Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Interchange Collapse in Oakland

Lest you think I was lying when I said I had stuff to comment on from last week, I intended to point out a week ago how the collapse of a section of the Maze interchange in Oakland made Rosie O'Donnell's inane conspiracy-mongering about how "fire has never melted steel" look particularly foolish.It really bugs me how these conspiracy nuts pervert the healthy questioning of authority by ignoring actual answers to their questions and reasonable explanations in favor of elaborate schemes that don't make a lick of sense themselves. I'm not going to go into an extensive debunking of conspiracy theories here; Popular Mechanics does a great job of that.

The conspiracist mindset is one that operates under two different levels of burden of proof: to the conspiracist, the slightest gaps in information or inconsistencies in eyewitness accounts (anyone who follows breaking news stories knows that it takes a while to sort of what actually happens in a chaotic event) prove that the entire story is false. Meanwhile, their alternate versions of events are taken as gospel when backed only by conjecture and a couple of stray facts. The world of the conspiracy nut is one where failures of the government, military, or large corporations are never the result of miscommunication, incompetence, or human error. To them, nothing happens by accident, and instead there are thousands of people all managing to keep an elaborate tale of misinformation straight. And, oddly enough, they're imagining some big conspiracy willing to murder 3,000 civilians in the World Trade Center to start a war, and yet for some reason this conspiracy has allowed these nuts who claim to have uncovered the "truth" to go about their daily lives with impunity, posting their accusations all over the web without recrimination.

Is everything the government says true? Of course not. But there's a difference between skepticism and a willingness to believe bullshit just because it supports an alternative version of reality.

2 Comments:

At Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 8:20:00 PM PDT, Anonymous clynne said...

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/conspiracy_theories.png

 
At Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 8:53:00 PM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Good comic, there. I had forgotten about "faked moon landing" people. Why is it so hard to believe that people landed on the moon? There's no technological reason why it couldn't be done.

 

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