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Conspiracy Theory Is A Loser’s Script

Conspiracy Theory is fascinating, but only to a point.

That terminal point for me is when you realize that it is all based on what Robert Anton Wilson called a “Loser Script.” RAW’s model of winner vs. loser scripts (archived) for each of his “eight circuits” is illuminating to be sure.

By loser script, I mean here that it is a mental program through which one perceives the world – a filter, if you will – but one which locks the perceiver into a position of being a loser in the game of life relative to the rest of the world.

So when I run a loser script on my BrainOS, I project my feelings of being a loser onto exterior events and use this to filter & color my interpretations of things. And it is self-reinforcing. The more I project my loser feelings outward onto others, the more I find opportunities to prove that they are valid and “true.”

It is a problem that is not just epidemic in conspiracy theory thinking, but literally forms the basis of it. While conspiracy theorists like to believe that they are “just asking questions,” what they’re doing usually is quite different. They are trying to validate their emotional state outwardly. They believe (perhaps based at least partly on lived experience) that some other group is more powerful than them. They are jealous of what they perceive as the power and status of others, and as a result end up both vilifying it (“those people have so much power –> and are evil”), while also secretly worshipping it (“I wish I were powerful like them, but I’m not, and never will be”).

Have you ever noticed it’s basically impossible to tell a story in the conspiracy theory genre without a bad guy? Name one conspiracy theory with no overarching enemy or source of evil. You can’t. It’s part of the narrative package and is the underlying source of conflict that drives the drama as an adversarial narrative.

But the drama is always the same:

  • “I am good but I am weak & I am oppressed…”
  • “They are powerful, but they are bad & they are the source of my oppression…”
  • “Because I am weak, I could never be powerful, because the powerful are bad…”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Oppression exists. Imbalances of power exist. Inequality exists. Much of it is so deeply ingrained in our society and our institutions that it is effectively invisible, but you know it’s there on some deep, dark, festering level. It’s why conspiracy theories excite us in the first place; it’s why they feel emotionally real.

The fact is, you *are* being lied to. Society *is* trying to manipulate you into some shape that doesn’t necessarily fit everyone, and is in many respects arbitrary. But so what, are you gonna sit around crying about it on the internet forever? Because that is a surefire recipe for continuing to be oppressed and controlled, and buffeted by the ill winds of fate, rather than taking control of your experience, and of your destiny itself.

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, called this the “sphere of the moral purpose.” While you cannot control outward events (such as death, imprisonment, etc.), you can control your reactions to them to some degree. This is the world that lies within the sphere of the moral purpose. You get to choose what happens within your head and your heart. And in doing this, you can begin to transform your reactions out of a self-reinforcing loser’s script into a self-reinforcing winner’s script.

Here’s a short video of Robert Anton Wilson talking through these ideas:

The danger of conspiracy theory thinking is not strictly believing wrong things (and thereby having a faulty basis for living), or getting sucked into toxic cesspools of hateful and violent rhetoric (a very real danger), but being lulled into inaction and feeling powerful about taking illusory & inherently weak “actions” that have no impact on the true state of things.

Consider this use case: “Group x is very bad and powerful, and I am exposing them by writing this long rant on Reddit, and then waiting for others to validate my feelings, and attacking anyone who disagrees with my poorly laid out logic…”

This is not a winner script. This is a loser script that is pretending to be a winner script. When losers “expose” what they perceive to be “evil winners,” they are only reinforcing & widening the vast gulf that separates them. They are, in effect, actively supporting the power structures they claim to be attacking.

Does this mean we shouldn’t seek truth, ask questions, or expose injustice? Far from it. We should do all of those things, and vigorously. But we should do it from the perspective of the winner. From the perspective of the person who has seen the sorrow and the chaos, the degradation and the stupidity that rules the world, but who despite being trampled by it and nearly overrun, has instead managed to rise above & overcome it. First in their own heart & mind, and then in the world, where they are empowered to take real non-illusory actions, and effectuate actual meaningful change. That, to me, is the only viable way forward. Everything else is worshiping your oppressor & cherishing your own powerlessness, which is a cycle that will never end until you stand up and choose to end it for yourself and in yourself.

Dictionary Definitions & The Hyperreal, Part 5

In part 3 of this series, I looked at one of the ways the Hyperreal works on a question & answer website like Quora.

If you’ve never used Quora, it’s basically a site where people go to ask other people things they could just as easily look up in a search engine. And then other people take those things, look them up in a search engine, and reply to the original asker with usually the answers they found in a search engine, plus usually some condescending remarks. In other words, it’s a great experience for everybody, clearly.

As I began to see those patterns take shape, I came up with an idea. What if I could just seed the answers I wanted into Google results? This way, I could ask leading questions anonymously (which Quora allows), knowing people would just Google them, and then their answers could help me launder content further along the spectrum of the hyperreal.

Having experimented a lot with Medium, I knew that it would be relatively easy to rank quickly in Google (often occurs within a few hours). So I set up a kind of meta-data thirst trap account, “pretending to be” dictionary definitions. I put “pretending to be” in quotes because, really, I have as much of a right to define words as anyone else. There’s no monopoly on language. It’s a living thing…

The Medium account is:

https://medium.com/@define.words (archived)

I also set up a “publication” on Medium to further strengthen my SEO:

https://medium.com/online-dictionary (archived)

Looks pretty legit (despite dark-mode in screen shot), if I say so myself!

I would definitely believe “Online Dictionary” and so should you! What’s not to believe with all this meta-data!

Then I set up about defining some words & concepts, complete with pronunciation guides, and usage examples, so Google would hoover them up, and it did! Usually within a few hours.

You know, common everyday words most people use like Hieruthian (archived), Crypto-Civilization (archived), and Poesiarchy (archived).

Google will happily purr them back out to you as “correct” answers to definitions of these common Quatrian words & concepts.

And thus as a result, on the marvelous “can you Google this for me” website that is Quora, you will get results like these if you ask the right leading questions to lead people into your meta-data thirst traps:

Example throughput:

What does the word “poesiarchy” mean? (archived)

Quora response:

A highly creative answer, to be sure. And this “reality lurking in the shadowy peripher of our lives just waiting for a chance to manifest” mentioned by the responder sounds, in fact, just like hyperreality — the quarry of our present inquiry. So maybe this person landed on the secret inner meaning, despite the false trappings & trail that had been laid down to entrap them…

Sidenote: I only planted about 5-6 of these definitions. Imagine if someone did hundreds, or thousands, and free dictionary aggregator sites picked them up. If they were good & useful words, how long would it be before they made their way into real people’s everyday vocabularies? Perhaps not long at all.

Tangent:

Speaking of free dictionaries online, this one of “cultural layer” (archived) is pretty interesting.

It begins with a disclaimer: “The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.”

Perhaps all dictionaries should have a disclaimer that they might be outdated and potentially biased?

Further, the OSINT trail for “The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition” is anything but comprehensive – at least in English. There’s a 2016 blogspot source called Russian World Citizens Project (archived) which itself is pretty sketchy looking, and only points back to this same site as a source.

It might be “real” but it might also be hyperreal…

Does the difference even matter?

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