By Steven Singe
Steven Singe is author of the book “Why Good Girls Like Bad Boys: Understanding
the Global Currency Exchange Market in the 21st Century.” He enjoys gravy.
I empathize with the conspiracy theorist. These great things happen that affect our lives, the lives of our fellows, the lives of our children and there is very little we can do about it. For some, it seems, that powerlessness manifests in recounting and believing fully such detailed folklore. I feel for their disconnect and their need to assert some control.
It’s hard when you subscribe to some belief, subscribe to it so much that you forget where it came from and where it’s taking you. It seems so important, so consuming. And here people don’t believe you and you have to look at all of these others, others who “should know the truth,” and all you can see is the wool pulled over their eyes by whatever bogeyman entity you hold dear.
Not only do you forget where your belief came from, but anywhere you can find it refers back to another person like you and another and another. That circular chain of whatever you consider evidence coming back around to itself again and again. You see people thinking like you and can’t help but think you’ve found a brother or sister, a right-thinker and an expert of sorts (more on that later). You reïnforce and encourage one another. It all highlights your powerlessness, but gives you some feeling of control.
You must absolutely know the truth! But you know, somewhere, that your worldview is
circumstantial and unsupported, but it resonates with a host of people (especially in those that disagree with you) and gives you that control you crave.
Events so complicated, so intricate, are boiled unceasingly down until a very simple explanation of evil or subterfuge arises. To you, coïncidences just don’t happen, there must be some intelligent design behind them. If they aren’t there, you’re happy to supply them.
You appeal to the common sense, you inject illogical constructs, embrace the unidentified source fully, take the experts out of context, essentially ignore any rebuttal of your facts (even when answering them) and demonize the experts while relying upon them in some form or another.
And here we have the Internet which gives some platform from which to speak, some resource from which to formulate and the bored masses with which to interact. I truly pity you sometimes. Somehow the sordid conspirators have concocted the perfect jail cell for your mind.
You travel about the web world, a world which denounces or distrusts the expert, which gives you your own place in which to expound upon your views. You’re no longer relegated to a photocopied ‘zine distributed from your home. You don’t need experts, because you are one now.
No matter how dubious or how tightly proven, you have access to an avalanche of data. You can read in one place and go look it up in another. You’re not terribly practiced in the art of scientific or historical research, usually not in the methodology of logic or trained in any of the areas you talk about, but you’ve got all this information to use. Pages and pages of it.
It gives you some comfort to exist in a realm where everyone can be an expert. It gives you some comfort to discuss your pet theories in an atmosphere of established standards of pseudo-logic, pseudorhetoric and even, sometimes, a vague parliamentary
That schismed dichotomy in your brain is fueled by others like you and by the environment in which you interact with them and the non-believers. You, the populist autodidact expert against the amassed sheep of the world, eating and drinking that which whatever authority you abhor tells them is filet mignon and sauternes, but which you know, just looking at it, is feces and urine.
I truly pity you sometimes and wholly empathize with you when I see you thrashing about online or at parties or in the public square. If there was truly some way to help you, and I truly had the volition to go about such a task, I would try to help in whatever
way I can. But, time and again, it seems there is no way to help you. Good luck and may whatever gods or demons in your life speed you on your course.