Have you got time to explore every conspiracy theory on offer? How do you know what’s worth hedging against and what’s not? I give you a few shortcuts.
Ok, following up on last week’s post, I promised I would dig in to some of the corona virus conspiracy theories that are out there, and give you a framework for sorting the reasonable from the nonsense.
This isn’t going to be fool-proof. For example, when I heard that the CIA had a gun that would inject victims with a poison that left no trace but could cause a fatal heart attack, I was sceptical. Turns out, it’s true.
So you never know for sure. But I’m going to give you a set of filters that will help you get a better handle on what reality you believe.
But first up, I need to declare a bias. I am naturally inclined to conspiracy theories.
I believe, without any toothpick of doubt, that there are sneaky people in the world doing sneaky things. 100%.
Sometimes those sneaky people get into groups, and doing incredibly complex sneaky things, sometimes across project time-frames that span decades.
I also believe that governments themselves can be vehicles for those sneaky people to do those sneaky things.
Sometimes sneaky people seize the reins of power directly – like Stalin, Hitler and the kids.
Sometimes it is indirectly, like the tens of thousands of lobbyists that right now are buzzing around Canberra like flies around a turd. The way Big Tobacco lobbied to suppress cancer connections for decades.
There’s a lot of examples. We live in a pay-to-play democracy.
(I know which way the weather blows, man.)
And my own personal experience as an investor and as an adult has made me very suspicious of authority, collective wisdom and even common sense.
I mean, for years I was told the key to success was to work hard at school, get good grades, get a good job and invest in banks and blue-chip companies.
Well, I didn’t work hard at school. I didn’t get good grades (repeatedly). I didn’t get a good job, and I didn’t just stick my money in the market and hope for the best.
And look where I ended up!
I’m living the life of my dreams – but only because I backed myself and wanted to know how the money game really worked. I literally didn’t do any of the ‘right’ things, and here I am.
So I’m rebellious by nature. I don’t take authority on face value, and I know there is stuff going on behind the scenes that we can only dream about. Totally.
So put all that together, and you’ve got someone who is very susceptible to ‘conspiracy’ ‘theories’.
(I’ve gone down a few rabbit holes in my time let me tell you.)
I also know for sure that a certain number of conspiracy theories will turn out to be conspiracy facts (the idea that Big Tabaco was hiding evidence of cancer links was once just a theory).
But, there’s a lot of theories out there. Especially now that the internet has given every half-baked nut job a platform.
So how do I separate out the wheat from the chaff? How do I know which theories I should be hedging against, and which one’s I can just let go through to the keeper?
That’s how I do it. I have a number of filters I use to rule out theories I know I’m not going to buy into.
There’s just too much to explore every conspiracy theory in detail, so I use these filters as a rough and ready way of cutting out the time-wasters.
I’m going to share these with you over the next couple of weeks. But very briefly, the filters I use are:
1. The Comfortably Numb Filter
2. The Truman Filter
3. The Magical Lizard Filter
4. The Inverted Paydays Filter
5. The Dark Side Filter
6. The Delusions of Relevance Filter
7. Occam’s Conspiracy Razor / Decoy Filter
8. The Robert DeNiro Filter
I’ll explain more about what these filters mean exactly soon, but the point is that these filters help me navigate a complex world with a light touch – with efficiency and an easy optimistic outlook.
I don’t have the time or the capacity to go through every theory in detail. Nobody does.
But filters give you a head start.
So stay with me over the next couple of weeks, and I’ll explain how each of these filters work, and how they can help keep your feet on the ground.