From time to time, I find myself reading memes on Facebook or exhortations on Twitter to “educate yourself”.
There is a general similarity to those memes. They comprise SHOUTING (usually a mixture of capitalized words or sentences, often followed my multiple exclamation points). They are a form of clickbait, designed to get people’s attention.
Then, when you look at the actual text, overlooking the panic or anger-stricken shouting, it soon becomes clear that you are reading the rant of a fully-signed-up conspiracy theorist. I also tend to realize that not only have I already educated myself, I have educated myself to the point where I concluded that the ideas being promulgated in the meme are a large pile of caca.
The conspiracy theories being peddled usually are predictable. They will be one of more of:
– New World Order! Jewish cabal is in charge! Illuminati are screwing us over!
– Jade Helm was an attempt by the Federal Government to subjugate Texas!
– Agenda 21 is a New World Order plot to make the USA a colony of the United Nations!
– Obama is a Muslim coming for our guns!
– Hillary Clinton murders anybody and everybody!
– Christians are being persecuted on a daily basis in the USA by secularists and atheists!
It’s like playing Bingo. If somebody prevented me from reading a conspiracy theory meme but instead asked me to guess what was in it, I think I would stand a pretty good chance of guessing at least one correctly.
I usually ignore these postings, because I have really nothing to discuss with people who have departed from embracing reality. I learned a long time ago that there are three classes of people I cannot and will not hold discussions with on the internet; conspiracy theorists, Texas secessionists and “end of days” Christians. They are, compared to my value system of respect for argument and evidence, unpersuadeable and unreachable. Life is too short for us to waste each other’s time.
So…if you are going to start posting memes that base their meaning on one or more underlying conspiracy theories, you will get no reaction from me. I have no time to waste on intellectually risible, over-imaginative and paranoid dystopian fantasies.