Nothing is at it seems! Or is it? Plus, they’re all out to get you.
Want proof? One theory says the CIA has funded an operation that trawls Facebook for data.
Whether the motivations are political, financial, or otherwise, plenty of people are convinced that big businesses and governments are manipulating technology to keep power out of the hands of the people.
Take a look at these conspiracy theories and tell us what you think.
We voluntarily throw all kinds of personal information at Facebook, and the CIA is in the business of collecting information.
The theory is that part of Facebook's funding came from the DARPA Information Office, which was devoted to gathering 'as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralized location, for easy perusal by the United States government, including (though not limited to) Internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver's licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data.'
In fact, neither the CIA nor DARPA funded Facebook. However, the CIA's venture capital unit, In-Q-Tel, did jointly fund Visible Measures with WPP, an ad agency holding company. Visible Measures gathers information from social media. So, yes, the CIA is watching, just not directly through Facebook. And it's really only collecting the information you're publishing publicly.
This is a theory that was teased out pretty extensively in the documentary 'Who Killed The Electric Car?'
If you buy the idea, a number of entities ranging from oil and gas companies to the US government itself have put up roadblocks for companies seeking to build a viable electric car. This is allegedly in the effort to keep people dependent on oil and to keep related businesses running smoothly.
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, makes use of powerful antenna arrays to study the ionosphere. The ultimate aim to improve radio and wireless communications technology.
But it's also the object of conspiracy theory. Supposedly, the antennas are actually used for nefarious purposes ranging from weather control to mind control to satellite neutralization.
The 'Phoebus cartel' was a collection of several major companies which included General Electric and Philips Electronics. And it's been accused of maxing out light bulb life at 1,000 hours, suppressing a longer-lasting light bulb from the public.
This is even the subject of a documentary called 'Light Bulb Conspiracy.'
This one's a classic ---- the 'Philadelphia Experiment' was allegedly an effort to turn a US Navy vessel invisible. Using degaussing (anti-magnetic field) technology to eliminate magnetic fields from the USS Eldridge in 1934, the ship allegedly disappeared (some say it was replaced with a 'greenish fog').
The Montauk Project was apparently a continuation of the previously-mentioned Philadelphia Experiment. It saw the government training psychics and exploring potential applications of mind control and time travel.
The federal government did briefly experiment with mind-control techniques in the 1970s, via a project called MKUltra, but they were a failure.
There is a theory out there that when IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer faced off against Grand Master Garry Kasparov in a game of chess in May of 1997, IBM cheated in order to win and drum up lots of publicity.
This theory is explored in depth in the documentary 'Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.'
If you fear 'Big Brother,' you'll want to take a close look at your set-top box.
Some claim to have found cameras and microphones in them, supposedly a means for the government to spy on its citizens. Another theory says that these digital television signals are used for mind control and subliminal advertising.
Actually, Google, Verizon, Microsoft and Comcast have all submitted patent applications to allow DVRs to spy on their viewers.
Numerous people and organisations won't hesitate to tell you that theoretical technologies like cold fusion and air-powered cars are not only possible, but practical as well. Entities ranging from energy companies to governments are allegedly stepping in to keep these technologies inaccessible.
Cold fusion, however, has been studied and dismissed.
It's a tantalising idea: Magnets lose their power very, very slowly. So why you can't you harness them in an arrangement that would turn a gear for as long as the magnet's power lasts, in virtual perpetuity?
Here's a video of a guy who thinks he's cracked it. Stick with it until 3.20, when he describes how his engine has been cannibalised from a weed-whacker.
Perpetual motion machines defy the laws of physics -- there's no such thing as a free lunch! -- which is why no magnet motor patents have ever come good.
Remember those quirky Wingdings and Webdings fonts that let you type all kinds of symbols with your keyboard? Some think they contain secret anti-Semitic messages pertaining to 9/11.
Typing 'NYC' in either typeface yields the results pictured to the right. Typing 'Q33NYC' in Wingdings shows an aeroplane flying into two towers.
This is almost certainly an unfortunate coincidence.