Out of Focus

by Chris Horner

There’s a widespread belief that the world is really run by dark forces, or hidden actors we cannot see or know, but which operate like puppet masters somehow ‘behind the scenes’. On this view, only by a painstaking piecing together can we arrive at the truth about what is really going on. So we get conspiracy theories about New World Orders, Illuminati, Qanon and so on. Yet things are quite otherwise. Most of what you need to know is hidden in plain sight: all the conspiracies are open ones and the way the world runs is open to our gaze. The problem is that they are in front of us, but out of focus.

There are some things we know, and somethings we don’t know. Some things we see and acknowledge, and some things that remain hidden. But strangest of all are the things we see and know, yet somehow cannot see. We unsee them [1]. Obvious, commonplace things, like objects too close to a lens that are out of focus. Staring us in the face, they sit in plain view, but still unseen. They are disavowed along the logic of ‘I know this very well, but still, I do not know it’. Read more »