Up until recently, I had rather arrogantly assumed that a lot of people were either terribly ignorant about world affairs or were telling lies on purpose. However, ever since the run-up to the war on Iraq, I have been troubled by a much more worrying possibility. In the first few months of this year, I read a number of short articles containing references to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s which, from the context, caused me to suspect that my internet connection was in some way dragging in material from a parallel universe; one in which the USA entered the Second World War in 1939 as a pre-emptive measure rather than 1941 in response to an attack. It just began to seem more plausible explanation than to assume that so many people were making precisely the same error.
When you start thinking this way, of course, you begin to notice all sorts of other examples. Below, I’ve listed a number of statements that are definitely true in my universe. If any of them strike you as being definitely false, then something very interesting indeed is going on. I would particularly like to get in touch with several of you (not all), as I fear that your mathematics is beginning to leak into my world. I had previously to this date established to my own satisfaction certain propositions relating to the amount of money available for pensions in the future, but a person, who I am sure I remember from university, is currently making arguments which appear to me to breach fundamental adding-up constraints. My list follows:
- The total death toll attributable to Stalinist Communism was much closer to 20 million than 60 million
- “Don Quixote” was written by Guillermo de Cervantes
- The murder rate in Australia did not suddenly spike upwards as the result of new firearms legislation in 1996
- There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
- The Zahir is no longer kept in the British Museum; it has not been there for some time
- Native-born British people are citizens of the United Kingdom and have not been referred to as “subjects” since the reform Acts of 1832.
- It is not possible to introduce tobacco genes into a maize plant by a normal process of cross-breeding
- Sydney is the capital of Australia
- Senator Joseph McCarthy falsely accused a number of people of being Communists during the 1950s.
- Osama bin Laden is an enemy of Saddam Hussein and has repeatedly denounced the Iraqi government
- Dunsop Bridge in Northumberland is at the centre of gravity of the island of Great Britain
- The land mass currently occupied by the United States of America was formerly occupied by human beings, who were largely exterminated during its settlement by Europeans
- The polar ice caps are melting.
- The West Bank of the River Jordan is not part of the State of Israel
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote the majority of his work in Spanish
- The Gross Domestic Product of Russia fell by 42% during the years 1991-1994.
For obvious reasons, I have not provided hyperlinks backing up these assertions, as it is the very source of those hyperlinks which is the matter in question, but you must please accept my assertion as sincere that none of these facts is in the remotest doubt. Thank you in advance for your help