No Sound Reasons for Conspiracy Theories

Categories: Politics and Society.

This is a response to a comment on this post. What do you mean by “more going on”? Who led you to believe what you used to believe? I think conspiracy theories by definition do not give sound reasons for their claims. That’s why they are conspiracy theories and not accepted fact. Did you ever notice how those who push forward conspiracy theories are rarely if ever experts in the particular area the theory focuses on? For example, the most famous of the “scholars for 9/11 truth” is a theologian. That’s because if he put forward his ideas in any scholarly journal, but especially Read More

Ok. Why do you think conspiracy theories are a social evil?

Categories: Politics and Society.

I think conspiracy theories (as opposed the identification of actual conspiracies, which is an altogether different thing) and the belief in them cause a number of problems. First, as the individual level I think the belief in conspiracy theories allows the individual to be apathetic. If there are secret powers directing everything, we are powerless so why bother? The belief lets us abdicate our responsibilities as citizens (if elections are rigged, why vote? If the President gets shot by the real powers, why even bother electing the guy?) and it lets us avoid dealing with controversial issues which actually need Read More

Why don’t you believe in conspiracies?

Categories: Politics and Society.

First, I think we must distinguish between conspiracies in the legal sense, and conspiracy theories. Conspiracies are any time that two or more people get together to break a law. Conspiracy theories are “hidden han”d theories of history (for ages in the case of the Illuminati for example, or just recently, in the case of the Pearl Harbour, JFK, 9/11 and Alien theories) which claim that history is dictated, or at least severely influenced, by secret groups. There have been millions of conspiracies in history. There are some that have no doubt never been revealed but the ones we know Read More

Why is it so hard for some people to beleive that the people in charge don’t have their own agenda?

Categories: Politics and Society.

We can debate endlessly the meaning of “in charge” but I can’t agree with your first statement. Nobody is actually “in charge” in the sense that nobody has the power to do whatever they want. A cursory look at Obama’s struggles implementing his agenda is proof of this. Even the US president, who has more executive power than most executives, can’t do what he wants. But regardless, I completely disagree with your idea that there are “others” in charge. This is the hidden hand theory of history and it has been discredited more times than we could count. The world Read More

Why is it so hard for some people to believe that the people in charge don’t have their own agenda?

Categories: Politics and Society.

Further to this. The agenda doesn’t matter all that much, as much as we’d like it to. In a criminal trial they try to prove motive, means and opportunity. But investigators can’t focus on motive alone (which is what most conspiracy theorists do) because motive alone doesn’t rule out enough people. If an unpopular guy is killed, half a town could have a motive to kill him, but only two or three people might have been in the area, and only one of them might have owned the right gun. Similarly, with 9/11, asking who benefits from the attacks is Read More

What’s the worm pate story?

Categories: Food and Personal.

So, I was on this hike on a tour of southwest Australia. We canoed up the Margaret River (that of the famous wine region) and we stopped for lunch. They provided lunch, and part of it was “bush tucker,” i.e. a supposedly authentic recreation of what southwest Australian aboriginals would have had as a diet back in the day. With one exception: worm pate. The reason the worms were in pate form is because they tried to serve them to people in the past in their dead, unprocessed form and supposedly nobody would ever try them. So someone came up Read More

Does the Flyers’ momentum change the likely outcome?

Categories: 2010, Hockey, Playoffs, and Sports.

That’s a tough one. As it stands, seven hours before game time, I am tempted to say yes. That being said, we have seen more than enough momentum changes in these playoffs to believe that momentum doesn’t necessarily last more than a couple games (depending on the team, circumstances, etc). I want to believe they are going to win. I think Pronger maybe deserves the Con Smythe despite the crosschecking, though Briere is definitely putting a nomination in as well (who saw that coming?). As to the Chicago side, Niemi is human, as we knew. Toews is looking very human. Read More

What was your worst dating experience ever? Yes I want details :op

Categories: Personal.

Um, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a terrible date. I think I’ve probably given a girl or two a terrible date experience but I have never gone away from something thinking “that was terrible.” I did have one which was totally utterly pointless because there was no reason for me to be there. But it wasn’t like it was painfully awkward or anything. The girl was a hip-hop-listening business student. I did sort of ask myself, “how did this happen exactly?” Another time I tried to date this girl who a friend assured me was “gorgeous” (I have Read More

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: What do the Leafs need to do to create a winning club?

Categories: 2010, Hockey, Sports, and The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke.

I think first things first, someone needs to buy MLSE, because I don’t think a pension plan has any interest in championships. For me the issue isn’t a winning team necessarily, as the Leafs have had a winning team in the past. The issue is centred wholly around championships and the potential to win one nearly every year, like the NHL’s benchmark franchise, your Detroit Red Wings, or like the Pens might conceivably be now that they may be headed to their third straight final. In order to achieve this, and I can’t stress this enough, the Leafs need draft Read More

What was the worst place you’ve traveled to?

Categories: Personal and Travel.

Ooh, that’s a toughy. There aren’t too many bad places. Even if the place appears lame in some way shape or form it is still new. But I think the worst one would probably be Atikokan. View Larger Map Only because I was there at lunch time, on a weekday no less, and nothing was open. And there were tons of people out on the street corners staring at me because I was a stranger. Read More

Do you have any scars on your body? If so, how’d you get them?

Categories: Personal.

I have a few. The most obvious one is on my stomach. It’s my appy scar. I have one faint one on my right forearm which is from when I fell on some rocks at 12 or 13. There’s one between my left index and middle fingers which has possibly my best story ever behind it. I have a tiny one on my forehead from when I was a little kid and ran head first into some bricks (yes, I know, it explains a lot). Read More

If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?

Categories: Personal and Philosophy.

Regret is a poison. That being said, do you mean which calendar year, or do you mean which year by my age? I’ll go with the latter, as I am an egomaniac. I obviously do not wish to go back in time, if that were even physically possible. But if I had a gun to my head and had to answer this question despite these qualms, I would say probably my 22nd year, because it was a lot of fun but also productive, things that are sometimes mutually exclusive. I don’t have many regrets about this year. I was probably Read More

What song do you want played at your funeral?

Categories: Music and Personal.

At one time I thought I wanted “In the Light” by Led Zeppelin. I was a teenager. Now, if I were to have a funeral (and I don’t want one, I want a wake, if anything), I think FNM’s “Just a Man” would be pretty rad. I don’t think I could pick just one song though. And it’s all irrelevant, as I want a green burial with no ceremony (and no religion, dammit). Read More

What do you think is the best way to defeat terrorism?

Categories: 2010, Politics, and Society.

Removing the economic motives for oppression decreases the popularity of policies that oppress. We are then left with only the more obvious and often less palatable motives (such as jingoism…sort of kidding). If oppression is unpopular with the supporters / citizens / what-have-you of the oppressor, then it is difficult for the oppressor to continue. This all matters because the vast majority of terrorism comes out of oppression, and not because people are crazy or believe in another god. But don’t listen to me. Watch the White Ribbon or something like that instead. Read More

Riley Haas’ Earliest Memory

Categories: Personal.

What’s your earliest memory? I think (though I’m not sure), it’s of the gymn either in my first elementary school or my primary elementary school. There was a time when we thought it was a tap in my grand-parents’ old house when I was one or something but I think that was my mom mentioning it in the past that I was remembering, since I remember nothing else from that age (and who would?) Read More