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Conspiracy theories


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Conspiracy theories

6 Dec 2020 9:24AM   Views : 603 Unique : 297


The world is full of them: Dan Brown has made a fortune from peddling one of the older ones, though if you want a better view, read either Foucault’s Pendulum of the Illuminatus trilogy. The latter provides a drug-fuelled and irreverent view of conspiracy theory, while the former leaves the central character hiding in a museum: having disproved the existence of the Illuminati, he is hiding from their assassins.

That sums up conspiracy theory, for me: it’s about people who would rather believe in the impossible than the idea that the world is full of ****-ups: and to quote the magnificent Hannah Gadsby, their research, like Brown’s, is not of the facty truthy kind.

I have friends who believe in things that I find incredible, and which are directly contradicted by all the facty truthy stuff. But then, I have friends who believe in fairies, and in politicians. For a more balanced – if fictional – view of life, do what I’m doing and watch The West Wing on All 4 Freeview. The world is mostly full of good people, trying to do their best, plus a few people for whom ‘best’ is all about themselves and their career. But mostly, even they are doing their best for their families.


There are conspiracy theories in photography, too. One of them is that manufacturers are cynically making us buy cameras we don’t need, and always selling us models that are not as good as the one they’re developing now.

Duh! If they weren’t doing this, but instead selling old models until they’d got the perfect camera, we would not be happy. And they’d go out of business. Research is constantly producing better ideas, and better implementation of older ideas. If you doubt that progress is real, get yourself a Praktica L from eBay, and see how you fare – always remembering that it cost as much as a modern bridge camera in real money, allowing for inflation.

Production engineers always want to freeze the design, and never make changes: design engineers are always finding things that are worth tweaking, just a little…


More than 20 years ago, I was closely involved in investigating a lot of dodgy doings in a city council. Early on, I brought a file home and spent much of the weekend going through around a hundred different allegations, trying to find a pattern, looking for a conspiracy. I didn’t find it. The reason is that there were a series of ****-ups: a bit of poor management here, a couple of light-fingered people there, and a previous unwillingness to look at how things were done.


And that’s how most of life is, I’ve found. The best way to deal with things is to accept that there’s imperfection, and get on with what you’re doing. There are occasional conspiracies (there was one to prevent us investigating, for sure: but over a dozen people lost their jobs and one went to jail by the time we’d finished, so that didn’t work), but mostly, there are crossed wires.

That’s why my children had all their vaccinations, and I have had my ‘flu jab: I have at least a sketchy understanding of the science, and I know that the risks of not having it are significantly greater for me as an individual if I don’t get the annual vaccination. And yes – I’ll be lining up for a Covid vaccine at the point that my GP is offering them to men my age. I don’t plan to try to get ahead (I know that nurses and teachers and care workers need them far more than I), but I’ll not be refusing one, either.


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
6 Dec 2020 9:26AM
Looking for rhyme or reason in the images? Please tell me if you find any, though this will strongly suggest a departure from reality, into the realms of the Illuminati.

Probably: there are pictures with mirrors, and reflections of two very different Sony cameras.
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
6 Dec 2020 11:00AM
I like departures from reality John, they are different and keep my old brain occupied but there will always be people who try to distort reality, smoke and mirrors spring to mind ....still the truth will always out. !
A dementia person for instance, lives in their own World which is generally comfortable and warm totally unaware of conspiracy theories, must be a good place to be.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
6 Dec 2020 11:52AM
The worst of all possible worlds is to be a Daily Mail reader developing dementia. I know one or two...

If you like departures from reality, Janet, both of the books I mentioned are worth reading. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, and the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson are full of smoke and mirrors.

And maybe that's an idea for pictures, for both of us...
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 37 8 England
6 Dec 2020 5:21PM
Well, we know that the world is flat. At least the one that Commander Vimes lives on. Smile
All men should have the flu jab, there's nothing worse than 'Man Flu', is there? Smile
Everyone should watch 'The West Wing', and the episode of Dallas where they brought Bobby Ewing back to life..
Conspiracy theories are great, the more ridiculous the better.
I know that 'The truth is out there' of the fairies at the bottom of the garden told me it was.
saltireblue Avatar
saltireblue Plus
13 14.5k 89 Norway
6 Dec 2020 5:58PM

Quote:one of the fairies at the bottom of the garden told me it was. mean one of the fairies in the garden of your bottom, don't you?Tongue

John...back to one of your starting theories in this blog - the one about manufacturers selling us items that were not the latest technology, because they wanted to keep something in reserve for tomorrow...I remember in the '80s, rumours that Michelin had already developed a tyre that outlived the expected lifetime of the car it sat on, but, and this is a very big 'but', releasing it on to the market would ensure the demise of all the world's tyre manufacturers, apart from the one needed to supply tyres for new cars...
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
6 Dec 2020 6:08PM
Interesting thought, Malc.

I'll run that past my son (who actually knows a bit about materials and engineering) - but I rather suspect that rumour may have been started by Dan Brown...
saltireblue Avatar
saltireblue Plus
13 14.5k 89 Norway
6 Dec 2020 6:12PM
I think you are right, today's interweb world, it would be decried and ridiculed as 'fake news'.
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 450
8 Dec 2020 12:02AM
If you had a blue gel on the left light source dudler, you'd had convinced me Smurfs are real.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
8 Dec 2020 12:22PM
I confess, Pablo, to a personal hatred of gels. I mean, why?

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