The popularity of conspiracy theories
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Politics

Are We Living In A Conspiracy Theory?

Life is like a box of chocolates... or is it?

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Are We Living In A Conspiracy Theory?
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It is 2019, I think it is safe to say that we have all heard a conspiracy theory at some point. There are countless videos and blogs about how the earth is flat, how 9/11 was planned, how we are being ruled by a group called the Illuminati, etc. Why has there been a recent spike in these conspiracy theories? How long have conspiracy theories been around? What other theories are there? First, we need to define what a conspiracy theory actually is; according to Merriam-Webster a conspiracy theory is defined as a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.

Conspiracy theories are not a new concept, but they are gaining popularity rapidly in today's society. It is believed that the first documented case of conspiracy theory was the burning of Rome in 64 A.D. The city of Rome was burnt to the ground but its emperor, Nero, was away and safe from the city during the burning. Conspiracy theorist then quickly jumped to say that Nero had started the fire on purpose so he could rebuild the city of Rome how he wanted. Nero fired back by saying that Christians had conspired to burn down Rome. Time has shown that there have been two major spikes in the popularity of conspiracy theories between 1890 and 2010. The first spike occurred just before the 1900s at the height of the industrial revolution. The second spike occurred during the late 1940s early 1950s at the start of the cold war. Historians believe that most conspiracy theories stem from an apprehension that is triggered by an unusual event. We try to restore our emotional equilibrium and search for patterns in order to explain these unusual events. In looking for patterns, we use mental shortcuts called heuristics. Heuristics include our tendency to ascribe intentionality to inanimate objects or to assume that things that resemble each other share core traits.

Today, we are all connected with each other through technology. We have the luxury of being able to look up answers to a question we have in a matter of seconds, rather than having to go to the library and find a book to answer our burning questions. The problem with this instant gratification is anybody can post a blog, answer a yahoo question, change a Wikipedia page, Photoshop, and edit videos. We have gotten to a point where we do not know if the information we are receiving is genuine, because of this and lack of trust in the government a vast number of Americans believe in conspiracy theories. Around 66 million Americans believe that aliens landed at Roswell New Mexico, 22 million believe that the moon landing was faked by the government, and 160 million believe that President John F. Kennedy's assassination was the result of a conspiracy. We live in an age of conspiracism and there is no changing that. Below are two conspiracy theories that are very popular in today's society.

1. The moon landing was faked by the government.

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Conspirators believe that America faked the 1969 moon landing to win the "space race". Conspiracy theorists say that the following reasons are reasons that prove the moon landing was faked. The fluttering flag. Conspirators argue that the American flag planted on the moon's surface should not have been fluttering because space is a vacuum, so there should not have been "wind" that made the flag appear to be fluttering on film. Astronauts should have been killed from radiation. Some believe that astronauts should have died from radiation after they left the Van Allen belt. The Van Allen Belts are created by Earth's magnetic field, and protect the planet from solar radiation. The belts collect the dangerous radiation and trap it in a layer surrounding the Earth. The shadow. Theorists argue that the multi-angle shots of the moon landing show shadows cast by the astronauts. These shadows suggest another source of lighting, like a studio light. Film equipment on the moon would have melted. In the sun's rays, the Moon's temperature is 280 degrees Fahrenheit, so the film equipment would have melted. Water has to be present to leave a footprint. Most of us are familiar with the picture of Neil Armstrong's boot print on the moon, but the soil has to be moist in order to leave a footprint behind.

More information can be found at https://www.space.com/12814-top-10-apollo-moon-landing-hoax-theories.html

The Mandela effect.

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The Mandela effect t is named after Nelson Mandela, he died in 2013, news of his death stirred up some surprising and mysterious memories. People around the world reported that they remembered hearing of his death in the 1980s. People even recalled watching his funeral on television. This then leads to many other people remembering things from their childhood that do not match up with history or documentation. Some believe this is because we are crossing into alternate/neighboring realities and that is why the slightest things are recorded differently than people remember. The most popular Mandela effects are as follows.

Berenstein Bears vs. Berenstain Bears

Many people recall the spelling "Berenstein Bears" but history shows it as being spelled "Berenstain Bears"

"Luke, I am your father" vs. "No, I am your father"

Star Wars fan, or not, most agree that Darth Vader's famous line reads "Luke, I am your father". However, it is actually "No, I am your father".

"Life is like a box of chocolates" vs. "Life was like a box of chocolates"

Many remember the famous lines from Forrest Gump as "Life is like a box of chocolates" but whenever you re-watch the movie now it says "life was like a box of chocolates".

Kit-Kat vs. KitKat

Many remember the famous chocolate bar logo as Kit-Kat but it is actually KitKat.

What do you believe? Did we actually land on the moon in 1969, or did we just fake it to win the space race? Do you remember something vividly from your childhood, but it turns out that your memory is wrong? Conspiracy theories are fun to research and think about but just remember how easy it is to manipulate information and media in today's society.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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