Tag Archives: Conspiracy Theories

A Moon Landing, You Say?

You probably already knew that I enjoy debunking a conspiracy theory as much as the next secret member of the Illuminati, but today seems especially appropriate, being the date back in 1969, when humans walked, @#$ing walked, on the moon.


The Root of Many a Conspiracy Theory via Ramsey Theory

I still remember reading Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep with the idea of the “net of a million lies,” which we may well have already reached without the bonus of having an interstellar civilization. Instead, we have an absurd amount of people around the globe thinking they’re on a flat Earth.

I stumbled across this video that has a succinct explanation for a lot of conspiracy theories..

One of the concepts mentioned in the video above is one that I’m sure I’ve heard explained before, but I’m not sure I’ve heard the name: that being Ramsey Theory. Time and again, I hear science educators and others note that we humans, while clever enough to figure out mathematics, certainly enough to use statistics, individually get confused by the implications of said mathematics and statistics.

This led to another Ted Ed video that helps explain why so many people are so convinced by their faux insights: they simply don’t understand how much they don’t know.

May I always be aware of just how unaware I am of a great many things. Happy Monday!

Pushing Your Buttons… or Just Taking Them Away

Okay, so I implied on Wednesday that I try and help people work smarter, not harder… because working on projects that go nowhere doesn’t help anyone.

So imagine my umbrage when I read an article by Jacopo Prisco about all the “placebo buttons” that are out there designed to give people the illusion of control. Do you people not know conspiracy theorists will run with this?!?

Do you want the Hulk? Because that's how you get the Hulk.

Of course, I have to wonder which is worse: being given buttons that don’t work and not told they don’t work OR having buttons that do work taken away.

Enter Apple, the company that’s never bashful about being forward thinking beyond a customer’s furthest vision. Apparently, they’re not so keen on the home button on their iPhones and, as of this post, may have ditched it. (Look, I write my posts in advance, all right?)

I’m not sure what’s worse, but I’m definitely keeping out of the way of the Hulk when he gets the news.

Recommended Reading: Arms and the Bard

This piece from by Robert McCrum in The Guardian about some Shakespearean research this past weekend is a welcome read.

Not only does it detail intriguing additional evidence that the plays of William Shakespeare were written by (dramatic pause) William Shakespeare, but it shows how ardent and assiduous the scholars of Washington DC’s own Folger Shakespeare Library are.

It is fair to say that I first came to know Shakespeare through many, many performances at the Folger Theatre and their many exhibits about both Shakespeare and Elizabethan England. So I suppose you could say I’m pre-disposed to give them credence, but, in sooth, they have earned such trust.

Kudos to your diligent research, Dr. Wolfe. May your continued paleography (isn’t that a wonderful word?) give us more insights in the future.