24 June, 2016
The human brain is a highly efficient pattern matching machine. From the acuity with which our visual system can identify objects, to the emotional facilities we use to assess our social environment, through to our intellect and insight, we find and exploit patterns in the data – it’s what we do.
It is this very ability which leads to the exponential growth of ideas and innovation which characterise human culture.
It also means that when presented with a range of concepts, we tend to create a narrative which explains their connection. We like to make sense of the world – the more we understand, the more comfortable we are. (Evidence suggests that the core of our consciousness is better understood as post-hoc explanation, rather than direct perception. )
We find patterns to explain the world.
However, when we consider broader events and ideas, much larger than ourselves, we can sometimes react with suspicion and fear. In the realm of unknowable ideas, all sorts of patterns can be found.
Our emotional selves tend to view the unknown with a degree of trepidation, and this makes evolutionary sense – the night is dark and full of terrors, after all. Some imagine shadowy cabals manipulating the globe to their own nefarious ends. Sometimes these suspicions are proven right, but more often they remain in the realm of the ineffable.
@conspiracybot1 attempts to engender this feeling of unease by presenting disparate, but temporally proximal, ideas together to allude to a deeper connection.
The events have been harvested from wikipedia’s page-of-the-day. The first event mentioned always falls on the current calendar day, the second chosen at random from the rest of the chosen year. The selection is biased towards popularity (as measured by wikipedia page rank) and suspicion (conspiracy theory related events are preferred).
The bot produces a new possible conspiracy up to 3 times a day.
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