Tarksi wondered how we could tell whether snow is white. We have more challenging proposti0nal conundrums.
Extreme possible worlds
Bin Laden sprang out of bed with an AK47 in each hand. A millisecond before squeezing the triggers, a Navy SEAL shot him in the eye. “Shit!” exclaimed the US shooter, realizing the democratic West was in trouble. There’ll be no fair trial, no hope for justice. One of his comrades patted him on the shoulder, “There’s nothing we could have done.” Back in DC, Hilary Clinton covered her face, realizing immediately the repercussions – who would believe them when they said that he slept with guns?
Bin Laden was lying asleep, naked, in bed, with no sign of guns or explosives. His wife woke first and started to scream on seeing the SEALS. She was shot in the leg: “Shut up bitch.” As Bin Laden woke up, he was shot in the head as the US assassin screamed, “YEEEE HAAAW!” “Mission accomplished,” said the SEAL with a smile, waving to President Obama via the video hookup.
We must know the truth
There’s an enormous space of possibilities consistent with what we hear from the news for just about every news event. The first to come was whether the SEALS were really engaged in a gunfight. There’s the issue of sovereignty in Pakistan: is it possible that Pakistan secretly welcomes the drone attacks? That Pakistan knew the SEALS were coming but couldn’t admit this for fear of civil war when the locals discovered?
Then there’s the videos of Bin Laden watching himself. News of his porn stash. Could all be true and not fabricated. Could be a cheap PsyOp.
It’s of crucial importance that we work out how to uncover the real truth. What really happened? What were the motivations?
Well, actually, it’s not important. If even a fraction of what is probable, is actually true, e.g., that the US is executing people without trial in Pakistan using remote controlled drones, we have a major problem. The obvious truth is bad enough. The details and conspiracies don’t matter – they just distract from what we already know.
So, of all the scary news, what’s most likely to be true? And what should we do about it?