1081: Argument Victory

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Argument Victory
Really, the comforting side in most conspiracy theory arguments is the one claiming that anyone who's in power has any plan at all.
Title text: Really, the comforting side in most conspiracy theory arguments is the one claiming that anyone who's in power has any plan at all.


Cueball is arguing with a conspiracy theorist who believes in some conspiracy, who is sitting in front of his computer talking back. They are probably using Skype, FaceTime, or another video calling service, as Cueball later asks him to watch closely, holding his phone up to show the other guy what he is doing.

Cueball's opponent seems to ignore all reliable sources, like Snopes and Wikipedia on top of several journals, instead preferring sources that are seemingly not credible (but that do agree with him). These conspiracy ".net" pages typically just have a black background and use several different sizes of fonts. Their belief seems to be the larger the font(and the brighter the colors, possibly), the more convincing. Cueball cannot take these kinds of sources seriously. ".net" websites can be made by anyone and have little limitations. The maker of a ".net" does not need to show sources of information or even their name. As such, ".net" websites are notoriously unreliable. The Truth about Black Helicopters is a (satirical) example of one such website, supposedly explaining the truth behind government "Black Helicopters".

The conspiracy theorist insists that by trusting reliable sources, Cueball is simply buying into the cover-up, suggesting that all those journalists are somehow brainwashed. Cueball says he can win the argument, and will show him how, but then ceases to argue further in favor of going down a waterslide while holding up the phone to show the other guy how to have a good time. Since conspiracy theorists tend to be intransigent, Cueball sees himself as the victor after ceasing to argue with a guy who cannot be argued with, and instead decides to have some fun. This is made even more satisfying for Cueball by the fact that it makes his opponent angry. It's likely that this is also a reference to the "Your Argument is Invalid" meme.

The joke here is also in the title of the comic which is Argument Victory something that is very hard to achieve by on the web... Cueball won this victory not by arguing but by stopping this argument he was having with someone that could/would not be argued with, such as going down a waterslide.

The title text points out that belief in a conspiracy presupposes that those with the power to carry out the conspiracy actually have a plan, a situation which might be found more "comforting" than the alternative that those in power are just muddling through with no plan at all. This concept is revisited in 1274: Open Letter.


[Cueball, looking right, is talking at his smartphone while holding it up in front of his head using both hands.]
Cueball: I can't believe you're so wrong. I'm backed by Snopes, Wikipedia, and a half-dozen journals. You're citing .net pages with black backgrounds and like 20 fonts each.
[A conspiracy theorist is sitting in front of this lap top at his desk looking left. He has his hair combed down. He is talking to Cueball via his laptop, probably Skyping.]
Conspiracy theorist: It's sad how you buy into the official story so unquestioningly.
Conspiracy theorist: Guess some people prefer to stay asleep.
[Back to Cueball who has lowered his phone a bit. The reply from the conspiracy theorist is shown to come out of the phone with a jagged arrow and likewise speech bubble.]
Cueball: Watch closely— I'm about to win this argument.
Conspiracy theorist (reply from phone): How?
[Cueball is sitting at the very top of a waterslide preparing to descend.]
Cueball: By going down a waterslide.
[A split panel, with a close-up of the conspiracy theorist above and below Cueball is sliding down the waterslide with both hands above his head, water splashing up behind him as he holds his smartphone above the water in one hand.]
Conspiracy theorist: So? What does that prove?
Cueball: Wheee..
[Another split panel, this time a smaller part is used for the close-up of the conspiracy theorist above and below Cueball has more of this panels space for sliding down to the bottom of the waterslide with both hands above his head, water still splashing up behind him as he continues to keep his smartphone above the water in one hand.]
Conspiracy theorist: You didn't win the argument!
Cueball: ...eeee!
Cueball: Sploosh!

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I also think it could be a joke on the "Guess some people prefer to stay asleep." line ? 18:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories are typically considered (especially by non-conspiracy-theorists) to make one sleepless/have nightmares, due to their often frightening nature. 19:38, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
What the conspiracy theorist is saying is an idiomatic expression. Being "asleep" here means that the theorist's opponent has not yet opened his mind to the truth, and is willing to accept propaganda full of lies. Kind of like in The Matrix or something. (Disclaimer, I've never watched it, just read about it.) 21:12, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

I still don't understand the title text. I would think that the side that thinks "anyone who's in power has any plan at all" would be the conspiracy theorists, but how is that comforting? 14:25, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I think he wants to say that our political leaders don't really seem to overlook our world's machinery (as conspiracy theorists assume), and that he finds this rather frightening. --Kronf (talk) 16:57, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
No, the opposite. The conspiracy theorists believe there is a plan. We suspect the opposite because we are rational and see no good evidence. Nonceexkcd (talk) 21:01, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
That's what I tried to say. --Kronf (talk) 16:02, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I think of it as a joke, based around the stereotype of politicians having either terrible plans/policies or none at all. He finds it more comforting for them to have any plan, even if it is a conspiracy. It could be thought of as "at least they have a plan and control, instead of no plan and chaos". 09:58, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

To clarify, he finds the fact that if conspiracy theorists are right, somebody is ruling the world and by extension, looking over it and making sure it doesn't fall apart on them, as opposed to it being a chaotic unsupervised mess. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Really? Combs Hair Down? Surely there's a better name for this person... 07:13, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Conspiracy Theorist? -Pennpenn 04:10, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Combspiracy Theorist? --Lupo (talk) 13:44, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

"It's unnerving to think there are gangs of giant lizards controlling the whole of mankind from the shadows, but is that less worrying than the possibility that we live in a random universe where unthinking forces could opt to snuff us out without cause or reason?" Conspiracy theories: the science behind belief in secret plots

Also one of Alan Moore's most famous quotes: "The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless." Wikiquote:Alan Moore AmbroseChapel (talk) 03:33, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

It's just as easy to get a .org or .com website as a .net or .xyz; the extension is irrelevant if it's not .gov or .edu or some other institution's official website. This is a common myth that just because a website ends in .org, people think it's a legitimate website. I've got several myself for only a few dollars a year. 15:21, 13 April 2020 (UTC)