RE: Mars: "Rogue" memes and the laughter curtain

Billy Brown (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 11:11:36 -0500 [] wrote:
> I'm apparently the only person on this list who _doesn't_ know if the
> is artificial or not. Everyone else, it seems, has been there already
> subjected the Cydonian enigmas to their own hands-on reality tests. In a
> perverse way, I envy their certainty.

Actually, I think what you've run into here is a perfectly rational response to a world filled with charlatans. It isn't possible for me to personally research every unlikely claim that I hear, because there are simply too many of them. An intelligent, sane person will deal with this problem by placing all such ideas into a mental holding tank, labeled "probably false, but I don't actually know for certain", and ignore them unless clear evidence turns up. He will actualy investigate one of these claims every once in a while, as a way of keeping his classification scheme accurate, and he will slowly build up a list of others who he trusts to accurately assess such claims.

Now, I know nothing about this "Face on Mars business". However, I am well aware of the fact that you can find any pattern you want to in a low-resolution photograph if you stare at it long enough. That, plus the fact that there have been several similar claims about alien artifacts on Earth and on the Moon (all of which have turned out to be false), leads me to suspect that these claims will probably turn out to be false. Since the idea of technological aliens having visited our solar system in any fashion is itself problematic (it is virtually impossible to construct a scenario that makes any sense), I conclude that there is no reason for me to invest several days of my time learning all the details of the theory.

If I happen to be wrong, firm evidence will turn up in time (and the fact that I dismissed it for a few years won't hurt me). If I'm right, I've saved myself some time. Either way I'm not going to waste time arguing with people who believe in the theory (I leave that to the people who have actually investigated this particular claim).

Do you think there is something wrong with this strategy?

Billy Brown, MCSE+I