We live in a grand era for conspiracy theories and most of them are bunk. A rise in conspiratorial thinking is an inevitable by-product of the Information Age. The bar is generally lower for qualified opinion, particularly across the landscape of data mining social networks. Everyone has an opinion to drive the story - any story - and there are plenty of platforms from which to propagate. Meanwhile we might be losing the plot.
It's very difficult to parse through the information milieu of modern life without some sort of formal literacy about how and why we communicate. Confusing opinion with fact is a common tell sign of our ignorance about what-is-really-going-on. And YouTube sourcing doesn't cut it. Wikipedia doesn't cut it. Lacking accomplishment in the field or subject of our commentary makes us less than an expert. Media illiteracy puts forth a worldview that is overly literal and dull, and it spurs the proliferation of hair-brained notions.
Being informed is more a discipline than state of mind. Anyone saying differently is selling something. The truth – in the end – would seem obvious. But experiencing truth is a humbling experience, and curiosity presses forward by nature. It is always slipping through the fingers of those in the know. Truth exists in shades of grey and in nuance, not closets. The dopamine-addled folks who insist that there is so little time for understanding - for comprehension - for empathy - are not helping.
Part 2 will be published next Saturday…