It has been argued that we are again living in a golden age of conspiracy theories. Indeed, a “rabble of cranks and conspiracy theorists” descended on central London over the weekend.
When people march with placards calling Covid a hoax and linking the virus to 5G, we tend to dismiss them as idiots, or cite the Dunning-Kruger effect: the idea that stupid people don’t know they are stupid, and as such they walk around with delusions of intellectual grandeur. And while there is some research to support this, it is worth considering another factor: fear and unpredictability. That conspiracy theories may ease feelings of uncertainty has been strikingly apparent during Covid. Those drawn to Covid conspiracy theories are not necessarily stupid – they’re scared and desperate to feel in control. (edited comments from New Statesman and The Week 26 July 2021).
My comment: So maybe they are scared, but that, in my opinion does not excuse selfishness. These people put others at risk as they urge the “human right” not to wear masks in public places, and not to be vaccinated.
I spoke to a woman in Washington State some months ago on a business matter. She aggressively opined during the call that covid was a hoax and that she did not believe in science (bogus) or the government in Washington DC (a conspiracy). I quickly rang off – she did not in the least sound scared or desperate, just closed-minded, crazy and scary).