10 billion-dollar mysteries test your inner Sherlock «
Admit it, the unknown turns you on. The brain’s a computer preprogramed to solve problems, must solve them. Synapses firing, thrills, we chase them like Nascar racers, hunting them, on Vegas tables, betting on stocks, Google searches, watching TV’s “Sherlock” and “Elementary.” Yes, very entertaining, but much more … our inner Sherlock needs the action.
Get it? Humans need, seek out, thrive on the action. Makes your heart race. Says you’re alive. Why do we love puzzles, magic, tricks, even frauds, hoaxes, unexplained mysteries? All problems to solve, stuff to figure out, to exercise our god-giving powers, look beyond the moment, into the unknown, the future?
But why? Basic human psychology, good ol’ neuroscience. Mental workouts. We need ways to make life exciting. We need them, makes us feel alive. Well below we have 10 unsolved mysteries challenging America. So test yourself, exercise your inner Sherlock. Find the best solution for America.
Are conspiracy theorists lunatics? No, we’re just solving problems!
Scientific American got the heart racing by focusing on this human need, asking the big question: “Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?” Why fall for them? What make us “believe” in something? Yes, our brains do love solving puzzles, murder mysteries, hoaxes, con games, frauds. The reason: Because all self-deceptions are a search for “simple explanations for complex societal events that restore a sense of control and predictability.”
This is new: In Timothy Melley’s 2000 book, “The Empire of Conspiracy,” we learn that until recently, scientists and psychologists thought such beliefs were “the implausible visions of a lunatic fringe, paranoid and delusional.” In fact, a “2013 national poll reports that 37% of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax … 21% think that the U.S. government is covering up evidence of alien existence … 28% believe a secret elite power with a globalist agenda is conspiring to rule the world.”
Then, Scientific American added, the new research provides “eye-opening insights and potential explanations.” If you read about another government “coverup” or a biased poll, you ask; Was it manipulated? Today it makes sense to be skeptical. A “scientific” poll with ginned up data, a hoax playing with your mind … remember, our brains love solving puzzles, love magic, a clever conspiracy … we seek out mysteries to explain, figure out, solve, exercise our god-giving power to see beyond today, into mysteries of the unknown.
But these 10 big mysteries still aren’t solved … can you figure out why?
Some social scientists say if you believe in one theory you tend to believe in others. Maybe it’s a rejection of science. A political ideology. Or strong religious convictions. All OK. We occasionally do write about a subtle conspiracy of an elite oligarchy controlling “Doomsday Capitalism,” undermining America’s future. Trust your brain, they’re your beliefs.
But the best explanation is the simplest, a psychological one, says Scientific American. There is no “sinister plot,” just our basic human need to explain “feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty.” Those theories help “people make sense of the world by providing simple explanations for complex societal events, restoring a sense of control and predictability.”
Still, some big mysteries remain unsolved or partially resolved. Here are 10 of the most suspicious, most frustrating, costly. And humans, especially investors, have trouble even admitting to them, let alone solving them. Ask yourself which mysteries need solutions:
1. Capitalism guarantees free-market competition … or kills democracy?
Why is democracy dying? Yes, the illusion lives on in our history books, the rhetoric of politicians, manipulating the minds of 95 million investors. The propaganda machine works. But the democracy we fought and died for since 1776 is fading. The Super Rich own America. Forget the 537 politicians we elected to Washington. Puppets for a Super Rich elite that control through their lobbyists. Can we solve it?
2. Perpetual growth means a strong economy … or undermines GDP?
Jeremy Grantham, founder of $100 billion GMO warns: After a century of 3.4% prosperity, America’s GDP dropped “by over 1.5% from its peak in the 1960s to nearly 1% from the average of the last 30 years,” as inequality increased. Worse, “going forward, GDP growth for the U.S. is likely to be about only 1.4% a year.” To less than 1% for America by 2100. Can America reverse the trend?