technically, specialness is irrefutable

I don't know about other places, but in the USA lots of people experience their existences as amazing coincidences.

They are in the dominant country on the habitable planet in the most fortunate age. Ever. As humans, they are the dominant species. How could they not feel special? What a coincidence!

These people experience coincidence itself as an ally, as a positive force.

Abstractions become involved, making this large subset of Americans a tribe of coincidence theorists. This is why so many Americans will accept explanations for things that are riddled with unlikelihoods.

For example, you can tell them a story where --by amazing coincidence-- a bullet goes three people, changes direction and emerges intact, and not only do they have no problem with this, they even like the feeling when they believe it.

The crazier the story the more flattered they are.

More recently these people heard about an election where every machine-count matched but every paper ballot count did not match. They had no problem with this coincidence. ... Their specialness is their explanation. Special stuff like that just happens to them! When they are alive!

When someone tells them coincidence does not exist, that there is another explanation (that they are not special) the threat to them is deeper than politics.

So they lash out and call the truth-tellers 'conspiracy theorists'.

I repeat: the threat to them is deeper than politics.

modified: 2008-02-12