Multi-dimensional conspiracy frame-work
Posted by Don McLenaghen on March 17, 2012
This week we have part one of our interview with Tony Sobrado. The focus of this segment will be on a classification system for conspiracies. So, I thought I would condense his thoughts plus add a few of my own so that in future we may be able to use a more scientific method to our discourse.
Now Tony points to three levels of conspiracy. The first level is the single point conspiracy (SPC). A single event that has been planned in secret by a cabal of ‘normal’ people to bring about or prevent some actions or state that would not have occurred under normal circumstances.
So, a single event might be 9-11 or the assignation of JFK. These are events that could have been brought about by a relatively small group or cabal of people without necessarily (depending on the theory at hand) the aid of futuristic or supernatural powers with the aim of altering the current state of affairs.
SPCs are what I would think of as possible theories. That is, although it may be unlikely, there is no physical or logical impossibility to their existence and their potential minimal level of complexity is low. In fact history has shown that a number of times their conspiracies are real; for example the assassination of GJC (Gaius Julius Caesar) or any number of coup d’état.
The next level of conspiracies is pluralistic or what Tony calls Meta Conspiracies (MC). Think of these as a conspiracy theory involving a set of other SPC. These share the same conditions as SPCs with regards to size of cabal and powers needed (i.e. not supernatural).
So the assignation of J.F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. each one in themselves a SPC, were in themselves part of some overarching master conspiracy. Like SPC, the perpetrators of this master or Meta Conspiracy are normal people…in this example maybe the KGB, CIA, or the mafia.
The last level of conspiracies is what Tony calls Meta historical continuing conspiracy theories…..but I think the term trans-temporal Meta conspiracies (TMC). These are like Meta conspiracies in that they involve a master plan of other conspiracies but this plan is not to be executed over a human lifetime but over hundreds to millions of years. Because of this extended timeline, the perpetrators cannot be mortal or human. So, this type of conspiracy places aliens, demons or some mutant humans at the center of the conspiracy. One can stretch this to include some fundamental fanatical ‘cult’, however history has yet to show us the kind of consistency and dedication a trans-millennium plot would require from any existing group…even from the famous Opus Dei has not been around for a century.
This defines one axis of analysis, the scope of the conspiracy. I would add to this another axis regarding the ‘coordination’ required or necessary. I referred to this already as potential minimal complexity.
On one level you would have what I would refer to as natural conspiracies of faux-speracies. These are uncoordinated actions that cause what appears to be a conspiracy event. For example, the tendencies for markets to become near-monopolies is not (necessarily) part of some plot by a cabal of plotters.
Those conspiracies that require coordination amongst a group of individuals are simple conspiracies. That is, using my last example, if the CEOs of a number of industry leaders got together to drive-out the competition and carve up the market between them.
The next level of complexity requires the coordination of hundreds of people across several entities. This might include something like 9-11 was an ‘inside’ job. For this conspiracy to work, you would need to coordinate hundreds if not thousands of people across several agencies. The simplest of these theories require a group of people to place charges in the buildings (maybe CIA), another group to hijack the planes (Air Force), other groups to ensure the ‘evidence’ was covered up (FBI) and then of course the White House where the entire plan originated.
Another factor to this axis is secrecy. By definition as conspiracy must be hidden from public (or at least victim) view. As the technical complexity increase so does, in what I think would be in an exponential way, the difficulty in remaining hidden.
Another important axis of conspiracy theories is the epistemological or practical possibility. This refers to the tools required to pull off the conspiracy. For example, some versions of the 9-11 conspiracies postulate the use of airplanes piloted by suicide operatives…i.e. a real plane piloted by real people slammed into the buildings…the tools or tech required to do this is simple and at hand. Some theories say the planes were remotely controlled; again this tech, less reliable and more intricate, it was possible then and common place now. Other theories say there were no planes at all involved but what was witnessed were 3D holograms of planes. This would require a new technology of sufficient advancement as to not likely to exist even in the near decades.
So, now with these three axis of comparison we can create a graph of the likelihood of a conspiracy theory being possible. Of course the one axis I have not included is the truthiness of the conspiracy. This is perhaps where the least is known (again by definition conspiracies are supposed to be hidden to the quantity, quality and validity of evidences is necessary limited.
Of course, one can find ‘smoking guns’ that support a particular theory but this truthiness axis has a divisor…the Occam’s razor factor. If a piece of evidence can more probably be attributed to some non-conspiratory or normal explanation, this Occam’s razor factor becomes higher. So, if the conspiracy evidence is the most probable then we have a 1/1 ratio…i.e. it is supporting evidence. If there 10 other more likely explanations; the ratio becomes 1/10…i.e. it barely supports. I don’t want to make this too mathy, but I think you get my point.
Okay, so we now have a standard frame-work to assess and compare conspiracies theories…include a way to separate real vs. fantasy conspiracies. A work in progress…I think I shall do a follow up post defining this multidimensional analysis of conspiracy theories, any thoughts?
This is what happens when you ‘sit down’ and talk to people about stuff…
This entry was posted on March 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm and is filed under Blogs, Don's Blogs. Tagged: conspiracy theory, fauxsperacies, Meta Conspiracies, Meta historical continuing conspiracy theories, pluralistic Conspiracies, political science, single point conspiracy, social science, Tony Sobrado, trans-temporal Meta conspiracies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.