Re: Fw: 3rd Expert Claims Probe of Brown's Death Botched

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 08:15:08 -0500

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Michael Lorrey <> writes:
> > Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> >
> > > I'm seeing more and more conspiracy theories posted to the Extropians
> > > List. TWA 800, Man arrested for child abuse just for spanking his son,
> > > Microsoft evil empire, Gun Politics, Survivalism and Self Defense,
> > > Avoiding Taxes, and now this. They always seem to be posted without
> > > comment or explanation. Am I the only one who wonders what the
> > > Extropian connection is?
> >
> > How about posting news of what sort of stuff may reall be going on that the
> > government and the media refuse to tell us. Its extropian in the
> > libertarian sense that we must take responsibility for keeping ourselves
> > informed of liberty related events, outside of government power monopoly
> > channels.
> True. But I'm becoming a bit worried about the prevalence of
> conspiracy thinking; it is alsmot the secular religion of the 90's. I
> almost daily hear people explain things in the world around them by
> references to conspiracies, and it seems to be the favored rhetorical
> tool for anybody outside the direct political mainstream (sometimes in
> it too) to explain the situation by some form of conspiracy (ranging
> from the patriarchal to the statist to the market conspiracy).
> To me this is a sign of sloppy thinking. Sure, there are dirty
> dealings and secret alliances out there, but that doesn't give
> conspiracy theories explanatory power. A conspiracy theory usually
> works by showing some suggestive but weak evidence, and then
> explaining away the lack of confirmation by cover-up. It is
> unfalsifiable ("Of course there are no witnessess, they have all been
> scared into silence"), defends itself vigorously from criticism ("See?
> They have indoctrinated you too!") and promotes spread (in order to
> help others see the truth). In short, they make very efficient memes,
> but they do not have to be true to spread well.
> Keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.

Of course. THings are getting to be like Renaissance Italy these days, where you
had a bunch of city states all vying for power, the only real superpower was the
vatican, which was ruled by corrupt people from corrupt influential families, and
everybody spoke of conspiracies here and there due to the dearth of real
informatiion sources that were reliable.

I think that the prevalence of conspiracy gossip is indicativeof three things: a)
that the mainstream media have abrogated their guardianship of the people against
tyranny in return for favors and power from government, and that b) people with
no prior capacity to have a public voice are in a toddler stage of development in
the use of this voice, and c) people (meaning the middle class, which has been
traditionally the bastion of the state) have lost faith in the political process.