Conspiracies and plot holes

I don’t usually notice plot holes when at the movies. I tend to have a very strong suspension of disbelief, meaning a hole has to be pretty glaring for me to be unable to ignore it and particularly egregious for it to significantly hinder my enjoyment of a film.

One such example was in the recent film District 9, when the entire plot revolved around a two-dimensional, monolithic evil corporation, MNU, that was also possibly collaborating with the government, which devoted twenty years and presumably trillions of dollars to trying to figure out how to operate alien weapons. Those weapons could only be operated in the hands of the aliens themselves and the corporation is seen in the film forcing captured aliens to demonstrating some of those weapons’ capabilities. But later in the film, when we’re finally shown the full capabilities of the alien weapons in real combat, they turned out to be at best no more powerful than a common bazooka, and certainly insignificant compared with the atomic bombs made here at home and which without a doubt would have been far easier for the corporation to obtain. This left me scratching my head and hoping MNU fired whichever moron was heading up the project in first place. I was also left feeling sympathy for the MNU shareholders and the villainous MNU employees who would soon to be out of work because their company has clearly bankrupted itself by taking wasteful spending to a whole new level. … continue reading this entry.

Lazy conspiracy theorists

The Ancient Mystic Society of the Stonecutters

The Ancient Mystic Society of the Stonecutters

Often when I get into discussions with grand conspiracy theorists it seems to start with just a “simple” conspiracy of under a hundred players. Then as more and more plot holes are pointed out, they start applying the Infinity + 1 gambit I discussed in a previous piece, and the conspiracy grows to involve thousands. Then, as if that wasn’t implausible enough, they gradually seem to introduce the shape-shifting space aliens lizards, or the black magic, or the Antichrist, etc.

But one other element that seems consistent among conspiracy theorists is that they claim to know who the evil villains pulling the strings are, and it’s almost invariably rich elites such as all the recent U.S. presidents, FEMA the British Royal Family, pretty much the entire U.S. government (except Ron Paul, who somehow managed to be the lone elected public official who slipped into power without swearing allegiance to the evil New World Order), the bankers aka “The Jews”, Big Pharma, the Bilderberg group, the Rothchilds…and of course Arnold Schwartzenegger And often at the very center of it all is David Rockefeller. … continue reading this entry.

Infinity + 1

Remember when you were a kid and you’d get into arguments with your friends that would go something like this:

“Are not!”

“Am too!”

“Are not!”

“Am too!”

And remember how, much like Godwin’s Law, sooner or later one of you would eventually pull out the old, “Are not times infinity!”

Mathematically represented as: X = AN x I

This would then quickly be followed by “Are so times infinity plus one!”

Mathematically represented as: X = AS x I + 1

…which would then lead to a lengthy cycle of each party incrementally increasing the value added to infinity by one on each pass.

Most adults outgrow this level of argumentation. But there’s a whole subsection of the populace who never do. We call them denialists. … continue reading this entry.

TQM Pierces the Veil

I was so wrong.  I’ve pierced the veil, seen the devil with his shorts down and boy are his balls red.  Of course it’s real, I should have always known!  I just needed to connect the dots… You don’t understand.  Consider me Virgil in your tour of the modern hell.

The penny.  It was always about the penny.  … continue reading this entry.

The Real Problem with Conspiracy Theories

A quick note before I start this one.  I’d like to say thanks to Scott, Benny, Michael, and Jareth for letting me babble on about this one before and after the Darwin Day lecture.  All of your comments helped me solidify my thoughts on a few of these issues.  And Benny?  You were right about “On the Media.” I’d also like to give a little warning here: it’s highly likely that in the course of writing this post, I’m going to start ranting about politics.  I will do my best to stay non-partisan and just yell at all the bastards at once.

I love me a good conspiracy theory movie.  Watching as our hero stumbles upon a secret that reaches into the highest echelons of government and manages to expose it, changing his whole world… I consider that a fun two hours.  That said, if the movie goes long, I start getting really bored with it, and that makes me really not understand why anyone could stand actually believing one of these damn things.  Conspiracy theories are ultimately acts of logical abandonment, which can be perfectly fine and fun when taken in moderation, but in the end, I feel they harm society by putting up straw men for theorists to break down, rather than letting us focus on real problems we may be facing.

The Bigger the Theory, the Harder to Keep Secret … continue reading this entry.

8 Years On and I’m Still Pissed

I’ve recently begun a new job in the financial district.  It’s at some coffee shop that doesn’t pay me enough, and it’s a really long trip to and from my apartment, but you know, it’s a job, it’s a bad economy, I take what I can get.  One of the nice things about the job though, is that it’s an area that I don’t normally get to.  I live at the top of the Bronx, so Battery Park is not normally in my area, but now I get to go on down to the river, walk around in a really great area in the afternoon, it’s a nice part of a sort of crummy job.

Unlike a lot of other people, I had to work on Monday.  The trains, in case you weren’t aware, were totally screwed for the entire day, but I’d made lunch plans with some of my best friends and I was excited for it.  Anyway, after work, I go over to get my train.  Some stupid pink tape has blocked off the Rector Street station on the 1, so I say, “Okay, it’s a nice day, I’ll walk up to Chambers”, and this little walk brought me straight over to Ground Zero.

The thing that still gets me upset about Ground Zero isn’t the tragic loss of life or the ludicrous and unnecessary wars that it launched.  At this point, I’ve been able to accept that those events occurred and move forward.  No, what really pisses me off is that eight years after the tragedy that befell thousands of people and our entire country on September 11, 2001, Ground Zero is still nothing but a concrete hole.  It continues to be a scar upon our fair city, a festering wound that in many ways, the city has still not recovered from.  But what gets me even more pissed off are the god damn 9/11 Truthers, and because tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of September 11th, they’re back in the news. … continue reading this entry.

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