Not a conspiracy theory

There are many conspiracy theories in this world. Loose Change is likely not one of them.

I had a conversation with a friend last night and inevitably high fuel prices came up.  We had a bit of mass hysteria here in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday as a rumour spread that the petrol stations would be closed for 3 days due to some or other strike.

There were some talks of unhappiness about petrol commissions and losing out due to credit card payments, but no firm plans to strike (which is apparently illegal anyway for petrol kiosks, a seller of controlled items).

Nevertheless, the rumours spread like wildfire and by 3pm on Tuesday the roads started jamming up as people rushed to fill their cars.  KKliens, whenever there’s more than 2 people participating, seems to throw all rules, traffic and otherwise, out the window and quickly petrol stations were jammed from all sides as people pushed and shoved and tried to cut their way to the front.

The queues into the petrol stations spilled onto the roads, blocking single lane and, in many places, double lane roads and by 5.30 when I left worked, the entire city was grid-locked.  I passed petrol stations where people had entered from both the entrance and the exit and with the stations jammed, nobody could go anywhere.

I eventually made it to Julia’s where we hung out at the pool until about 7.30pm waiting for the traffic, passing at glacial speeds, to clear.  Police drove around town broadcasting over loudspeakers that the rumours are false.  I received a text message from The Star at 7.51pm also announcing this.

So back to our conversation; we spoke about how gullible we as humans sometimes are and that if enough people believe something, whether it’s true or not, it will be perceived as truth.

Governments manipulating this gullibility and herd mentality came up.

There are many governments today that lie to their people, but none are under the spotlight quite as brightly as the American government.  I’ve read many articles calling George W. Bush the worst US president and biggest liar in history and starting wars under false pretenses to benefit in various ways, most notably stakes in oil.

But the lies and deceit go much further than fabricated evidence about Iraq’s real threat to the world. Much, much deeper.

I’m not sure why I haven’t stumbled across this before, or even heard of it prior to my friend bringing it up last night.  Loose Change is a documentary looking at 9/11 from an angle you never contemplated. Or perhaps you have.

It’s an hour and a bit long, but the time will pass in a flash.

1 Comment

  • Simply

    4 July 2008 at 11:36

    That is a pretty crazy story about the run on gas. It does illustrate how important gas is to people.

    I wonder if we are more likely to believe rumors about things that are really important to us, or if it is just more obvious because of the drastic responses….

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