April 4, 2011

The conspiracies mess

Do conspiracy theories really have a higher purpose than 
Reading up on a news report in the Express Tribune got me thinking: What is true and what isn't on the internet? There are all sorts of views, blogs, opinions, videos and what not available on the web. Each and everyone of them supports a particular stance, and each and everyone of them professes to be true. The problem is, they all appear to be so logical and so thoroughly supported by "facts and figures" that it becomes impossible to not doubt your own opinion.

For example, the hottest topic and point of discussion by far amongst the so called conspiracy theorists is that America is the root cause of all evil emanating from any nook and corner of the world. These views are supported by various hypotheses and facts which are strung together to prove them as true. Even now, you can see from my tone and tenor that I am not convinced and personally, I highly doubt these theories; in fact, I don't believe in them at all.

But what about the people who do believe in them? What about their tones and the way they express their views? Because conspiracy theories are so outlandish, they have a knack of grabbing your attention. So if I were to turn this blog into a conspiracy churning machine, I could double my visitors within a couple of days. Not only that but the way conspiracy theories are presented, with made up facts and some of them not made up, with doubt, conceit and ill will sown in the middle of them, the internet then becomes  a place of half truths and it becomes impossible to sift the truth from all the grime surrounding it.

The one thing that is more important than anything else however is the "Us" vs "Them" game that is played out on the internet. Yes news keeps popping up from various quarters that the US, Israel, India (notice how it is always only these three countries who are behind all the evil in the world?) join their hands in alliance to start shady programs that will shift the world focus onto specific things and allow them to manipulate us to do their bidding. More importantly however, these claims are never rejected by the countries. And who can blame them anyway? I bet they have better things to do in life than disprove theories circulating through cyberspace.

What's true and what isn't?
But the trouble is if it really is an "Us" vs "Them" situation, what should a layman like myself do?

This is one question that I've been pondering over of late. The irony is that I have been dissing our local conspiracy theorists from ever since I can remember and for good measure too. But if the internet is the next battlefield and conspiracies are what will enable us to win, should I then be a part of this complex mess? And if I choose yes, does that mean that I will have to spew venom and nonsense?

I may never be able to answer these questions for the simple reason that there is overwhelming doubt and evidence to practically brush aside the majority of the conspiracy theories that reach us. But what about those theories that sound improbable and even implausible but there is no easy way to disprove them except the fact that they sound weird?

The propaganda game has been going on for quite a long while and I have tried to refrain from it. My objective of course is to not indulge in it and present my views and opinions based on solid facts. But when opinion comes into play, you know it will swing either for or against a given subject. And that is what worries me.