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Conspiracy Theories

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  • Conspiracy Theories

    Mike, I wondered what your take was on conspiracy theories. Whether it's the assassination of Lincoln or Kennedy, the death of Marilyn Monroe, the Moon landings or 9/11 being an inside job there seems to be a conspiracy theory for everything.

    Are conspiracy theorists earnest seekers after the truth, seriously deluded individuals or a bit of both? Does anyone now believe Oswald killed Kennedy and how does this affect our perception of the wider world, which is gained largely through the news media.

    What interests me about conspiracy theories is the implications if any of them are true. What if Man really didn't walk on the moon? What if 9/11 was an inside job? How much of our view of the world is shaped by the media and government and their own brand of double-speak?

    We conduct a war based on the 'fact' that the enemy has Weapons of Mass Destruction, then when they can't be found we are told we 'thought' they had them but the world is a better place without Saddam anyway.

    What is true and what is false? Do conspiracy theories challenge accepted versions of the truth or add to the confusion? Is there such a thing as truth anyway?
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

  • #2
    Generally conspiracy theories are a waste of time, likd discussing if Ringo really played on the early Beatles releases. Who cares ? The Beatles
    are a fact.
    So I'm disinclined to believe conspiracy theories, while acknowledging that there's much goes on in secret. The less really transparent the government is, the more conspiracy theories proliferate. People fill in
    the vacuum with their own speculation. It helps muddy water which politicaisn generally want to keep muddied, not because they have actually committed a crime but because they operate best ina climate of ambiguity.
    The image of the pompous spinmeisters soiling their own underclothes
    is a spectacle the world watches. Would you order a modern jet from
    these people ?
    Interesting to watch them jitter away the good will they had to start with.
    Meanwhile the spreading of unlikely rumours is a technique much admired by some neocons who think of Goebbels's propaganda machine as still the benchmark.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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    • #3
      Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated Paul Mcartney and was subsequently abducted by communist aliens, made immortal and transported back in time to 3000 BC where he began founding all the world's major religions.
      He lived until 3rd January 1967 when he moved to a higher plane of existance after assassinating himself on 24th November 1963.

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      • #4
        Is it just me, or does "Neocon" sound like a Transformers faction? :lol:

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        • #5
          Sounds like a Matrix convention to me, Kitsune

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          • #6
            How about the Shakesphere didn't really write his plays conspiricy...
            Usually people state their reasons for this is that he didn't have a formal education... but my mom told me the other night that he went to a trade school that would have provided him with an excelent foundate for reading and writing.... I've always thought it was funny that Samual Clemmens espoused the bacon theory, when he himself didn't have a formal education.

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            • #7
              The question is, which of those wacky conspiracy theories, managed to seduce you, and make you pretend that you don't hold those rather unpopular beliefs. But then the think about the X-files popularity, and suddenly you are at ease with your one nutty belief.

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              • #8
                Um -- most of the world's famous writers had little formal education. Few of them went to or finished university. It's almost a necessity, if you want to be a writer, not to have much formal education. And Shakespeare, along with anyone else in his day, had the opportunity to educate himself through reading. Which is what I did and what many do.
                All university does is teach you how to maintain a class position (in both senses of the word). At best it teaches a discipline of thought.

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                Comment


                • #9
                  Would you say that's because the Education constrains thought... or teaches one a more ridgid mode of though... or may it's just that people who are motivad enough to teach themselves are more likely to go on and write?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As someone who makes his living in a university...

                    I mostly agree with Mike. Many disciplines are completely structured for social class perpetuation, and those and many other disciplines are often much more concerned with formalism and orthodoxy than original thought.

                    Having said that, there are some disciplines, and some schools, which exist simply for innovation. However, these are often not the best funded or most prestigious places to study or make a living.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Actually Michael - it is the increasing procedurally based tutoring formats and homogenisation of degrees to 'consistent standards' that ruins the value of a university background.

                      In (admitedly rare) cases an academic tutor of the right sort can help break the mould of childhood and allow an emerging mind to realise the potential life has to respond to trans-paradigm thinking.

                      In my opinion, if a university doesn't have the capacity to provide this it is as you say - but they are not all this way!

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                      • #12
                        My favourite CT is the one claiming that Tolien only wrote the first sixth of LOTR. The rest was (of course, how come I haven't noticed before?) written by CS Lewis...

                        There is one scene in MacBeth, I think, which was written by one of Shakespeare's associates, which was probably part of common practice - old Shakey didn't have the time to write and direct everything, so sometimes someone would help him fill in a gap in the story. This is probably what laid the foundation for that CT, along with certain scholars' inability to grasp the concept that an ordinary human being who doesn't even have a formal education could become a Great Literary Genious. Elitism does strange and ugly tings to people's minds, I guess...
                        You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am convinced that many conspiracy theories are extremely good business.

                          And it is so easy to start one and sell it to the right people. Most people can't handle looking at the sources. A certain theory about 9/11 was based on information found on one of the many Lyndon LaRou.che websites (for example: http://www.larouchepub.com/), but many serious people kept arguing with information (="facts") based on it.
                          The arrogance of the mighty and their lack of respect for the individual, however, seem to be the cause of this ... why bother to be transparent and inform the public adequately? The ensuing conspiracy theories are the consequence and a general loss of faith is the main result.
                          Google ergo sum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I suspect you get conspiracy theories in abundance in troubled times when the authorities are either obfuscating or deliberatley lying to us.
                            The more transparent one's government, the fewer the conspiracy theories, maybe ? I also suspect that the neocons have learned good lessons from Goebbels -- that you can feed conspiracy theories into the public debate and thus obscure what you are really up to. The greater the efforts of progressive political people to improve government transparency, the greater the effort of government to muddy the water ?

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment

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