1081: "Argument Victory"

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1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:03 am UTC

Image

Title Text: Really, the comforting side in most conspiracy theory arguments is the one claiming that anyone who's in power has any plan at all.

I vote we hold the presidential debates at Walt Disney World. Obama and Romney rebutting each other by going down rides and waterslides would definitely energize the election.
Last edited by rhomboidal on Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:28 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:09 am UTC

I'm not. I don't trust Disney when it comes to politics.

But I must agree. As someone who works in government the very idea that anyone has time to plot evilly is actually laughable.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby larsh » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:15 am UTC

I don't get the punchline.
The guy slides down a waterslide and it doesn't prove anything.
Is there a joke here?
Is he trying to make the point that the other guy's evidence is no more relevant than someone sliding down a waterslide?

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby GregSucks » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:20 am UTC

larsh wrote:I don't get the punchline.
The guy slides down a waterslide and it doesn't prove anything.
Is there a joke here?
Is he trying to make the point that the other guy's evidence is no more relevant than someone sliding down a waterslide?


I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong, this is the internet, I can't get made at you) that the idea is that waterslide-guy knows he's right, so he's going to have fun, the other guy can go be wrong on his own time.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby dzamie » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:21 am UTC

larsh wrote:I don't get the punchline.
The guy slides down a waterslide and it doesn't prove anything.
Is there a joke here?
Is he trying to make the point that the other guy's evidence is no more relevant than someone sliding down a waterslide?


On one hand, I think that he's presenting the slippery slope argument using a slippery slope as his example in a meta-example of proofs, the metaphorical slope being Wikipedia --> random .net sites --> a waterslide.
On the other hand, the guy just doesn't care, and is showing the .net dude precisely how much the internet argument doesn't affect him.

Code: Select all

:Clrhome
:while 1
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16),randInt(0,9))
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
:End

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby brakos82 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:40 am UTC

And all I can think is... who the hell brings a cell phone on a waterslide?!
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Mad Mike » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:54 am UTC

I'm gonna have to save this one to my desktop and use it whenever a forum argument gets out of hand..... :twisted:

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby ijuin » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:59 am UTC

Meh, sufficiently committed conspiracy theorists (or any other form of fanatic) are impervious to argument anyway. They are so certain of their own rightness that they will absolutely not be swayed by any form of evidence or persuasion, so why bother continuing to try once you have identified them as immovable?

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby oracle989 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:05 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Meh, sufficiently committed conspiracy theorists (or any other form of fanatic) are impervious to argument anyway. They are so certain of their own rightness that they will absolutely not be swayed by any form of evidence or persuasion, so why bother continuing to try once you have identified them as immovable?


My favorite feature of conspiracy theories is that evidence to the contrary is actually supporting evidence, as it indicates a cover-up, and the absence of evidence is evidence in and of itself.
Ulc wrote:Evolutionary psychology makes sense yes. But you're not just making a mockery of it here, we're talking full scale orgy abuse while it cries.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Part of me can't help but feel like this may have been inspired by recent events on the forums.

Much like Etymology Man followed immediately after a long argument about etymology and its relation to linguistic prescriptivism.

GOOMTR!*

*(T = Threads)
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:15 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Spill Wooner » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Okay. These only happen when there's been some epic flame war around here. What's the dustup this time?

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:15 am UTC

I remember the south park episode about conspiracy theories, and I can see how it's comforting knowing that someone out there has a plan for the future, and has power to enforce it.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:18 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Meh, sufficiently committed conspiracy theorists (or any other form of fanatic) are impervious to argument anyway. They are so certain of their own rightness that they will absolutely not be swayed by any form of evidence or persuasion, so why bother continuing to try once you have identified them as immovable?

Sounds pretty religious to me.

oracle989 wrote:My favorite feature of conspiracy theories is that evidence to the contrary is actually supporting evidence, as it indicates a cover-up, and the absence of evidence is evidence in and of itself.

That's what they want you to think.

No literally, they'd love it if we all thought that way, because then nothing could prove them wrong.

Where "them" = "the conspiracy theorists".

Also religious folk.

Spill Wooner wrote:Okay. These only happen when there's been some epic flame war around here. What's the dustup this time?

This and the following 39+ pages.
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Istaro » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:28 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Meh, sufficiently committed conspiracy theorists (or any other form of fanatic) are impervious to argument anyway. They are so certain of their own rightness that they will absolutely not be swayed by any form of evidence or persuasion, so why bother continuing to try once you have identified them as immovable?


I think that "why bother" is one of the points of the comic.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:29 am UTC

Image

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:31 am UTC

The sad part, I'm not sure which side is supposed to be steve.
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby RebeccaRGB » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:42 am UTC

Image
Stephen Hawking: Great. The entire universe was destroyed.
Fry: Destroyed? Then where are we now?
Al Gore: I don't know. But I can darn well tell you where we're not—the universe!

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby eidako » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:43 am UTC

Waterslide guy lost. Why? Since he was preoccupied with arguing with someone on the Internet, his expensive mobile device is about to be submerged in water and ruined.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby blowfishhootie » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:44 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:I'm not. I don't trust Disney when it comes to politics.

But I must agree. As someone who works in government the very idea that anyone has time to plot evilly is actually laughable.


Well for me personally, I'm not afraid that the people elected to office are evil specifically. I'm afraid that they're just more or less being controlled by people who are NOT elected to office and who ARE evil*.

* - Evil meaning something like, "their desires are against the best interests of damn near everyone but themselves and a small number of others, but they're willing to pursue those desires at all costs anyway."

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby brakos82 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:45 am UTC

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:59 am UTC

Max™ wrote:The sad part, I'm not sure which side is supposed to be steve.

Steve Water....slide?
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:49 am UTC

brakos82 wrote:
Spoiler:
Image


I just broke out in hysterics at 3 a.m.

I'm delusional.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Outchanter » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:57 am UTC

dzamie wrote:On the other hand, the guy just doesn't care, and is showing the .net dude precisely how much the internet argument doesn't affect him.

Exactly. Much like this comic, it points out that sometimes to win, you have to play the meta-game instead of the game.

And in the meta-game of life, enjoying yourself on a waterslide is a much better move than arguing on the internet.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:12 am UTC

What if you enjoy arguing on the internet more than waterslides?

Better still: lets find a parallel pair of giant waterslides long enough that we can have an argument while going down them. Eh? Anybody down for that?
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby FourTael » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:17 am UTC

The comforting thing about conspiracy theories is that the ones that actually have any evidence... have evidence.

The fact of the matter is that conspiracies leave paper trails. Lots of them. All you have to do is look and you can find tons of evidence.

So far, I've found (2) things that sound like conspiracy theories that actually pan out. Both having to do with nutrition (ADA and GMO products).

I hate arguing because I always have to educate people and then when I get sick of providing dozens of sources from scientific journals (that actually follow good science practices) and the like, I get a few people that I've proven wrong in the past dogpiling on me and insisting that I'm not providing more sources or pointing out how terrible their math or logic is because I apparently know I'm wrong.

It couldn't possibly be that I spent the last two hours educating a moron that admitted to knowing nothing of the subject and I'm sick of dealing with their stupidity.

So... yeah. I've been trying to avoid arguments these days. This comic should hopefully help.

Edit: Also, I've found that Wikipedia rarely lines up with the scientific journals when I'm arguing with someone (religion, nutrition, and STDs seem to be the most common arguments I end up in).

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby rcox1 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:34 am UTC

My thing is that conspiracy theorist are sometimes those that say government is a waste of money because it is inefficient, incompetent, and filled with people who don't care.

These same people then attribute superhuman organizational power to the same government. Power to build huge structures with no one knowing, to create international conspiracies to enslave the entire human population.

For short periods with certain project, like the silos in the US midlands, some secrets are kept. OTOH, the atomic bomb was almost immediately leaked to the Russians.

That the UN, an organization that is so often considered the most inept on the planet, could create a plan to make us all live in Hobbit houses, no matter how good an idea this is, is quite insane.

Even the most well funded commercial enterprises with the highest paid and highest talented management has only been able to keep conspiracies in place for a short time. And no one would say the free market are less able than government.

The rebuttal to all this is that the conspiracy is not government, but a small group within government. I suppose a small group might be able to do something, like force a pipeline no one wants, or force us to all wear seatbelt in the back seat or be subject to a tax, but the nig things, like all live in the same shape house, is really insane.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby SonofRojBlake » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:42 am UTC

When I used to work for a large corporation, my colleagues would often whine about higher management's Machiavellian plans to make us all miserable.
I frequently found myself pointing out that management's Machiavellian plan for making us all miserable was functionally indistinguishable from a situation where upper management was staffed entirely by dolts who didn't know what they were doing, and that I therefore actively HOPED that our misery was due to a Machiavellian plan, because it was preferable to the alternative. I'd much prefer to be led by evil geniuses who spend their days plotting to make my life hard, AND SUCCEEDING, than I would to be led by people who are trying to keep their employees engaged and productive but are failing epically.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Biliboy » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:47 am UTC

My favorite arguement provoking material comes from James P Hogan's book Kicking the Sacred Cow. But this is a thread about avoiding arguements so I'll go away now.












Srsly, read that book.
Last edited by Biliboy on Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:51 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:48 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:What if you enjoy arguing on the internet more than waterslides?

Better still: lets find a parallel pair of giant waterslides long enough that we can have an argument while going down them. Eh? Anybody down for that?

Let's do it.
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby mpgchgo » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:52 am UTC

What's a ".net" page? I know .net is a common root domain but does that make a website any less credible? I don't get it.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby pareidolon » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:52 am UTC

Wikipedia articles at less than Good Article status have a good chance of being poorly written, heavily biased, or just severely lacking in breadth.
Snopes is written by two people churning out new content each day.
And journals sometimes publish highly controversial works, and even uncontroversial articles have become some of the most quote-mined and misunderstood pieces on the web.
That's right, our protagonist... is a troll!!

(Though I feel the need to apologize for the Snopes comment. The Mikkelson's are pretty awesome.)

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Zamite » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:04 am UTC

pareidolon wrote:Wikipedia articles at less than Good Article status have a good chance of being poorly written, heavily biased, or just severely lacking in breadth.
Snopes is written by two people churning out new content each day.
And journals sometimes publish highly controversial works, and even uncontroversial articles have become some of the most quote-mined and misunderstood pieces on the web.
That's right, our protagonist... is a troll!!

(Though I feel the need to apologize for the Snopes comment. The Mikkelson's are pretty awesome.)


I could cite a few sources on the accuracy of Wikipedia vs Encyclopedia Britannica. (and some other particularities of heterarchical collaborative environments)....

And I could add that conspiracy theories about governments imply that governments can actually secretly organize something and keep it hidden forever ... (they can't even create regular policy "properly")...

But I won't do so unless we can do it on "Pfhorrrest's double water slide". Which I might add would probably be the best political debate platform ever. (they might actually shut up and enjoy the ride, and when time is up - "splash!")

PS: oops too late, already argued some... D'OH! [1]

1 - Irwin, W., Conrad, M. T. and Skoble, A.J., The Simpsons and philosophy, the d'oh! of Homer, Open Court Pub Co, volume 2, 2001

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby VanI » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:21 am UTC

GregSucks wrote:waterslide-guy knows he's right, so he's going to have fun, the other guy can go be wrong on his own time.


My dad does this, even when he has proof that he was right. Imagine that, he has proof that he was right, and he doesn't even have the decency to lord it over you. Pisses me off, sometimes.
I swear, a fireball lied to me just the other day...

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby toadpipe » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:45 am UTC

And with this comic, Randall wins the eternal "Pressures" debate.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby winampman » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:53 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:The rebuttal to all this is that the conspiracy is not government, but a small group within government. I suppose a small group might be able to do something, like force a pipeline no one wants, or force us to all wear seatbelt in the back seat or be subject to a tax, but the nig things, like all live in the same shape house, is really insane.

This is what most mainstream conspiracy theorists believe in. I usually like reading comments on news articles but comments on political articles are the worst. Some people are so biased that they'll believe the most ridiculous lies without researching it themselves. I was going to repeat some of them here but XKCD doesn't need any of that crap, so I won't.

And of course, this thread can't continue without a mention of our most favorite conspiracy theorists: birthers. You already know their fantasy stories. Funny thing is, Romney released his short-form birth certificate back in May, and the birthers are totally cool with it, despite the fact that: it's not the long-form, his mother's age is wrong by 2 years (I am serious), the bottom border is cut off, "VOID" is written all over it, no seal, no hospital or doctor name, it was filed 5 days after birth (Obama was 4 days), and it's computer generated. These were all things that they complained about regarding Obama's birth certificate. But hey, Romney is cool!

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Just Me » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:12 am UTC

It's sad and funny at the same time.

I think it's a comment on peak oil and the economic problems. No one could possibly be dumb enough to know this is coming and not prepare adequately and simultaneously be smart enough to have any kind of massive control over our daily lives.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby radtea » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:43 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:My thing is that conspiracy theorist are sometimes those that say government is a waste of money because it is inefficient, incompetent, and filled with people who don't care.

These same people then attribute superhuman organizational power to the same government. Power to build huge structures with no one knowing, to create international conspiracies to enslave the entire human population.


This was on display last year with the attacks on Obama's health care reform: the same people who said public health care would lead to huge inefficiencies compared to the current least-efficient-system-in-the-world, death panels, and a bunch of other stuff that no public health care system in the world has ever seen, said that the public option was unacceptable because the hyper-efficient subsidized government program would provide such awesome health care that the poor little insurance companies would all go broke.

On the question of "small groups within the government" that people are talking about, this is I think the key to why the NAZIs made such a big deal about the Jews and their supposed Zionist conspiracy: while having an object of hatred was convenient, the most important thing was selling the lie that a small group of dedicated individuals could actually control the world. Since the NAZIs saw themselves as a small group of dedicated individuals who were setting out to control the world, it must have been very comforting for them to believe that they were merely stepping into the shoes of their imaginary Zionist enemies.
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Lynx Cat » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:54 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:What if you enjoy arguing on the internet more than waterslides?

Better still: lets find a parallel pair of giant waterslides long enough that we can have an argument while going down them. Eh? Anybody down for that?

But if one waterslide is moving relative to the other, how does a person on one waterslide translate to the other one? (And yes, the Pressures thread was the first thing that popped into my mind too. Can't be a coincidence.)

And as someone who... let's say, knows a little about conspiracies from the inside, the competence, resources and organizational power attributed to governments and other entities by conspiracy theorists is hilarious. There's a principle called Hanlon's Razor that I love: "Never attribute to malice something that can be explained by incompetence." That's VERY much true. Yes, even with small, dedicated groups. Everything leaks, it's just a matter of when and how fast, and by far the biggest motivation behind all actions of people who might have enough clout to perpetrate conspiracies is "not giving a damn". Most theorized conspiracies are just too much trouble relative to the supposed benefit they bring (which tends to be grossly exaggerated as well). It's good to also keep the following principle in mind, for those "they're watching me/everyone" sorts of theories: It takes at least one fully-dedicated person, usually more, to keep tabs on one individual. Do the math.
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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby Fixer40000 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:08 pm UTC

Hah. Had to sign up after seeing this one.

I had to do a road trip with a conspiracy theorist while doing an installation quite a few miles away job. That was a maddening experience. Trapped in a car talking to this guy for hours.

He came out with some gems. One was the 'Jews caused 9/11 because there were no Jews killed when the planes smashed into the towers' theory. Which I couldn't disprove at the time because well, driving. Couldn't search for a victims list on my phone. It's hard to argue against crazy conspiracy theories you've never hard of before without access to any sources.
Another was the faked moon landings which I was already well briefed on. So I managed to destroy all his conspiracy theory arguments and his eventual change of opinion was from 'the moon landings were faked' to 'America faked the first moon landings but actually did all the others, the first was faked because they needed to win the race'.

The last one was the best though. The US government made the E.T. movie specifically to make the population feel less worried about aliens who they knew to exist. His reasoning was that E.T. was a terrible movie that was marketed so it did really well in the box office. This was part of massive U.S media government conspiracy to prepare for the coming invasion.


Summing it up. He didn't like the movie, therefore Alien invasion.

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Re: 1081: "Argument Victory"

Postby BrianB » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:20 pm UTC

rcox1 wrote:... OTOH, the atomic bomb was almost immediately leaked to the Russians. ...


I don't know that "leaked" is the correct word. I just happened to watch a show on The Military Channel last night as a matter of fact. During a meeting of the big 3 (Truman, Churchill, Stalin), Truman and the US Secretary of State directly told Stalin about the A-bomb in an attempt to gain leverage over the Soviet Union (who was then still part of the neutrality pact). They were disappointed when Stalin showed no reaction to the news.


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