by Daniel Finkelstein, Thoughts for the Week, The Times
Not so long ago, there came an important moment in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy. It wasn’t a real breakthrough or anything like that. Lee Harvey Oswald still shot JFK, in case you were wondering. The important moment came in the development of the conspiracy theories.
You see, when the field of assassination studies first opened up, it was possible to master the whole of it. You could be an assassination expert. No longer — now you have to specialise. The volume of “evidence” and the number of competing theories is so great that if you are to amass any sort of expertise, you have to take one area and bone up on that. So you know all about the autopsy, or all about Lee and Marina Oswald, or all about the flight path of bullets and so on.
A few days back, the Nobel prizewinner Sir Harold Kroto told The Times that to tackle climate change two revolutions were needed. The first was a technological revolution.