On Tuesday I talked about Conspiracy Theories. Today lets discuss real ones. The real conspiracies fuel our natural want to see patterns and be special.
Most of the real life conspiracies are based on not wanting to change the way we do things or products of advertising.
Take Multivitamins for example. They’re not bad for you but they’re not important. This is multivitamins and vitamin boosts. This doesn’t mean Folic Acid for pregnancy, vitamin D for SAD, or Iron for Anemia is bad. When recommended by a doctor they’re great.
Or take bottled water. Many people think it’s better than tap water and the companies selling them certainly want you to think that, but on average they’re not.
These are just a few examples of “real” conspiracies. They are not controlled by a giant body, but by people who want to be rich. There’s no giant Water Bottle Industry conspiracy to make our tap water less safe. That’s caused by human greed, poor management, poor regulation, and stupidity.
How to Avoid Being Duped
There are little conspiracies all over. From wanting the last cookie, to wanting you to BUY OUR COFFEE everyone has an angle or something they want from someone else.
If you want to test if a conspiracy is real or not remember to ask the most important question: Why?
Why would they perpetrate this hoax? Why would they control the world? Why would they try to control humanity with the contrails from planes?
From there, do your research and find out how it could be true. Apply the David Robert Grimes Method. It states that a conspiracy is less likely to succeed, the more people who are involved. Find credible sources and think critically.
Buzzwords are by far the most dangerous form of conspiracy. They sound good but are vague and never tell the whole truth. They are dangerous if you believe them unconditionally.
Some of the best examples of dangerous buzzwords are found in health. Superfoods, Toxins, Cleanse and Natural are some extremely common buzzwords that literally mean nothing.
A superfood isn’t from Krypton, but something that has higher than normal vitamin content. That’s it. It’s not a cure for cancer, not a cure for the common cold, not a cure for damage. Just a food that’s good for you.
A toxin is “a poisonous substance and especially one that is produced by a living thing” So unless you are eating jellyfish, the chances that your food is filled with toxins is highly unlikely. Everything that goes into your body might have poisons in it, probably in minute amounts. Nature has a way for you to detox that isn’t only free, but easy. It’s called your LIVER.
Cleanses are a way to detox your body. As slang for “Stop eating unhealthily” it makes sense. Of course fake doctors and idiots have commercialised it into something that is dangerous. Let’s make something clear: You can’t eat unhealthily and then “cleanse” to make yourself healthy again. That’s not how our bodies work. These detox cleanse diets aren’t healthy. They are fads that stress your body more than they help. They are the emotionally crippled children of the weight loss fad diets. You don’t need to know the garcinia side effects. Eat healthy regularly and you’ll feel better. Don’t pretend you’re Bacchus and think eating only soup for a month will repair damage.
Natural is a word that has such a vague meaning that it could mean anything. Nightshade is completely natural, as is the box jellyfish, but eating them can hurt you. Using Natural as a word to mean safe is ignorant of how we live our lives and of science. I’ve seen Natural on everything from bacon to tomatoes. It literally means whatever the advertiser wants it to mean.
When you’re trying to figure out what’s real:
- Think critically about what you do and why you do it.
- If someone tells you you’re wrong, ask why.
- Do some research before you believe what your crazy (insert relative) tells you about a miracle product.
- Remember that we as a species are flawed.
For me I like to follow a few general rules:
- Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
- Occam’s Razor: The simplest answer is usually the right one.
And of course
- Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
What are your least favourite Real Conspiracies?