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I guess that's the crux of my issue. I've seen a few recently do the equivalent of "well it's possible so it's gotta be a conspiracy!" Despite evidence in the wide open to the contrary.
I think the "pull that string" method is pretty good, myself. If you have an idea and pull that string to see where it goes, does it actually go anywhere? If not, it's likely just an idea. But if you start to unravel the ball a little bit more with every tug, then you could well be on to something.