Be wary, but don’t give in to conspiracy


I have been jokingly (I hope) accused of wearing a tinfoil hat.

The reason for this is most likely related to my vigilance when sharing things online, my desire to be on as little social media as possible, and (perhaps) my lack of a smartphone.

Or perhaps more generally, it has to do with my built-in mistrust of the system, as I feel like it’s set up to make us sick and unhappy and then to profit from this.

I do think people are too cavalier with relinquishing their own rights and information, and that this can be used against them. But I’m not a conspiracy theorist. There’s a big difference.

9/11 was not an inside job

I’m in the age bracket where 9/11 was and will be my generation’s milestone, much like Kennedy’s assassination was for my parents’ generation. You can tell a cultural milestone because of the question asked: “where were you when…?

And while that day was incredibly tragic, and led to a number of even more tragic and ill-advised actions on the part of our government, I can’t look at the events and see anything nefarious. At worst, people acted opportunistically, but that’s not the same as a conspiracy.

There are those who say that 9/11 was an inside job. I am not one of those people. I’m supposed to believe that the US government colluded with property developers and airlines, and then was able to hire passengers from various countries to blow up planes and kill themselves, and then was able to hide it from absolutely everybody? This is the same government that couldn’t stop some guy from stealing state secrets via a thumb drive? That just seems to stretch the boundaries of plausibility.

When faced with a choice of deciding if events were due to conspiracy or incompetence, I always err on the side on the latter.

I think we’ve all been conditioned by too many stories of the evil supergenius who is vying to take over the world. But as romantic as that sounds, as I’ve said before, The Man is not a person.

Not The Man.
Not The Man.

What, me wary?

And at any rate, I believe that we have just as much to be wary of (if not more) from private industry than we do governments. But not in a Skynet kind of way. Companies have a vested interest—nay, a mandate—to survive, and to do so they must profit. To make profits, they need to sell, and they will find any way of doing that, even if it’s through trickery or manipulation, unfortunately.

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Being made to feel sad and inadequate as a tactic to extract money from you has always seemed a bit of a low blow (“if I buy that beer, maybe I’ll have people with whom I can spend a happy evening laughing on the beach“). But it is this manipulation that we need to be vigilant against.

Now, I do not want to minimize the ability for governments to overstep their bounds, by way of arresting and detaining without charge, evidence, or even an end date. It does happen. I just think that for most of us, there are more pervasive concerns. And with all that I’ve seen and experienced, there’s nothing more than manipulation at work. Which, granted, can be considered a form of mind control. But only if you let it.

But enough about me: Are there conspiracies that you believe in?

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