The following text is a partial translation of the original Russian article, performed by ChatGPT (gpt-3.5-turbo) and this Jekyll plugin:

“Что общего у Деда Мороза и коронавируса?”

I remember when I was four years old. There was a New Year’s performance at the kindergarten, of course, with the magical Ded Moroz (Father Frost) and his no less magical Snow Maiden. It was just a fairy tale, but after the holiday, I tried to explain to my parents that Ded Moroz was actually our janitor Ivan Ilyich. Unfortunately, I didn’t have direct evidence at that time, but I had some indirect clues: the voice, eyes, and shoes of the fairy tale character were very similar to Uncle Vanya’s. I was very upset that my parents didn’t want to listen to my arguments. They tried to convince me that Ded Moroz was real, and the janitor, who for some reason was not at the performance, just got sick that day.

Many years passed, and I learned that my childhood desire to find an alternative explanation contrary to the accepted version is called a conspiracy theory. Like adult conspiracy theorists, I didn’t have undeniable evidence at that time, and I couldn’t uncover the conspiracy. Ded Moroz was exposed later when I became a full member of the closed group “adults,” where children are not allowed for their own good. In the end, I learned the most important lesson - being a conspiracy theorist is dangerous and unprofitable. No one will believe you anyway, and you will waste a lot of nerves and energy.

Later, much more serious stories replaced the harmless Ded Moroz, and it was even more difficult to believe in them than in a fairy tale character, despite all the official sources insisting on it. For example, there is the story of how two American astronauts were stranded on the Moon in 1969, spent twenty-one hours there, then pressed the “Home” button, took off, docked with the spacecraft waiting for them in lunar orbit, turned it around, and rushed back to the anxiously waiting Earth. Do you doubt that it happened exactly like that? You are a conspiracy theorist and a supporter of the moon landing conspiracy.

Or take, for example, the ongoing story of how the planet was hit by a previously unknown to science coronavirus, spreading at the speed of the medieval plague and threatening all of us with inevitable and agonizing death… from a runny nose. As evidence, there are graphs of the virus spread, interviews with virologists, and photographs of newly built hospitals. Is that not enough for you? Do you think that the world media are deceiving you, the numbers are falsified, and there are no COVID-19 patients? You are a crazy conspiracy theorist, and taking your doubts seriously and discussing them is a waste of time.

To be fair, it should be acknowledged that not all conspiracy theories can uncover the janitor’s mustache under the mask of Ded Moroz. Many of them are unable to even bring a smile, for example, seriously claiming that the Earth is flat, all watchmakers conspired, and Australia doesn’t exist. However, now is not the time to talk about them or who is right: Holocaust deniers or the builders of its memorials. I’m sure each of them has their own truth.

Any legend, whether it’s about Ded Moroz, Americans on the Moon, or the epidemic of the Chinese virus, has interested parties who benefit from the majority of us continuing to believe in the legend while the minority remains satisfied with the humiliating status of conspiracy theorists. If we consider our civilization a closed system, it is logical to assume that as long as the beneficiary is not overthrown and the legend is alive, this situation is beneficial to everyone. In other words, we will all be better off if the Americans’ journey to the Moon is considered a fact and the coronavirus epidemic is seen as a real threat.

For example, we were once sure that the Sun revolved around the Earth, and all other versions were considered heresy and conspiracy. We lived happily until the time came when the legend and the truth swapped places. Another example, in the 19th century, Hungarian doctor Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis suggested that the mortality rate among women in childbirth could be reduced if the hospital staff washed their hands before surgery, for which he was ridiculed and fired (antiseptics and bacteria were discovered much later). Conspiracy theorists and crazy authors of crazy ideas disrupt our ecosystem, and it, in turn, resists. At some point, it gives in, and yesterday’s heresy is recognized as

And what else, in your opinion, can an epidemic be beneficial for civilization as a whole?

Translated by ChatGPT gpt-3.5-turbo/39 on 2023-10-02 at 17:29

sixnines availability badge   GitHub stars