Just one tiny flaw

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Renée Bagslint
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Just one tiny flaw

Post by Renée Bagslint » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:11 pm

When Hercule Poirot gathers the suspects together in the library to unmask the murderer, it often turns out that the murderer's cunning plan had just one tiny flaw: you see, mes amis, French beans are over by Michaelmas, so the cook must have left the kitchen for a moment, and therefore did not hear the shot that the butler mistook for the dinner gong, hence serving the poisoned sherry to the wrong person!

Whether or not this makes for a good denouement to the detective novel, it seems to be common in conspiracy thinking. There are plenty of people who believe that the moon landings were faked, and tens of thousands of people have been keeping quiet about it for decades, because of one tiny flaw -- something to do with the way the shadows on the flag don't reflect of Buzz Aldrin's helmet visor, I think.

This way of thinking is accentuated by Twitter where sustained rational argument is physically impossible, and replaced by an exchange of "Aha!"-isms. It is particularly amenable to manipulation by people who insert plausible but dishonest pseudo-refutations into the twitter stream and watch them become tropes. We also see it on internet forums such as this one, although I won't be so impolite as to specify exactly where. It's a form of reasoning disorder particularly common with autodidacts, and of course endemic to Wikipedia.

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