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Human nature dictates a particular need for order in the midst of chaos. It's one of the driving forces behind our capacity to believe in conspiracy theories to explain random, tragic events. That being said, this still surprises me:
Just 11 days after Asia's tsunami catastrophe, conspiracy theorists are out in force, accusing governments of a cover-up, blaming the military for testing top-secret eco-weapons or aliens trying to correct the Earth's "wobbly" rotation.
In bars and Internet chatrooms around the world questions are being asked, with knowing nods and winks, about who caused the submarine earthquake off Sumatra on December 26, and why governments were so slow to act in the minutes and hours before tsunamis slammed into their shores, killing almost 150,000.
"There's a lot more to this. Why is the US sending a warship? Why is a senior commander who was in Iraq going there?" whispered designer Mark Tyler, drinking a pint of beer at a bar in Hong Kong's Wan Chai district.
"This happened exactly a year after Bam," said Tyler, referring to the earthquake in Iran which killed 30,000 on December 26 last year. "Is that a coincidence? And there was no previous seismic activity recorded in Sumatra before the quake, which is very strange," he said, nodding somberly.
I'd like a pint of what Mark Tyler's drinking. Unfortunately, Tyler's not the only one spouting conspiracy theories about a 9.0 earthquake and the predictable tidal waves that followed the massive temblor. The rumors run the gamut from aliens correcting a wobble in Earth's orbit (question: why??) to fisherman-hating Americans. No one wants to face the notion that the world creates freakish, random events that can wipe out entire towns and people by the tens of thousands.
I understand the impulse, but the results are simply embarrassing. It only demotivates the people affected to help out, give assistance, do something to help. It gives people an excuse to give up. Aliens caused it? How can we fight that? The Americans let it happen, so let them clean it up. The people in the region closest to the victims prefer to drink the Kool-Aid and wallow in conspiracies rather than do something constructive. It's a shame, and it will cost lives if enough people simply shrug off the catastrophe. That is the price of living in a fantasy world.Sphere It View blog reactions
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... it just does not pay to get up in the morning. Just 11 days after Asia's tsunami catastrophe, conspiracy theorists are out in force, accusing governments of a cover-up, blaming the military for testing top-secret eco-weapons or ...[Read More]
Tracked on January 6, 2005 9:48 AM
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