How Reality Becomes Conspiracy

One of the things that’s always fascinated me is conspiracy thinking.  It seems like for some people, if anything happens that benefits any two or more entities, it must be a “conspiracy” and evil is afoot, Watson!

The reality almost always turns in to something entirely not what those sorts of folks thought it was, and usually a great deal less horrible and frightening and with far fewer portents of doom.

I like deconstructing this stuff and understanding it, whether it’s a meme trying to drive traffic like the one I’m using for this article on social media links, or it’s some apparent human being spreading it around, like the person who wrote the message pictured in that meme and the other media for this article.  I try to pick it apart and understand it because we as sentient beings are entirely too wrapped up in pretending we know what we’re talking about and not nearly enough in trying to actually know what we’re talking about, and I think that’s destructive and dangerous to us as a species in the long term.

I believe events of recent years at the national level validate this line of thinking.

So I ran across this online today.  It’s uncredited because it was originally posted in a closed group, and to protect the guilty from The Internet:

I'm bearing witness to people panicking every time they misunderstand something


My first internal response to the question was “a gradually declining replacement birth rate that slowly tapers off population growth over an extended period, which is absolutely a normal and healthy thing that happens in cultures where you have free and open access to modern education and health care.”

People with letters after their names who study this stuff call it the “replacement rate” – the rate at which new humans come in to existence, relative to those already here.  If that rate is above zero, the population is increasing; if it’s below zero, the population is reducing.

Consistently around the world and throughout history, the more educated and healthy a population is, the lower their replacement rate.

It’s about as close to an “always” statement as you can get if you’re the type who likes their science accurate.  (Page 2)