I was perhaps too hasty when I implied Darby Conley was helping the Belgium Conspiracy with reverse psychology (the comic linked to in that post is now missing -- if anyone has a copy of the panel where Satchel reveals the truth that Belgium doesn't exist, please send me a scan.)
With today's comic, I now believe that Darby is in fact a double agent slyly introducing key paranoid concepts in ways that his handlers at the NWO-controlled Syndicate will find unobjectionable. By cleverly disguising an AFDB as a mere prognosticap, the Syndicate will think that Darby is mocking beanie usage, while the actual effect of the mocking is to subtly hint at the true purpose of Bucky's hat.
There are, however, problems with Bucky's design:
While the Quaker-style cylindrical deflection manifold will offer a maximum of lateral diffusion, the top is shown unfoiled, allowing satellites and UFOs unrestricted access to the wearer's brain. Also, the pointy end of the coat hanger could puncture the foil surface as it bobs with the weight of the star, leading to catastrophic beanie failure. Presumably Darby included these design flaws to deflect the Syndicate from his true agenda. Budding paranoids, it's hoped, will copy the spirit of Bucky's hat and not his exact design.
(P.S. No one tell the Syndicate that Darby's working for us.)
UPDATE 2006-06-24: More on Conley's paranoia propagation...