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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Conspiracy theories.

On the way to work this morning I heard on the FM Radio a plug for “What the government doesn’t want you to know”. Back in the day Conspiracy theories were only on very niche platforms but now they are getting more mainstream because I guess that’s what sells these days. You see them on Facebook, twitter, and all other platforms. So, I thought I’d write a post about combating this. 

First let’s talk about why people would believe this crap. The bottom line is it makes them feel good and safe. It could be one of three things: 1.Self-importance because they have a calling in life to make the world better. 2. It makes them feel smarter than other people 3. Or less scared because they have a community of like-minded people. But any way you look it’s our insecurity and fear that makes us crave this. Yes, I said us, you and me are included whether you think you are immune or not.

I know what you are thinking “you are just projecting, not everyone is crazy like you”; but hear me out. Stress opens the reward section of the brain. It’s why we are all getting fat in lock down; the more stress the more cravings we have. This is not limited to food. You crave what makes you feel good. These people that believe conspiracy theories can have high IQ’s they just have a need to feel good just like the rest of us. Intelligence alone (as many of you know) never was happiness. We have all been victims of giving into our vices.

It's reasonable to give yourself something that makes you feel good especially right now when for most good feelings are in short supply. It's like that classic line when someone tells someone something to pull them back into reality and that person responds "Don't do this to me right now, I need the fantasy!"

Everyone knows It’s really hard to convince someone of anything but hardly anyone has the self-reflection to realize we might be the same way. It’s easy to look at something fantastically wrong that someone else believes but that one superstition you’ve grown up with is justifiably different.

People will not change their way unless they can keep their dignity and they have an incentive to change. when people tell you things that are contradictory to what you think impulsively your respect for them goes down. We all know those Low information high confidence people that this reaction is perfectly designed to combat. But if you turn out to actually be wrong about something important this reaction can be a major disservice to yourself and everyone around you. 

I’ve spent most of my life thinking it should be enough as long as you can show you see someone’s point of view then common courtesy dictates, they listen to yours. This is not the case. In fact, you don’t get any brownie points for seeing something their way because you should have come into the conversation knowing the “right way to think”.

It’s insecurity that got them here in the first place. So, if you tell them they are just like those crazy people they too make fun of they are understandable going to run so far back to that the sweet taste of Kool-Aid that didn’t judge them and makes them feel good.  


 

You have to give people a reason that thinking the way you do will make them feel better. Find out the insecurity that makes them dependent on these theories. Try to give them what they need emotionally the right way. But most importantly self-reflect.

You always hear don’t teach your girls to be afraid of boys teach your boys to treat girls right. But obviously you have to do both because the world doesn’t change instantly. If everyone would self-reflect on not what they believe but what insecurity they are feeding by what they do to make them feel good this world would be a better place.