Yesterday evening I attended a regional short film award presentation ceremony. One of the winning films was about a Japanese couple eating Sushi on a date. Later that evening I had a chat with the female lead actress, a charming student of Political Science. So far, so normal.
But what do you reply once the person you talk to starts to explain to you that the real reason for the Nazi dictatorship was alien control? I am not entirely certain about the details of her argument due to linguistic difficulties. But the gist of it was that she had read about it in “a Japanese book“.
So what do you do? Well, I can tell you what I did: I changed the subject to something tastier and far less problematic with a slightly irritated – “anyway… so where do you get your Sushi here?”
Happy about my newly acquired knowledge about great Japanese restaurants in the area, I almost forgot about the irritating incident. But when I later checked my email, I could not resist to google for “Nazi Ufo”. The result was unbelievable. You should try that yourself.
The search yielded a countless amount of webpages determined to uncover and explain the “real” reality, as if we were all living in a “Matrix” [I am not going to discuss the ontological possibility this could actually be the case or any possible ethymological implications of such a possiblity. For our mind’s sake, let’s just assume it’s not the case.]. I am simply stunned how so many apparently at least modestly intelligent people are eager to waste their intellectual energy on blatantly nonsensical conspiracy theories.
Now you might reply that conspiracy theories can be valuable – some sort of intellectual modelling, an intelligent fictional exercise trying to identify fundamental causes behind the events that shape the world in our framed perception – even though evidently wrong, most of the times. But the important part of the last argument is intelligent – unintelligent conspiracy theories simply are pulp fiction. Moreover, unintelligent conspiracy theories are plainly dangerous, because they appear to be no longer checks and balances to a possibly framed official version of history but ot have become a “Matrix” themselves. Just clicking on some links on the first page of google hits I found the following extraordinary example about German moon bases in 1942. In case you don’t bother to click on the link above, here is a remarkable extract from that page:
“In my extensive research of dissident American theories about the physical conditions on the Moon I have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is atmosphere, water and vegetation on the Moon, and that man does not need a space suit to walk on the Moon. A pair of jeans, a pullover and sneakers are just about enough. Everything NASA has told the world about the Mood is a lie and it was done to keep the exclusivity of the club from joinings by the third world countries. All these physical conditions make it a lot more easier to build a Moon base.”
No way to argue with that, I know.
And as you remember, I did change the subject when the Japanese girl started to explain the intricacies of the Nazi-Alien connection (which seems to be at the core of an astounding amount of conspiracies on the web). But the scary thing about her was that she did not seem to be a Mulder-like UFO freak, who “wants to believe”. The scary thing was that she seemed to quote not from a mailing list or web site run by “dissident scientists” but from an apparently accepted Japanese source.
It’s a strange world out there.