Stopped clock

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Not to be confused with an Inverse stopped clock moment.
Common sense is not so common.
Voltaire, A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary

The phrase "stopped clock" (also "broken clock" or "sudden outbreak of common sense"[1]) comes from the proverb "even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day", thus implying that even cranks, denialists, or conspiracy theorists can theoretically be correct once in a while, generally by chance alone, and may indicate that a tiny pocket of healthy rebel braincells have yet to succumb to the dementia that has clearly overtaken their siblings. Recovery, however, is not to be expected, particularly since we're in fact the ones who are crazy.

While some stopped clock moments take the form of a crank simply (to all our suprise) endorsing something normal and mainstream, e.g. anti-littering laws, many other stopped clock moments actually take the form of a crank - for once - lending his or her misdirected effort to the rational side by calling out another crank on their obviously cranky ideas - essentially amounting to the pot calling the kettle black. This irony is often lost on them, however, as they clearly consider themselves sane. In yet other cases, it is simply the case of the crank having consistently blamed their bête noire for everything until something stuck. However, since we're not really into ad hominem (just snark), we gladly give them a point on being correct, no matter how dirty their laundry. Even Hitler gets points from us (see list below).

This analogy is one counterpoint to the fallacy fallacy, which is the mistake of assuming that any conclusion derived from fallacious reasoning must be false. To extend the analogy a bit further, a clock stopped at 3:48 will always conclude that the current time is 3:48. Thanks to its faulty premises, though, this conclusion happens to be correct only for a total of two minutes out of any given day, or roughly 0.14% of the time.


[edit] What kind of clock?

This analogous term refers to an analogue clock, with the standard twelve-hour dial face and its own minutehand (unlike a sundial, onto which a minutehand is projected by the sun in the form of a shadow).[2]

"Flip digital" clocks, where the numbers are affixed to small plastic cards that "flip" into position when driven by an electrical clock mechanism, can also be considered to display the correct time twice a day. Regardless of if this type of clock is set to 24-hour time or 12-hour time, it would still be right once a day - and thus works universally for the purposes of this analogy.

Clocks with LED or LCD displays that are stopped normally go blank (or start to show 88:88), which makes them useless for this particular analogy, just like sundials or hourglasses are. Regardless, certain masters of the universe point out regularly that none of these supposed clocks could hold a candle to the brilliance of the Time Cube, anyways.

[edit] Some examples

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Stopped clock could use some help. Please research the article's assertions. Whatever is credible should be sourced, and what is not should be removed.

[edit] A

  • Adolf Hitler's promotion of anti-smoking research and strong support for animal rights.[3][4]
  • Alex Jones has criticised David Icke's belief that the world is run by blood-drinking shapeshifting alien lizards numerous times,[citation needed] despite being more than willing to believe all sorts of other conspiratorial bunkum.[citation NOT needed] Jones has referred to Icke's theory as "the turd in the punch bowl"[citation needed] - implying that Icke makes plenty of good points and then ruins it all with the crap about space lizards.
  • Al Qaeda, while themselves insanely radical, see Daesh as too extreme even for their tastes,[citation needed] on top of not really wanting to share the salafist sandbox with anyone else, anyway.
  • Answers in Genesis, while being vehemently anti-evolution, has articles denouncing some scientific myths, such as the moon landing conspiracy theory, and insists that "Christians should be careful to investigate every claim before jumping to conclusions".[5][6]
  • The anti-vaccination movement, after over a decade of attributing everything even remotely negative to vaccines, ended up being right about atleast one of their (literally thousands of) wild claims - vaccines causing narcolepsy in Scandinavia and the Netherlands[7] (the antigens associated with virus in question, H1N1, appear to cause the narcolepsy),[8] mumps in Suriname (due to improper attenuation),[9] and polio outbreaks in Nigeria (because certain vaccines covered different strains than others).[10] Though, mind you, this was still not because of a secret NWO plot to depopulate the earth via malicious vaccination programs, so this particular turn of events does nothing to support the idea that the anti-vaccination movement at large isn't made up entirely of dangerous ignorance.
  • The Amazing Atheist's videos denouncing misogynists such as Todd Akin, Jefferson Bethke, and video denouncing Paul Broun for his views on evolution.[11]

[edit] B

[edit] C

[edit] D

[edit] F

[edit] G

[edit] H

  • Hamas's support of a unity government with their main Palestinian political opposition, Fatah,[19] and funding of social programs and public works within Gaza.[20]
  • Hezbollah has organized a range of social service programmes including hospitals, news services, and educational institutions which cost hundreds of millions of dollars per year.[21] It also runs a so-called "Martyr's Institute" which provides basic living expenses to the families of fallen fighters.[22]
  • Hugo Black's support of a 30 hour work week.[23]

[edit] I

  • The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the few nations that covers transgender reassignment surgery in their national healthcare plan (though whether this is for homophobic or genuinely humanistic reasons is very much up for debate).[24]

[edit] J

[edit] K

[edit] L

[edit] M

[edit] N

[edit] O

[edit] P

[edit] R

  • Rachel Dolezal, despite her obviously false claims of being black, has actually fought on the right side of legitimate issues.[40] She is also pro LGBT and identifies as bisexual.[41]
  • Richard Nixon ending the Bretton Woods system,[citation needed] passing the EPA act,[citation needed] passing OSHA,[citation needed] removing lead from gas stations (and decreasing violent crimes as a result),[citation needed] and re-establishing relations with mainland China (but lead the way to the de-recognition of Taiwan).[citation needed]
  • The reason Ron Paul initially attracts so many young people is because he wants to decriminalize drugs and has been consistent in criticizing gunboat diplomacy.[citation needed]
  • Republicans have voted very often against war when a Democrat is in office, although this may also be an instance of garbage in garbage out, given that it's ultimately derived from political point-scoring.
  • Ronald Reagan was for gun control[citation needed] as Governor of California (albeit, in gun control, only to deal with the militant wing of the Black Panthers).[citation needed] He also established the California Air Resources Board[wp] as governor, passed health care reform which helped the poor and impoverished with federal aid money and health benefits,[42] formally apologized for the internment camps in World War II,[43] raised taxes eleven times after initially cutting taxes,[44] and improved immigration laws as President.[45] Reagan also signed Martin Luther King Day (or "Hate Whitey Day", according to Ron Paul, who voted against the holiday) into law in 1983, and it was observed three years later.[citation needed]
  • Rafael Trujillo let Jewish refugees into the Dominican Republic during the 1930's.[citation needed]
  • Despite not being able to name three government agencies, having a tendency to use Schlafly statistics and earnestly comparing being gay to alcoholism, even Rick Perry believes weed should be decriminalized.[citation needed] He also had a moderate stance on immigration early on and briefly defended HPV vaccines.[citation needed]

[edit] S

[edit] T

[edit] V

[edit] W

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Slashdot stories tagged with "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense"
  2. Look outside, dummy.
  5. "Did we Really Land on the Moon?", Answers in Genesis
  6. "Far Out Claims About Astronomy", Answers in Genesis
  12. Politics Daily - Pope OKs Condoms in Some Cases, Such as Prostitutes Avoiding HIV
  14. [1]
  16. BBC News - Church of England drops gay bishop opposition
  18. Focus: Aspirin - The secret history of a wonder drug, The Independent
  19. Palestinian unity government of 2014[wp]
  20. [2]
  21. The many hands and faces of Hezbollah
  22. 'The Best Guerrilla Force in the World'
  24. Iran Sex-Change Operations Provided at Nearly Free Cost, "Huffington Post"
  27. No really
  29. - Jehovah's Witnesses' past opposition to vaccination
  30. "A fatwa for transsexuals"
  31. "An Iran option the US prefers to ignore"
  33. "Mandela and Gaddafi: The Myth of the Saint and the Mad Dog"
  34. CNN: "Facts about Libya under Gaddafi that you probably did not know about!"
  35. "Dominionists are on the Move, and They Mean Business"
  37. Gingrich vs. the Right on Apartheid: 'What Would You Have Done?', The Atlantic
  38. [3]
  39. Pat Robertson begs Ken Ham to shut up Salon
  42. [4]
  43. (see Civil Liberties Act of 1988[wp])
  44. [5]
  45. (see Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986[wp])
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