A gentle strategy for conversing with conspiracists?

I just had an idea and I don’t want to forget it.

The next time a ridiculous conspiracy theory sweeps across the land and infects many formerly reasonable people, I want to start researching Bigfoot.

It doesn’t have to be Bigfoot exactly. It could be UFOs, or Elvis still being alive somewhere, or aliens building the pyramids. Something that I’ve never cared to learn about before.

The goal is not to convince anyone that their pet theory is comparable to an older and more obviously risible conspiracy theory. That’s too obvious, and too easily resisted by someone determined to be believe in their own brilliance.

I want to do something more subtle. I want to spend my time trying to convince my conspiratorial friends that Bigfoot is real and the government is lying about it.

Maybe they’ll say they don’t want to talk about it and we can compromise by not talking about either conspiracy theory. That would be fine by me.

Maybe they’ll try to convince me that my conspiracy theory is wrong. They’ll fail of course. That will be a real treat.

Or maybe I’ll succeed in persuading them that mine is right. Somehow I feel that this would be the most just outcome of all.

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