"In Search Of A Flat Earth" is Dan Olson's 1:16m documentary about the true nature of conspiratorial thinking, AKA "Why do some people think the Earth is flat?" (and also that Qanon is real, etc).
This is a subject I'm really interested in. I think we grossly overemphasize the role that algorithms play, and largely ignore the role that corruption and other real-world "conspiracies" play in making other conspiracy theories seem plausible.
But I don't think that algorithms are irrelevant, nor do I think that everything can be explained by the trauma of living through real-world conspiracies - like the ones that led to wage stagnation, deindustrialization, and skyrocketing health and housing costs.
And this is where Olson comes in: he does a fantastic and illuminating (and often entertaining) job of showing how conspiracism is multifactorial, and the role that fascism plays in conspiratorial thinking and its drive to reduce complex problems to simple, sinister cabals.
And he points out something that I hadn't entirely internalized about Qanon: it's a literal death cult. The core tenets of its adherents include the idea that their enemies should be mass-murdered. Seen in that light, it's no wonder than Q stuff is so creepy.
76 minutes' worth of video is a big ask, and to be honest, I listened to (rather than watched) most of this (it still worked). Despite the length, I'd recommend it. Olson's made a real contribution to the discourse around conspiracism and the digital world.
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