Monday, February 16, 2009

"The problem with Occam's Razor is that you can't actually cut someone with it."

I have an issue with conspiracy theories. The issue is not so much that they exist (that would seem to be an inevitability, especially in the age of the internet), but that I have repeatedly seen otherwise intelligent, rational people become completely drawn into these theories without ever apparently noticing the faulty logic and massive confirmation bias required to sustain such ideas.

I can see the initial attraction that some of these ideas hold. They form a gateway to a world full of mystery and intrigue, where covert Government agents fly the disguised Roswell spacecraft into the twin towers whilst Illuminati Reptilians fuck JFK to death on the set of the faked Moon landings. Or something. While it may seem more exciting to live in a real-world version of Deus Ex, the problem is that there is no significant quantity of reliable evidence that can back these claims up.

Which is not to say that there are no such things as conspiracies. They happen all the time, but the key point to note is that they are all relatively simple as far as the relationship between effort and payoff goes; Guy Fawkes and his companions plotting to blow up the Houses of Parliament, industry executives paying experts to mislead the public about the nature of their product, or even a group of friends planning a surprise birthday party. What is clear in each of these examples is that there is an obvious and simple motivation for engaging in the conspiracy, a clear and not overly complicated solution for achieving an outcome, and a reasonable amount to gain from success.

If you take a popular modern conspiracy theory (9/11 Truth, or faked moon landings for example), you will tend to find that these things are conspicuously absent. Why the US Government would wish to stage a "controlled demolition" of an important landmark and economic centre, killing thousands of citizens in the process, is unclear. Their supposed methods for achieving this, and the various ways in which they are supposed have "covered up"* this attack are convoluted and bewildering. It could reasonably be said that what they gained from all this was a pretext upon which they could invade Iraq, but given that it seems fairly obvious that they were already going to invade anyway, and the flimsiness of the pretext upon which they did eventually invade, it seems a fairly outrageous suggestion that they would go to such confusing lengths to do it, including attacking their own military headquarters in the process (I'd have thought it fairly important to have an intact, functioning military HQ if you're planning military action). Add to all this the constant shifting of goalposts and absurd requirements for the evidence that would convince them that the accepted version of events is closest to the truth - take, for example, the refusal to accept photographs of debris outside the Pentagon as containing aircraft parts, despite, well, obviously containing aircraft parts.

What this all boils down to, is that none of these conspiracy theories are actually proper, functioning theories. A decent theory takes all the available empirical evidence and unifies it into a well thought-out explanation. Whereas your average conspiracy theory will take the issue and tear into it, raising question after question after question that requires explanation. Their version of events then seems to be taken as a de facto answer to these questions, without actually having any evidence to back it up.

Now, I'm not saying that the standard explanation of events should be unquestioningly accepted, but it is important to go where the facts lead you. Having an open mind is a virtue, but it shouldn't be so open that your brain falls out.

* Although it can hardly be considered an effective "cover-up" if a fourteen year-old with a YouTube account and a webcam is able to "expose" it.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dear The People

We can't apologise enough for the complete lack of content here over the past few months.
However, we have not been idle. Although they've been slowed by a traumatic computer crash, duodenum-splinteringly exciting new projects are on their way.
Not least:

* A 6-part radio comedy series, with sketches, music and funny noises to boot, entitled Rust

* A new Fearful Symmetries album, entitled The Apocalypse Tree. In the meantime, the Fearful Symmetries and their new recordings can be found here

* A vastly expanded [rhexisFEATURE] section containing the best of previous articles, and some new work that's not been posted here yet.

* Repeated references to David Cameron as "wee mad davie".

* Continued renovation and improvement of Rhexis services, including hopefully organising a streaming player for the [MUSIC] section.

* Something approaching regular, lucid content.

* A webcomic entitled "The New Adventures of Dracula".

IN THE MEANTIME, please feast your thinking-organs on two recent pieces, one about cameras and the other about fascists.

Be seeing you.

~THEM

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bailiffs Seize Bank Property

A new development in the battle against the corporation: customer collects debt from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Daily Mail (sorry) online article.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

BRAND NEW rhexisMUSIC CATALOGUE

rhexisMUSIC IS PROUD TO UNVEIL ITS SPARKLING NEW r!0tp*p CATALOGUE!

Simply click the large, friendly rhexisMUSIC link to the left!


THREE LONG-PLAY ALBUMS! Including the BRAND BUGGERING NEW Satellite B LP!

ONE EXTENDED-PLAY ALBUM! From gutter heart-throbs Pontius Pilot!

MANY SINGLES AND DEMO TRACKS! Not to mention Sugar Rush from the mind-scissoring guitar-porn madhood of indy-punk barbers The Harmonic Discords!

CLASSIC TRACKS! From Apparat Programme 9.5 artist Withiel!

EYELASH-CORRODING ALBUM ART! For each and every groove-simmering album!

COMING SOON! Full lyrics and sleeve-notes for all your favourite Rhexis scream-soup!

OVER FIFTY TRACKS IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING AND DOWNLOAD! Albums downloadable in one convenient archive file!

AND ALL COMPLETELY FREE!


Also, an updated, permanent, and totally cromulent link to brand new Fearful Symmetries track Forget-Me-Not!


SO, DON'T DELAY! VISIT rhexisMUSIC TODAY! YOUR HINDBRAIN WILL THANK YOU IN ORGASM-ANTIQUATING TORRENTS OF ENDORPHINES!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

rhexisMUSIC

The new rhexisMUSIC site, with free, efficient, tagged downloads of all Rhexis r!0tp*p opuses, will be up and running later today.

Do pay a visit. We will have more than fifty tracks - including four brand new ones - available for free and immediate download.

/SXV

rhexisMUSIC presents Forget-Me-Not

For your audiocognitive dysfunxion:

Forget-Me-Not
A Music-Hall Love Story

Music and Lyrics Sable X. Veins
Vox, Guitars, Keyboard SXV
Clarinet Withiel S. Black
Percussion WSB and SXV in Buzz
Production and Engineering WSB in Audacity

Broken and lonely and drifting;
Shifting, scraping slide.
Treadplate for ribs and sick dick,
Boot-blacking stars on the side.

I don't want you
To ever find out why
I left so soon
And never said goodbye.

I love you not,
I'm just a bit of fluff.
Forget-Me-Not,
We'll never get enough.

Fidelity is just a word.
Ha. Ha.


Castrated gramophone needles
Moan for Their Mistress's Voice.
Sideways and skywards and cold and free,
My nerves bleached from the white noise.

I don't want you
To ever find out why
I left so soon
And never said goodbye.

I love you not,
I'm just a bit of fluff.
Forget-Me-Not,
We'll never get enough.

Fidelity is just a word.
Ha. Ha.


What if the scraping weren't ended?
Bleached nerves recede to the womb.
Thanks! Thanks! In breaking I'm mended!
Sloughed from my anodyne fumes.

I love you not,
I'm just a bit of fluff.
Forget-Me-Not,
We'll never get enough.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Glósóli

Glósóli by Sigur Rós

If this draws no salt from behind your eyes, question the tar in your heart. Question it; it does not belong in such a place.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Evils of Capitalism

Run Wrake on motionographer.com