The Boston Marathon Bombers and the Theory of Relative Laziness

Lazy Boston Marathon BombersMy working theory—you could call it a philosophy, or a freestanding reason of how the world works—is what I call the Theory of Relative Laziness. It goes like this: Never attribute anything to conspiracy, coordination or planning when laziness could explain it. Call it Occam’s Armchair.

While perusing the weirder corners of the Internet the other day I stumbled upon the Flat Earth Society’s website. They believe—and claim to have plenty of evidence—that the world is not a sphere, it’s instead flat. Why? According to their site it’s because the world looks flat,. The first question in their FAQs is, “Is this a joke?” The answer: “No.” What about the moon landing and space travel, they’re asked? It’s been faked.

What’s more lazy? Fifty years of an international conspiracy to commit massive (not to mention expensive) fraud to needlessly trick the world into believing our planet is shaped like a basketball? Or some dude looking at the ground beneath him and saying, “It looks flat.”

I find it comforting to think of just how lazy the Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were. Yes, they went through all the trouble of learning how to make a bomb, constructing said bomb and walking to the finish line of the most prestigious street race in the world with moderately heavy backpacks.

But that was basically it. No attempts to hide their identity. No going through all the trouble of writing a manifesto to explain or indicate the goal of causing the senseless deaths of onlookers. Not even a declarative sentence, actually. No saving up money before the event so they could skip town. No trying to get rid of evidence. No attempts to change their identity. No backup plan. No thoughts on maybe not terrorizing your hometown where you’ve gone to school and people recognize you because your picture is in their yearbook.

There are reports the duo were preparing to carry out other attacks; the pitiful half-hearted assertion of slacker terrorists everywhere.

Yes they were cruel, callous and malicious—but thankfully they were also lazy.

This event has inspired a menagerie of conspiracy theories that I put into two categories: the false-reports-are-true theories and our-preexisting-assumptions-are-even-more-valid theories.

There are hypotheses that incorporate since-corrected errors that ended up in the news media: A Saudi national, a “dark-skinned man,” or anything mentioned in the Murdoch-owned New York Post. The idea is that these were the truth and the corrections are the cover-ups. According to my Theory of Relative Laziness when you have journalists not doing their due diligence coupled with a denial of new information (meaning you get to stop reading and think you’re right) both can be attributed to simple laziness.

Within seconds of the bombs going off a popular conspiracy sham artist (I’m not naming) tweeted out something to the effect of “The government did this, the government always does this so they can take away our civil rights.” (Civil rights mean your right to stockpile weapons and ammunition. A “right” that’s not being threatened even in the wake of people with arsenals making threats.) No investigation, no pausing for the victims, no evidence pondered, he knew—the government did it.

Conservatives will tell you government can’t do anything well. Liberals will tell you government is flawed but it’s the best we’ve got. Nowhere on the political spectrum or in any evidence-based reality is the U.S. government hyper-competent and perfect at accomplishing their objectives. Never.

tina dupuyBut it’s the laziest punditry there is: Everything went off as planned, everyone is in on it and I’m the only one brave enough to say anything.

It’s apparently also pretty lucrative. No overhead, low production costs, no need to employ a fact-checker (or copy-editors).

A lot of the world can be explained by the simple fact that someone isn’t putting in a full effort and isn’t interested in doing their job. See every column I’ve ever written about Congress.

Tina Dupuy
Editor, The Contributor

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


  1. JoeWeinstein says

    As Dupuy notes, the Tsarnaevs were doubly ‘lazy’. They ‘lazily’ went about their job of bombing marathons: so as a result of their post-bombing botches we shall be spared their planned future terror actions (at least those that they themselves would have committed). But more seriously, being mentally lazy, the emotional vulnerable young Tarnaevs were readily induced to the idea of the naturalness of their adopted career: a life-into-death career in terrorism.

    But Dupuy’s ‘laziness’ explanation doesn’t account for everything that’s
    important to understand now. In fact, a key part of the Tsarnaev explanation is the OPPOSITE of laziness: zealotry. It takes dedicated far-from-lazy zealots to achieve what is now happening: annually tens of thousands like the Tarnaevs
    are being actively and effectively recruited to doctrinal violence: and overwhelmingly they are youth in and from Muslim lands.

    Their recruitment is not to mere tactics of aimless ‘rebellion’ or ‘radicalism’, but rather, in the name of Islam, to bring about and enforce intolerant
    and triumphant Islamic (or local Muslim ethnic) supremacy – in Muslim-majority
    lands and whenever possible elsewhere. That includes operations against the perceived global prime enemy: the USA (perceived as the world’s biggest exponent of toleration and individual rights).

    For O-K (Obama-Kerry) camp followers and their US government and MSM sycophants and pundits, it is triply politically incorrect – verboten – to acknowledge this situation. It is politically incorrect to blame youth recruitment to doctrinal violence on a systematic cause rather than on random ‘rebellion’ and ‘disaffection’. It is even more incorrect – because inconvenient – to acknowledge militant Islamic supremacy as the cause, or to admit that what this cause actually seeks is hostile to all of us in the USA.

    Writing in the wake of the marathon bombing, politically incorrect (but factually correct and prescient) liberal analyst Barry Rubin recently noted that the USA and other western societies are giving no effective help to liberal movements and forces (including both those on the ground and those on the web) within the Muslim world who reject intolerance and who seek to recruit Muslim youth to an alternative more positive path, for the sake of their own societies’ constructive futures. So in the coming years we can expect a lot more Tarnaevs and a lot more attempted marathon bombings and the like.

    Worse, O-K policies are actively promoting this future. Islamo-nazi regimes and movements are entrenched in power or are actively coming into power throughout the Mideast – almost all with the acquiescence or blessing or even active assistance of the O-K folks (for starters, in Iran, Turkey, Egypt). For the O-K folks, the only really bad Islamo-nazis are those who have the gall to call themselves Al Qaeda, thereby reminding Americans of a bad day in Sep. 2001. According to the O-K folks, by definition Islam is automatically and always a ‘religion of peace’ – a perspective which is supposed to justify whatever Islamic supremacists actually do – and so intolerance and repression and even genocides in the name of Islam are deemed OK.

    so-lazy zealots.

    • orange curtain says

      Joe, you think America should expect much more of this Islamo-Terrorism. Maybe.

      And the Islamic world will be expecting much more of the terrorist drone strikes of the Obama Administration and the U.S. M.I. Complex.

      Eye for an Eye makes the whole world blind. (and sometimes even.)

      • JoeWeinstein says

        Islamic-supremacy inspired terrorism in the USA will come in dribs and drabs but the main and continuing victim is the Islamic world itself – now especially in the Syria-centered conflict which is expanding into a regional Sunni vs Shia (&Russia & China) war. Yes, the Obama drone strikes against a few alleged terrorist honchos are lose-lose, symptomatic of blindness indeed. The strikes’ clumsiness and civilian casualties lose the USA not only mere sympathy (which in the macho Mideast may be worthless) but genuine respect. Evidently the strikes are for domestic US consumption, so O-K can cop out from opposing the two real and substantial enemies: (1) the established states and regimes which systematically impose internal repression and external terror in the name of Islam, and (2) the idea (to which is annually recruited thousands more youth) of regional and even global jihad for Islamic supremacy (an idea whose liberal Muslim political opponents get no help from the USA).

  2. orange curtain says

    I doubt you are correct also, Mr. Wood.

    Also, I doubt the author is correct in setting up the straw men argument of asserting that the conspiracy theories imply that “everyone is in on it” and therefor creating the sense that there is no way that these conspiracies can be actualized given that people are not capable of keeping secrets or vital information from being exposed.

    Not “everyone” has to be “in on it”. Different participants are expecting different outcomes in these (possibly )planned scenarios. One group of participants is expecting this to happen and another group is expecting something else etc.,
    such as the Emergency Management team that was probably sent off sight to do a bomb drill at the library. Keep digging, the only thing that will become apparent is that not everyone is in on it at all, they are all just following different orders and different cues. Especially the Media.

  3. jubileeshine says

    Lazy? By all reports they were highly motivated and accomplished. Classical piano, Olympic class boxing, all-state wrestling, academic scholarships… hopefully we will see enough concrete evidence to measure their alleged criminal acts. But let’s refrain from conjuring fanciful “anti-conspiracy” theories for comfort’s sake.

  4. harry wood says

    Please to not complain about how bad their planning was. Just think how bad it could have been for us if they had the training of some type of agent. Some one who could hide behind false leads and such. We do not need to educate people on how to do a really good bad thing.

  5. Gary100 says

    About 2 days after this incident I thought to myself, “The cause of this, the cause of the motivation is boredom.” Here was two young men, of mediocre intelligence, who were bored with life, and so they dwelled on stupid ideas to amuse themselves. Their fantasy life got a little out of hand. – Gary

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