We wrote this back page column for the ANU student newspaper Woroni in 2012. We thought it would be funny to take statements that people believe are true, and treat them “seriously”. Not seriously as in references and experiments but seriously as in taking them literally and taking them to logical conclusions. What if the statement was actually true? The hope is to disprove the statement not with logic, but ridiculousness.
The idea was first thought of in reference to creationism and thus it’s the first article. The column evolves though, takes a bit of a detour at the Declaration of Independence and ends, as all good things do, self referentially.
We use a combination of the slippery slope argument with over the top complicated language to explore whether an utterance can be true. Hence the name:
perlustrate, v. to travel through an area in examination or survey.
asseveration, n. the solemn or emphatic declaration or statement of something.
We haven’t seen this kind of absurd thing done anywhere else and we think it is pretty funny if we do say so ourselves. If there are people out there who think these are funny, or if you have seen something like this before, we’d love to hear from you.
Note the articles should be read top down, the original release dates of the articles have all been reversed so they appear in the correct order.