This post is half baked, for that, I apologize. Surely you've had something spring suddenly and randomly into your mind, and then posted a long rambling post to the internet about it, right?
I love me some conspiracy theory. Sorta.
See, conspiracy theories seem to swim around in two ponds, like a venn diagram. The ponds are connected, and some conspiracy theories are in the "plausible" pond, and others are in the "okay, I'm not really that crazy" pond.
Aliens at Rosewell New Mexico in the 50's [edit: 40's, get it right. duh.]? Sure, I'm in. Something Bigger at play in JFK's assassination? I'll bite. We never landed on the moon? Wait a second, slow down there. The Illuminati move quietly and powerfully through the world, moving nations like pawns? Nah, I wasn't too crazy about DaVinci Code. (BTW, that's another gripe I've got, which I'll get to later, or another time).
See, conspiracy theories are really just alternate theories about what really happened. And we all know, or at least can assume, that perhaps during a few points in human history, something happened other than what we've read about in history books or in the news or on wikipedia. Because.... big shocker here... sometimes we lie about stuff.
There's a certain stigma associated with conspiracy theories. Coming right out and saying "Hey, I don't believe everything that I read in the news and in the history books." can really get you labeled a weirdo, depending on the kind of people that you hang with.
But how much "alternative theory" can you buy? A little or a lot? I'll buy that Lee Harvey Oswald was not alone in the shooting of JFK. I'll buy that there were aliens, or something other than a weather balloon at Roswell. But faked moon landings? I guess conspiracy theory is subjective. I'm sure it plays into each persons understanding of the world, science, religion, philosophy, etc. While I'll buy some things and not others, someone else will pick a whole different set to believe in. If I had way more time and such, I'd create some sort of poll, or, I dunno, maybe research it with google or something, because surely someone's already done this - take 10 or 20 fairly common conspiracy theories, and go around and poll a few thousand people and see if they believe it is real or nutty. I expect that some would get high buy in, like JFK's assassination, while others would get somewhat lower buy in, like - I assume - fake moon landings.
Is the idea of he US being aware of an impending attack on Pearl Harbor a conspiracy theory? /random
One of my favorite conspiracy books, and aptly named, is Conspiranoia, you're welcome to read it if you ever come to my house and use the bathroom.