Thursday, January 28, 2016

Two People Can Keep a Secret . . .

From the moon landings being an elaborate hoax, to climate change deniers, there are many conspiracy theories that are believed by a large number of people worldwide.

But the amount of people who would have been involved in keeping such large-scale secrets suggests that if they were true, they would have been exposed by someone by now.

With this in mind, a physicist has calculated how many people would have potentially worked on some of the most popular theories, and what is the likelihood of them all keeping a secret.

Using this model, the truth about the moon landings being a hoax would have been exposed in three years and eight months.

A climate change fraud would have been uncovered in three years nine months, a vaccination conspiracy would take three years and two months to be revealed, and a suppressed cancer cure would come to light after three years and three months.
I would strongly argue that climate change fraud is not an argument over a conspiracy as such, but more of a disagreement over the quality and interpretation of data.
The formula was created by Dr David Robert Grimes from Oxford University.

He initially created an equation to express the probability of a conspiracy being either deliberately uncovered by a whistle-blower, or inadvertently revealed by a bungler.

This factored in the number of conspirators, the length of time, and even the effects of conspirators dying, whether of old age or more nefarious means.
Moon landing reveal is pictured top left. A climate change fraud would have 
been uncoveredin three years nine months (top right), a vaccination 
conspiracy would take three years and two months to be revealed (bottom
left), and a suppressed cancer cure would come to light after three years three
 months (bottom right)

 But notice how the length that the conspiracy can be maintained depends on the number of people in on the secret; the more people the sooner the conspiracy is likely to be unraveled. If one or two people decide to conceal a fact, that could last a very long time.

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