Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Little Problem with Conspiracy Theories
1. The past week or so all the media have been filled with stories and reminiscences about JFK and his assassination, and plenty of print space and air time have been devoted to the conspiracy theories. We now know that even John Kerry is an aficionado not only of Iranian nukes but also of the conspiracy theories about JFK.
Here is not the place for a whole debate and debunking of such theories. I just wanted to point out one small thing, and kept being reminded of this while listening to the newsreels.
Conspiracy "theories," not only about the JFK assassination but also about other things, including famously the Rabin assassination, invariably build upon "seeming puzzles." These are things that do not seem to make sense when staring too closely at them. It always reminds me of medical imaging. When one stares too long and too closely at medical images, lots of things seem puzzling and confusing and do not seem to make sense. Ditto for historic events.
But the problem with "seeming puzzles" in conspiracy "theories" is that if the "theory" were correct, then the number of seeming puzzles and inconsistencies would in fact be a thousand times worse than those of the actual events. The conspiracists never want to address THESE seeming puzzles contained within their own "theories."
I will mention but one of these and then give it a rest. If Lee Harvey Oswald were part of some grand conspiracy masterminded by evil geniuses (and not just a pathetic little communist as Jackie Kennedy called him), then how come his getaway from the Texas book depository building consisted of Oswald running out the building with thirteen dollars in his pocket trying to flag down a taxi and eventually taking a bus to escape?
[And if Yigal Amir was in fact a patsy who shot blanks and Rabin was killed by a Peres-Shin-Bet conspiracy, how come no one bothered to let Yigal Amir know and how come HE still insists that HE killed Rabin, as do his family members?
2. Current Events Quiz. Please take a look at this photo http://sports.walla.co.il/?w=//157/1560865/5/@@/media and see if you can answer this question. What is the difference between these two figures in the photo?
The answer is this: one of the two figures in the photo is in fact a brainless hand puppet while the other has brown fur?
I think you know which of the two is more qualified to be president of Israel.