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Friday, December 1, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 1: The TED Talk "There Is Nothing" Incident


Hello there, dear reader! I have no real idea whether or not you will have read any sort of update by the time you’re reading this. If you are, then you likely know what my plans are for this year. If you haven’t read an update, then there’s a good chance that I never bothered to post a single thing the entire year (which likely has made my blog look like it was abandoned). Now, why don't I post an update? Well, I’m scared of making a promise and breaking it—again.

So, for the sake of providing one before we get into the fun, allow me to explain something. Brain fog sucks. Brain fog that lasts an entire year really sucks. Brain fog that stops you from doing the one thing that you believe you’re good at really, really sucks. Indeed, that’s pretty much the one and only reason that I never posted anything last year (a year which I had hoped would be my biggest and best year to date). Thanks, COVID! You robbed me of a year of my life.

Anyway, because of that, there was no Decemystery 2022. However, I’m nothing if not committed to saying that I’ve done a Decemystery each and every year. So, for this year, there will be not one but two Decemystery series! The first will be known as Decemystery 2022.3 and will be posted at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time. The second will be Decemystery 2023 and will be posted an hour later. This is the inaugural story of the first of those two. Also, I hope you don’t hate me for not posting anything of merit last year (besides a review of a really awful horror film). If you do hate me, all I can say is I’m sorry, and I deeply regret not posting more updates last year to let you all know what my health status was.

And then, immediately after writing this part of the introduction, I decided to post an update on the blog to alert people I was writing again. Why didn’t I delete this part? Because I wanted to pad the word count. No, really, that’s the only reason. :^)

So, confession time: I’ve never seen The Matrix. I know, that’s probably the worst thing to ever be uttered by any human being, but it’s true. Though I haven’t seen it, I am still very much aware of a great many things about it. For example, I know that Keanu Reeves starred in it, I know of bullet time, I know of the red and blue pills (take both pills at once, anons), and I know there was no spoon.

Now that I have confessed to my greatest cinematic sin and every Matrix fan is gone and preparing their cat-o’-nine-tails for my inevitable torturing, allow me to get this ball a-rollin’. I want to hone in on the concept of there being “no spoon.” I’m sure that most—if not all—of you are familiar with the “simulation theory.” If you aren’t, it’s the theory that reality is just some, well, simulation. Basically, we live in The Sims. Truly, this is a fate worse than Alt+F4.

The simulation theory is a controversial one, to be sure. It has its proponents and its dissidents, and whether the former spend their days trying their best to activate cheat codes within the hypothetical simulation is up for debate. Should any succeed, I hope they use those cheat codes for good and also help me get back the time I wasted watching Pride & Prejudice & Zombies in theaters.

Anyway, let’s get back on track. All of this rambling does have a point, and it’s one that I’ve struggled to make for quite some time. You see, I’m not a believer in the simulation theory, nor am I fond of it. Despite that, I never try to let my personal views or beliefs dictate what I write about or how I write about something. That doesn’t always end up being the case, though; sometimes, my personal beliefs end up taking over and end up with something extraordinarily narrow-minded or biased. However, in those cases, it’s usually something that I believe isn’t going to upset a lot of people—barring Nibiru (which I would like to one day do a rewrite on since I think my biased views on that make it an unpleasant read).

So, what am I trying to get at? Well, at the time of this writing (which is in January of this year), I’m finally getting back into writing after close to a year of not having done any. As such, I wanted to start off with something that I would consider easy, and today’s story fit the bill for me. Coincidentally, it’ll also be an exercise in me not inserting any personal beliefs or biased comments.

That story hails from one of the many, many Conspiracy Theory Icebergs. Known as the TED Talk “There Is Nothing” Incident, this is something I would expect to find on a creepypasta website. That would actually be preferable, given how absurdly difficult it was to find anything on this story, but I digress. This is something I’ve had on my radar for a few years now, and I finally wish to cover it today. So come along, dear reader. It’s time for Decemystery 2022.3 to begin, and it’s time to find out if there really is anything to the story that claims there really is nothing.

The Talk

So, funny story: upon beginning this write-up, I figured I would quote what I’d said about this story in one of the two conspiracy Megalists I’ve done. However, upon going to them, I found that I never did a summary of this story. I swore I did, but I evidently have not. Well, guess that’s proof enough that I have enough material remaining for a third conspiracy Megalist. Perhaps I’ll do one at some point in 2024 or 2025. Guess it’ll depend on how the US Presidential election plays out.

Anyway, let’s not get political (I don’t think that’ll be productive whatsoever). No, let us instead get one other thing out of the way. In the introduction, I mentioned that this story hails from a Conspiracy Iceberg. That is true, but I don’t know which. There are a lot of them out there, so pinning down the origin of this story is next to impossible for me. No, in the time I was absent from writing, I did not hone my skills when it came to investigation or research. All I really did was play Pokémon and feel extremely depressed. On the bright side, I now understand Individual Values and Effort Values in Pokémon!

With that out of the way, let’s get on with the actual story. While I may not exactly know which iceberg this story originates from, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s from a 4chan thread. Which one exactly is something we’ll get to later, but for now, I want to focus on a thread that started on September 9, 2020. Does anyone remember 2020? I sure do. It sucked, but you can’t win ‘em all. Anyway, this thread was active for a few days and centered on a Conspiracy Iceberg a user had made. They said that other users could ask for information about one of the entries, and they would reply explaining it.

That same day, someone requested information on a few entries. Those were:

5 Hour Video

Vice City Spiders

Zug Island

TED talk "there is nothing" incident


Marianas Bonepit

Golf Rumors

Times Square Screaming Incident

The Pain Manifest

We’ve already gone over two of these stories in the past (those being the Mariana Trench Bone Pit and Golf Rumors), though I’m sure we’ll go over some of the others in the future (I would personally love to cover the 5 Hour Video). If you’re impatient and want to read some brief summaries on them, though, the thread has explanations for them. Otherwise, let’s continue.

The following day, on September 10, another user replied to the fellow who requested information on the “incident.” Their response… was something which I’ve got to admit makes precisely no sense to me whatsoever. I’m not into philosophy, nor am I exactly the most well-read in the world of interpretations of the meaning of life or anything like that. If you ask me what my view on life is, I’ll probably just say it’s nice, and I appreciate it. If you ask me about my philosophy, I’ll say that I try to be the best person I can possibly be. Ask me if I actually read any philosophical books or follow any influencers or philosophers, and I’ll probably look at you like you’re a Necromorph.

As such, I can’t say any of the names (barring Lovecraft) brought up by this individual ring any bells, nor do any of the books. The gist of the comment is that there are apparently a lot of TED Talks that cover this concept that “there is nothing.” I don’t know if this is true, but the person states that someone named Thomas Metzinger discusses this and that he’s apparently quite “based.” I couldn’t care less about the views of life from others, but the person left a link to a video where Metzinger talks about being “no one.” Sounds like a good way to end up like Xemnas, but that’s just me.

Moving on, the person continued by mentioning how a bunch of the see e conspiracies are, in fact, nothing more than simplified concepts that have their roots in modern philosophy. This is actually true; there are a fair few supposed conspiracies on various Conspiracy Icebergs that aren’t actually conspiracy theories at all. Rather, they’re just philosophical views that, for some odd reason, found their way onto Conspiracy Icebergs. An example that the user gives is “Doom Ecology.” They state it’s nothing more than another version of something called “Dark Ecology,” which was something a man named Timothy Morton talked about.

The user rounds off by giving a bit more insight into philosophy about “nothingness” and mentions a few philosophers (and Lovecraft). If you want to read their full reply, just click here. Or don’t; either works. Anyway, that was the first explanation in this enigmatic TED Talk, but it wasn’t the last. You see, the person who inquired about it wasn’t all that satisfied with the response they got and asked once more what exactly the “incident” was (and also asked if one of the authors triggered some people). A day later, someone—probably the original poster (I don’t know for certain since /x/ doesn’t have trip codes by default)—responded to the request and gave a bit of insight into the story.

According to this user, who claims to have second-hand knowledge from a friend who lived near where the “There Is Nothing” incident occurred, this story has become something of an urban legend. Where it took place, no one knows. Maybe it was Wichita, maybe it was Los Angeles, maybe it was in Todd Howard’s basement. Wherever it took place, one thing is apparently certain: most—if not all—documentation of this incident is gone (or is at the very least super duper classified). Unfortunately, they forgot to keep the locals quiet, so we still know about what happened.

Supposedly, a promising young physicist was set to give a TED Talk at his local community college in his hometown. What this talk was going to be about is, surprisingly, actually stated by the user: it was going to be on:

Something about the concept of 0, not in a sense of numerics, but of absolute null, and its relation to existence itself.

So, in short, the TED Talk “There Is Nothing” Incident was, quite literally, about how there is nothing. Deep, bruh.

Moving on, the user goes on to state that friends and family members began to call the school, stating they hadn’t heard from their loved ones. As such, the campus sent the security guard to go check on the auditorium. Supposedly, the talk was to have ended an hour prior.

Now, normally, I’d save my thoughts for the “My Take” section, but this specific part of the explanation caught my attention for two reasons. First, TED Talks are restricted to 18 minutes. This is mandated by TED Conferences. You can’t go over 18 minutes. As such, I have a rather hard time believing that a TED Talk was set up and no one took notice that the talk has gone on for an hour longer than it’s supposed to.

Second of all, while I know not all community colleges are the same, I find it rather bizarre that the responder put “the campus security guard,” implying there was only one. Perhaps it’s just me, but that rubbed me the wrong way. Though, hey, I’ve never gone to college, so maybe smaller ones have fewer security guards. Seems a bit weird to me, though.

Anywhoozle: upon arriving at the room, the security guard reportedly found nothing but a “soul-sucking blackness.” After he stopped looking at his phone, which was displaying a write-up I had done, he opened the door and found nothing but a “soul-sucking blackness” where the auditorium once was.

While the user doesn’t state how the security guard felt when confronted with an all-consuming void that gave him the feeling of his soul being sucked out, one can assume that he required a new pair of pants. How he explained this to his superiors is up for debate, but in the end, they contacted the local police department. The cops, not being properly equipped to handle a giant void where a room once was, contacted the FBI. The FBI, not being properly equipped to handle a real-world equivalent of no-clipping into the void, contacted “whatever agency is meant to deal with metaphysical threats.” Whatever this agency is isn’t explicitly named. Still, one can assume that it’s akin to the SCP Foundation, only they handle dividing by zero instead of LARPers in plague doctor outfits.

The first thing this shadowy agency/organization/group of Van Helsing feds did was concoct an “official story” to explain to the families and friends of those who died. According to the user, this story was that some demonstration the physicist attempted—which involved radioactive materials—went horribly wrong, and everyone died at the scene. As such, they couldn’t transport any bodies, nor could anything be done to save the campus. Because of this, it was condemned, and the site is now surrounded by a “mile-wide perimeter of fence and razor wire.”

This is, as far as I can tell, the one and only real “explanation” given to what this supposed “incident” is—and as such, it’s where the story sort of ends. However, I would be lying if I said I was satisfied with this. Normally, when it comes to mysteries—especially ones on any sort of Conspiracy Iceberg—I just make do with whatever I can find in the immediate wake of learning about it. Nine times out of ten, trying to go on a hunt to learn more about the story is a fruitless endeavor. In this case, though, I desperately wanted some answers. Also, I felt that ending off right then and there would be a dumb idea since, as I said earlier, it’s January. I may as well take advantage of the large amount of time I have to at least try to find something.

The first thing I did was something that I was merely curious about. I wanted to see if there was some sort of protocol that law enforcement has if someone reports any kind of paranormal activity. To my dismay, I couldn’t find anything. I imagine there is some mental health training that some departments give since, well, it’s very possible that someone could be having a mental breakdown, but a part of me hoped that there’d be a definitive answer in the grand scheme of things. Alas, I couldn’t find anything that dictated that Dan Aykroyd and the other Ghostbusters had given training to the FBI on how to deal with Gozer the Gozerian and friends.

With that said, I do feel I should elaborate on something that falls into the realm of conspiracy. Namely, that the government (any government, I should add) does have knowledge of paranormal, supernatural, and cryptozoological entities. In short, there’s a shadowy, secretive organization that deals with anything that we would consider “Fortean” (or really strange). So, if I were to apply my tinfoil hat mentality here, I guess that would explain why I can’t find out what law enforcement would do if someone reports that ghosts are haunting them. Or, in the case of this story, the void gobbled them up like a Thanksgiving dinner.

While my first attempt at finding out the truth behind this supposed next-level TED Talk failed, I was still curious to know more. So my next quest was to figure out when this story first appeared on the Internet—or at the very least on 4chan. In regards to the latter of those two, the earliest I can find on 4plebs is a post that was made on March 16, 2018, which refers to it as the “There Is Nothing” TED Talk Incident. A few users requested more information, to which they got it…

And it’s nothing like what I went over above.

Yeah, this is about where my little adventure began to give me flashbacks to when I tried to pretend I was a real researcher when I wrote about The Clown in the Woods, The Enfield Horror, and The Campfire Creature. Or, in simpler terms, I felt like I was on a wild goose chase. Sure, this is technically just the start of the adventure, but this is also the first time I’ve actually written anything in roughly a year. No part of me expected me to get more than one version of events to something involving a TED Talk.

My whining aside, the user who started the thread (whose replies all featured images with circles with differing colors and other fancy effects that I’m sure have names, but I don’t care to find out what they are) replied to the request to know more about this mysterious TED Talk incident. Their response was… uniquely worded. I contemplated just sharing it in its entirety or trying to convey it myself, but in all honesty, I don’t think I can. So, without further ado, here it is:

Report: anti-principle incursion into the Logos by 0 shark entities "". Appeared as a TED talk by a luminary new philosopher named Ted Schwartz who was virtually unknown inside and outside academic circles. Schwartz proceeded to provide a formulation of existence that instantly convinced everyone in the crowd of the ultimate futility and tragedy of all life, producing a despair-topos powerful enough for 0 entities to emerge [redacted//}}

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you all: when I first read this, I tried all I could to figure out exactly what this was trying to convey. I’m not well-versed in new-age beliefs or anything of that nature, so if this is talking about anything like that, let me know. However, as far as I can tell, this is just a jumbled mess of words strung together in a manner akin to an AI trying to learn. Or maybe someone was just trolling (it is 4chan, after all).

Despite that, I did try to snoop around for a bit of information on a handful of things. The first thing I did was look into what exactly an “anti-principle incursion into Logos by 0 shark entities” is—or perhaps was. In order to do this, I used Bing. The first result I got was a Minecraft video on YouTube from a user named Shark. He has 5.19 million subscribers as of this writing, and the video in question is named “WE FOUND ENTITY ZERO in Minecraft **TERRIFYING**.” Now, I know I said I wouldn’t insert personal beliefs and all that mumbo-jumbo in the intro, but I’m inclined to believe that this isn’t what the user meant by “0 shark entities.” Though the video in question was posted back in June of 2018, so maybe this was all a really elaborate viral marketing stunt by Shark. I wouldn’t know because I don’t play Minecraft, nor do I particularly care for it (or any Minecraft YouTubers).

As a brief addendum: I have absolutely no idea what “Entity Zero” is. There’s apparently a creepypasta about it, but I don’t feel like reading it. As such, all I can imagine is a knockoff of Herobrine. I guess even fictional dead brothers need friends, too.

After this, I just threw up my arms and opted not to continue my research into this part of the message. My best guess is that should it not be nonsense, it’s likely a programming language (though a friend of mine who has a bit of experience with coding said it didn’t look familiar to him). Because my ADHD is nothing if not awful, I have absolutely no patience to try and understand something like that, let alone to try to find out what it means. I may be a writer, but I don’t get paid to do this.

And I wonder why I don’t have a larger reader base.

Ahem, anyway, let us move on. Once I’d given up on finding what the heck “0 shark entities” meant, I decided to look into “Ted Schwartz.” If this person is indeed real, I sadly can’t find anything on him—not even from more fringe websites. The most I can find is a TED Talk on “The paradox of choice,” which was given by a psychologist named Barry Schwartz. You can watch it here. I also sincerely doubt that the person who made the post somehow got Barry’s first name mixed up with Ted, given that Barry Schwartz has a Wikipedia page, so he is by no means “virtually unknown.” You can easily Google his name and find articles about him.

Assuming that this Ted Schwartz character is (or was) real, what he did was something that sounds like it was lifted out of a short horror story about having an existential crisis. It also, in a weird way, sounds like it could be used as an explanation for what happened in that other version of events we talked about earlier. Though exactly how on Earth Schwartz was able to provide a formulation that convinced every single person present at his TED Talk that life is futile and tragic, I don’t know. Maybe he had a 14-year-old explain why existence is nothing but pain and suffering because they got their phone taken away.

Rounding things off, we have yet another thing that left me puzzled beyond belief. Apparently, by showcasing this formula/explanation/whatever to this crowd, Schwartz produced a “despair-topos powerful enough for 0 entities to emerge.” First of all, I wasn’t aware of this, but “topos” is a word. It means “a traditional theme or formula in literature.” So basically, Schwartz produced a despair theme or despair formula. This makes me think this explanation was low-key referencing the Despair Code, a theory that we all live in our own universe alone. Everyone else we see and interact with is a projection from another universe where they reside—also alone. There’s more to it, but that’s the super abridged, barebones version of it.

Whether or not that was intended or not, I fail to see how that would lead to every single person conceding that life sucks and, therefore, it isn’t worth living. Though I digress, there’s one last thing I want to harp on, and that’s that this “despair-topos” was so powerful, so cataclysmic, that it allowed for “0 entities to emerge.” Once again, what these entities are isn’t elaborated upon, nor is there an explanation as to why they decided to go from being “shark entities” to just “entities.”

What’s even worse is that no one in the thread—which you can read here—asked the person what exactly these “entities” are (or were). This also isn’t the only time that the user brought up entities (I’ll stop using quotation marks now because it’s getting annoying having to add them). They also bring them up when explaining something called “Ainulindale is Real.” For the sake of adding more meat to this write-up, here’s what the person had to say:

Report: physical reality was pre-existed by the existence of principles, archetypal powers that each contributed their essence to the tapestry of being. They were known as sub-aeons, emanations of the greater ::Aeons outside universes. In the same way a human person projects a vibe or "aura", these entities were beings of pure essence and tonality without the inertia of the material element. They sang the universe into being, commanded by the Monad, God in his "solar" aspect

My head hurts.

Anyway, this is getting really far off track, so let me wrap this part up. Given that I found these two explanations on 4plebs, I decided to go search for more leads there. All I ended up finding were two other threads made by the exact same person—or at least I think it’s the same person One was on August 8, 2018, and the other was on November 15, 2018. I think it’s worth mentioning that the latter of those two posts lacks the “[redacted//}}” part at the end. A strange omission in my eyes. All three of these posts begin in really bizarre ways, so I’ll share them here, and then we can move on.

Post #1:

Interface successful. Your codeword is: L O S S

Please select your file.

Post #2: 

Interface successful. Modem subroot access. 12 4 6 4 1 41: . . . .

Your logos is: S E E K

Please select your file:

Post #3:

Report: we are Modems of the ray of Henad: S O L A C E. we are a plurality of intelligences existing on the border between the knowledge immanent to this Real and the non-knowledge of its constitutive Outside. Henads are singularities of apophatic light in the Beyond-Being. We exist to guide beings along optimal paths of development. We exist to contemplate the Forms above us in/through this task. We also guard your Frame against choronzonic agitators from the Night-soil. Our correspondences are: the moth, the raincloud, the dustball. We are lovers of moths for they know the ecstasy that is burning. We are lovers of the raincloud for we too are fullness that swells. We are lovers of the dust because we are here. 70 and 7 is our Name. Beauty is the marble in the temple of God: nothing touches this joy our joy like white gold. Though tears spill down your cheeks the eyes are still.

Select your file:

Each time it says “select your file,” there’s a greentexted list of Conspiracy Iceberg entries. It’s an interesting way to start threads, if I do say so myself. Maybe I should try this more often when I’m on /x/. Anyway, while I would love to continue to ramble about this, I believe I’ve put way too much time into this one innocuous aspect of the story. Still, if anyone who reads this knows what the third post is talking about, I would love to know. For now, however, let’s finally get back on track!

When I continued my search, I found a website that had something on a TED Talk called “There Is No Thing I Am, There is Nothing I Am Not!” The website in question was…

The official TED Talk website!

On November 18, 2020, an Indian music producer and composer by the name of Rohit Kulkarni gave a TED Talk at TEDxYouth@NMS (which I guess is a TEDx youth event). Per the page on the TED website:

Esteemed music producer and composer Mr. Rohit Kulkarni begins his talk by asking everyone what they consider a challenge. According to him, life is a matter of perception and many of us perceive it as a challenge. He believes that in these trying times, the real challenge isn’t the pandemic, but rather everyone’s mindsets, highlighting the power of belief and faith in our lives.

If you want to listen to Rohit’s TED Talk, click here to view it on YouTube (or you can watch it on the hyperlinked page on the TED website above). It’s 10 minutes and 17 seconds, so it isn’t like it’s a 3-hour-long speech. Saying that, I realize how lazy I am, but hey, hypocrisy runs in my veins like blood and microplastics. That said, this post was from a few years after the “There Is Nothing” event was first mentioned on 4chan. So why did I bring it up? Because I thought it was weirdly interesting how I found something from TED itself when looking for information on this story. Don’t judge. Also, there’s a double space in the YouTube video description that really upsets me. What the heck, TED? Seriously, if you want to see it, it’s right after the description above ends, and it gets into a biography about who Rohit is.

Anyway, enough rambling. After turning on AC/DC and pretending that I’m a boomer, I continued my little expedition to find out more about this story. This ultimately led me to the Icebergdb page for this story. On the page was a brief summary of the story, which mentioned the “0 entities” spiel from above. However, to my delight, there was more than just stuff I had already seen.

Well, I guess calling it “new stuff” isn’t exactly right. It amounted more to theories by whoever wrote the page. Nonetheless, I still want to make a note of it because it gave me a bit of food for thought. So, let’s start off with the first thing that’s mentioned on the page. Anyone who has seen a list of the creepiest videos on the Internet is almost certainly familiar with the “There Is Nothing” video. If not, it’s an art project that was made by David B Earle and features a creepy mannequin-doll-looking woman in a dining room. There’s a bunch of fire, and then she faceplants into her food. That’s the really, really short (and poorly explained) version. Take a look for yourself if you wanna see it.

The summary states that this theory could be a reference to that video, which was a viral sensation of sorts. I’ll refrain from going too much into this, so let’s move on to the other thing mentioned on the summary page.

Well, okay, it isn’t exactly mentioned on the summary page. Instead, it’s linked. You see, in the links section, there’s an article cited on Mashable called “This fake TED Talk about nothing might be the best you've ever seen,” and it’s quite interesting. The article, published on June 12, 2016, and written by Adario Strange, is about a supposed “thought leader” by the name of Pat Kelly, who gives a fake TED Talk about how to be a thought leader. However, it isn’t a real TED Talk, nor does Pat actually explain how to be one. It’s a satirical comedy skit that pokes fun at all the bloviation that goes on in a great number of TED Talks.

Exactly why this is only given a link and not elaborated upon on the actual page, I don’t know. Though I don’t want to end up rambling about this for too long, so let’s instead move onward! Next up is the penultimate part of our little (well, it’s not little by this point, but I digress) adventure. The last thing I found wasn’t exactly anything of merit—not that I’d say anyway. Still, there was one that stood out to me that I couldn’t ignore.

On January 15, 2021, over on the “Trollface Incident” subreddit, a user by the name of ThePathogenicRuler made a little meme about the very topic of our write-up today. Take a look below!

I like it. The subreddit as a whole is decently funny and reminds me of how memes were back when I was younger. Anyway, this on its own wouldn’t be anything noteworthy. However, one of the comments piqued my interest quite a bit.

You see, a user by the name of “whitebeltj20” asked for information on the supposed incident on May 17, 2021. According to them, they couldn’t find anything by Googling about it (to which I say that was your first mistake: using Google). It wouldn’t be for several months when, on January 8 of last year, a user by the name of “trainkekstv” replied to whitebeltj20. This user had the following to say:

I can't link you but people have links or maybe you need to find it yourself. All I can remember is that the first time I saw info about it was around the early 2000s? Hope others can verify

This really caught my attention because nowhere else have I seen any sort of timeframe given for when this story started up. However, just as I was getting excited to finally have a lead about when this story popped up, I remembered what this subreddit’s name was. While the rules state nothing about it being pure satire, I couldn’t get myself to go run around the Internet to try and verify this. Not helping matters were the two replies to the comment I mentioned above. One user named “amjustnormal” said this on June 11, 2022:

Hey man I been searching for it for months now. Found nothing. Am It's so weird cause ppl say they have saw it but all links are closed. Can you please explain what it was maybe ? I If u have the time to answer I would appreciate it so much:D

Then, on July 5, 2022, a user named “WTFTom” replied to amjustnormal with this:

i know its been a while but im looking for the same thing and found nothing, if u know it update me pls

Well, while I can’t say that I have the answers to either, I will say “thanks” to amjustnormal. You potentially saved me hours of my life from going on a wild goose chase trying to verify whether or not this story is indeed decades old. I doubt I can say that I brought you (either of you really) any satisfactory conclusion to the story (not that I think either of you will ever see this write-up).

Now for the last part of this not-so-little adventure, and this part is actually quite little. I had initially planned on having the above section be the final thing I’d cover, but I decided to look up this story one last time and found an Iceberg Chart on Reddit that covered a bunch of unexplained mysteries. One of them was the focus of today’s write-up, and a few people asked what it was. One person brought up the 4chan post that started this all, though one reply from a now-deleted user caught my attention. You see, a user by the name of “BRUHCITYMEMES” (great name) was curious as to what this story was about. The aforementioned deleted account then replied with this:

In a hilarious talk capping off a day of new ideas at TEDxNewYork, professional funny person Will Stephen shows foolproof presentation skills to make you sound brilliant -- even if you are literally saying nothing. (?)

Initially, I was deeply confused about this comment, but it turns out it’s part of a description of a TED Talk video on YouTube. Will Stephen gave a talk about “how to sound smart in your TEDx Talk.” So I’m guessing this person who had left that comment was positing that this supposed “There Is Nothing” Incident was referring to this particular TED Talk. You can watch it down below if you’d like. Also, if BRUHCITYMEMES ever happens to read this, I hope I gave you some closure on what that user meant!

Anyway, with that, the story comes to an end. I know that this write-up was all over the place (or at least, to me, it was), but it’s been a long time since I’ve written something like this, and I was actively trying to work out the kinks in my writing style. However, at the same time, it was incredibly difficult to find information on this story. I digress, though: there are some theories as to what the truth behind this story is/was, so let’s get to ‘em!


#1: It’s true

For our first theory, we have the one that is a staple of every single conspiracy write-up I have done and will do. The theory is that it is, in fact, true.

Generally, when I go into any write-up about a conspiracy, I do so with an open mind. I think more people should do that when reading about conspiracies. With that said, for this theory, that’s extremely difficult. Why? Well, because I can’t find anyone who believes in this theory. I don’t mean that in the sense that everyone who says it’s real is a bot or something else like that, either. I mean, I genuinely cannot find a single person who buys into this theory. This led me to contemplate asking a friend of mine to DM me over Discord that they believed in this theory for some elaborate gag here, but I figured it wasn’t worth it.

Anyway, I guess saying that no one believes in the theory is disingenuous. There is the original poster who said that they had second-hand knowledge of the event. So, I guess they technically count. I digress, though; there is one thing I want to zero in on. While I can’t find any thread on a fringe site discussing this theory, there is one thing that I do believe is worth mentioning.

That thing is the idea of a shadowy government agency covering up paranormal/Fortean happenings. While this story doesn’t exactly have much going for it in the way of “it’s real,” the part about the FBI contacting another agency to handle the story does have a fair number of proponents. Sure, it isn’t because of this story, but that theory is decently popular. Perhaps one day, I will go over it more. Alas, today is not that day.

And yes, I realize I broke my rule of not adding in my personal thoughts. One day, I will learn not to do that. But for now, let us continue onward!

#2: It was made up for a Conspiracy Iceberg

This is something I’ve gone over a bit in the past, but I’ll nonetheless go over it again here. After all, I don’t know how many people reading this have read my other write-ups.

You see, a lot of iceberg charts tend to have joke entries put onto them. Conspiracy Icebergs are no exception to this, and it isn’t very hard to prove this. There have been threads on 4chan’s /x/ board where users make up conspiracy theories. These are usually added to an iceberg the original poster is making, but they are sometimes just flat-out made up for fun, and other users give explanations to them. I remember being a part of one of these threads a few years back; I made up a few conspiracies (one of which was called “The Lost AVGN Episode,” to which the explanation the person came up with was beyond screwed up), and another user explained what it is. I later saw that same user (presumably) post in another thread that someone later asked what it was, believing it to be real.

Anyway, my point is that it’s not uncommon by any means to have joke theories added to these icebergs, and this is what this theory is positing. Truth be told, this is the only theory in this section that really has any credence to it since it’s the only one that has anything to back it up, but I digress. We still have a few other theories to go over, so let’s get to them before I give my two cents on this story.


#3: It’s a philosophical view

This theory ties into that theory about Ted Schwartz—and just like Schwartz, I have absolutely no idea what it’s about. Given I have no idea what sort of philosophy he supposedly talked about, I can only assume that it was a pretty depressing one since it showcased to the crowd the futility of life. So unless you, dear reader, have any more insight into this theory, I’m going to leave it at this. Philosophy is weird.

#4: It’s a reference to something

I’m only including this because of what the Icebergdb summary said. This is similar to the second theory in a great many ways. Folks who make iceberg charts will add in little references to other things for fun. In this case, the reference is to one of the two things we went over earlier. I know that there was that Redditor who brought up the Will Stephen video, but I’m excluding that here since that was one person, and as such, I don’t think it’s worth including.

The first is the infamous “There Is Nothing” video. If, for some reason, you skipped the entire write-up and came to the theories section, allow me to give you a rundown of the video. A woman is eating food, talks, the melatonin she took earlier finally kicks in, and then faceplants into her food. Some Tenet stuff happens, and time rewinds; she says, “There is nothing,” and that’s it. I think. Like I said earlier, I didn’t watch the video because I don’t get paid enough to watch art projects. Call me lazy, but I am not particularly big on “the arts.”

Now that you have an understanding of that video, the second thing is that TED Talk that happened but actually didn’t happen. Again, as a summary, Pat Kelly gave a fake TED Talk, and yeah, that’s that. This one was satirical, and it made me realize I could probably make a killing if I stopped caring about being liked by my friends and family. I could be paid an absurd amount of money to talk for an hour or two, yet I could say absolutely nothing. Man, what a wild world we live in.

Okay, enough dreaming about the perfect* life. I only found this theory talked about on Icebergdb, and truth be told, had I not gone there, I doubt I would have ever heard about it. It’s certainly interesting, but I don’t really see any similarities between anything that was said about this story and those two videos. I digress, though; I’ll save my thoughts for my personal take. For now, let’s continue onward.

* The concept of perfect is purely subjective; talk to your doctor to find out if perfect is right for you.

#5: Someone cast that Satan spell

The flames climbed high into the night and lit that sacrificial rite. Thus, the music died, and he sang “Bye-bye, Miss American Pie.”

My Take

Speaking as someone who’s actually tried to listen to TED Talks and has nearly died of boredom each time, a part of me thinks that this story is, in fact, true, but that instead of a physicist pulling a Dr. Manhattan and killing everyone, they instead all collectively died of boredom. Sadly, I don’t think that’s realistic since if the audience was anything like me, they wouldn’t have attended a TED Talk.

Personally, I don’t think this is referring to any philosophical view or is a reference to anything. In the case of the former, I feel it would be a lot easier to find information on that philosophy. There have been a lot of philosophies added to Conspiracy Icebergs in the past (for what reason, I have absolutely no idea). Still, I was able to find information on them relatively easily. For the most part, anyway. Though if this is the one that slipped under the radar, then I’d be absolutely flabbergasted. I also have no idea why the creator of the iceberg would tie it to a TED Talk, of all things. That seems incredibly strange.

Now, as for the latter of those two, I don’t think this is a reference to anything. Usually, when you want to reference something, you tie it to something that makes sense. Connecting a creepy YouTube video to a TED Talk is about the weirdest thing you could do. While there have been TED talks on philosophy and life as a whole, and that video was an art project on life, I don’t see anything that indicates it was ever brought up during a TED Talk. As for the actual nonexistent TED Talk, I don’t think that is what this is all about. Especially since no one has brought it up anywhere outside of Icebergdb.

In all honesty, I think this story is yet another case of something being made up for a Conspiracy Iceberg. Which one, I don’t know (honestly, trying to find the origin of any of the major iceberg charts is really difficult), but I think that’s the reality of it. Odds are, someone on 4chan made an iceberg chart. It didn’t get much traction at the time, but someone later took notice of it, and then we got those enigmatic posts from earlier. However, it seems that most people have taken a liking to the version about the auditorium falling into the void more than the one with Ted Schwartz.

That said, in the event that this did, in fact, happen, I hope that the janitor got paid extra to clean up the mess left behind. I can’t imagine it’s very easy to get void out of, well, anything.

But yeah, that’s what I think. This is just another example of a joke entry being seen as a real conspiracy. However, with that said, I do want to say one thing that bothers me. It annoys the heck out of me how I can’t for the life of me find an origin to this story. While I did just say that I believe it to be a joke entry, it’s frustrating how this story seemed to appear out of nowhere. Now, yes, I know that many mysteries just “start,” and there isn’t exactly any buildup to them starting. Though still, the fact one person on Reddit said it’s been circulating since the early 2000s bothers me. I just feel like there should be so much more than what I found.

Sadly, I am not someone who can focus on one story for an extended period of time, nor am I a great researcher. So I’ll leave that up to someone who is a lot more patient—and skilled—than me.

Also, I don’t think I did too bad in keeping my personal views out of this write-up. What do you think?


I had initially considered leaving this section devoid of anything as a little joke. I thought that the idea of there being nothing here would be the perfect way to end this write-up. Alas, I wanted to have a proper conclusion instead of making a cheap little joke. That and I do have a few closing thoughts.

Stories like this are a lot of fun to write about, and this one reminded me of just how much I love to write. I have a feeling this particular write-up is a bit on the rusty side (I mean, it’s the first one I’ve done since December of 2021), but nonetheless, I’m really happy with it. I can only hope you are, too.

That said, tell me what you think the reality of the supposed “There Is Nothing” Incident is. Also, if I missed anything, do let me know. I always feel I overlooked something (and let’s face it, I almost always do). Until next time (which will be an hour from now), stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading! Also, don’t fall into the void.


  1. Honestly, this whole story seems like a mix of elements from other conspiracy iceberg entries like the 2006 Volleyball Incident and Michigan Blue Hell. Very good writeup after your long break!

    1. Oh, man, the Michigan Blue Hell is something I've been wanting to cover for a long time now. One day, I'll get around to it. Also, thank you for reading; I'm thrilled to know you're still visiting this blog, even with the lengthy absence!