Thoughts on Conspiracy

in #ocd6 months ago

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It seems that everyday now there is a new conspiracy theory linked to coronavirus and whats happening in the world. With the bombardment of information from every angle it can be difficult to make sense of it all and to determine what is true and what isn't. Not only that, all of the conflicting information can really invoke a lot of fear in people.

Though I do not have an answer to the issue of sifting through the enormous amounts of data the whole situation has really got me thinking about conspiracy theories and how they essentially operate in exactly the same as the mainstream media, if only a little more extreme.

At this point we all know that fear plays a large role in the mainstream media. That is probably quite obvious. When we watch the news we are not simply consuming unbiased information, we are actually receiving information meant to insight just a little bit of fear within us. This is because people tend to be more interested in things that are a little scary and they tend to care more about negative things in life.

Basically fear is interesting. Fear is attractive and ultimately, fear sells.

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Selling fear largely relates to the cognitive heuristic known as negativity bias, which suggests that from an evolutionary standpoint negative information is perceived as more important to an individual. Not only do we learn more from negative events that occur but negative events also tend to be associated with more physical, psychological or emotional risks. For instance, whereas a positive event in our lives may make us feel good temporarily a negative event could ultimately lead to an injury, impairment, social ostracism or even death in some cases.

So from a marketing standpoint it makes sense that the news and mainstream media would utilize fear to engage with their audience and keep them coming back for more. When a person feels threatened in some way they tend to want more information related to the threat, as well as information that could help keep them safe. As such, the media creates a sort of self sustaining loop with its audience.

For example: News information may be paired with some emotional images like a virus, or a riot, fire, or an injured person. These things likely invoke a subtle fear within the individual in the form of say a small shot of adrenaline released into the blood stream along with a neurotransmitter associated with subconscious fear. This physiological response then makes the individual perceive the information as very important. As such, they go back to the media source again later on in order to get more information on the subject. Additional information in turn makes the individual a little bit afraid again and the process starts all over.

In a weird way the information becomes sort of addicting to the individual and they keep coming back for more over and over again.

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Conspiracy theories and the sources that produce them, operate in the exact same way. Conspiracy theories are entirely based on fear, probably even to a more extreme degree then their mainstream media counterparts.

Conspiracy theories tend not to be subtle but instead overtly tell us to be afraid of unknown people who are trying to control us. They tell us that secret enemies are trying to take away our freedom or that they are trying to poison us or harm us in some way. The message of any conspiracy theory is always "be afraid."

I'm not saying that its not a good idea to listen to the different theories and ideas. I think that it can be good to get different perspectives on a subject in order to be informed. Similarly, some conspiracy theories have been accurate in the past and in many cases it can be very difficult to tell the difference between a conspiracy theory and a whistle blower type situation. This is especially true because any good conspiracy theory will naturally have grains of truth scattered throughout it.

My point is that fear sells and the people who make a living discussing conspiracy theories operate on the same principle as the mainstream media. Both manipulate people through fear in order to sell their ideas.

Their motive is to make you afraid so that you keep coming back for more.

Thanks for Reading

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Some interesting thoughts here. I partially agree with a lot of what you're saying.
Though, not entirely.
One point I would address is here.

Conspiracy theories and the sources that produce them, operate in the exact same way. Conspiracy theories are entirely based on fear, probably even to a more extreme degree then their mainstream media counterparts.

I don't think conspiracy theories always involve fear. Some involve peaceful aliens helping us. Some of these Q conspiracies recently have a positive side to them that are actually in my opinion sort of pacifying people into believing that the secret government is basically using the virus to cleanup all the corruption in the world while it's locked down...

I mean, there's a lot of different kind of conspiracy theories that I can think of that I don't think are related to fear at all, unfortunately many of them do and some capitalize off of that including governmental intelligence agencies or other groups who intentionally go out and troll and put false information out to create fear among other responses.

Also conspiracy according to definitions I've seen basically just means two or more people breathing together, or... "communicating". Conspiracies happen all the time and are both negative and positive and not all just fear based. But, you do bring up some good points and some of these leaders in the conspiracy movements are milking people via fear, I can think of quite a few.

Alex Jones being one of the main... But, there are many. Making a living off of fear essentially. And it's not a lot different from mainstream media, many conspiracy theorists become much like their mainstream media counterparts in their confirmation biases and they are almost like two different sides of a coin.

I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and it's also up to each individual to find out for themselves, however, I would just end this by saying that the "official story" is often the most unrealistic conspiracy theory, I've been meaning to make a joke recently about how I think that even Reptilians running the world seem more likely than the official story sometimes.

So, yeah, lol... It's really important for the individual to determine their own critical thinking skills and ways of determining veracity to the best of their ability in my opinion, there's so much not only fake news out there but fake science and fake all kinds of other stuff, you almost gotta become your own personal investigator in my opinion or else you're often putting faith into the wrong hands by just believing what they say.

Good points here. You are right, I was over generalizing when I said that all conspiracy theories are entirely based on fear. Thanks for pointing that out. As you mentioned not all are. I haven't heard of the one about governments doing this to clean up the world. I actually kind of like that one. We could also speculate that its all just a test/experiment to see if we can change our current political economic system to something different. These are interesting things to think about.

I've only recently heard the term "Q theory." I don't know what they are. I'll have to look up the meaning of the term.

Overall I agree that we likely aren't getting the full story from either side and that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Thanks for adding to the conversation :)

Thanks. Glad to hear you agree. Yeah, personally... I think the Q stuff is very clever propaganda being put out by our secret government to quell some of the more open minded people, and when I say that... I mean people who question the official story because as you pointed out in your OP if I remember correctly some of the news sources for conspiracy theorists can be very similar to mainstream ones and as a result you get many conspiracy theorists who similarly believe what their sources tell them without looking deeper for themselves.

Qanon stuff talks about some real issues and there are pieces of evidence which suggest some of this info is coming from high levels of power, however, that's not surprising to me anymore especially since I read in some old mainstream articles that it appears as if Q is an NSA police force.

My guess is they are making a list of all the dissidents or rebels who believe in that kind of stuff and putting them into groups on their databases/terrorist watch lists and things like that. I'm reminded of an old conspiracy theory that had something to do with "red list blue list". One list means your basically an ally to the government and one means you're not. It would likely be the same list they use if some kind of civil war ever broke lose or something like that. Or to just slowly go after and pick off those who disagree with them vocally enough.

I concur that it might be an experiment to change governments, I resisted the NWO Agenda 21 stuff for a while... Though, recent years research led me more into that and what's happening now is eerily reminiscent of such.
It's almost as if terrorism wasn't quite enough to bring in global government, they needed a threat that effects virtually everyone. But, will even that be enough? I guess time will tell.

You're welcome for adding to the conversation. Thanks to you for as well.