Q: When is a conspiracy theory not a conspiracy theory?
A: When it’s a legitimate concern.
Woke up this morning with this question in my head, so I thought I’d run the old mental magnifying glass over it.
So what’s the difference? Put simply, a conspiracy theory is a collation of coincidence. A conflation of A and Z without any recourse to the rest of the logical alphabet. A join the dot puzzle where certain dots are joined out of sequence, marring the overall picture. Characterised by gaps in the chain of logic, filled in with assumptions and guesses.
This is not to say that the utterings of conspiracy theorists do not contain elements of truth, but their facts often don’t connect properly. Or there isn’t enough evidence to make a convincing case for a connection. A conspiracy theory being like one of those classic movie memes where the detective hero has an entire wall of newspaper cuttings connected with red tape, some of which are surmise and guesswork. Because conspiracy theories rely heavily on the intuition of the theorist. Whether that intuition is valid is another matter because even the best can get it very badly wrong.
As a small investor I like to listen to these wild eyed theorists with my bullshit detector set to ‘high’, because occasionally, and I do mean occasionally, the wild eyed conspiracy types get things right or unearth valuable clues. Clues that tell me how the markets might move or are moving. I also listen to people who have a proven track record in their field to see if what they are talking about rings true. Both can be wrong, and no-one is infallible. Particularly Government ‘health advice’ because that is far too often tainted with the politics of it’s time. I can cite a number of examples, some which are still current.
A legitimate concern can of course be derived from a conspiracy theory. However, if the ‘evidence’ being presented for a much-cited ‘truth’, mainstream or not, is missing information, or is presented as a fait accompli. Then it is legitimate to have reservations. Especially when classic ‘hard sell’ tactics are being deployed. You treat everything like you do when buying a car. You have to ask the right questions. What is the vehicles service history? Why is it going for this price? Why does the seller seem so desperate for you to sign on the dotted line?
On these occasions, nothing, repeat nothing should ever be taken purely on trust. Not even from ‘advice’ emanating from the highest level. My time walking the streets as an enforcement officer left me with a highly jaundiced view of authority and humanity in general, hence my much used description of same; ‘the general dyslexic’.