New Article Up at CSI

As you likely know, I have “The Conspiracy Guy” column at CSI’s website now, and my most recent contribution is up. It’s called, “Out of Mind? Out of Sight!” And yes, I am very proud of that title. I want to invite you to respond to it here, since there is no option to reply at the CSI website.

RJB

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5 Responses to New Article Up at CSI

  1. Ken says:

    Your thesis reminded me of the “Carol of the Old Ones” by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society: Up from the sea, from underground/Down from the sky, they’re all around/They will return: mankind will learn/New kinds of fear when they are here.”

  2. Bob says:

    I get compared to Lovecraft all the time….no wait, that never happens. :)

  3. Mike Mercede says:

    I think it is an interesting thing to notice where the locus of power is seen to be in these conspiracy theories. However, and I might be misreading your argument, I think there is a fatal flaw in your argument in that it is circular. How could a conspiracy operate within the light of day, so to speak? The reason conspirators make their agreement is because they cannot accomplish that which they wish to do within the normal confines of the public sphere. In other words, since conspiracies are plans for illegal acts, why would anyone do that in a way that was accessible to the general public? Sure, there are conspiracy crazies, but there are also very real conspiracies; hence the laws forbidding them. Watergate, MKULTRA, The Tuskegee Experiments, 1990 Testimony of Nayirah, and others all show that very REAL conspiracies have to take place ” just beyond the normal citizen’s perceptual range.” So, to say that it is interesting to note that some people think secret planning has to happen in secret is, well, circular. I think this leads to your conclusion that the conspiracy theorist, by “locating the sources of conspiracy in inaccessible places he has made his own story harder to prove,” seems to ignore the fact that in real conspiracies, say Watergate, the idea is to keep the locus of power within the conspiracy outside of view of the public SPECIFICALLY to make it hard to prove. The slip up comes when you say it is the conspiracy theorist who locates that power, rather than the conspirators. Luckily, in the case of Watergate, the investigators did not make that slip. Please understand, I am not saying I believe in conspiracy theories as a genre; I am saying your argument, if I am understanding it correctly, is recursive.

  4. Bob says:

    Hey, Mike. Ooh, I might not have been clear. I think that the argument you are showing is sort of circular. But I was more going for the inaccessibility of the locus of power is proportionately related to the improbability of the conspiracy. But you’re right, I think that the first part may be a little bit of a given: “the secret conspiracy is secret.” DOINK! :) Thanks for the heads up!

    • Mike Mercede says:

      OK, I get it now. I think you are right. I almost have to give credit to the crazies, though, for fortitude. If I thought I had proof of a conspiracy coming from another dimension, I would definitely not try to convince anyone and instead invest in a “Scotch of the Month” plan!

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