Monday, May 25
Today I returned to walking briskly along my usual routes, listening to a podcast. I listened to Sarah Dunnant talking about the limits of rationality, and the reasons people find conspiracies to explain their inabiliy to achieve their goals.
She drew attention to the first example of this, which took place shortly after the French revolution, when plenty of real conspiracies genuinely took place. The government sent troops to quell a popular uprising and explained the resulting military defeat as the result of a small cabal of aristocrats and forign spies.
She discussed this with Hugo Drochon as an early conspiracy theory that served a clear political aim, that of explaining away an apparently inexplicable defeat; yet took place “within the arch-rational framework of the Enlightenment”.
As I come to the end of Helytie (which means Glitter Road, and has exactly that name in Swedish: Glittervågen), on my way home, I notice the black cat like creature painted onto the side of a recycling bin.
Ah ha, I think: a black cat like creature painted onto the side of a recycling bin.