Popular conspiracy theories (or "pandemic-pandaoid” as one nurse diagnosed them) are the default mode of people who aren’t confident with facts or competent with communications. These are also the worst.

Like the theories that omnipresent government surveillance operations are murdering millions of people (Nomadic American Conspiracy); that Nancy Pelosi faked a collapse (SpeakerNancyPlunderedsOMEbodysomebodyelse); or that the CIA is secretly feeding public announcements to skeptical Americans (SpyingOnAmericansOnSomeBigAirChannel.com); the language and explanation of these ideas appears to confuse the American public with less rationality than Sebastian Gorka. But our culture abhors complexity. Unlike school children, our beliefs aren’t about logic—they’re about gut reaction and ideological protection.

I spent a year studying QAnon and its consequences: people willing to give any credence to it, from people who produce conspiracy theory articles, to people who spread them.

A great read for anyone wondering what the QAnon movement is all about (in particular, Q is an acronym for “Quietly, Accurately and Soundly”).

That someone with billions of dollars could create the virus responsible for bringing down nations and anthrax campaigns is no time for the cold. Trump’s presidency provides a perfect outlet for people who find complexity too infuriating.