It's summer, season of repeats - for television, at least. Maybe the blogosphere should adopt a similar approach and re-post archive material. What's sauce for the Beeb can be sauce for the blogger? Surely?
Now, that much-loved quasi-meta-post-neo-con journalist David Aaronovitch has recently written a book debunking conspiracy theories. And he may be on to something. The old conspiracy marketplace is chocka right now, so it probably makes sound economic sense to promote an alternative viewpoint.
And with that in mind, here's a re-post of an old item about conspiracy theories...
Monday, 30 November 2009
Intel. A chip off the old Bloc
My handler told me: no names. My post, the first 'intelligence blog' to appear on the web - to the best of my knowledge - won't mention pseudonyms, cover-names, pet-names, pen-names or code names. I told 'Z' - not my handler's real "code-name", simply a smokescreen - that I'm more interested in what people do than what they’re called. And 'Z' told me, I can't mention what they do either.
So anyway, what is it we get up to in our 'community'? Though of course I can't tell you the precise details, I can hint: We follow people. We follow you. We follow you, just as you follow us. Yes, we know you follow us. How do we know you follow us? Because we see you every day, scanning, searching, logging on to certain sites – I’m not talking just intelligence websites, but also affiliates sites (intelligence or other). We know how you think. We even know how you will think before you think. How so? Yes, how so?.
It’s what you people refer to as 'conspiracy theory'.
Right now the intelligence community is concerned the conspiracy theories we know and love are losing traction, they're out of control. Why's that? What do I mean by "out of control"? I'll phrase it in a way that's not what you’d call prosaic, not literal: But what I mean (if you'll allow me to mean something) is, too many conspiracy theories spoil the broth. And I hear you say, literal? Prosaic? What this guy's just given us is a mixed metaphor - pure and simple.
Perhaps. But it is a mixed metaphor that I wanted to deploy for quite some time. And why? Because I know it'll distract you, just for one moment, from what I'm leading on to. Have you got that? Probably not... but then again, you might've just about got it, I think, and you might be afraid... if you happen to be that person whose IP address (starting 134.135...) vanished from my monitor just 0.93 seconds ago! Don't worry, we can follow your IP, even after its vanished!
Anyway, so here we go: We invented conspiracy theories and we invented them to make you afraid. You don't realise this, you probably cannot accept it right now, and you probably never will. But it's true. We always wanted you to think that nothing - no thing - controversial happens unless a powerful organisation makes it happen... Unless a covert governmental agency, or a foreign terrorist cell, planned it that way. And you've always bought that notion. But one day, my friends, you ran too far with that notion, these theories, and you made them your own, your own theories. Now that cannot be right, can it? They are not your theories, they're ours. We created them. So hey guys, could you please just give us back our darned theories? (Okay - that's somewhat tongue in cheek, in case you didn't capiche.)
Or... don't you guys just f- get it? You see, if you can get all your heads round 'information overload', why can't you get them round 'conspiracy overload'? Who the hell will believe these conspiracies any more if, for every famous death, there are ten thousand theories? Next year, there will be a hundred thousand theories for some guy who's one tenth as big. And maybe, one day, there’ll be millions for just your average John Doe. No one will believe these theories any more. They'll be meaningless. And where's the point in that?
So, cool your jets, boys and girls. Cut the theories. If you want anyone to believe in anything ever again, then stop dicking around with all this, 'my belief's as good as the next guy's' shit. Some things are true and some things are not - except when we, and only we, insinuate that they are. And if you keep on spreading too many of your own goddam theories, then maybe we'll find who you are, we'll track your IP addresses, because we’re starting to think that the only reason you'd possibly want people to stop believing in our theories (by spreading so many of your own) is because you are the enemy. The real enemy. The enemy of a community that does theories good and proper.
See, that's the point: The silicon chip, the internet, the web, they were never meant to be about democratizing things like knowledge and truth - or conspiracy theories for that matter. And that's because it's no longer a case these days of, ye shall know truth and the truth shall set ye free. It's, ye shall know what you need to know, and technology can set you free. But first you have to learn how to use technology. And that, as we all know, is a discipline. Right, disciples? Right.
Think about that. We do. We think about it. Every day.
And ask yourself one last question - assuming you've read thus far: What did I mean earlier when I talked about my handler? Maybe, just maybe, I'm the handler, not the handled? And how do you know that anyone ever really told me what I could or couldn't say? After all, I've said quite a lot, have I not? But you'll have to answer that one yourselves, guys.
Yours abidingly and faithfully, Colonel Kurtz (And if you want to believe that's my real name then be my guest. In actual fact, it really is. Yep. Francis F. (the other Francis F.) stole it from me, not the other way round!
PS. A friend of mine tells me this: Next year, a butterfly will flap its wings in the Brazilian rain forest and there’ll be a million theories as to why it did so. But, in reality there's only one theory that's correct, guys. Only one. Think about it.
(On this occasion our 'intelligence blogger' very kindly agreed to provide us with his real name on account of the fact that the "trademark" on it had expired. However we are not convinced that it really is out of trademark and are therefore witholding it)