Is it too much respect to beliefs that just aren't respectable? I really like Asimov's essay, The Relativity of Wrong and that suggests another approach. One place I like to start with the wilder conspiracy advocates is to acknowledge that there are conspiracies. Watergate, Iran-Contra, Iraq WMDs and the Niger yellowcake forgeries, etc. are proven conspiracies. Some are more known and less wrong... even what we know about the proven ones may still be "wrong" to some degree.
Originally Posted by Mick
I like what motivates Julian Assange as described here:
There's a trend toward openness that Wikileaks exemplified. It's inspired similar new services like the recently announced Honest Appalachia which has developed a whole platform for supporting leak services. The TED 2012 global theme is radical openness.
If total conspiratorial power is zero, then clearly there is no information flow between the conspirators and hence no conspiracy. A substantial increase or decrease in total conspiratorial power almost always means what we expect it to mean; an increase or decrease in the ability of the conspiracy to think, act and adapt…An authoritarian conspiracy that cannot think is powerless to preserve itself against the opponents it induces.
So I use these things to try to instill a sense of hope that the trend toward openness, including the ubiquity of cell phone cameras and citizen journalists/bloggers, means that the real conspiracies have to restrict their communications and limit the connections between members to avoid exposure. That inhibits their ability to function as Assange notes. The trend toward openness should make conspiracies less and less effective over time.
Some of my bias for radical openness comes from my day job.
I do understand what you mean about it being too confusing for some. In general I try to elevate the level of discussion, and I don't have enough tolerance for the lowest common denominator.