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The Long Game

Brandolini’s law and the Durham report

Brandolini’s law states “the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.” and we are seeing this in action during the coverage the Durham report.

Brandolini’s law states “the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.” and we are seeing this in action during the coverage the Durham report.

It takes a Fox pundits moments to repeat “Hillary was spying” and hours to walk through 1000s of words in explainers.

So when your crazy uncle liberty starts ranting about Hillary spying on social media do not waste time trying to convince them. Ask crazy uncle liberty to point out a crime that a person could be charged with based on the Durham report. Have them point to a part of the report. Insist they quote a section and point out who, if anyone, could be charged with a crime. Demand they show their work.

If the crazy uncle liberties in your life are anything like the ones in my life, they will get upset and eventually admit they haven’t read the memo and don’t need to because they know Hillary did all those terrible things.

That is the point of this tactic. Bullshit is asymmetric but so is judo. Spend a tiny bit of effort and show everyone reading that discussion that crazy uncle liberty:

  • Did not read the report and will not read the report
  • Does not have any knowledge of any crimes
  • If acting entirely on their pre-existing biases

Why does this Judo work? Because crazy uncle liberty wants to yell about Hillary. They do not want to debate, they want to lecture. They do not want facts, they want to vent. When someone reading along asks, you should absolutely post links to any of the excellent explainers. But never lead with a fact check. Crazy uncle liberty will not read it.