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crackpottery MGTOW MRA none dare call it conspiracy PUA

“Flat Earth” more popular than MRA, MGTOW and PUA combined, Google Trends suggests

Do we live in a giant terrarium?
Do we live in a giant terrarium?

So yesterday I fell into an internet hole watching “flat earth” videos on YouTube.

In case you haven’t heard, the ancient idea that the world we live on is flat, stationary, and perhaps the center of the universe has been having a bizarre revival lately.

The topic jumped off the internet and into the mainstream media last month when rapper/producer B.O.B. started Tweeting about his newfound faith in flatness, ultimately getting into a sort of rap battle with everyone’s favorite astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson.

It turns out it’s not only B.O.B. who has decided that the globe is a lie. Over the past year, a sort of flat-earth counterculture has blown up online. On Youtube, a small battalion of flat earth “truthers” spread the new gospel to hundreds of thousands of fans in videos that range from the charmingly amateurish to the surprisingly slick.

The new flat earthers don’t just reject the idea of the earth as a spinning ball; they reject the concept of gravity itself (suggesting that things fall to earth simply because they’re denser than air, which, what?), not to mention evolution and pretty much most of modern science.

Many of them see the Bible as a better source of information about the earth than science, and rail against what they see as a vast conspiracy to keep the supposed truth about the flat earth from the public. Naturally, it’s all the fault of the freemasons and the Jews. (It’s telling that B.O.B. is not only a flat earther but also, apparently, a Holocaust denier who referenced the discredited historian David Irving in a dis track aimed at Tyson.)

One of the reasons I’ve been so obsessed with MRAs and other misogynists over the past five years or so is that I think they offer an instructive case study in the cultural and intellectual history of bad ideas, and the subcultures that nurture them. Obviously the flat earthers do as well.

The similarities between the “manosphere” and the flat earthers are considerable, and not just because both groups have found their ideal audiences on Youtube; like their MRA and MGTOW counterparts, popular flat earth Youtubers have tens of thousands of subscribers, and their most popular videos get hundreds of thousands of views.

Members of both subcultures not only have their own interpretations of the world but an array of shared “facts” as well, which they cling to with the misguided arrogance of the fanatical autodidacts they are: MRAs insist that domestic violence “isn’t gendered”; flat earthers insist that there are no direct flights from Australia to South America. (No, really.)

I may return to this topic in more detail later but I thought you’d find the following charts from Google Trends to be of some interest, since they show that the public’s newfound interest in flat earthery has evidently eclipsed its interest in Men’s Rights, MGTOW, and pickup artistry combined.

flat earth1

 

Not only is “flat earth” way more interesting to people than all that manosphere stuff but interest in Men’s Rights, pickup artistry, and MGTOW has been declining. Have they all peaked?

This isn’t a perfect representation of interest in these topics. People searching for “pua” might actually be interested in retired soccer star Víctor Púa; people searching for MRA might be interested in Magnetic Resonance Angiography. Alternately, people interested in any of these topics may have used different terms — though when I searched for ‘men’s rights” there were almost no searches for that term.

Hey, let’s add feminism to the mix.

flat2

D’oh! “Flat Earth” beats feminism, too! But, hey, at least feminism is still doing better than “men’s rights,” and it’s been on an upswing.

Let’s swap out feminism for “gamergate.”

flat3

No surprise it’s been on the decline, but I would have expected a lot more interest at its peak.

Now let’s put all this in perspective.

flatpoop

POOP BEATS EVERYTHING!

But I am a little puzzled by poop’s declining poopularity.

I’m going to keep watching the flat earthers, and will report any interesting findings. If I find an explanation for the poop conundrum I will share that as well.

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NiOg
NiOg
4 years ago

@Imaginary Petal,

I mostly lurk here so I’ll understand if you don’t feel you can recommend me, but my minecraft name is MempoManiac and I’d like to try out your server! It looks pretty cool!

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

I think I have to:

Q: Why did the astrophysicist cross the road?
A: You’re still thinking Cartesianally. If you work it out in polar coordinates you’ll see it’s just inertia.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Why did the chicken cross the Moebius Loop?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

Why did the RedPiller cross the road?

Because cave-pedestrians, wolves, and Brad Pitt also cross roads, so we’d better follow along and do it too or women won’t see how dominant we are.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

Q: Why did Theodore “Vox Day” Beale cross the road?
A: In the good old days, everyone used to cross the road. It’s John Scalzi’s fault that people are questioning it now, and it’ll lead to everyone becoming Muslims!

Q: Why did Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin cross the road?
A: ::aggrieved sigh:: I never said I crossed the road. You’re misquoting me! I said I didn’t cross the road. I’ve never claimed to have crossed the road. Only feminists and other idiots cross roads at all…

…hang on…

…I mean I did cross the road, and I never said anything different. Stop saying that I ever said anything different.

Slutty Miss Havisham Penguin, briefly known as Nady

Dear Flat-Earth Enthusiasts.
We have all wished we could be on Discworld. It’s nice to see you taking such an interest in it. However they have something we don’t. And that’s magic. Fancifying scientific processes won’t make them be magic. So we have to be grown ups here and accept that we won’t be running with Vimes in Ankh-Morpork or helping Granny Weatherwax with a jump start.
If I can do it. (Albeit with many tears shed.) Then you can too. We live on a spherical world……. (Sigh).

katz
4 years ago

Why did Peter-Andrew: Nolan(c) cross the road?

To get away from the Romanian wild dogs.

weirwoodtreehugger
4 years ago

Why did the alt-righter cross the road?

Actually he didn’t. The tar the roads are made with is black. What do you take him for? A white genocidal cuckservative?

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

@EJ:

Did I read that abstract right? Is that paper claiming that under the right circumstances, a collapsing star will stop collapsing for a while before becoming a black hole?

What would that even look like?

katz
4 years ago

We live on a spherical world…

And I’m a spherical girl.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Gaelbolga:
You read it correctly, and nobody has any idea what it means. This is a situation where General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics (that is, the physics of the very large and the very small) do not match up at all, leading to huge contradictions. If you had asked me last year whether it was the most interesting thing that would happen all decade, I’d have said yes.

And then gravity waves happened.

ETA: It doesn’t mean that collapsing stars will pause for a while before becoming black holes, so much that collapsing stars won’t become black holes at all; implying that black holes must come from something else.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

Q: Why did the MGTOW cross the road?

A: I am crossing the road! See! I’m crossing the road! Really! It might look like I’m still standing here, but I’m crossing the road! God, I hate this freaking road! This road is an affront to feet! And I’m crossing it! Just you wait, that road is going to be sorry when I’m gone and not around to cross it anymore! Stupid road! I crossed it! Really! C*nt!

My apologies for the last bit, but its use seems to be an essential characteristic of an actual MGTOW….

Slutty Miss Havisham Penguin, briefly known as Nady

@Katz

Dammit! I have Madonna stuck in my head now…… Well played Katz…..Or should I say Professor Katz!!! Your secret is finally out!!!

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

@ EJ:

Wow. Thanks for making my day!

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Gaelbolga:
You’re very welcome. Anyone whose day is made by puzzles like that is my friend.

Snowberry
Snowberry
4 years ago

How can anyone believe that the world is flat?! Have you seen how much mountains stick up?!

…Okay, more seriously, if I were completely ignorant about quite a lot of things, and encountered it for the first time, I might buy geocentrism. But there’s no way that I’d buy flat-earthism. Granted, if I were supremely ignorant, it would be a case of being right for the wrong reasons. For example, how long would it take for the world to hit the bottom of existence, and what would happen when it did? (This is based on the assumption that if there was an objective “down”, then the world is falling too, albeit more slowly because of… whatever the hell causes flat things to fall more slowly, assuming I didn’t know that either.) If there is no end to existence, why would [insert creator here] make an infinite universe which is empty aside from the very, very tiny corner which things exist in? Why don’t we notice that the world is falling? And so on. That’s not even getting into the fact that I’ve been high on mountains (the first time was age 5) and even higher on airplanes (first time age 14) and can see the actual curve of the earth. Even if it were not a sphere, there’s no way in hell that it’s flat.

Bina
4 years ago

It’s a bit of a myth that flat earth was a common belief in ancient times. The Greeks not only knew the Earth was a sphere, they had a pretty good approximation of its size. The reason people were sceptical about Columbus wasn’t because they didn’t know the Earth was round, it’s that they thought he’d under-estimated the size. They were right too; good job for him the Americas were in the way.

The oldest property deeds we know of describe ownership of land being from the centre of the Earth all the way out to infinity.

Boring Alan Fact Warning:

The US deliberately allowed the Russians to orbit Sputnik first so as to establish a precedent that space flight didn’t violate usual rules about overflight of territory.

Alan, that wasn’t boring at all. That was fascinating, actually!

I love the way Eratosthenes figured out the Earth’s circumference. Light down a well, length of a shadow…brilliant. (Fun factoid: His detractors insulted him as a “beta”. Really!)

And I’m not surprised The Flat Earth is more popular than all the manosphere (heh) combined. It’s a positively brilliant Thomas Dolby album. And the title track is lovely.

BTW, poop is getting a raw deal. There are women actually doing it for the first time! Really!

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

Why did the MGTOW cross the road?

He hasn’t yet. But soon, roadbots will be coming, and they’ll make roads obsolete!

Bina
4 years ago

Also:

Q. Why did the MGTOW cross the road?
A. To go his own way from all the women, so they’ll know what they’re missing. Whenever he finally manages to cross that road…any day now…

Q. Why did the MRA cross the road?
A. COMPASSION FOR MEN AND BOYS. AND IT’S MHRA, YOU FEMINIST BITCH!!!
(And on the other side, a $58 silver commemorative coin with a weirdly disembodied hand = profit$$$.)

Q. Why did the PUA cross the road?
A. PUAs don’t cross roads, the HB8 crosses them if they neg her from the other side hard enough.

Q. Why did the TeRPer cross the road?
A. Confirmation bias is on the other side, you Blue Pill sheeple!

katz
4 years ago

Surely at this point, not only is “people used to think the earth was flat” an urban legend, but “people think people used to think the earth was flat” is, too. I mean, that’s pretty common knowledge, isn’t it?

anon
anon
4 years ago

“It’s a bit of a myth that flat earth was a common belief in ancient times”

Just because a scientist figured it out back then isn’t proof that it was common knowledge.

I doubt that serfs and uneducated people knew about Erastothenes.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
4 years ago

…but when people thinking people thinking people thought the earth was felt becomes an urban legend, will it finally be rabbit holes all the way down?

katz
4 years ago

…but when people thinking people thinking people thought the earth was felt becomes an urban legend, will it finally be rabbit holes all the way down?

I sense I’m quickly going to regret posing that question.

MovieBuff
MovieBuff
4 years ago

People, the Earth is not spherical! It’s called a ‘geoid’ shape (although understandably, the real shape of the Earth differs slightly from the mathematical model).

Karalora
Karalora
4 years ago

So what you’re saying, MovieBuff, is that the Earth is Earth-shaped?

I don’t know, man. Sounds pretty far-fetched.

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

I don’t understand. Haven’t space satellites that take pictures of Earth proven that it is round? How can they deny actual, real images from actual space sitting right in front of them? It certainly takes a very stubborn person to deny evidence like that. Kind of like how MRAs/PUAs/MGTOWs deny evidence right in front of their faces as well.

I don’t personally think it’s because they are actually stupid. I think they are just stubborn, believe what they want to believe, and see what they want to see. People like that could be shown all the evidence in the world and still cling to their false, biased beliefs simply because they don’t want to believe anything else. That’s why you usually can’t convince people who deny evidence that is right in front of their faces. They simply don’t care about evidence.

P.S. Off-topic I know, but I saw a lot of Bernie Sanders signs out today while I was driving to the store. 🙂 A LOT more so than any Republican candidate. It made me so happy because where I live is such a red state. Perhaps there is hope for this country after all. *crosses fingers*

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@ VioletBeauregarde

They seem to miss one tiny little detail: Jesus was a Jew…so was his mom!

I think that the point of disagreement is that Jesus was the messiah they were expecting, and the rest of the Jews said “nope” and are still waiting in general.

@David (not Futrelle)

With the resurgence of homeopathy, anti-vaccination, flat-earth… these are all things that go against accepted science (and… you know, facts) for no reason –

That’s just it, there is a reason. It’s just not a reason that we would think of as rational or logical beyond the fact that they absorbed it from the surrounding culture or people they choose to trust.

There is a difference between what we know based on personal experience, and what we know based on who we are role-modeled by (consciously or unconsciously). If you are from a culture that has various mental shortcuts for accepting things from people that are not so accurate (not an insult, that’s my family tree too) you will tend to go with your “gut” (which I see as a pleasurable set of feelings attached to selected memories and little else).
After that there are a bunch of things that act to preserve belief instead of figure out if belief should be kept.

These,

…drive these,

…and are adjusted by these in what gets chosen in a specific circumstance,

The good news is that they can all be controlled, but that requires introspection, effort, practice and a supportive culture is critical.

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

This also sort of reminds me of those “Illuminati” conspiracy theorists who are always going on about hidden symbols in things, different musicians supposedly being devil-worshipers and Freemasons, etc. There are actually a lot of people at my school who actually believe this. Like, they will actually discuss different musicians and actors who they think are in the Illuminati/are devil-worshipers in a serious, non-joking way. A lot of it is just blatant fear-mongering.

I’ve also noticed a lot of people who believe the in the Illuminati have a serious mistrust of the government.

I mean, just look at this:

Yeah, that’s something that actually exists. Not to mention the countless YouTube videos with supposed “evidence” in music videos, kid’s shows, etc. I can’t believe so many people fall for stuff like this, but they do. All the damn time.

sbel
sbel
4 years ago

Wait, you mean they seriously believe the world is flat? They’re not just being “ironic” or whatever?

Huh.

I started to say “at least that’s less harmful than believing vaccines cause Autism,” but I’m not sure if that’s true. They must believe there’s a massive conspiracy to conceal “the truth,” and that kinda paranoia can lead to murder.

At least it will probably fade when there is affordable space travel and regular people can look at the Earth from orbit?

Redsilkphoenix
Redsilkphoenix
4 years ago

@Anon:

The common serf might not know the calculations on how large the Earth is like the educated did, but they would be aware the Earth was round, or at least not flat. All they’d have to do is observe a ship coming over the horizon, or watch how a mountain/city they’re approaching comes into view, and they’d at least know the Earth has a curve to it.

Dean Edridge
4 years ago

I believe that the recent push for flat-earth was originally started by the Vatican as a psyop designed to destroy/discredit the popularity-gaining truth of Geocentricity (Geocentrism) that is exploding thanks to the movie The Principle http://theprinciplemovie.com. They are getting the evidence that proves Geocentricity and using it to promote the flat earth. But it’s a set up. This is also to discredit the Bible and religious folk.

Flat earth is a psyop to destroy people’s faith in Geocentricity. This flat earth psyop is primarily designed to discredit the groundbreaking movie called “The Principle” http://theprinciplemovie.com. The Principle movie is about Geocentricity (pretty much the same as Geocentrism) and proves that there is an intelligent designer and the universe was specially designed for us humans. Yes, we already know this, but this film makes it way more undeniable. It disproves the evolution ideas taught in schools. It destroys a whole lot of pseudoscience that the Vatican are relying on to deceive the world. The Jesuit Vatican New World Order are shaking in their boots as they don’t want people to know that the universe is intelligently designed. Yes, the flat-earth idea is Geocentric too, but they are only promoting the flat-earth idea short-term for this purpose of defeating Geocentricity; they will draw people into it just to collapse it all and humiliate the notion of Geocentricity along with its proponents.

They know that people will first realize that flat-earth is extremely false and then when these people hear about Geocentricity, these people will assume they are one of the same thing and thereby completely dismiss the truth of Geocentricity. They are hoping that people will dismiss Geocentricity by assuming that it is one of the same thing as the flat earth. The Vatican that runs the world knows that if the world believed in an intelligent designer they would have trouble selling us the faulty science such as heliocentrism, the multiple evolution ideas, climate change, vaccines etc. It is a big deal and obviously they are trying everything to prevent people from taking Geocentricity seriously. Also, if more people believed in Geocentricity more people would believe in the heavenly Father and the Bible. This is important as the Bible also happens to point the finger at the Vatican as being the leader of the New World Order and in general a heinous institution.

I run the Facebook Geocentricity (Geocentrism) group and among the members are the producers of The Principle movie and they are thinking roughly the same thing as me, that the push for flat-earth doctrine is an attack on the Principle movie. However, I’d say that they don’t think the Vatican is behind it as they are all staunch Catholics.

Please check this short article out:
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2016/01/flat-earth-is-a-psyop-to-attack-documentary-the-principle-3272834.html

I think this video by a famous Geocentrist disproves the flatearth idea (flat-earthers will need to be thick-skinned as it is perhaps a bit rude to flat-earthers):


I think another reason for this is to discredit the “truth movement” and discredit the “alternative media”. They want to suck us in then watch as it all collapse in on us, and then they will say, “Look, you can’t trust what these fellows say.”.

reimalebario
reimalebario
4 years ago

So, if a Men’s Rightser is also a Flat Earther, is he part of the Manodisc rather than the Manosphere?

chosen_name
chosen_name
4 years ago

@Imaginary Petal

(sorry to David and others for this being so OT but I really want to try and get in on this minecraft invite)

I’ve been a lurker on both this site and PZ’s for many years and only have a couple posts on both so not sure if you’d feel comfy inviting me to the Sitosis server. If so my minecraft username is thinkersguild.

I’ve always thought it would be really fun to play on a server with other people. However, I’m too worried about griefing and general unfun shenanigans so this sounds like a good opportunity.

Let me know! And thanks either way!

Catalpa
Catalpa
4 years ago

All the flat-earth believers just makes me think of this segment from Welcome To Night Vale:

“The Department of Public Safety announced that all street signs in Night Vale will be replaced with Traffic Cops wielding semaphore flags. Drivers will be required to learn this physically expressive maritime alphabet.

This decision is not without its controversy, as the existing street signs are entirely in braille. One critic, Paul Birmingham, says removing these signs will deflate the Earth.

As a member of the Air-Filled Earth Society, Paul believes that Earth is a precariously-inflated orb that could pop or sag at any moment.

“We’ve gotta stop teaching all this religious propaganda in our schools and start teaching real science,” Paul shouted from his lean-to behind the library.

I have to admit, listeners, he makes a valid point.”

Catalpa
Catalpa
4 years ago

As long as I’m sharing tenuously related bits of media, I also feel like posting this comic, which I found funny:

http://smbc-comics.com/comics/1456585852-20160227.png
http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4033

Saphira
Saphira
4 years ago

If the Earth’s flat, is it perched on the back of four elephants and carried through space on the back of a giant space turtle?

http://www.gamecrate.com/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/discworld-14986.jpg

Oh wait, that’s Discworld. My mistake . . . .

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

I love this thread so much.

Q: Why did Marc Randazza cross the road?
A: It’s a free speech issue, and when it comes to free speech you shouldn’t trust anyone who asks you to moderate it for…

…hang on, did you hear that ambulance? Uh, I gotta go.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Is there even one crackpot conspiracy theory that doesn’t boil down to “THE JOOOZ”?

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Bina
Most women don’t poop, it’s true.

And that’s exactly why I’m a feminist: freedom to poop.

reimalebario
reimalebario
4 years ago

@Scented Fucking Hard Chairs: I keep searching in vain for one. I was delighted, at first, to hear of David Icke’s lizard-people theory which I thought was not only fun but also couldn’t possibly involve The Jews in any possible way. So imagine my disappointment when I found he somehow tied it into the Protocols of the Elders of Zion anyway.

As far as I can tell, most conspiracy theories are just incredibly elaborate rationalisations for hating the jews. I was a huge fan of The X-Files* (who wasn’t!?) and when I got my first proper PC and got all connected up the THE INTERNET back in the late mesozoic, one of the first things I did was to search conspiracy websites and usenet groups for what real world conspiracy theorists actually believed in and it was just all so massively disappointing and unimaginative. (Not to mention easily disproved).

GardenGallivant
GardenGallivant
4 years ago

Why did the racist cross the road?

They don’t do that! That’s miscegeny.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@SFHC:
The Kach, perhaps?

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
4 years ago

Those flights between Australia and South America are real but not actually direct. They stop in Antarctica for the plane changes of people who travel to the inside of the Hollow Earth.

Vanir85
Vanir85
4 years ago

Maybe someone already linked to this, but I strongly recommend reading the following piece by Arthur Chu.

Mad Max: How Men’s Rights Activists Killed the World

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/20/mad-max-how-mras-killed-the-world.html

It’s a really interesting read, dismantling the idea that the Mad Max movies ever intended to glorify toxic masculinity.

Newt
Newt
4 years ago

Q: Why did the PUA cross the road?

A: Because all the alphas were crossing it.

Lordcrowstaff
Lordcrowstaff
4 years ago

I’ve always wondered: if you’re some kind of super-powerful Illuminati, or Jew, or Jewish Illuminati, and you control the media, the police, the government, all that stuff (and these are some really powerful people!) how comes your incredible network can a) be discovered by some dude in his underwear from his home with his 56k modem and b) all your horses and all your men cannot shut down his spinning-illuminati-disc, lensflare, black-background infowars site?

Also, I get that you might want to sneak some really clever symbolism in, say, churches, From Hell style, because you want to honor whatever supreme being you believe in (or just yourself), and maybe sometimes you just want to troll the people with how powerful you are, but why do you have to put your stuff everywhere, where it can be discovered by said dudes? Get a grip, Illuminati!

But of course, that plays into the common idea that your foe is both incredibly powerful and world-spanning, while also being idiotic and no match for you.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Vanir85:
That’s a really interesting piece, thanks. I enjoyed it.

@Lordcrowstaff:
That’s an excellent point, and brings to mind point eight of Umberto Eco’s famous “14 ways of looking at a blackshirt” essay.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians… However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

Lordcrowstaff
Lordcrowstaff
4 years ago

@EJ

yeah, that piece was what I was thinking of, and Eco (RIP!) also mentions the aggressive anti-intellectualism rampant in these kind of movements. While I wouldn’t call conspiracy theorists fascists (though there is some overlap) they feed on the same basic emotions of humiliation and a sort of “folk wisdom”.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ EJ

I’m really going to miss Umberto’s writing. I love that he once wrote an amazing essay about someone’s achievements (wish I could remember who) and ended it with “So hats off!”; very few people could have made that work.

He also wrote an analysis of Ian Fleming’s work showing that every James Bond story followed an 8 point template. So obvious when you saw it, but how come nobody else spotted it (being Umberto he explains why)?

Moggie
Moggie
4 years ago

SFHC:

Is there even one crackpot conspiracy theory that doesn’t boil down to “THE JOOOZ”?

This must be endlessly annoying to conspiracy theorists who happen to be Jewish (I assume such exist). There you are, earnestly discussing how the UN is working with the Trilateral Commission to use chemtrails to make people forget about HAARP, or whatever weird shit is in your head today, and then one of your online buddies reveals that THE JOOOZ are behind it all. Do you say to yourself “wow, these guys are full of shit after all”? Or do you call your mother and ask why you’ve been excluded from the conspiracy?