Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Boston Bombing

A Critique of Conspiracy Theories

Increasingly just about any time anything tragic happens there will be some number of people who will immediately jump to the conclusion that the government did it. 9/11? An inside job. Newtown school shooting? A government plot to take our guns. Boston Bombing? A false flag operation. The most recent one that spurred this post is the killing of Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen immigrant whom the FBI chose to question as part of its investigation of the Boston Bombing. He was questioned by an FBI agent and two state troopers. The FBI says that Todashev attacked their agent, presenting an imminent threat to that agent’s life, and as a result the agent chose to shoot him. Corroborating the FBI’s account, the agent was hospitalised with injuries. Regardless, the FBI is investigating the incident.Yet, despite this, some people think that the FBI just went into Todashev’s home and killed him for some reason, or no reason, and that this incident suggests that our government is totalitarian and just goes around shooting people all the time. Why do people believe these conspiracy theories?

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The Boston Bombing, Compassion, and Entertainment

It’s been a tough week for America. A few days ago, the Boston Marathon was bombed. Then, yesterday, a Texas fertilizer plant blew up. At the time of writing, we know the Boston bombing was deliberate, but we do not know who did it. It killed 3 people. We do not know the cause of the fertilizer plant explosion. It may have been an accident or it may have been deliberate. We know it killed 14. In both cases, over 100 were injured. A lot of people said that the stories of heroism and compassion in response to the Boston bombing reinforced a positive view of humanity. I have come away with the opposite impression, and it’s not directly due to any element of the response to the Boston bombing–so far, that response has been, as far as I can tell, quite good. No, this reinforces a negative view of humanity for me not because of the reaction to the Boston bombing itself, but because of the comparative lack of reaction to the Texas explosion. Let me explain further. Read the rest of this entry »