"I'm not a chicken. I'm just really hesitant." -Frasier Crane
Question #90137 posted on 08/08/2017 3:44 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I recently found out that one of my good friends (and roommates) is a total conspiracy nut. He believes it all: Illuminati, chemtrails, vaccines cause autism, Bildeberg Group, FEMA camps -- all of it, including some Mormon-specific stuff too. I'm not going to drop a friendship because he believes crazy things, as I'm sure I also believe stuff that isn't true. But how do I do it? How do you be friends with somebody who, by all external appearances is a totally smart and rational person, but absolutely believes absolutely B-A-N-A-N-A-S stuff?

-My Name Here


Dear you,

Same thing you do with people whose politics you disagree with, or who love things you hate, etc: focus on other parts of the relationships.

In the vast majority of situations, a relationship between two people can rely on a lot of different factors, and focusing on those things can be a good way to deal with relationships that are worth maintaining even though there are particular aspects you consider undesirable. 

For example, my brother Gonzo and I disagree politically. If the only thing we do together is discuss politics, it'll wear on our relationship, because we're not always the best at being positive and constructive about it. But if we also do stuff like exchange funny internet videos, meet together for dinner to spend time together, serve one another (he came and helped when we moved) and have board game nights, our relationship can continue to develop positively (even if politics comes up sometimes.) 

It's like Gottman's Ratio. If we focus on good things, we can deal with stuff that is less likely to be positive occasionally.

There are clearly situations where one aspect of a relationship can't be ignored. For example, physical or emotional abuse aren't just a "Well, focus on the positive" thing. Likewise, if your friend's quirk was being a serial killer, I don't think "Just focus on how much fun you have biking together!" would be very stable advice. However, when you're discussing a relatively minor and relatively harmless annoyance, just focusing elsewhere can help maintain.

Good luck!

~Anne, Certianly


Dear Aziraphale,

So this doesn't do much for giving advice, but did you know there's a conspiracy theory stating there were huge trees which were all cut down about 200 years ago or something and mesas are the stumps? According to this theory, there aren't actually any forests left on Earth.

Apparently it's caused some divisions in the conspiracy world because there are those who say it's just crazy talk and others who say it makes perfect sense. The more you know...



Dear Anathema,

The comments section of the huge-tree-mesa "theory" makes me feel both entertained and disappointed to read. As a fun "let's do a weird fiction imagine-if scenario it is actually kind of fun, but taking it seriously? Maybe next time, other internet humans.  I do like that they use a still frame from Avatar to show the size of the giant prehistoric forests and literally any stump that resembles a large landform to show how it is "clearly" a stump.


Alas, in the comments below it made me furious when someone suggested the formations at Bryce Canyon were the "roots" of some prehistoric tree, which makes even less sense than the rest of the "theory," because Bryce Canyon is a really long cliffy formation, not tree root-shaped in the least. BUT SIECNCE, GUYS. ITZ A TIHNG. Apparently.


--Ardilla Feroz

P.S. According to Anathema, she "recently encountered some stone that looked like wood, so [she's] pretty sure that's definitive proof of this theory."


Dear Ardilla,

Behold the proof:


~Anathema sincerely hopes the readers realize she isn't being serious