Call The CSI Macro!

     What’s that, Gentle Reader? You don’t remember that one? Oh, it’s simple. Just four little words:

“People lie; evidence doesn’t.”

     I should add, for completeness, that “people” also:

  • Are frequently mistaken;
  • Can be deceived about what they saw or heard;
  • Come with agendas and priorities of their own;
  • Can be “bought.”

     The logician in me strives to keep all that in mind when listening to dramatic claims from persons in the media, no matter who they are. This is exceptionally important today, as Tucker Carlson has just dropped his first Twitter production.

     Tucker has become a trusted figure for many of us in the Right. That’s not inherently a bad thing; we need such figures, if only to reassure us that we’re not necessarily crazy. But we must take care not to trust them to excess.

     Tucker’s video includes several assertions for which I, at least, require quite a lot of evidence before I’ll accept them as even provisionally true. Two stand out for me, specifically because he labeled them true with what appears complete confidence:

  • Ukrainian forces blew up Russia’s NordStream pipelines.
  • The Air Force has the wreck of an alien – i.e., nonhuman – aircraft.

     At this time, the general public has been shown no evidence to support either contention. Yes, we have testimony, but that’s not the same thing. That’s one of the reasons the phrase “as unreliable as an eyewitness” is a staple of lawyers everywhere.

     Certain tenets for the evaluation of a positive claim should be universally known and observed…but aren’t:

  1. There’s a difference between evidence and testimony.
  2. Sensational assertions require substantial evidence.
  3. It’s possible to put too much trust in a trusted figure.
  4. It’s seldom possible to prove a negative beyond a reasonable doubt.
  5. Beware the Kafka-trap! (e.g., “If you dispute my claim that the Air Force is hiding a crashed alien ship, you’re part of the conspiracy to conceal it!”)

     Apparently David Charles Grusch, the gentleman who made the “alien craft” claim, has an impeccable reputation. He’s a combat veteran and was in the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force operated by the Office of Naval Intelligence for some time. A colleague, Karl Nell, has called his claim “fundamentally correct.” But that’s testimony, and it could be false for one or more of the reasons given here.

     Considering the stupendous, overwhelming implications of the claim, I’m reserving judgment. In part, it’s because no physical evidence has yet emerged to support Grusch’s assertions. In still larger part, it’s because I want to believe it — and there’s nothing more likely to lead one astray than the desire to believe.

     Today, with so much obvious garbage in every kind of communications medium, the duty of hardheaded skepticism is more imperative than ever. There are all manner of persons and institutions, each with an agenda, trying to persuade us of this or that. Oftentimes, they persist in their claims even after massive evidence against those claims has emerged. The difficulty of proving a negative – i.e., “That never happened” – is part of the reason for their longevity; another part is that there’s nearly always someone eager to believe them.

     Wishful thinking can extend to the embrace of unusual, even outlandish claims. There are still people claiming, for their various reasons, that the atrocities of September 11, 2001 did not happen – that it was history’s biggest “deepfake.” Others claim that “It was the Israelis.” Still others allege that the Towers were deliberately demolished by planted explosives, rather than collisions with airliners. Disproving any of those claims is beyond human power. However, their implausibility inclines me to believe that what I saw with my own eyes that day really happened, and that it was the work of nineteen Islamic fanatics.

     Of course, I can’t prove that beyond the shadow of a doubt, either. It’s the world we live in.

     “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” — Buddha


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  1. You continue to surpass by large margins my ability to express why I have been largely skeptical while I was still a young man. A few years later I discovered that Blaise Pascal displayed skepticism in an age when it was a very risky enterprise. I adopted his fervor, but sorely lack his talent. Worse, on my watch TPTB have been permitted to get away with increasing the risk.

    On Tucker.

    I too was disappointed with those same two assertions. But it is his alarming reasoning for the Russians not blowing up their pipeline: “Why would the Russians blowup their own infrastructure? It makes no sense” that rankled me the most.

    It’s as if Tucker never knew why the Nazis set fire to the Reichstag, or he himself never asked why would Pelosi turn down National Guard protection on Jan 6. And he never noticed that just prior to the blown pipelines that they threatened Western Europe that they’d cut them off anyway? Well that would then make sense even to him, so he chose not to recall like every Clintonite.

    His performance yesterday was less than stellar.

    • Linda S Fox on June 7, 2023 at 8:45 AM

    As the Rush fans used to say, Ditto.

    Occam’s Razor applies here.

    • OneGuy on June 7, 2023 at 8:59 AM

    If you wanted to be believed as a whistle blower you would provide substantial information.  But in the case of the alien spacecraft all we get is teasers.  If what this man knows and saw is true he could blow the argument out of the water with what he could tell us.  But all we get is a big grin and repeated claims that “something” is really there.  It’s this lack of anything specific that destroys his claims.


    I am open to knowing who destroyed the Russian pipeline but I see no value in trying to destroy Tucker because his investigation and beliefs don’t agree with yours.

    1. Remember, OG: Skepticism is not synonymous with disbelief. I also want to believe Tucker’s claim about the destruction of the Russian pipelines. But I’m reserving judgment. All we have at the moment is human testimony, and everyone even peripherally involved in this matter has an axe to grind.

    • Max Wiley on June 7, 2023 at 7:36 PM

    I don’t know where to attribute it to, but it’s been said many times before:
    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
    I think the “Aliens!” story speaks for itself.
    As far as the pipeline, I find it rather far fetched that Ukraine has the technical ability to pull that off.
    Remember: means, motive, opportunity.
    Personally, I find it more plausible that the US blew up the NordStream pipelines. I’m not sure that Seymour Hersh has the details precisely right but I think that story is fundamentally correct.

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