A Plea to the Conspiracy TheoristsSubmitted by Molusk on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 23:10
I realize conspiracy theorist is a terrible phrase, and I try not to use it. However, it is still widely used, and it is all we really have to identify the thing in question. The fact is, neither side has totally abandoned the phrase. Most often we just have argument over the definition, whether to drop the phrase or try to restore it to the original sense of the words
Of course, any attempt to strip it of its pejorative sense is in vain. The establishment is continually reinforcing the pejorative sense of the phrase, with all the power of the media and government. Obviously they are winning in this, and the side that wants to rehabilitate the phrase has no understanding why that is so. That failure to understand is one of its many failings.
Anyway, I saw a post earlier about the "Superbowl blackout" conspiracy. For some reason someone felt the need to dig this old corpse out of the ground and drag it all across the DP. There was nothing new in the post, no new information. What was interesting is how its tone suggested that it was completely rational to believe that the black out was brought about by a deliberate act of nefarious unidentified parties, for sinister purposes, and that no evidence need be presented to make this position tenable.
I don't know the particulars of this conspiracy, whether it has any validity or not, whether any reasonable argument has been made by persons with the relevant expertise, to suggest such a thing cannot happen within reasonable odds. But then again, I am not really interested in this particular conspiracy. I am at an age and a point in my life where I just don't have room for many more conspiracies. Not unless they bear on extremely important events, or events which are clearly suspicious on their face.
For example, the Syria gas attacks are suspicious on their face, and suggest a false flag angle. Someone as cautious and measured (in their willingness to publicly embrace unofficial explanations of events) as Pat Buchanan said as much in a recent interview.
But when I see something like the post about the Superbowl, I scratch my head and ask, what is the evidence threshold for something to be called a conspiracy? Is there any? Is any evidence necessary? Is mere doubt sufficient, even to the point where coincidence becomes grounds for conspiracy?
I don't even know what to say anymore. If you have a theory, present sufficient evidence that would persuade an unbiased and interested mind.
Unbiased and interested, those are hard to define and pin down. But at least try to present evidence that would be persuasive or constitute a prima facie case - if not proof beyond a reasonable doubt - to a non biased observer.
There is nothing, on its face, that would indicate to me that power cannot go out, even at the Superbowl. I admit that I lack the level of interest to look into a complex argument about this particular event, let alone the expertise. But is there such an argument or set of facts even being put forth? Is there any good reason to doubt the possibility that the power could go out for a sustained period of time at an important event?
If there is, present the argument and set of facts. Even if I don't look deeply into it, I will at least withhold judgment, knowing such an argument is out there from a credible or seemingly reasonable source. I will accept that I haven't looked into it, may never look into it, and try to hold back from forming a default opinion rooted in bias.
There has to be more than just doubt, more than mere bias to disbelieve everything.
Refusal to believe anything not endorsed by authority - that may be the more common, and more human failing. For that reason it may be more dangerous, more consequential, harder for people to spot.
But favoring a hidden explanation for every event, without any standards of evidence, is also a disorder, a failing, and is not productive.
People who think this way (not to mention those who make a living exploiting those who do) make it that much harder for rational skeptics to present good evidence and arguments against the official explanations of important events. It makes it that much easier for them to be painted as lunatics by the establishment. Their arguments become drowned out, and are that much easier to discredit and disregard.
Because, there really are irrational conspiracy theorists out there.