Conspiracy theories

How can a society de-program/reintegrate people who have gone down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole?

[ 12/1/21 ]

What do you mean?

If you want people generally to stop looking for conspiracies, and to start generally trusting, then you need to have a societal system that is actually trustworthy, and genuinely rewards accuracy of communication and punishes inaccurate communication.

We do not have such a system currently.

Currently the legal, economic and political systems reward conspiracy and punish accuracy.

The entire industry of advertising is based upon exploitation of aspects of our inherent rewards systems and sense-making systems to generate within us desires that we would not otherwise have. That is one fundamental definition of a conspiracy.

The economic system we have is based upon a set of assumptions that have been falsified beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt. The entire finance sector is essentially one large conspiracy.

The educational system is based upon a set of assumptions that has been falsified, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, and is essentially another conspiracy – one that Eric Weinstein calls the DISC – Distributed Ideas Suppression Complex.

I don’t have enough time to start to give a reasonable treatment of the levels of conspiracy present in most political systems.

If we want people to have trust (which is absolutely required for any sort of stable and secure social system, one that gives individuals a reasonable chance of living a long and secure life), then we need to have systems in place that are actually worthy of trust. None of the existing crop actually meet that criteria.

So while there are many great and trustworthy individuals in any and all systems, medical, educational, political, financial, religious, … the systems themselves are not trustworthy or fit for purpose.

To get people to be able to trust each other and the systems within which we live, then we need those systems to be based upon cooperative principles that actually value individual life and individual liberty, and are also clear that liberty always comes with responsibility (all levels) if it is to survive long term. Liberty without responsibility is necessarily self terminating – there is no logical escape from that – systems theory is clear – beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.

So it seems clear that we find ourselves in a reality that has many levels of fundamental uncertainty and unknowability, and that demands of us levels of trust and cooperation if we are to survive; and it also demands of us that we are each responsible (to the best of our limited and fallible abilities) to test the systems present and alert others to any levels of cheating on the cooperative principles that are necessary for complex systems to survive. A simple notion like “the rule of law” is not sufficient, though it definitely points in the direction of something required, because there are definitely real limits and boundaries that must be respected if we are to survive (as individuals, as societies, as cultures, as ecologies).

So we each have to accept uncertainty, and we must each act in reality in real time. So we have to accept that with all the best intention in universe, we will make mistakes from time to time. We each need to be prepared to do what it takes to clean up any messes that result from such mistakes, and to carry on.

So that idea that any pattern from the past is necessarily appropriate to the future is almost certainly wrong, and often there are deep lessens encoded in the systems of belief and action that have survived over deep time that we ignore at our peril.

We need both respect for the past, and a willingness to try out new things; and that will necessarily involve tensions.

We need diversity, at all levels, for such tensions to be survivable.

So in order to get people out of the imaginary conspiracy holes that many have fallen into, we need to get rid of the very many levels of very real conspiracies that do actually exist; and to build a real and reliable basis for trust, and a real and reliable respect for diversity, and a real and reliable sense of individual security and prosperity.

The technology to empower such things is trivially easy in comparison to changing the mind sets of those who are embedded within the current very real sets of conspiracies that pose very real risk to us all.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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