Sunday, January 21, 2007

Is Steve right?

There are many conspiracy theories regarding just about everything out there these days. What is the one conspiracy theory that you've heard about recently? Not that you necessarily believe in it. But one that you simply remember hearing about.

Or what about your own personal conspiracy theory?

Steve's personal conspiracy theory concerns his parents and his parent's generation. Steve says, "I believe that my Baby Boomer parents and their generation as a whole consciously and deliberately place and construct obstacles in front of the generations who are behind the Baby Boomer generation (especially my generation, Generation X). I think that Baby Boomers do this mostly in the workplace, where they constantly change the rules in order to benefit themselves. And I'm convinced that these Baby Boomer generational attitudes towards the other generations is not just taking place in America, but permeates Baby Boomers throughout the world in virtually every country."

Steve believes that if you can remember and understand how you handled your parents (or how you should have handled your parents) when you were growing up, then you'll know how to get on properly and successfully in the world today.

Steve, a 38-year-old father
of two children (ages 8 and 6),
both of which have recently
been diagnosed with Autism.


[NOTE: As far as legitimate conspiracy theory, the question this post is getting at is: What's the difference (or what is the fine line) between a personal paranoia or paranoic viewpoint, and an actual bonafide conspiracy theory? What do you think?]

24 comments:

Good for Me said...

thanks for the additional insight. i was struggling to understand how Steve's view qualified as a conspiracy.

/t. said...

does
steve work
for his parents?

...

each generation has a unique way of thinking, i think -- of course, birds of a feather do often flock together, like, like atracting like, or, like-mindedness attracting similar thinking -- but this is just natural, isn't it?

birds do it (maybe bees) and generations of people do it -- what conspiracy?

talking about tens of millions of boomers -- when was the last time you got even two boomers to stop doing their thing long enough to agree on anything?

/t.

flic said...

Hello, good for me- Yes, without the red ink, it was just Steve's coping mechanism that was up there.

/t.- Steve is an accountant for a large transportation firm. And funny enough, he's mentioned that he's done some (accounting) work for his parents in the past.

I've had a chance to talk with Steve quite extensively over the months because of his kids coming into the hospital because of their autism. He has no qualms about being included on this blog.

Steve constantly talks and relates everything negative about his own life and the world around him today to this "conspiracy theory" of his.

I'm one year younger than Steve, and he knows that. He says he doesn't mind talking to me about his views. So I've been asking him to elaborate on his "theory" more, on paper.

Matina said...

That's not too far-fetched. Would he then conclude that this has been the case for prior generations, also? Like before the Baby Boomers? Maybe that's where they got the idea.

Matina said...

Oh, and, how would one describe what Baby Boomers are currently going through with health care and retirement? Looks like they're screwed along with the rest of us gen X ers.

flic said...

Good points, matina! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

But maybe they've screwed things up for themselves as well without knowing it until it was too late. If Steve is right.

But you're right, "That's not too far-fetched." So again, what makes this a general viewpoint that might just be paranoid thinking in flavor and not an actual conspiracy theory? Or just simply actual fact?

When something (a viewpoint) becomes considered "that's just the way it is", and if enough people believe that it is so: does that in itself make the viewpoint a conspiracy or not a conspiracy or an opinion or a fact?

Matina said...

It's not a fact until it is proven.
Some are easily swayed into thinking something is fact without it being proved as such.

When I think of the word "paranoid", in relation to this topic, I think of someone who lets their belief control every aspect of their life to the point where they lose a sense of control. Given the information provided, Steve doesn't strike me as someone who's "paranoid", but he does appear as someone who consciously examines his situation. And, perhaps, sees things differently, or tries to explain them in ways he feels will better his understanding of his parents and their age group.

flic said...

I like your way of thinking, matina.

Now what if he explains everything around him "in ways he feels will better his understanding of his parents and their age group," and also at the same time he doesn't get "to the point where he loses a sense of control"?

Can we thus count his viewpoint (generally speaking) as a conspiracy theory, or would it be an opinion?

And can something be a fact and not yet be proven? In other words, does a fact sit there and not be a fact just because it hasn't been proven? Or is a fact a fact whether no one recognizes it or not?

I appreciate your grounded reasoning on this topic! Please go on.

Matina said...

Thanks, Flic! I've never really given thought to conspiracy theories until now. This is a fun exercise.

To answer your question, my opinion is that he is reflecting on his own opinion, but it is not a conspiracy theory because his view is not widely known of.

As for fact, I guess it could be a fact even if it's not proven, but it makes the fact harder to believe as fact if it is not proven. I guess I have a more scientific approach to this question because I firmy believe in proof before a hypothesis can become a fact. If there's no proof, there's always room for debate.

flic said...

matina-

1. "he is reflecting on his own opinion, but it is not a conspiracy theory because his view is not widely known of."

2. "I guess it could be a fact even if it's not proven, but it makes the fact harder to believe as fact if it is not proven."

I think you've put all things conspiracy theory and all things paranoid into a clear perspective with the two statements above. Nicely done!

Matina said...

Thanks again, Flic. Somehow I'm imagining a gold star sticker, with an exclamation in red ink.
Ha-ha ;-)

carrie said...

to me this is all boring. not trying to insult. just saying i don't see what is so interesting about it.

flic said...

matina- Yes, you definitely get the gold star sticker with an exclamation mark in red ink!

flic said...

Sorry carrie, but I was just wondering about the difference between basic paranoic thinking and the legitimacy of conspiracy theory, partly because of bumping into Steve and his family the other day at the hospital.

And I'm very much appreciative to matina for the insights she pointed out to me.

I apologize if you were bored carrie. :)

carrie said...

i'm actually just interested in how something can seem so interesting to someone else and i'm just not getting it. that's what i think is interesting. i wasn't meaning to be derogatory.

flic said...

carrie- Well, I'm glad you got some interest out of it in some way. And that, I think is the key (to happiness, to finding interest in the world around you, to being active and observant and alive, to exercising your imagination, to enjoying life, etc.)

P.S. I'd like to write a post just for you. Give me something to work with. What would be highly interesting for you? Give me a topic or a subject, or even some details. Seriously.

Helga von porno said...

I don't think it is conspiracy theory at all, just a generalization. The quality of a generalisation depends on how similar the group are to one another and the proportion of the group to which the generalisation applies. "Baby boomers frustrate other generations" is on a sliding scale with "Israelis are rude" "Mathematicians are mysogynist" "Schizophrenics are violent" "water boils at 100 degrees centigrade". To class as a conspiracy theory, the baby boomers have to collaborate explicitly. There maybe a certain amount of evidence for this in lyrics by the Who, Bob Dylan and others, but most of these are directed at previous generations rather than future generations. However the baby boomers in the 80s acted collectively to decrease public services and taxation through political reform and this could be seen as a collective effort to harm generation X as education and public services became decreasingly funded so that middle aged people could have more money to spend on themselves. so it in even reasonable as a conspiracy theory, as well as generalisation. My advice is to take the moral high ground and return baby boomer selfishness with kindness and compassion as they get old and their power wanes.

flic said...

helga von porno- Thanks for your insight, as well! And I really like your advice. I think your advice will take a person to a higher ground and to a much better or more advantageous place than otherwise.

You said, "My advice is to take the moral high ground and return baby boomer selfishness with kindness and compassion as they get old and their power wanes."

Good stuff!

Good for Me said...

can't get into this
for reason unknown to me
yes, the pink is back!

flic said...

good for me- No worries. Yes, the pink is back!

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