It’s been a long day. After leaving the protest I even got harassed by a security guard while eating a sandwich and working on MyFDL on my phone. Apparently they’ve banned bicycles from the plaza where I was eating. Somehow this happened while I was having a sandwich from a deli which uses all bicycle delivery and next door to a bicycle powered coffee cart which they’d allowed to park there.
Earlier, I chatted with FDL’s Siun and somehow the topic of conspiracy theories came up. There are real, plausible conspiracies — we have hard evidence that Department of Homeland Security coordinated efforts to suppress the Occupy movement — and then there are conspiracy theories.
I theorized that conspiracy theories provide a measure of comfort to the believer. It’s easier and safer to believe that, for example, extra-dimensional lizard people control our world than it is to believe that all the problems we see come from everyday banal evil that needs no secret think tanks or ancient secrets to exist. Rich people and corporations throwing the weight of their money around is enough, even if they do hang out at weird clubs in the woods.
All it takes is a Jamie Dimon or a Blue Sage Capital with a mundane desire to maximize profits; that causes evil enough. Conspiracies also give a belief that if the great conspiracy could just be unmasked, we’d somehow get justice. It’s not unlike a crude superhero being able to punch out the embodiment of some evil, say pollution or drug addiction, with a single flick of his gloved fist.
We have to be alert to the secret meetings of our enemies, without granting them more power than they deserve.
That’s what’s on my mind tonight. What’s on yours? This is tonight’s open thread.