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The following material is quite off-topic from what is normally posted on my blog.  It also refers to regular people who do not have significant mental illness or other barriers which make it difficult to comprehend reality.  It represents an opinion by a person not terribly interested in conspiracy theories.

My idea is that regular people who make or follow conspiracy theories do so because they have not read enough fiction.  It could be fairy and folk tales, myths, scifi, fantasy, Harry Potter, what have you:  they haven’t read it.  It does not matter to me if the delivery method is electronic or dead tree format:  they haven’t been exposed to story.

Television, YouTube, movies, and news articles can take you a large part of the way.  It is admirable and civic-minded to keep abreast of a large body of nonfiction:  news, politics, history, science, and the like.  It is good to be aware of what is going on in the world and how you relate to it as a whole.

However, humans have a very deep-seated need for story.  If they do not find one in their day-to-day lives, they will make something up.  Fiction fulfills that need very nicely.  A person can relate to the protagonist of a given story, learn that dragons can be beaten, (to paraphrase Neil Gaiman,) and learn how to present a coherent narrative.  A person also learns to recognize false narratives and themes.  That is a very valuable ability to have.

Without story, we are lost, and so we make something up to fill the need to tell tales to each other.  With story, we still tell tales, but we can also recognize when tales are being told, and to guard against them if necessary.

Keep it civil, people.

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