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August 18, 2011 3:22 PM   Subscribe

The Outer Limits episode, The Architects of Fear is built around faking an alien invasion in order to stop nuclear armageddon. In a recent interview, Paul Krugman of the New York Times proposed a fake alien invasion to stimulate the economy.
posted by Xurando (45 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Someone check his connection to Pyramid Industries.
posted by The Whelk at 3:23 PM on August 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


Look on my wonks, ye mighty, and despair.
posted by curious nu at 3:24 PM on August 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


An alien invasion could also arguably make racism a thing of the past. We'd just hate the aliens instead.

Really, though, I'm half-serious.
posted by reductiondesign at 3:31 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


They already did this, it's called Al Qaeda, and the fake invasion was 9/11. Dick Cheney was Ozymandius.

I thought you all saw that movie.
posted by empath at 3:32 PM on August 18, 2011 [24 favorites]


Is there ever not a David Bowie song?
posted by everichon at 3:33 PM on August 18, 2011


Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago.
posted by WPW at 3:34 PM on August 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


The whole right-wing alternate history of the great depression and WWII in that 'blastr' thread is a thing to behold:

Paul Krugman is a progressive fool with very little actual knowledge of the progressive caused Great Depression of 1929-1954. World War II did one thing actually. It removed the hight (25%) unemployment rate by taking every able-bodied man in the country into the military. FDR was actually planning a second round of "New Deal" laws which would have crippled the economy even further, but saner heads prevailed and prevented Truman from enacting any of these insane acts after the war. The Great Depression didn't actually end until 1954 when the stock market finally returned to the same level it held in October 1929. The Great Depression actually lasted for THIRTY FIVE YEARS! And you can thank John Maynard Keynes for most of it!!!!!
far weirder than the watchmen...
posted by ennui.bz at 3:35 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nice going, Paul Krugman. You spoiled it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:39 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some of the more out-there conspiracy theorists have also been predicting this for years, saying they're going to fake an alien invasion to drum up support for a one-world government united to fight back against the alien threat. They must have loved Independence Day.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:42 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


but saner heads prevailed and prevented Truman from enacting any of these insane acts after the war

I'm glad these sane heads were able to prevent things like the G.I. Bill. Gah, don't get me started!
posted by Brocktoon at 3:44 PM on August 18, 2011


Just for variety's sake, could we try faking a nuclear war to prevent an alien invasion?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:45 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love the title of this FPP.
posted by brundlefly at 3:48 PM on August 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Everybody knows that fake alien invasions are just the fucking fart-ass Slitheen trying to get all your alien experts in 10 Downing Street.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:51 PM on August 18, 2011


brundlefly: I love the title of this FPP.

So does Krugman.
OK, that’s by far the best thing I’ve heard about my remark that an imaginary threat from aliens, by leading to a burst of spending, would solve the unemployment problem.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:53 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or we could just take out the fake aliens and just enact a sufficiently large stimulus program.

But if fake aliens are what it takes to make Obama consider the one factually correct solution to this problem, why not?
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:55 PM on August 18, 2011


You guys go ahead, I'll stay behind to help ensure there are future generations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 PM on August 18, 2011


Metafilter's Rule of Doctor Who Analogies:
For any mention to aliens in the thread/article, the probability of a Doctor Who reference increases to 1.
posted by Lucubrator at 3:59 PM on August 18, 2011




Maybe this is what the Tea Party is going right now. One day, we're all going to get mysterious glasses in the mail and, when we pop them on, we'll see that Michell Bachman is really a creature that looks like all the skin has been flayed off her face.

TEA LIVES!
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:03 PM on August 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


One day, we're all going to get mysterious glasses in the mail and, when we pop them on, we'll see that Michell Bachman is really a creature that looks like all the skin has been flayed off her face.

If by "glasses" you mean "Newsweek", then you are a few days late.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:07 PM on August 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


This is Krugman, after all. The man who wrote about interstellar economic issues, who was on a panel at Worldcon a couple of years ago talking with Metafilter's Own cstross.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:07 PM on August 18, 2011


op. cit.
posted by hank at 4:08 PM on August 18, 2011


The Great Depression didn't actually end until 1954 when the stock market finally returned to the same level it held in October 1929.

Good news everyone! By this definition this depression ended in December of 2010. You can all go back to work now.
posted by munchingzombie at 4:37 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]




It might be kind of hard to fake an alien invasion, but it might be a lot easier to fake something like the negative Singularity of the Terminator universe, nipped in the bud but only barely, but crippling the world's computer networks as we frantically try to keep it down.

All of the components for such a thing actually exist and could be deployed, except the part where it actually becomes conscious -- and a sufficiently robust command and control structure could allow a human agency to stand in for that. Meanwhile the disruptions would have to be handled with extra labor -- people to do the stuff computers used to either do or make unnecessary. No more telecommuting from Bangalore; you have to hire Americans to do that stuff now. Newspapers go back to printing actual bird cage liners. And a whole new class of machines would have to be made reversing the current trend of requiring everything from your coffeemaker to your hair dryer to have internet access.

It could probably be sold to certain powers on the additional advantage of neutralizing this whole internet activisim thing, which has proven so annoying to certain powerful people.

And I'm sure our spooks are up to the added verisimilitude of a few "out of control" weapons systems to add a little pyrotechnics to the mix. I imagine an out of control ICBM launch, frantic last-minute attempts to regain control broadcast in realtime, culminating in an actual H-bomb going off somewhere where not many people would be killed but lots would see it. (It's not like we're doing anything else with the damn things amirite?)
posted by localroger at 4:55 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


culminating in an actual H-bomb going off somewhere where not many people would be killed but lots would see it.

Nah, you've got to be willing to sacrifice a city or two if you want to make this work. Aim it at a military target somewhere - ideally one that isn't on most people's radar, but one that the military can start talking up as "one of the most important military facilities in the U.S.A." You want it to be someplace that a super-intelligent machine would identify as a threat or as a tactically advantageous location to strike. Otherwise, you spoil the illusion.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:07 PM on August 18, 2011


look, think of this as a way we could get rid of Colorado Springs forever.
posted by The Whelk at 5:12 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


A decent EMP in the vicinity of the LHC would do the job.
posted by panaceanot at 5:16 PM on August 18, 2011


we'll see that Michell Bachman is really a creature that looks like all the skin has been flayed off her face.

Selby for President!
posted by clavdivs at 5:34 PM on August 18, 2011


Is that last link not working for anyone else?
posted by runcibleshaw at 5:45 PM on August 18, 2011


Nah, you've got to be willing to sacrifice a city or two if you want to make this work.

I see I'm not the only one who recently re-watched The Forbin Project.
I love netflix

posted by localroger at 5:53 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]




An alien invasion could also arguably make racism a thing of the past. We'd just hate the aliens instead.

Fred Pohl beat you to it: The Day After the Day the Martians Came.
posted by googly at 6:39 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cowboys and Aliens release date
posted by Dub at 7:04 PM on August 18, 2011


Paul Krugman: Warmonger
posted by homunculus at 7:08 PM on August 18, 2011


An alien invasion could also arguably make racism a thing of the past. We'd just hate the aliens instead.

Or the "aliens" could just offer to take the pesky "minorities" away. Problem solved. It's almost like a teapartier's wet dream.

Cowboys and Aliens release date

It was released in the US several weeks ago and is still in theaters.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:51 PM on August 18, 2011


I JUST READ KLUGMAN'S ARTICLE!

IT'S A COOKBOOK!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:39 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
posted by perspicio at 10:22 PM on August 18, 2011


We'd just hate the aliens instead.


Well...!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:44 PM on August 18, 2011


The way the American experiment is going there may a need test for the significance of the other tail.
posted by srboisvert at 2:16 AM on August 19, 2011


I have seen the Krugman remark showing up on conspiracy theory sites as "proof" of everything from an actual alien crash at Roswell to martial law being declared in the US and people being herded into "FEMA camps."

Maybe we should ask Rick Perry about the problems facing modern molecular biology in light of the "gaps" in the theory of evolution. That certainly is relevant to Krugman's totally serious proposal, right? We have to have realistic aliens after all.

He made a half-serious/half-joke analogy and the headlines in the news are about a "proposal" as if it were made seriously. This is an excellent signpost on the road to oblivion that we're currently racing down.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:16 AM on August 19, 2011


In all fairness, I kinda miss those days when most of the crazies were in fact busy with space-related conspiracy theories. 10 years after 911, and in the midst of the Great Recession, those seem like fun times.

Or may be I just stopped being a kid.
posted by the cydonian at 3:21 AM on August 19, 2011


I can understand Krugman's frustration. The right wing doesn't really have a good argument against stimulus. They just don't like it, because it isn't punitive and war-mongering enough.
posted by jonp72 at 4:19 PM on August 19, 2011


Willful Stupidity
posted by homunculus at 4:50 PM on August 25, 2011


Burning Man 2011: Dalek Art Car
posted by homunculus at 11:33 AM on September 5, 2011


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