Stephen Colbert had author David Aaronovitch on the show last night to talk about his new book "Voodoo Histories," which picks apart the role of conspiracy theories in the way people view the world. His goal in the book, Aaronovitch said, was to find out "why perfectly intelligent people believe really dumb things."
The conclusion he comes to is that people find conspiracy theories preferable to the truth:
A conspiracy theories makes the world better, because it means that somebody has planned every single thing that there is going to be.
People make up theories like the U.S. government planning the 9/11 attacks because they want to believe that their government could be so in control that they could plan something like that, when the truth is that things are much more messy, less controlled, Aaronovitch explained. Colbert wondered, however, "if conspiracy theories are not true, then how can guys like me and Glenn Beck get so rich selling them?"
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