Thursday, 7 July 2011

On cynics and sceptics

The difference between a conspiracy theorist and a cock-up theorist roughly accords to that between a cynic and a sceptic. Given the nature of people and the complexity of what we attempt and like to think we can control, I think scepticism is both a more realistic and a kinder starting point for looking at our peers and what they - and we ourselves - get up to. We should therefore be sceptics not cynics, at least at first, and be more tolerant towards people than we are.

The line between scepticism and cynicism is crossed when we find those who mould human error to ignoble purpose. It's these people we should worry about, not those who we think were capable of planning things all along.

I hope some of the more honest journalists at The News of the World not only share this opinion - or something like it - but will express it too, assuming they haven't been bought off already.

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