Friday, November 3, 2017

The appeal and the dark side of conspiracy theories

A few weeks ago I was quoted in this article on the truth behind conspiracy theories. Like the most deranged of belief systems, there is just a tiny enough reality, a bit of plausibility at the core of conspiracism to explain why half of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory. While I had long held that conspiracy theorists, even the most demented of them, still served some small positive purpose in our world - their most irrational and unproven claims at least functioning as a symbolic inspiration to stay skeptical of authority - today I am wary of anyone who uses the term "conspiracy." In light of the theories claiming that mass shootings are "false flag" attacks and climate change is the creation of a vast global hoax perpetrated by scientists, most of conspiracism today is the home of charlatans and opportunists out to make a quick buck off the gullible.

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