Evaluating Information

Conspiracy theorists seem to be people who are uncomfortable with the unknown. Explanations for unexplainable things, no matter how outlandish, are better than the alternative. The alternative is to accept that things sometimes just happen. There isn't always an explanation.

While you're imputing a reason for things occurring, why not also impute intent? It's a 2 for 1 deal. That's why many conspiracy theories, e.g. Bohemian Grove, 9/11 truthers) also attribute the unexplainable to shadowy gov'ts or corps. But an entity can't simultaneously be so savvy as to commit mass crimes & so incompetent that they can be found out by yahoos on the Web.

In order to suss out explanations worth investigating:

  1. Look at the source. Is it known to be impartial & reliable?

    a. Next apply Occam's Razor and Hanlon's Razor.

    • Occam's Razor states that the hypothesis with fewest assumptions should be selected.
    • So, what's more plausible abt 9/11: that the gov't executed a secret plot to blow up the towers w/o anyone except Alex Jones knowing?
    • Or that terrorists took advantage of complacency and lack of communication within the intelligence community?

    b. Next, apply Hanlon's Razor, which says "Don't assume bad intentions over neglect and misunderstanding."

    • To return to 9/11, is it more likely that the highest levels of gov't were evil schemers who blew up the Twin Towers?
    • Or, did 9/11 happen because intelligence agencies were siloed and didn't talk to each other?

Finally, it takes a really bleak view of humanity that people would be so evil as to perpetrate a national crime for personal benefit. Most people are good. We can't let the few bad apples taint our entire worldview.

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