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Teaching people to write, draw, and more can protect us from conspiracy theories. Let me explain since such a statement requires a lot of explanation.
In my last few posts, I explored how Conspiracy Theorists activities are a creative act, how their actions mapped to my creative theories, and the theorists’ motivations. People wanting a sense of power and real power turn to conspiracy theories, fueled by their creative energies. I think this view of conspiracy theories having a creative element provides additional ways to protect ourselves from them.
In David Niewart‘s excellent book “Red Pill, Blue Pill,” he explores the current grip such theories have and ways to cure it. You should get his book, but his recommendations include empathy, how to work with people, and how to inoculate people against disinformation. I’d add teaching people to use their creativity is part of that inoculation.
Previously I identified three ways creativity helps spread conspiracy theories:
- People’s creativity is harnessed to spin theories – often to serve their egos and insecurities.
- People maliciously use imagination to create wild tales to manipulate others – for profit and their egos.
- Of both of them, there is an addictive rush to using creativity.
So let me propose that we inoculate people against conspiracy theories by encouraging them and teaching them to use their creativity. Allow me to go into detail:
Creativity is about communication. When one learns about creativity, one learns both how to communicate and how communication works. They will better understand what people are trying to say – and identify manipulation.
Creativity teaches one how their mind works. When you learn how to be creative, analyze your art, and understand yourself, you see how you think and imagine. One is better armored against deceiving oneself.
Creativity lets one see how others are creative. A person versed in creative acts – combined with good information practices – can easily detect conspiracy theories. In short, one knows how others imaginatively manipulate information.
Creative experience also lets one find healthy and responsible ways to use their creative ability. The conspiracy world bursts with failed actors and scriptwriters, the ambitious, and those feeling unappreciated. A healthy appreciation for creativity may give them healthy outlets.
(If you’re one of the people who’ve been annoyed at less emphasis on the humanities, this sounds familiar I am sure.)
Will encouraging creativity solve everything? Hardly. This is merely a useful addition to what we have to do, albeit a fun one.
As for how to implement this, such detail is a post of its own – and one requiring more thought. Let me give some starters.
- Each of us who is a creative can support and encourage others to use their skills.
- We can push for creative and media education, alongside information health.
- We creatives can increase awareness of responsible and irresponsible creativity – my posts are a humble example.
- We can share our knowledge with those fighting disinformation.
- Also, encourage teaching the humanities, as noted.
Hopefully, my own work has provided a useful clue for readers. Certainly, it’s given me something to think about and to explore in future posts. For now, we creatives can use this as an additional tool in our arsenal as we battle conspiracy theories – and remember each person we help grow may be further armored against them.