The Gross National Debt

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The monster under the bed

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To some degree I can support this.

To a greater degree, I have to say this is also laughable.

Direct your attention to the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Among the people who say the Pentagon was not hit by a plane was a teenager, 13-15 years old as I remember. He had no formal training in engineering, no formal training in the construction of a building, the construction of a plane and so on. When he uploaded a video of himself saying how the Pentagon was not hit by a plane, his story was immediately hailed by conspiracy theorist as proof.

Mmph. If that's the kind of "expert" evidence you happen to rely on, then I suggest you sell your house because Bigfoot is living in the crawl spaces telepathically instructing you that waffles are nothing more than a government plot to make you quit eating bacon.

Other people who believe in conspiracies point to "government" documents which appear to be written on official government stationery but are more full of typos than a 7th grader's social study report. Someone with the actual ability to reason might point out such "reports" look like the work of a deranged mutant orangutan. The conspiracy theorists merely say this proves their point - the government is covering things up.

Which is not to say conspiracies do not exist. Ever heard of the West Point Mafia? I heard about it on NPR this morning. Indeed this may be a quite innocuous cabal, but it existed and it changed the way the military prosecutes war. War is defined by me as when the United States uses force against people in other countries.

Certainly conspiracies have existed in the past. MK Ultra. The Tuskegee experiments (oops. Government link there so can't trust it. So you look it up). The IRS. The CIA. To be sure there is plenty of reason to not trust the government. Can't trust the media either, so the conspiracy theorists say, never mind the mainstream media are the folks who discover most of the conspiracies. Sacrificial lambs and all that.

In the interests of conspiracy, I must report here than I am an active member of the US media corps and have been for 25 years, therefore according to the conspiracists I can't be trusted either.
Some days, I love being me.

I am, so a lot of people tell me, a critical thinker - when I want to be anyway. I am also an empiricist in a great many things. The combination journalist-thinker-realist makes me even more suspect to a lot of people in the conspiracy crowd because when they present their theories I ask for proof. When no solid proof is forthcoming, they say that's just further proof of their position because the government is hiding it.

Yet, when their own system of "logic" and "proof" is applied to views which contradict their own cherished beliefs, it has to be flawed. They have no problem in pointing out the flawed reasoning. Makes me wonder if that redwood tree stump they wear in the place of contact lenses is actually a telescope, obscuring that which is close up and magnifying that which is distant. I wonder if that makes it easier or harder to see the monster under the bed.

True critical thinking must also be applied to one's own belief structure. To reject this is to be be a conspiracy theorist.
Gratuitous bacon shot.

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