TONY GILLAN: A conspiracy theorists’ quiz team could never win – or lose

To make the news these days requires little more than shouting; preferably loudly and on topics on which you are spectacularly misinformed.

Thursday, 10th February 2022, 12:04 pm

The latest example of this came when a wonderfully gullible group of shouty young things publicly harangued the Leader of the Opposition over things they imagined were facts.

You would have thought there would be enough real grievances against any major politician without screaming conspiracy “theories”, but where’s the fun in that? With real grievances we could end up with measured debate. No, no, no.

Watching their boorish empty-headedness in action, I decided that I would really like to challenge them to a quiz. I am a mediocre quizzer in the mediocre Ship Isis team; but we’d still fancy your chances against this lot.

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We shouldn't laugh at conspiracy "theorists", but we do anyway.

They don’t appear to know anything, so I was willing to play for money. But then I gave the matter more thought.

Conspiracy “theorists” are unique among our species in that they somehow manage to believe anything and nothing at the same time. Therefore they could never win a quiz; it’s just that they couldn’t lose one either.

Who was Britain’s last female monarch before the current queen? Well done if you said Queen Victoria. But was it?

To wit: “Queen Victoria was around in the 19th century and you weren’t. So how do you know? Was she even female? We have found a doctor who says she wasn’t; what’s more he’s gone on YouTube to say so.

“And we can keep on saying this until it becomes true. Not that mainstream media will report it. Oh no.”

To combat such an argument would require a quizmaster who is impartial, yet imbued with the quality which conspiracy “theorists” fear most. Reason.

This would result in a handsome victory for the Ship Isis and two quiz league points, but also a rally the following week demanding we Stop the Steal, then…

Enough now. It’s easy to make these people sound ridiculous and, to prove it, I just have. Perhaps I should take them more seriously, so it is with some regret that I can’t.

For more on this, look up Bertrand Russell’s Teapot.

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