Why do conspiracy theories circulate so widely, why does it appear so many believe them to be true? And then I remembered Arthur C Clarke's Third Law
Today I stumbled across another post on Twitter suggesting that the coronavirus is in fact spread by 5G technology. Another said that in November 2019 Wuhan was the first city to roll out 5G, and lo and behold two months later, the virus struck. There had to be a connection!! I went further down the rabbit hole; another post said that the virus was purposely released into the world, and when we receive the vaccine a small electronic chip will be injected into each of us, allowing governments to track our every movement. Meanwhile, the Canberra Times reported that one-in-eight Australians believe the virus is spread by 5G. Lord help us.
Sadly for the conspiracy theorists, there is no Bond-style villain orchestrating their dastardly plan from a secret lair. Indeed, if the UK government is a part of the master plan, they are making a right bloody mess of it; they can't even get their world beating track and trace app up and running!
Joking aside, why do these conspiracy theories circulate so widely, why does it appear so many believe them to be true? And then I remembered Arthur C Clarke's Third Law;
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic
I remember my grandad used to like building crystal radio sets. He understood why they worked. He would know which components to use, and how to connect one to another. If anything went wrong, he would know how to fix the problem. The same is not true with mobile telephones. The majority of people don't know why or how a mobile works, and the technical wizardry utilised might just as well be magic.
Might this ignorance of technology and how it works explain why there are so many who are prepared to swallow these ridiculous theories? Or maybe I am over complicating matters, and I will just have to accept there are a lot of very gullible people in the world.
27th May 2020