The Masonic Moon Men vs. the Shapeshifting Brainslugs – Cartoon Logic
Conspiracy theories. Nuttier than Nutman’s head. (Nutman is the nut superhero. He’s a new one. Gonna be in the Avengers next year.) I hate conspiracy theories, and I certainly don’t subscribe to any. It’s not that I am necessarily against them purely on principle; there have been some ‘real ones’ (see the Dreyfus affair, or Watergate, for example). My problem with them is that the vast majority of conspiracy theories ever spouted just so happen to be towering, tottering architectures of bizarre falsehoods, invented factoids, meaningless coincidences, farcical misconceptions and altogether impossible nonsense.
There’s a really simple way to test these theories. It’s one of the basic tenets of critical thinking. Just think: is it likely? Is it really, honestly, likely? This is no foolproof method of checking, but it is a great acid-test. Examine the balance of probabilities. Did NASA build an enormous infrastructure, hire thousands of engineers and technicians and launch powerful rockets skyward before simply filming a bunch of men on a special set, managing to fool the entire world in the process (including the USSR, who would want nothing more than to prove the Americans lied) or did they build an enormous infrastructure, hire thousands of engineers and technicians and launch powerful rockets skyward before actually just flying to the bloody moon? A conspiracy that large would have collapsed immediately, no? On the balance of probability, NASA did go to the moon. (But then of course, I would say that, wouldn’t I? I’m a secret NASA-lizardman-shill after all.)
A fascinating study from the University of Oxford has this week come out with something similar, though it’s a far more rigorous analysis. A physicist, Dr David Grimes, has created an equation that predicts how quickly a conspiracy theory would collapse, were it true. He takes a figure for the number of conspirators involved, the amount of time that has passed and for the intrinsic failure probability and sticks them into a formula loosely based on radiation physics. The results?
The Apollo 11 landing would have been revealed as a hoax by the 23rd of March 1973, or thereabouts. Man-made climate change would have turned out to be nonsense sometime in 2006, by the very latest. There are just too many people involved for falsities of this scale to stay under wraps for so many years. Someone (like Edward Snowden or Peter Buxtun or Frederic Whitehurst) will eventually talk. It’ll eventually come out, and it’s been ages since the Moon Landings. When are we going to find the final smoking gun, eh? (Don’t forget, though, that David Grimes is actually talking drivel, because he’s a synthoid puppet man controlled by the alien overlords. I know this because we were shipped to Earth on the same UFO.)
I think you could create a similar formula for the likelihood of a conspiracy theory forming in the first place. Take any event, past or present. Is it incredible, like the Moon Landings? Is it potentially difficult to understand or accept, like Global Warming? Is it in any way at all linkable to anything even vaguely supernatural or occult? Could you skew it to make it appear beneficial to a powerful group or individual? Does it involve the American president? If yes to any more than one of these, a conspiracy theory will definitely develop. If Obama ever announces that a group of satanic bankers and European monarchs have discovered ‘lunar warming’, then we will have hit the conspiracy sweet spot, and all bets are off. (This will actually happen next week, by the way. You see, I am a member of an Illuminati cabal that wants to instigate a thermonuclear war between the Masonic Moon Men and the Shapeshifting Brainslugs. And I’m kept in the know. ALL POWER TO THE MOON MEN!)
Looking at my criteria, it seems like conspiracy theories are mostly invented to help make sense of a scary world. It’s often about imagining there really is someone in control of all the chaos and confusion and misery. And guess what? Turns out there is. Turns out everything is going to be ok. Don’t worry. Don’t panic. Just relax. Everything will be fine. I’ll talk to my mate Barack and my other mate Vladimir and my other mate Clawthor the Inevitable at our weekly meeting in the Earth’s core. We’ll make it all better…
This week, the Trumpsday Clock is set backwards to TEN MINUTES to Trumpsday. Donald Trump stumbled in Iowa this week when Ted Cruz beat him in that state’s caucus. Some say Trump shouldn’t have skipped that last Fox News debate. Some say Cruz had built up an army of volunteers across Iowa, and appealed strongly to the state’s large evangelical conservative Christian population. Regardless, the loss in Iowa will drain Trump’s momentum and boost Cruz’s. For these reasons, I have moved the clock two minutes backward. And now, Trump believes there’s some sort of conspiracy regarding Iowa. Apparently, he thinks Cruz mucked with it. Possibly illegally. He didn’t, as far as anyone can tell… unless of course Cruz is a robotic replicant powered by free energy and crystals, in which case he definitely did.