From ‘stonefruit’ in the comments at Rigorous Intuition:

“The pervasive stereotype of the conspiracy theorist is that of a paranoid, hyper-vigilant figure synthesizing an epic quantity of signs and symbols to draw up idiosyncratic arraignments of shadowy forces directing world affairs from behind the scenes. This caricature of a hard-driven eccentric loner, battling the unseen wielding only the weapon of information, has been drawn in a variety of movies, television programs, and books. Paradigmatic examples include Mel Gibson’s character in Richard Donner’s film Conspiracy Theory, the JFK assassination researcher in Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking indie classic Slacker, numerous characters in Pynchon and Delillo novels, and – of course – the Fox Mulder character on the hit series The X – Files. It was The X – Files that first brought this figure into the mainstream, by capitalizing on the broad overlap between conspiracy theory and UFOlogy. Indeed the program’s mottoes (“Trust no one” and “The truth is out there”) also exemplify the epistemological double-bind of many paranoid conspiracy theorists – or “conspiranoiacs.”

In spite of the tremendous energy exponents of the conventional wisdom put into denigrating conspiranoiac social, political, and historical analysis, such ideas resonate with a large enough portion of the general population to support a substantial cottage industry. Entrepreneurs working in this field include people such people as Art Bell, David Ickes, Alex Jones, Russ Kick, and many others, all typically very savvy in cross-promoting their work through the internet, radio, books, video, and lectures.”



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