Tip for predictors: avoid conspiracy theories; movie rental

If you happened to read the last post as soon as I put it up, you might have seen some rapid-fire edits. Besides proof reading, there was, initially, the suggestion that Maliki’s actions might be motivated by something other than stupidity. Then I realized that the wording was suggestive of conspiracy, i.e.,

“Maliki is secretly paid off by the Iranians”, “Maliki siphons Iraqi oil money”, or even, “Maliki wants the dissolution of Iraq.”

These are examples of conspiratorial embellishments, and run contrary to the most useful tool of all analytic thought, Occam’s Razor:

*The most simple explanation is most likely to be true.*

Everything that is happening in Iraq can be explained without resort to hidden conspiracy. On the other hand, there is obvious (not hidden) conspiracy, by the Iranians, and, known by the nature of the politics, of Iraqi politicians. Only the details are unknown, and relatively unimportant in dissecting the problem.

Hamid Karzai has admitted to getting “bags of money” from both Iran and the CIA. In our part of the world, that would point to conspiracy. But there, bags of money are a way of making government function. Perhaps traffic jams in Baghdad are caused by bag men making the rounds. But if everyone is conspiring, it takes the attractiveness out of overarching conspiracy theories.

A delicious paranoic movie, as seen by a conspiracy theorist, is Pascali’s Island. Since it stars Ben Kingsley, you know it’s good. No spoilers here.

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