I'm an average idiot

Tags: English, personal, life
Created on Wed, 30 Jun 2021

"What if YOU are wrong? What if you’re not a Galileo Galilei, but an Andrew Wakefield?".

(source)

This ^ woke me up. Andrew Wakefield is the dude that started the initial conspiracy of "vaccines cause autism" back in the 90s. This long (but deservedly so) video explains in more detail that you ever wanted to know:

On the other side, the argument about being "Galileo" (which I also referenced in my last post) is refering to this article by Heather Heying, who usually co-host the podcast DarkHorse along with her husband Bret Weinstein.

So, as I started doing counter research to what I've been recently dipping my toes in the conspiracy theories, I found the good old investigative journalism articles that do a good job at dismounting "evidence" claimed by a fairly small group of people that reinforce themselves, claiming that "they" are silencing them and so on.

It's easy to go into the rabbit hole, spending hours into conspiracies, feeling that there are a lot more voices counter to the "mainstream narrative" where in fact one forgets how consensus is made and starts wishing that he is the special one along with the others that is discovering the truth rather than thousands and probably millions of health professionals around the world.

Sure, there are conspiracy theories and corporate scandals every once in a while. But what is the chance of such a huge conspiracy that encompass media, governments and health agencies around the world, each with thousands of people all blind, vs. a few that can "see" the truth?

It is more romantic in a way, but which is more likely?

Are these people Galileos or a Andrews?

When you put it like that - of course it's more likely that they are Andrews. But if I turn the question to myself - of course I dream to be a Galileo. So I want to think that I'm smart, a genius maybe by virtue of following "different thinkers".

But I'm most likely an idiot to even think that. Looking at the articles which disprove the claims - well, it makes me feel small. There are much smarter people than me and it's even difficult to follow all of the arguments.

These people are called part of the "Intellectual Dark Web". It's tempting to get there (the term is by the way claimed by the brother of the Bret's DarkHorse podcast guy referenced above). They seem smart and logical. But as with most humans - we are idiots individually. Different thinking is not necessarily a sign of intellect - most of the time it's a sign of stupidity.

So that's what I think happened with me. I don't like much of the centralization of the web - but this topic is huge for me and probably for another time. I projected my own grievances, some of which may still be valid, into the whole situation, trying to find alternative narratives. The initial spark was outside of me - a new relationship - but this could've easily been some internal curiousity, an interesting conversation or an argument with a friend that I wouldn't let go.I started slowly dipping my toes until I stopped realizing that my whole body is now swimming in bullshit. One by one, as the proverbial "boiling frog" misconception goes - I didn't realize how many assumptions I've made - mistrusting thousands of smart scientists that do difficult work, coming to consensus for each new sentence that engulfs me.

I liked some of the journey - I thought a lot about what is true, what are the different ways that we can be manipulated and how many times in living memory we have been, true conspiracies that come to life and of course the whole experience of getting into one, at least for a while.

But I must now come back to rationality. Humanity has problems - more than we can count and measure. But there are choices we make every day that are not easy - either with too little, or too much information. As one of the sources above said: "which is better: conspiracy ideas spreading around like wildfire or some community guidelines that is the discretion of a private company, doing its best to protect some dangerous discussions with the cost of limiting some free speech"?

I still don't like centralization of the web, staying in one's own bubble and calling the other side "stupid". We all are on some level. Division is not good. But I fight with myself and try to pull myself up from the bullshit to see what is the consensus and trust the massive amounts of people, as I originally claimed in my first post. I can only appreciate more in what trouble we are as humanity if it's that easy to slip these days into shit but also hope that people will wake up see when they are sinking like I was/am doing.