25 questions for the rational #QAnon skeptic
by Martin Geddes, @martingeddes
When two narratives go to war
If you are going to tell a heinous lie, make sure it’s a really humungous one, accuse the other side of all that you are guilty, and ensure facts do not get in the way of Your Truth™. These psychological warfare tactics — be they in the manner of Goebbels, Alinsky, or Orwell — make finding “true truth” a confusing and costly matter for the public. Many give up, forced by the urgency to slave away in the system that told and sold them the lie in the first place.
The United States — and by proxy all societies aspiring to liberty — is presently riven by a social and political divide, represented by two violently opposing narratives. We can characterise these somewhat cartoonishly as “#FakeNews” versus “#OrangeManBad”. I believe that the resolution of this difference is THE core issue in understanding the whole landscape of modern multimedia communications.
The “#FakeNews hypothesis” runs thus: the mass media is controlled, coordinated, and corrupt, what with it being run by a crooked Power Elite. It is a “mafia media” being used to cover for organised criminality by a longstanding gangster government. The mainstream media (MSM) uses gaslighting, propaganda, and mind control techniques to socially engineer public opinion. The #QAnon phenomenon is helping to prepare and guide a brainwashed population towards a difficult reality.
The “#OrangeManBad hypothesis” is the converse: the MSM is legitimate journalism that is broadly telling you the truth, and is reasonably trustworthy. They are doing their job of holding an often corrupt Power Elite to account. The President of the United States (POTUS) is a traitor and crook. As a consequence of this, the #QAnon phenomenon is a “conspiracy theory” that deserves no credence, legitimacy, or attention.
I accept that this is a false dichotomy — all parties could be evil, or Q could be the world’s smartest controlled opposition, or some other possibility. I acknowledge that whilst these two positions are mutually exclusive, they are not collectively exhaustive. For the sake of argument, since we face a polarity of opinion, let’s assume for now that it is a binary choice.
A primer on the semantics of Q
How can we decide between these diametrically opposed views — “silos of belief” — which appear logical and factual to their vociferous adherents? The #QAnon process appears to be constructed to resolve this dilemma by using simple reasoning — a kind of “Occam’s laser cutter”. This simplifies a wildly complex set of data, part of an information war battlefield, into a single rational choice.
In order to reason about Q and this dilemma, it helps to have a baseline understanding of what Q is. To borrow and pervert some terminology from computer science, Q has:
- Both explicit and covert denotational semantics (the “what”) — being overt textual and image Q drops, together with various other hidden encodings of information (e.g. timing of drops, gematria).
- Both explicit and opaque operational semantics (the “how”) — we operationally experience the drops happening on these exotic social media websites (which are “game reserves” for real free speech), but everything behind those “drops” is invisible to us, hidden by a veil of secrecy.
- Unknown but inferable intentional semantics (the “why”) — the stated aim is to Make America Great Again via a Great Awakening. This could be a trick or a trap, and we can only decide by history unfolding in front of us.
Note that Q claims NO direct authority: the repeated exhortation is to trust yourself ONLY, do your OWN research. Q explicitly acknowledges that disinformation is mixed into the drops. This is in direct opposition to the way the MSM works, which asserts that they are credible as a result of their accumulated brand value and trust.
A “QAnon” is an “anon” (a typically anonymous social media user) who observes the drops by Q on 4chan/8chan/8kun, and performs their own research to vet and validate the data being offered. Q itself is not something that is “true” or “false” — the drops clearly exist, so it is a matter of how we interpret the trove of data offered.
The link between Q and POTUS is evidenced by what have colloquially been named as “proofs”, such as Q posting less than a minute before POTUS tweets. There are around 500 such “proofs”, which individually are merely “evidence”, but collectively form a strong basis of fact.
25 questions to ask yourself about Q
- Do you agree that the MSM has synchronised messages and similar wording when reporting on QAnon? Does this appear to support or refute the #FakeNews hypothesis?
- Do you agree there appears to be little to no diversity of editorial approaches and opinions on Q or POTUS? How do you make sense of this near unanimity across the MSM?
- The MSM has not reported on the specific content of the Q drops, only referring to them indirectly. How do you account for this journalistic choice?
- The MSM has not encouraged the public to examine the associated open source intelligence by QAnons (e.g. the daily “notables”). What does this say about their attitude to independent thought?
- The MSM won’t discuss the validity of the evidence of a Q-Trump link (i.e. operational semantics that are a question of proof that would stand up in court). Why do you think this is not covered in detail?
- The MSM doesn’t mention how Q tells you to reject any authority and to always research and think for yourself. How do you make sense of this in the context of the mass media’s authority and trustworthiness?
- The MSM has failed to analyse ways in which Q drops have foreshadowed major events. Why do you think this might be?
- The MSM rarely discusses psychological warfare, the art of deception, and the use of disinformation; and if it does, typically ends with a piece denigrating Q and/or POTUS. Which hypothesis does this appear to support?
- The MSM offers only a binary “Q is all true” vs “Q is a larp” (i.e. a hoax), rather than focusing on the content of the Q drops. How does this relate to each of the two hypotheses?
- The MSM won’t ask the “Q question” of POTUS, so that any association can be confirmed or refuted. Does this alone act as proof of the #FakeNews hypothesis, or not?
- The MSM won’t even discuss the existence of this contentious “Q question”. What is your theory for this rather glaring omission, and whether they are presenting both sides of the issue fairly and faithfully?
- The MSM hasn’t explored the extensive data supporting Q’s assertions of criminality (e.g. at the Clinton Foundation), even though there are ongoing DoJ probes (Huber, Durham, Horowitz). Why do you think this is?
- The MSM hardly ever mentioned 4chan, 8chan, or 8kun before Q. What might be the significance of Q in making these a sudden focus of attention?
- Those who reject the #FakeNews hypothesis in favour of #OrangeManBad typically reference MSM sources as evidence. Do you agree or disagree whether this is a form of circular argument?
- Many dismiss the types of questions here on the basis that Q is a ridiculous conspiracy theory unworthy of discussion. Do you accept or reject this as another form of circular reasoning, appealing to your hypothesis as an axiom?
- POTUS has not disassociated himself from Q. What political impact would the “exposure of Q” have on his political capital, and how do you account for his action in an #OrangeManBad scenario?
- There has been little to no speculation on who Q is by the MSM. Why might this be, given the significant following of Q?
- If Q has accumulated a large following of citizens who are being led astray, this could be a foreign power waging psychological warfare against Americans. Why do you imagine there is no MSM analysis of how the greatest intelligence apparatus in the world cannot identify Q, especially if it is an “individual in a basement”?
- The MSM doesn’t give any prominence to the many well-known Q researchers in their articles. Why might this be?
- If Q is “disproven”, why is there no analysis in the MSM of the propaganda techniques being used, and how Q exploits them?
- If Q is a part of a “Cult of Trump”, why does the MSM not offer kindness and compassion to “Qultists”, and present a viable path to show them the way out of their delusion? What does this say about the MSM’s values?
- If Q is a “larp”, does this suggest that Q has been given false authority by believers? What does it say about our belief in authority in general, versus reasoning for ourselves? Could the same false authority be applied to the MSM?
- Those who “come out” as seeing truth in the #FakeNews hypothesis are often ostracised or bullied into silence. What does this say about those who believe #OrangeManBad, and the MSM that forms their media landscape?
- When reading through this list of questions, did it raise issues or concerns that you hadn’t considered before?
- If so, why do you still believe the MSM? Aren’t they #FakeNews if they are withholding key questions, only presenting one side of a story, and telling you what to think?
I hope you enjoyed answering these questions and thinking for yourself. Even if, no — make that especially if — you believe #OrangeManBad. You are entitled to come to your own conclusion, without coercion or bullying by me or anyone else.
Personally, I believe the rational choice out of the two competing hypotheses is outstandingly obvious: the MSM is #FakeNews. This makes every question trivially easy to answer using simple logic, whereas #OrangeManBad demands absurd contortions and torture of the facts to fit the theory.