Tapesearch Logo

Do we have something to learn from conspiracy theories? (w/ Peter McIndoe)

How to Be a Better Human


Self-improvement, Education

4.21.1K Ratings

🗓️ 24 July 2023

⏱️ 37 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


There was a time when Peter McIndoe might see you on the street and ask: have you ever seen a baby pigeon? If you said no, he’d probably grin and say, of course you haven’t, because birds are actually spy drones created by the US government – and they emerge “fully adult” from “the factory.” Peter McIndoe peddled a crazy idea – that all birds are drones created and monitored by the U.S. government. As ridiculous (and hilarious) as this sounds, Peter’s conspiracy theory that “Birds Aren’t Real” gained a huge following. In this episode, Peter discusses why he’s used the framework of a conspiracy theory to explore the "us-versus-them" mentality that is so pervasive in us humans. He also shares what he witnessed as he took his performance across the globe, and why he finds it more important than ever that we talk to each other with empathy even in the most absurd situations. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts

Audio player


Click on a timestamp to play from that location


Ted Audio Collective.


Audio Collective.


You're listening to How to Bea Better Human.


I'm your host Chris Duffy.


Today's guest is Peter Mackendoo. He's the


leader of a group called Birds Aren't Real and here's a clip from his TED Talk.


The proof that birds are robots is all around us if you start looking. For starters,


birds charge their batteries on power lines.


So they can refuel up high and they can watch the civilians, you know?


They also track civilians using a liquid tracking device. You ever wonder why birds poop on your car? Do any more evidence? I can really


I can go all day up here. Who here has seen a baby pigeon? You haven't, have you?


It's weird. There's all these adult pigeons. We're all the babies.


They come out of the factory as adults.


So, there's no organic growth, you know?


As you can already tell, Peter and the Birds aren't real movement sit at the intersection


between this ominous suspicion of conspiracy theories and the absurdity of comedy. Peter spent the last suspicious of 1959 and 2001 the US government killed all the real birds and


replace them with bird-shaped surveillance drones to spy on the American people.


Now in my opinion, Peter's work perfectly holds up a mirror to this world that we live in right now because people don't always know what to make of him.


Is this a performance art piece? Is it a real dangerous conspiracy theory? Is it somewhere in between? Is it both? Is it neither?


And after years of bird truthing, Peter is finally talking as the real him, not the


character that he played in that fan. Today we're going to talk to him all about what he learned on the road


and how that changed the way he thinks about approaching people with fringe beliefs.


Please login to see the full transcript.

Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from TED and PRX, and are the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Tapesearch.

Generated transcripts are the property of TED and PRX and are distributed freely under the Fair Use doctrine. Transcripts generated by Tapesearch are not guaranteed to be accurate.

Copyright © Tapesearch 2024.