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Welcome to another MF’in Monday email, the only weekly newsletter that probably has a worse hangover than you do. Every week, I present three interesting ideas to hopefully make us all less terrible human beings. This week we’re talking 1) conspiracy theories — why do people believe them? 2) good news: the great mental health collapse of 2020 may have been greatly exaggerated and 3) some new science that suggests that swearing is useful!
Let’s get into it.
1. Why people believe crazy things - Over the past two months, I have been receiving a steady stream of crazy conspiracy-laden emails—far more than usual. These range from your typical anti-vaccine nonsense to “5G data networks causes coronavirus” to the idea that the entire pandemic (or, excuse me, “plandemic”) is a well-coordinated hoax by some shadowy international cabal looking to… I don’t know, make lots of money, or something.
Many other readers have emailed me over the past month saying that they are alarmed at how many of their otherwise smart, well-adjusted friends and family have gone looney tunes recently and bought into this nonsense. They have asked me what it is about these theories that is so appealing. Why do smart …
Hey, sorry to interrupt…
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