The clock is tick-tick-ticking off its judgments. Tick – stupid. Tick – Hey, stupid. It’s new. I bought it for six bucks at the local five-and-dime. La Virgen de Guadalupe smiles serenely from its face, held aloft by angels.

Black Swan, White Swan... Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Formal logic might be the blackest of magics (and it makes for the most excruciating of reads). Just try figuring out the Black Swan Problem. Read a ton of obnoxious articles by formal logicians – who I imagine wear capes and brood in towers while they go about their dark art of turning language into math – without pushing your thumbs into your eyeballs until they pop.

Donald Duck: High Priest of the Illuminati

Conspiracy theorists are dreadfully thorough, but I guess most of them missed this one: Donald in Mathmagic Land, the 1959 Disney featurette starring Donald Duck which teaches us about the Pythagorean cult, the pentagram, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Golden Ratio.

Jack Kirby And Comic Book Mysticism

You may not recognize the name Jack Kirby, but if you’ve ever argued with your friends over who gets to be Cyclops when you were playing X-Men in your backyard, then you’ve been touched by his creations.

Eye of the Skeptic

Those “I’m always right” types absolutely need faith, or else those vicious doubts start creeping in. Not only will you find faith in the religious mind, calling God a fact, you’ll also find it lurking in the atheist, saying He isn’t. Come to think of it, anyone who uses the word “fact” so easily must be pretty faithful, at least when it comes to their own nonsense.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Albuquerque Protest Turns Ugly -Disinformation

Originally published March 31, 2014 via disinfo.com

The Albuquerque Police Department are being investigated by the FBI after a YouTube video went up last week, showing APD shooting a homeless man who was camping, after what was reported as a standoff that lasted for hours.

This is the 22nd police shooting since 2010, and outrage has poured out over the incident, sparking the interest of the national media and even Anonymous, which led to protests against police violence all over the city Sunday night.

APD has said that the deadly use of force was warranted in this instance, because the suspect, James Boyd, had a history of mental illness and was armed with multiple knives.

I’d barely noticed the story until the protests started, and didn’t really know what to make of it.  Maybe APD did have good reason to shoot Boyd.  I don’t know.

But after witnessing cops in bullet-proof vests and gas masks shooting tear gas into a street filled with peaceful protesters, innocent by-standers, and even children, I’ve decided to err on the side of the people who weren’t being assholes.

My introduction to the protests was through Thomas Dixon’s live video stream as he followed protesters along Central Avenue in downtown Albuquerque.

Hundreds were marching to the police station, but the only live footage was coming from Dixon’s phone and two other feeds.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Skeleton Key to the Conspiracy: The Eriksson Twins -Disinformation

Originally published March 19, 2014 via disinfo.com

There’s a gang of YouTube videos out there “proving” that So-and-So is a shape-changing lizard alien, based solely on minor video distortions.  And (if you didn’t know) Paul’s bare feet on the cover of Abbey Road is proof that MI5 replaced him with a double when he died in 1966.

Sometimes, the most innocuous event can be touted as evidence of a conspiracy.

And sometimes, the evidence supporting a theory will be so damning that it will push that theory into the realm of “fact.”  Like Snowden’s revelations, which proved what the Alex Jones crowd had been saying for years.

But somewhere in the middle, are those events which refuse to be either proof or conjecture.  Events that merely dull Occam’s razor, leaving you with only a slightly scarred hunk of rock-solid “what if..”

A couple of years ago, I saw one of these odd moments in a BBC documentary, Madness in the Fast Lane.  It told the story of twin sisters Sabina and Ursula Erikkson, who shocked citizens of the UK in 2008, when during the filming of an episode of BBC One’s Motorway Cops, they repeatedly ran into the fast-moving traffic of the M6 for no apparent reason, all while fist-fighting police and hollering about organ thieves.

Despite having been pummeled by high-speed cars and showing obvious signs of mental illness, one sister would be released from police custody within days, and would later stab a local man to death.
The motive behind the murder, as well as the twins’ bizarre behavior on the motorway, are wrapped up in mystery even now, six years on.

It’s one of those perfect, holographic stories, where a billion different versions can all happen simultaneously.  In near-HD.  A story that can be used as evidence to support whatever mad theory you’ve got going at the moment.  Screw Tower 7 and the Magic Bullet.  Just pull out the story of Sabina and Ursula Eriksson and watch the naysayers scratch their heads in confusion.

So consider this my gift to you, dear reader:

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