So many conspiracy theories out there right now. Here’s the second filter I use.
Okay, let’s start working our way through the conspiracy theories that are out there right now.
We’re a couple of posts into this now.
In the first post I showed you how our biology makes the pursuit of perfect truth incredibly difficult. In the second post I made the point that there’s so much information out there nowadays, that you need to be using filters to sort the plausible from the implausible.
There’s just too much out there to crunch all that data yourself.
On Wednesday I went through the Comfortably Numb Filter. Today let’s talk about the second one.
I call this one The Truman Filter.
I named this after the Truman show, where the show’s producers create an entirely artificial world for Truman to get about in.
My favourite scenes in the movie are when Truman breaks out of his usual patterns, and all the actors and everyone are desperately scrambling to keep the illusion up – to keep a consistent fabric of reality together.
You can see how hard it is to deceive just one person who’s gone a little bit off-script.
Now, some conspiracy theories want me to believe that this is happening, not just at an individual level, but at a global level.
Like, I have seen some people genuinely say that all the footage we’re seeing of the Corona virus – footage of hospitals, morgues etc, from every corner of the world – it’s all fake.
There is no virus, and what we are witnessing is a carefully crafted pantomime – an elaborate puppet show.
I think the people who believe this have never run a business and they’ve definitely never worked in events.
I run a business. Do you know how much time I give to managing my staff? It’s the lion’s share of the gig, really.
And I’ve got great staff, but man, it’s herding cats sometimes. There are so many places where my carefully crafted plans can fall over. Maybe I don’t explain myself clearly.
Maybe they don’t understand me properly. Maybe they lose focus when it comes time to do the job. Maybe something totally random just comes in and throws it all off beam.
So imagine trying to craft an illusion that fools 8 billion people. Gawd. Can you imagine working with that many actors? Actors for gawds sake. They’re totally useless.
Now people might say, that you don’t have to actually conduct the illusion. You just need to control the media.
But that’s just a question of scale. Do you know how many media outlets there are? And how many people they employ? Copy-writers, camera-people, sub-editors, editors, producers, managers – and we’re still not even in the C-suite yet.
You’re still talking about organising an insane number of people – with clockwork precision.
I just can’t buy it.
(And if media agencies were in on the act, why are their revenues falling and their business models falling apart? Mastheads that have been around for centuries are shutting down. You’re telling me that they can participate in a global conspiracy, but can’t figure out a way to make money in the digital era?)
So yeah, based on the Truman filter, if you’re asking me to believe that it’s all a charade and the virus isn’t happening at all, I’m not buying it.
And that’s not to say that the government story is the right story, or that the media never lies to us or tries to influence us, or there isn’t something else going on.
But the filter system isn’t there to uncover the truth. It’s there to filter out stories that are just implausible, so you can focus your energies elsewhere.
So yeah, that’s my first filter for you. The Truman filter. If a conspiracy theory asks you to believe that someone somewhere has organised thousands of people with clock-work precision, you can probably discard it.
Next time, the magical lizard filter.