ve known you’d be one of those Pearl-Harbor-Inside-Job deniers.”

I make fun, but just as there are people who will believe the thinnest of conspiracy theories (“Nazis secretly dominate world events from their base inside Hollow Earth”), there are a whole lot of people who are seriously in denial about the possibilities for conspiracy. Despite the frequent occurrence of conspiracies in the real world, conspiracy theory is to be marginalized from all discussions of politics or history.

Look up “New World Order” on Wikipedia, and you will find two main entries (plus various entries on books or musical acts):

When George H.W. Bush told us that he was building a new world order, that was meant in the “politics” sense: “Despite various interpretations of this term, it is primarily associated with the ideological notion of global governance only in the sense of new collective efforts to identify, understand, or address worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve.” According to Wikipedia, the new world order spoken of by Establishment figures is a positive, benign, problem-solving order.

“In conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian one-world government… Numerous historical and current events are seen as steps in an on-going plot to achieve world domination through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.” Thus, if you don’t like the elites creating interlocking trade organizations and treaty obligations that are fusing into one worldwide agency of control, you are a conspiracy theorist, outside of the realm of reasonable, normal debate. Develop a positive outlook on the elites who build those international controls, and you could add your input to the “New world order (politics)” page.

Explaining something with a conspiracy theory is not something crazy, like blaming witches for your problems. Conspiracies are happening every day. Since criminals generally want to hide their activities, it can be hard to prove or disprove any given conspiracy theory; sometimes we may not all agree as to whether something was a conspiracy or who was behind it. I don’t believe in calling my opponents crazy, by scientifically examining the reasons for their bizarrely mistaken beliefs, or by excluding them from mainstream discussions. Conspiracy theories can be investigated through evidence and reason, just like any other stories about the world.

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