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Tinfoil Digest: Not Much Has Changed But We Live Underwater Edition

Tinfoil Digest: Not Much Has Changed But We Live Underwater Edition

Our writers' recommendations this week include theories about whether birds or trees are real, a controversy about boneless chicken wings a podcast about QAnon and neo-shamanism, and some towns at the bottom of a big lake.


Joe, Senior Researcher - This week, I thought I’d share my absolute favorite conspiracy theory of all time. This is from an innocent era, before Pizzagate, before QAnon, and before both of those things united Facebook mums and the far-right and spilled out into the real world like an angry, paranoid Coke and Mentos experiment. This is the wonderful sub-theory within the Flat-Earther community alledging that there are no real forests left, only giant stumps in the form of what we think are peculiar geological phenomena. This shift in scale paints a picture of a long-gone Studio Ghibli-esque world of monumental forests that dwarf human endeavour. William Thomson wanders deep into this idea, and explains how, while apparently absurd, it highlights the fragility of humanity’s relationship with the trees we have.

Read it here.


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Ishaana, Researcher - Ander Christensen, burger tie wearing, Lincoln city resident, champion of chicken wings pleaded before the city council to remove the name boneless wings "from our menus and from our hearts". His reason: “nothing about boneless chicken wings comes from the wings of a chicken.” I couldn't agree with him more. Deceptively named foods can put you off, eg. my mom’s ‘Dead Man’s Bones’ (not the band and no dead men involved, but so good). Here is a list of more misleading food names.


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Devika, Senior Fact Checker - Over the last few months, I have come across all sorts of conspiracy theories, from flat earthers, Apollo 11 deniers, to people who believe the coronavirus is a hoax. But the one that stuck out the most was ‘Birds Aren’t Real.’ This theory claims that birds were real, until 2001, and now they are surveillance drone replicas that watch us every day. The theory answers all your inane questions; what bird eggs are, what bird poop is, and most importantly, how to establish dominance over the devices! Read this article to understand what the theory is all about; check out their website if you want to know more.


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Kristina, Disinformation Researcher - QAnon has reached the world of psychedelics. During ceremonies where they take the hallucinogenic drug ayahuasca, some neo-shamans claim to have seen Donald Trump saving the world. Listen to this episode of the Conspirituality podcast to learn where the border between subjective and objective is, and how Trump made it into the world of neo-shamanism.

Follow the Conspirituality hosts here and here.


Edie, Contributing Editor - Following on from last week’s recommendation about abolishing the suburbs that aren’t even suburbs, geographical sleight of hand is fast becoming my favorite disinformation thread of this election. Ed Markey’s primary victory last week makes it a great time to look back to this brilliant story from July, wherein his rival Joe Kennedy III accused him of neglecting three Massachusetts towns. Unfortunately for Kennedy, those towns turned out not to exist anymore, instead sitting at the bottom of the Quabbin Reservoir, prompting the fantastic line from Markey’s Press Secretary: “Senator Markey has been leading and delivering for all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts that are not underwater.”

Read the full story here, and follow its author Christina Prignano here.



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Tinfoil Digest: Porn and Vampires Edition

Our writers' recommendations this week include an investigation into why we call things porn, some vampire bots, a podcast about where the new darlings of the Republican Party live, and some "wiggly air" that might or might not help you chill out.