Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Who else knows what we know, Jerry?
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supervitor
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:03 pm

djembeweaver wrote:
supervitor wrote:
djembeweaver wrote: This paper revolves largely around the role of 'paranoia' in both conspiracy and mainstream theorists. I have been called 'paranoid' several times in this thread and have countered that what one person perceives as paranoia, another might call legitimate suspicion. The author acknowledges this point, stating that:

" Paranoia in this context is not necessarily a bad thing. The old adage, “don‟t believe everything you read or hear,” is a reoccurring theme given today‟s media and the public's general distrust of certain channels or networks"
They continue:

"The conscious effort to understand and integrate 9/11 conspiracytheories into a collective understanding of post-9/11 culture must include the study of how paranoia enacted by our political leaders and propagated by media outlets and conspiracy theory skeptics, is structurally similar to the paranoia engaged by marginalized conspiracy theorists"

So a little paranoia might be considered normal and fairly evenly distributed...
You've been described as a paranoid. And you've been shown why. Apparently you didn't appreciate the description, because you tried to defend yourself from it. When taken through to the logical conclusion of your own writing, you ended up with the ultimate cop-out in internet world so you could avoid facing reality: dismissing your adversary as a troll.

"he's a troll, so I don't have to reply anymore."

Reductio ad trollum


There you go! No need to confront yourself with the real world :)

You were also told there was nothing wrong with your attitude. It's very common. Here, I'll show what I've been arguing since the beginning:
me wrote: I think you're being a little bit paranoid over there,
...
So, you don't trust the official story of 9/11. So what? Nothing wrong with that, son, I come across with people disconnected from reality on a daily basis. Right here on this forum.
You end up now by quoting a study that argues that paranoid thinking is quite normal, precisely what I've been arguing.

My point, though, goes further than that, son: you are not restricted to those two paranoid ways of understanding the world, quoted in your study, roughly the "Alex Jones' way" and the "mainstream media way". There are other alternatives, purely based in critical thinking, application of logic and facts.

So, come back to reality, son, you'll feel much better and stop losing sleep because buildings don't fall the way you'd personally expect them to or your language might be invented on an office of the CIA.
This is probably the last time I will respond to you (you are now on my 'ignore' list)
Thanks. :lol:
and this is the reason why:

Dismissing you as a troll was not a cop out or a way of avoiding difficult issues. I am often wrong and can accept that when criticized. I tried to engage with you and to keep the debate civil but you have gone out of your way to be as obnoxious as humanly possible. Your constant use of 'son' to belittle me is a good example.
Not really belittling you, just to cross the point of the naivety of your thought. Just man up, and address what I'm saying
When I look at it in the cold light of day I would have to accept that you do have a point, and that I overgeneralized in my initial comment and was, perhaps, slightly imprecise in my use of language.
Thank you
Had you argued your points without the insults and vitriol I might well have accepted your criticism...
Again, it's not criticism. It's me saying you were being paranoid and that there's nothing wrong with that
you may have disabused me of some 'silly' notions and helped me come to a better understanding of the issues at hand. Instead you insulted and belittled in the most unpleasant way.
I don't think I insulted you. I merely characterized your line of thinking. And justified properly. I saw you trying to insult me, on totally unrelated issues, that’s true, but not working either.
A troll's intention is usually to provoke an emotional outburst from the subject of their abuse and I don't know whether or not that was your intention. Perhaps, therefore, 'troll' is not the right word. Maybe we'll stick to '{!#%@}' instead. Whatever. As I said I tried to engage on the issues and you proved yourself to be so obnoxious that I have no choice but to ignore you.
Do as you will, son.
I suggest you try a less confrontational style in the future but you won't I'm sure. I'm equally sure you don't care about my opinion that matter so that's that I reckon.

All the best ;)
[/quote]
I suggest you mind your own business ;)
All the best.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Gord » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:55 am

scrmbldggs wrote:
Gord wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:Easiest way seems to be to click their username and select "Add foe" in their profile.
:? That's not the way I remember doing it. But I don't remember the way I did it, so therefore that must be it! I think. That's logical, right?
Maybe you're remembering the old and extinct "Ignore user" button. :-P
Oh yeah!...

That was how I did it.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Gord » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:58 am

djembeweaver wrote:1) That building 7 was in free-fall for a significant portion of its collapse time and that NIST appeared to want to obfuscate this.
I'm not sure either of those things are true. I've argued with several people before about it, but despite the fact they posted links to videos that were easily shown to be incorrect, I could never find the "blatantly concrete evidence" that they claimed they were posting.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE
Is Trump in jail yet?

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:17 am

This did not happen:
[ytube][/ytube]

This happened. Sort of...
[ytube][/ytube]
[ytube][/ytube]


:-P
.
Lard, save me from your followers.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by OutOfBreath » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:19 am

djembeweaver wrote: 1) That building 7 was in free-fall for a significant portion of its collapse time and that NIST appeared to want to obfuscate this.

2) That NIST declared that there were no witness reports of explosions when in fact many witnesses reported explosions (I have no idea whether or not there were any actual explosions but it is certainly the case that many people reported them)

3) That the CIA were tracking several of the hijackers in the USA and actively blocked the sharing of this information with the FBI

4) That the Bush administration seemed very unwilling to launch an inquiry

5) That Bush would not be questioned alone by the 9/11 commission but only with Dick Cheney

6) That many, including some commission members, think the inquiry was set up to fail and the CIA, amongst others, did not disclose the complete truth.

7) That 28 pages of the report were redacted

These are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

Of course none of these prove anything but they are certainly not crazy rantings of conspiracy theorists with no grasp on reality and some of them (like the redaction) are just statements of fact. All of them suggest that there is more to the story than has thus far been disclosed.
1) I seem to remember that bit going the rounds here, failing to be proven. Ah, there we go:
www.nist.gov wrote:11. In a video, it appears that WTC 7 is descending in free fall, something that would not occur in the structural collapse that you describe. How can NIST ignore basic laws of physics?

In the draft WTC 7 report (released Aug. 21, 2008; available at http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/ ... eports.cfm), NIST stated that the north face of the building descended 18 stories (the portion of the collapse visible in the video) in 5.4 seconds, based on video analysis of the building collapse. This time period is 40 percent longer than the 3.9 seconds this process would have taken if the north face of the building had descended solely under free fall conditions. During the public comment period on the draft report, NIST was asked to confirm this time difference and define the reasons for it in greater detail.

To further clarify the descent of the north face, NIST recorded the downward displacement of a point near the center of the roofline from first movement until the north face was no longer visible in the video. Numerical analyses were conducted to calculate the velocity and acceleration of the roofline point from the time-dependent displacement data. The instant at which vertical motion of the roofline first occurred was determined by tracking the numerical value of the brightness of a pixel (a single element in the video image) at the roofline. This pixel became brighter as the roofline began to descend because the color of the pixel started to change from that of the building façade to the lighter color of the sky.

The approach taken by NIST is summarized in NIST NCSTAR Report 1A, Section 3.6, and detailed in NIST NCSTAR Report 1-9, Section 12.5.3.

The analyses of the video (both the estimation of the instant the roofline began to descend and the calculated velocity and acceleration of a point on the roofline) revealed three distinct stages characterizing the 5.4 seconds of collapse:
•Stage 1 (0 to 1.75 seconds): acceleration less than that of gravity (i.e., slower than free fall).
•Stage 2 (1.75 to 4.0 seconds): gravitational acceleration (free fall)
•Stage 3 (4.0 to 5.4 seconds): decreased acceleration, again less than that of gravity

This analysis showed that the 40 percent longer descent time—compared to the 3.9 second free fall time—was due primarily to Stage 1, which corresponded to the buckling of the exterior columns in the lower stories of the north face. During Stage 2, the north face descended essentially in free fall, indicating negligible support from the structure below. This is consistent with the structural analysis model, which showed the exterior columns buckling and losing their capacity to support the loads from the structure above. In Stage 3, the acceleration decreased as the upper portion of the north face encountered increased resistance from the collapsed structure and the debris pile below.
Myth busted.
2) They did? About the "explosions", they were highly likely the sound of top floors slamming into floors below them with massive thuds.
www.nist.gov wrote: 17. An emergency responder caught in WTC 7 between the 6th and 8th floors said he heard two loud booms. Isn't that evidence that there was an explosion?

The sound levels reported by all witnesses do not match the sound level of an explosion that would have been required to cause the collapse of the building.
Myth busted again
3) CIA/FBI communication WAS bad and immediately rectified With Department of Homeland Security to prevent it happening again.
4) But they did
5) Hearsay? And why significant? On the other hand, since dubya was prone to gaffing and not very "hands-on" it was probably smart to have Dick around any time {!#%@} got real.
6) Fail how exactly? I find it perfectly believable that some embarrassing details (for some people) were swept under the rug, without it in any way strengthening a "theydidit" theory. (edit: I'm talking about the intelligence part of the incident here)
7) Dont see the significance of that. If those 28 pages were the totalt difference in content and interpretation, several members of the Committee would have cried foul.

Bottom line is that if the "official account" (Which IS the one based on science you know) have fuzzy parts, the alternatives I've seen fare far worse in any comparison with reality as we know it. (And no, I do not refer to a "surely noone could have done such an evil thing", I'm referring to basic physics, organization theory and that sort of thing.)

Peace
Dan
What is perceived as real becomes real in its consequences.

"Every judgment teeters on the brink of error. To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous. Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty." - Frank Herbert

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:05 am

scrmbldggs wrote:This did not happen:
[ytube][/ytube]

This happened. Sort of...
[ytube][/ytube]
[ytube][/ytube]


:-P
Yes...kind of like the first of the two I suppose since the building seemed to stand motionless for a couple of seconds after the initial movement of the penthouse

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:37 am

OutOfBreath wrote:
djembeweaver wrote: 1) That building 7 was in free-fall for a significant portion of its collapse time and that NIST appeared to want to obfuscate this.

2) That NIST declared that there were no witness reports of explosions when in fact many witnesses reported explosions (I have no idea whether or not there were any actual explosions but it is certainly the case that many people reported them)

3) That the CIA were tracking several of the hijackers in the USA and actively blocked the sharing of this information with the FBI

4) That the Bush administration seemed very unwilling to launch an inquiry

5) That Bush would not be questioned alone by the 9/11 commission but only with Dick Cheney

6) That many, including some commission members, think the inquiry was set up to fail and the CIA, amongst others, did not disclose the complete truth.

7) That 28 pages of the report were redacted

These are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

Of course none of these prove anything but they are certainly not crazy rantings of conspiracy theorists with no grasp on reality and some of them (like the redaction) are just statements of fact. All of them suggest that there is more to the story than has thus far been disclosed.
1) I seem to remember that bit going the rounds here, failing to be proven. Ah, there we go:
www.nist.gov wrote:11. In a video, it appears that WTC 7 is descending in free fall, something that would not occur in the structural collapse that you describe. How can NIST ignore basic laws of physics?

In the draft WTC 7 report (released Aug. 21, 2008; available at http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/ ... eports.cfm), NIST stated that the north face of the building descended 18 stories (the portion of the collapse visible in the video) in 5.4 seconds, based on video analysis of the building collapse. This time period is 40 percent longer than the 3.9 seconds this process would have taken if the north face of the building had descended solely under free fall conditions. During the public comment period on the draft report, NIST was asked to confirm this time difference and define the reasons for it in greater detail.

To further clarify the descent of the north face, NIST recorded the downward displacement of a point near the center of the roofline from first movement until the north face was no longer visible in the video. Numerical analyses were conducted to calculate the velocity and acceleration of the roofline point from the time-dependent displacement data. The instant at which vertical motion of the roofline first occurred was determined by tracking the numerical value of the brightness of a pixel (a single element in the video image) at the roofline. This pixel became brighter as the roofline began to descend because the color of the pixel started to change from that of the building façade to the lighter color of the sky.

The approach taken by NIST is summarized in NIST NCSTAR Report 1A, Section 3.6, and detailed in NIST NCSTAR Report 1-9, Section 12.5.3.

The analyses of the video (both the estimation of the instant the roofline began to descend and the calculated velocity and acceleration of a point on the roofline) revealed three distinct stages characterizing the 5.4 seconds of collapse:
•Stage 1 (0 to 1.75 seconds): acceleration less than that of gravity (i.e., slower than free fall).
•Stage 2 (1.75 to 4.0 seconds): gravitational acceleration (free fall)
•Stage 3 (4.0 to 5.4 seconds): decreased acceleration, again less than that of gravity

This analysis showed that the 40 percent longer descent time—compared to the 3.9 second free fall time—was due primarily to Stage 1, which corresponded to the buckling of the exterior columns in the lower stories of the north face. During Stage 2, the north face descended essentially in free fall, indicating negligible support from the structure below. This is consistent with the structural analysis model, which showed the exterior columns buckling and losing their capacity to support the loads from the structure above. In Stage 3, the acceleration decreased as the upper portion of the north face encountered increased resistance from the collapsed structure and the debris pile below.
Myth busted.
2) They did? About the "explosions", they were highly likely the sound of top floors slamming into floors below them with massive thuds.
www.nist.gov wrote: 17. An emergency responder caught in WTC 7 between the 6th and 8th floors said he heard two loud booms. Isn't that evidence that there was an explosion?

The sound levels reported by all witnesses do not match the sound level of an explosion that would have been required to cause the collapse of the building.
Myth busted again
3) CIA/FBI communication WAS bad and immediately rectified With Department of Homeland Security to prevent it happening again.
4) But they did
5) Hearsay? And why significant? On the other hand, since dubya was prone to gaffing and not very "hands-on" it was probably smart to have Dick around any time {!#%@} got real.
6) Fail how exactly? I find it perfectly believable that some embarrassing details (for some people) were swept under the rug, without it in any way strengthening a "theydidit" theory. (edit: I'm talking about the intelligence part of the incident here)
7) Dont see the significance of that. If those 28 pages were the totalt difference in content and interpretation, several members of the Committee would have cried foul.

Bottom line is that if the "official account" (Which IS the one based on science you know) have fuzzy parts, the alternatives I've seen fare far worse in any comparison with reality as we know it. (And no, I do not refer to a "surely noone could have done such an evil thing", I'm referring to basic physics, organization theory and that sort of thing.)

Peace
Dan
Firstly, thank you for actually addressing the points rather than just ridiculing me for making them.

1) So the 2.5 seconds of free-fall is not disputed. I suppose the pivotal sentence from that paragraph is, "This is consistent with the structural analysis model" which I haven't looked at (and I'm not sure if I'm capable of judging or even understanding)

2) I'm not sure. That could be the case in some of the reports but there are so many. Lots of the fire fighters and first responders reported explosions. Some people even report being blown off their feet. I think there were explosions of some sort. The sound in this video sounds unequivocally like an explosion:



3) It wasn't just bad communication, though that played a part throughout the event. The explanation proffered is that the CIA wanted to use the hijackers as informants and so if they alerted the FBI they would lose that opportunity but even if that is the truth then one would expect someone to have been held accountable. But as with other areas where there were big mistakes made (that were probably criminal in many cases) no-one was held accountable.

4) Yes but very reluctantly which made it look like they had something to hide

5) Maybe. Or maybe they were worried he'd say something he wasn't supposes to say or crack under the pressure.

6) "Set up to fail" were the exact words used by Lee Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean to describe the commission:



7) Apparently they concern Saudi involvement of some sort but who knows.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by OutOfBreath » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:40 pm

djembeweaver wrote:Firstly, thank you for actually addressing the points rather than just ridiculing me for making them.

1) So the 2.5 seconds of free-fall is not disputed. I suppose the pivotal sentence from that paragraph is, "This is consistent with the structural analysis model" which I haven't looked at (and I'm not sure if I'm capable of judging or even understanding)
I read that to mean that this period of free-fall is not inconsistent with the "official model".
2) I'm not sure. That could be the case in some of the reports but there are so many. Lots of the fire fighters and first responders reported explosions. Some people even report being blown off their feet. I think there were explosions of some sort. The sound in this video sounds unequivocally like an explosion:

Many things can sound "like an explosion" without being one or caused by explosives. Lots of air suddenly being pushed out of collapsed rooms can well knock people off their feet and make big noises. Big piles of concrete slamming into other piles of concrete would also make a big noise. Big noise do not equal explosive.
3) It wasn't just bad communication, though that played a part throughout the event. The explanation proffered is that the CIA wanted to use the hijackers as informants and so if they alerted the FBI they would lose that opportunity but even if that is the truth then one would expect someone to have been held accountable. But as with other areas where there were big mistakes made (that were probably criminal in many cases) no-one was held accountable.
That's the incompetance angle where I am most inclined to think they dressed it up a bit. Not out of conspiracy, but embarrassment and probably protecting the careers of some people.
4) Yes but very reluctantly which made it look like they had something to hide
Speculation.
5) Maybe. Or maybe they were worried he'd say something he wasn't supposes to say or crack under the pressure.
Dubya strikes me as the kind of leader that delegates alot so he doesnt have to do that much. Cheney was involved in a lot on the president's behalf. I dont see that as particularly incriminating of anything except perhaps exactly how "hands off" dubya's leadership style was.
6) "Set up to fail" were the exact words used by Lee Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean to describe the commission:

Who?
(I dont do youtube links)
7) Apparently they concern Saudi involvement of some sort but who knows.
A diplomatic sweep under the rug there perhaps. Doesn't change much about the event itself, only where to put the blame. It is well known that many of the hijackers were Saudis as were Bin Laden. That wasn't denied per se, but they wanted to focus on Bin Laden in Afghanistan rather than their ally.

Peace
Dan
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:01 pm

I read that to mean that this period of free-fall is not inconsistent with the "official model".
I also read it to mean that but I'm still not clear on how it is consistent.
Many things can sound "like an explosion" without being one or caused by explosives. Lots of air suddenly being pushed out of collapsed rooms can well knock people off their feet and make big noises. Big piles of concrete slamming into other piles of concrete would also make a big noise. Big noise do not equal explosive
True, but I don't think any of those things can knock people off their feet or blow them across a room and the link I provided show firemen involuntarily reacting to a massive 'explosion-like-event' prior to the collapse
That's the incompetance angle where I am most inclined to think they dressed it up a bit. Not out of conspiracy, but embarrassment and probably protecting the careers of some people
That is one possibility but without full disclosure no-one can say for sure
Speculation
Indeed
Dubya strikes me as the kind of leader that delegates alot so he doesnt have to do that much. Cheney was involved in a lot on the president's behalf. I dont see that as particularly incriminating of anything except perhaps exactly how "hands off" dubya's leadership style was
I doubt he had much say in it at all. I've always thought he was a 'puppet' president
Who?
(I dont do youtube links)
They were two of the principle authors of the 9/11 commission report (Kean was the chairman of the commission). They also say that it was under funded and appointed by the most partisan people in Washington. They suggest the reason was that the Bush administration was worried that the commission might 'point fingers' so they set it up to fail.
Doesn't change much about the event itself, only where to put the blame
Quite an important piece of the puzzle imo.

One way or another all this suggests that there is much more to the story than has thus far been disclosed and that is partially why so many conspiracy theories have arisen.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by OutOfBreath » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:50 pm

djembeweaver wrote:True, but I don't think any of those things can knock people off their feet or blow them across a room and the link I provided show firemen involuntarily reacting to a massive 'explosion-like-event' prior to the collapse
Sure it can. Air from a big room suddenly collapsed forcing all the air out a small opening in miliseconds can blow something fierce. Basic physics. Air is not emptiness. As for the clip (now that I bothered to click on it) I hear a big boom. I have no competence to judge whether that MUST have been explosives, and I suspect that neither do you.
Dubya strikes me as the kind of leader that delegates alot so he doesnt have to do that much. Cheney was involved in a lot on the president's behalf. I dont see that as particularly incriminating of anything except perhaps exactly how "hands off" dubya's leadership style was
I doubt he had much say in it at all. I've always thought he was a 'puppet' president
I dunno. I thought so at the time myself, but I have since realized that he probably had more of a hand in how things were run than I thought. You can get fooled by how atrocious a speaker he was, and conclude that he had literally nothing upstairs. All presidents have their machinery of people around them. I do think though that he leaned on that more than other have/are doing.
They were two of the principle authors of the 9/11 commission report (Kean was the chairman of the commission). They also say that it was under funded and appointed by the most partisan people in Washington. They suggest the reason was that the Bush administration was worried that the commission might 'point fingers' so they set it up to fail.
That fits fine with my hunch that embarrassment was a driver behind some of that reluctance. I mean, they had just been caught with their pants down so spectacularly, and that thing DO NOT look good come next election, so they probably hazed details of responsibility for the mess. As they will do when {!#%@} happens. And as their opponents will overstate to the maximum degree. So I put that down to passing.the-buck politics more than any big conspiracy.
One way or another all this suggests that there is much more to the story than has thus far been disclosed and that is partially why so many conspiracy theories have arisen.
Perhaps, but from what I've gathered there really are limits to how much more there can be to it. Perhaps some people in positions got off easier than they should have for the disaster that it was. Maybe some obfuscation to avoid the usual BS political storm they were anticipating.

There is a solid scientific basis for how the towers went down, no explosives needed (well, you know, apart from two airplanes packed with fuel). More importantly, the facts do not fit any scenario of controlled demolition, which is in any case a preposterous scenario given the organization and scale needed. And since the US is not, in fact, a repressive police state the fact that noone has blown a whistle at blowing up a few thousand of their own countrymen who they are sworn to protect... The unlikelihoods pile up quickly. Even the scale and details of torturing bad guys in the aftermath leaked out eventually. Something the people involved were more favourable towards and thought necessary.

So, maybe some head didnt get the guilt he could have gotten. And reluctance to reveal exactly how incompetently the intelligence services had handled it beforehand (Look how little in control we REALLY are). Noone in charge would like that.

Peace
Dan
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:13 pm

OutOfBreath wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:I just don't care any more. I suspect you have that effect on lots of people.
Indeed he does. Even if I agree with many of his positions, his style is insufferable. I enjoy him taking on the resident climate deniers though, since they deserve such tactics to match their own. Mostly I feel a strong disincentive to engage.
That's a good point. His pedantry focusing on "is" vs. "is used" made me seriously wonder if he was a Sweet Pea clone, but as you say, he's just using the same (insufferable) methods. Djembeweaver was perfectly clear in his original statement, and even if not, was clear in clarifying his position afterwards.
scrmbldggs wrote:...and now I'm wondering if our beloved Thank You button will ever make a comeback. :cry:
I instinctively went to like your post. Crap!
djembeweaver wrote:
To respond more specifically to your points, yes absolutely the term conspiracy theory is used pejoratively today, and there are scholars who have attempted to track how the term has evolved over the last several decades. That said, I highly, highly doubt the term was deliberately given negative connotations by the CIA, though the government would most certainly have played a role (as with the media and other sources).

The etymology of the world is fairly complicated, and perhaps moot anyway. Even prior to usage of the term “conspiracy theory,” people who held counter-mainstream views were called other things and still largely denigrated in the same way. Use of the term “conspiracy theory” pejoratively doesn’t really change that.
djembeweaver wrote:
I’ll just respond in bold to each of these points, which is entirely separate from my agreeing with you that the term is used pejoratively. Unfortunately, most of the concerns you’re raising below are long-debunked, which is a part of why I think some skeptics might jump to the “you be cray-cray” dismissive tactic.

1) That building 7 was in free-fall for a significant portion of its collapse time and that NIST appeared to want to obfuscate this.

It actually was not in free fall for any portion of its collapse, but very near to free fall. It was a couple seconds off, as I recall, which is precisely what you would have expected. This is a common line in conspiracy circles, but it’s false.

2) That NIST declared that there were no witness reports of explosions when in fact many witnesses reported explosions (I have no idea whether or not there were any actual explosions but it is certainly the case that many people reported them)

You’re right, many witnesses did report explosions – they were actually misinterpretations of the micro explosions caused by, among other things, the hydraulics in office chairs expanding and exploding due to the extreme heat.

3) That the CIA were tracking several of the hijackers in the USA and actively blocked the sharing of this information with the FBI

I suspect this is true, and is definitely a problem with different government agencies often not communicating with one another, even taking an adversarial stance with each other. This happens a lot, and is a problem.

4) That the Bush administration seemed very unwilling to launch an inquiry

In the post-Kennedy assassination era, governmental bodies are presented with two unsavoury options to deal with theories like these: either launch a major inquiry to address the issue (as they did with Kennedy's assassination), which lends credibility and only adds fuel to the fire of these conspiracy theorists (as happened with Kennedy's assassination), or do nothing, which makes it appear as though they were intentionally unwilling to investigate, which to the theorist’s eyes is as good as an admission of guilt. Regardless of what they do, it will be seen as a sign of guilt. Bush was probably strongly advised not to cater to conspiracy theorists by advisors who learned from the conspiracies of the 60s and 70s, though in reality he was probably screwed no matter what he did.

5) That Bush would not be questioned alone by the 9/11 commission but only with Dick Cheney.

As above.

6) That many, including some commission members, think the inquiry was set up to fail and the CIA, amongst others, did not disclose the complete truth.

I have no doubt the official report was not wholly accurate, possibly even to the extent of deliberate falsity (or at least omission) in some places. That’s sadly the nature of politics. And while it’s an important job to find out what those omissions were, and why they were omitted, it’s a non-sequitor to assume these omissions therefore prove (or even suggest) Bush’s complicity (or acceptance of) the 9/11 attacks.

7) That 28 pages of the report were redacted

This really doesn’t prove anything, though I agree it may well be worthwhile finding out what these pages had and why they were redacted – still acknowledging that they will very likely not demonstrate Bush’s complicity in the events.

These are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

Of course none of these prove anything but they are certainly not crazy rantings of conspiracy theorists with no grasp on reality and some of them (like the redaction) are just statements of fact. All of them suggest that there is more to the story than has thus far been disclosed.

Absolutely, there is more to the story than has been disclosed. But again, we cannot leap from “We don’t know everything; some details have been hidden from us; etc.” to the belief that “therefore I know the government orchestrated the attacks/was aware of the attacks and did nothing/was happy the attacks happened so they could attack the middle east/etc.”

It’s specifically that non-sequitor at the end, I think, that is what gets so many people’s backs up. The logic is the same as going from “we don’t know where the universe came from/have all the answers/etc.,” to: “Therefore god dunnit.” I don’t mean that to poison the well – rather, the logic is the exactly the same: We don’t know everything, therefore my pet theory.

Simply put, it's bad logic.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:42 pm

How do you quote with someone's username like that? Anyway:
Sure it can. Air from a big room suddenly collapsed forcing all the air out a small opening in miliseconds can blow something fierce. Basic physics. Air is not emptiness. As for the clip (now that I bothered to click on it) I hear a big boom. I have no competence to judge whether that MUST have been explosives, and I suspect that neither do you
Indeed I do not. It's just that so many people reported explosions and they all seemed quite sure. That would constitute strong evidence on a court room.
I dunno. I thought so at the time myself, but I have since realized that he probably had more of a hand in how things were run than I thought. You can get fooled by how atrocious a speaker he was, and conclude that he had literally nothing upstairs. All presidents have their machinery of people around them. I do think though that he leaned on that more than other have/are doing
I think he was an all-round buffoon chosen because he was easily manipulated.
So I put that down to passing.the-buck politics more than any big conspiracy
Maybe, but the authors of the report thought they had been deceived and stone-walled to stop them blaming the administration which, incidentally, is why I think Bush wasn't allowed to testify alone.
There is a solid scientific basis for how the towers went down
I'm not sure there is actually, though the details of the various theories are a bit beyond me. I'm pretty sure the original Bazant et al 'pancake' theory has been falsified, though it's been a while since I've looked into all and like I said the technical details are a bit beyond me anyway. For the record I don't think the towers were blown up. CD as an explanation for WTC7 is less preposterous but still difficult to imagine.
So, maybe some head didnt get the guilt he could have gotten. And reluctance to reveal exactly how incompetently the intelligence services had handled it beforehand
Maybe. I still think it is possible that certain people knew what they were planning and did nothing...or knew they were planning something but didn't know what exactly. I still think it's possible that building 7 was assisted in some way. It's a no-brainer that heads that should have rolled did not.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:48 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
OutOfBreath wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:I just don't care any more. I suspect you have that effect on lots of people.
Indeed he does. Even if I agree with many of his positions, his style is insufferable. I enjoy him taking on the resident climate deniers though, since they deserve such tactics to match their own. Mostly I feel a strong disincentive to engage.
That's a good point. His pedantry focusing on "is" vs. "is used" made me seriously wonder if he was a Sweet Pea clone, but as you say, he's just using the same (insufferable) methods. Djembeweaver was perfectly clear in his original statement, and even if not, was clear in clarifying his position afterwards.
Canadian Skeptic wrote:Djembeweaver was perfectly clear in his original statement
So, Canadian Skeptic, this is how djembeweaver started off:
It is not my fault if you cannot deconstruct a well-written sentence.
This is how he ended up:
When I look at it in the cold light of day I would have to accept that you do have a point, and that I overgeneralized in my initial comment and was, perhaps, slightly imprecise in my use of language.
Do you want to go through the same process, or do you just admit you're talking nonsense?

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:12 pm

To respond more specifically to your points, yes absolutely the term conspiracy theory is used pejoratively today, and there are scholars who have attempted to track how the term has evolved over the last several decades. That said, I highly, highly doubt the term was deliberately given negative connotations by the CIA, though the government would most certainly have played a role (as with the media and other sources).
I'm going to look into that more thoroughly when I have time...
1) That building 7 was in free-fall for a significant portion of its collapse time and that NIST appeared to want to obfuscate this.

It actually was not in free fall for any portion of its collapse, but very near to free fall. It was a couple seconds off, as I recall, which is precisely what you would have expected. This is a common line in conspiracy circles, but it’s false.
Sorry but I have to take issue with you there. You are right that it is a common line in conspiracy circles but the claim is often made of the twin towers and that is easily debunked. WTC7 is a different kettle of fish though. If you read the final report by NIST you will find that they calculate that the building was in free-fall for 2.4 seconds. The fact that you state that "it was a couple of seconds off" is telling, and reflects NIST's original position before revisions were made to their report. If you take the total collapse time and calculate the average acceleration you are right that it was a couple of seconds short of free-fall, but talking of 'free-fall time' is meaningless, as a previous poster's Wile E Coyote analogy alluded - the building remained almost motionless for a couple of seconds after the initial movement of the penthouse and this skews the mean average. The fact is that the building was in free-fall for a significant portion of its total collapse time, though the significance of this is debatable.
You’re right, many witnesses did report explosions – they were actually misinterpretations of the micro explosions caused by, among other things, the hydraulics in office chairs expanding and exploding due to the extreme heat
I just don't buy that. The 'explosion' in the link I provided was certainly office chairs and Barry Jennings reported being blown off his feet.
it’s a non-sequitor to assume these omissions therefore prove (or even suggest) Bush’s complicity (or acceptance of) the 9/11 attacks
I'm pretty sure I have never made that assumption. This is one of the difficulties in expressing any doubts about the official explanation: People automatically assume that because you express doubt about one aspect that you share the views of all truthers. I do not.
This really doesn’t prove anything
Again, I never suggested that it 'proved' anything. I merely implied that it shows that the full story has not been disclosed. Several people who have had access to those 28 pages have suggested that it details Saudi involvement of some sort.
we cannot leap from “We don’t know everything; some details have been hidden from us; etc.” to the belief that “therefore I know the government orchestrated the attacks/was aware of the attacks and did nothing/was happy the attacks happened so they could attack the middle east/etc
As I stated above I have never made that leap, though you may have made the assumption that I did. Collectively the points I raise suggest that the full truth has not been disclosed and that the Bush administration and certain groups within the CIA were complicit in that.
Simply put, it's bad logic.
If I had made those connections then it would indeed be poor logic. I don't think you intended to create a straw-man argument but you may have unintentionally done so by making assumptions about my beliefs that go way beyond what I have actually written...

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:14 pm

supervitor wrote:See? In here you are not afraid of assuming the implications of what you write or chose to bring into the table. Why not doing the same to your other implications?
Supervitor, considering your use of such grammatical treasures as the above, I feel you're in no position to complain about the clarity of others.
supervitor wrote:This is how he ended up:
When I look at it in the cold light of day I would have to accept that you do have a point, and that I overgeneralized in my initial comment and was, perhaps, slightly imprecise in my use of language.
And props to him for owning the situation.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:30 pm

djembeweaver wrote:How do you quote with someone's username like that?
You can use the quotation mark icon at the top of each post (if you mouse over the icons, you'll see the others are "edit", "delete" and "report post" - "edit" and "delete" only show in your posts and "delete" only if it's the very last post in a thread and by you). You can also enter any handle manually using
username wrote: and also find more info on how to use the functions by going to the BBCode link you'll see under the smileys. :-D


Edits: wording
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:32 pm

djembeweaver wrote:though the details of the various theories are a bit beyond me.
I'll explain, dj.
What one does, if the suspicions keep preventing him from sleeping at night, and the details are too complex for him to understand them, because they require expertise, is the following:

Trust the experts.

How do I know who are the real experts, if I keep seeing people presented as experts on Alex Jones' movies, you may ask?

Look for credibility! I'm not saying you should pick the one that has the better suit, but just try to access which one is regarded higher by the civil society. For instance, credentials: having a public CV that you check is usually a good sign. Being invited for the investigation commission is also a good sign. Being invited to address the media too, although you should access also the credibility of the specific media: being generally honest, not misleading and all of that, are good marks. It's a day to day job, and requires observation, good judgement, common sense, incredulity q.b. and thinking ability. A few hints to get you started:

Alex Jones: very bad
Fox news, daily mail: bad
C-SPAN, the guardian, euronews: good
Der Spiegel, democracy now: very good

In a word, give some credence to the civil society: all those disturbing thoughts will disappear. They might get replaced by even more disturbing thoughts, like poverty, injustice, world issues, etc, but at least they will be real. They will matter.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:37 pm

djembeweaver wrote:I'm pretty sure I have never made that assumption. This is one of the difficulties in expressing any doubts about the official explanation: People automatically assume that because you express doubt about one aspect that you share the views of all truthers. I do not.
djembeweaver wrote: If I had made those connections then it would indeed be poor logic. I don't think you intended to create a straw-man argument but you may have unintentionally done so by making assumptions about my beliefs that go way beyond what I have actually written...
Fair point. Please note I wasn’t making an assumption about what you personally believe, but rather about where this reasoning generally goes. I don’t actually know what you believe, or what your arguments are, as this is the first I can recall engaging with you. So where I make inferences about the reasoning, I’m more referring to my experience with where your questions tend to go when I encounter them elsewhere, and not about where you personally stand – I hope you accept that distinction. I mean no disrespect by it.
djembeweaver wrote:WTC7 is a different kettle of fish though. If you read the final report by NIST you will find that they calculate that the building was in free-fall for 2.4 seconds.
If you happen to have a link to this, I would be happy to take a look at it and address it, if able. I don’t make the request to pass the buck so much as a consequence of not having as much time as I used to for this sort of thing.
djembeweaver wrote: I just don't buy that. The 'explosion' in the link I provided was certainly office chairs and Barry Jennings reported being blown off his feet.
Did you mean to say certainly not office chairs?

In any event, I only cited them as one possible explanation for some of the witness accounts of explosions (by the way, while you're right that eye-witness testimony is still has a strong role in criminal convictions, there's an increasing body of research demonstrating how fallible eye-witness testimony is, and why it's entirely out of place in the justice system).

Here’s an excerpt from a fire commissioner on the explosions, in which he’s not sure what they were caused by, but attributes it (possibly) to the building cowing, electrical explosions, and the like:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Gregory_Stephen.txt wrote:
A. I know I was with an officer from Ladder 146, a Lieutenant Evangelista, who ultimately called me up a couple of days later just to find out how I was. We both for whatever reason -- again, I don't know how valid this is with everything that was going on at that particular point in time, but for some reason I thought that when I looked in the direction of the Trade Center before it came down, before No. 2 came down, that I saw low-leve] flashes. In my conversation with Lieutenant Evangelista, never mentioning this to him, he questioned me and asked me if I saw low-level flashes in front of the building, and I agreed with him because I thought -- at that time I didn't know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the building collapsing, things exploding, but I saw a flash flash flash and then it looked like the building came down.

Q.: Was that on the lower level of the building or up where the fire was?

A: No, the lower level of the building. You know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a building, when it falls down? That's what I thought I saw. And I didn't broach the topic to him, but he asked me. He said I don't know if I'm crazy, but I just wanted to ask you because you were standing right next to me. He said did you see anything by the building? And I said what do you mean by see anything? He said did you see any flashes? I said, yes, well, I thought it was just me. He said no, I saw them, too.
I don't know if that means anything. I mean, I equate it to the building cowing down and pushing things down, it could have been electrical explosions, it could have been whatever.
djembeweaver wrote: Again, I never suggested that it 'proved' anything. I merely implied that it shows that the full story has not been disclosed. Several people who have had access to those 28 pages have suggested that it details Saudi involvement of some sort.
Interestingly, if you read one of the papers you cited previously, the researchers troll through internet comments on 9/11 conspiracies trying to isolate a pattern in conspiracist thinking, and what they conclude is that conspiracy theorists tend to lack a coherent explanation for the event, and instead engage in a sort of gish gallup of questions by challenging various aspects of the official account, never settling on any particular answers except to say “there are still questions left unanswered.”

It *seems* to me that you appear to be engaging in precisely what those scholars actually concluded.
djembeweaver wrote: As I stated above I have never made that leap, though you may have made the assumption that I did. Collectively the points I raise suggest that the full truth has not been disclosed and that the Bush administration and certain groups within the CIA were complicit in that.
Sure. But to what end? What do we actually conclude from this possibility?

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:50 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
supervitor wrote:See? In here you are not afraid of assuming the implications of what you write or chose to bring into the table. Why not doing the same to your other implications?
Supervitor, considering your use of such grammatical treasures as the above, I feel you're in no position to complain about the clarity of others.

It wasn't really about grammar, was it, cs?
Meaning. That's what it was about.

And we were discussing the clarity of dj's assertion. Do you still mantain it's clear his initial text means what you said it meant?
supervitor wrote:This is how he ended up:
When I look at it in the cold light of day I would have to accept that you do have a point, and that I overgeneralized in my initial comment and was, perhaps, slightly imprecise in my use of language.
And props to him for owning the situation.
It took him a while, a few misplaced kicks, like any good beast in the process of being tamed, and a bit of work from my part, but yes, that's what I said.
Last edited by supervitor on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:53 pm

@ djembeweaver

To "explosions", compressed gas/air (regardless of if it's compressed fast or slow) packs a powerful punch and the impulse noise of the displacement can be awfully loud. There are tons of examples and I bet you know one or two of those. :-P

And what about machines, electrical equipment and the like? Ever heard a transformer asplode?
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:09 pm

Sure. But to what end? What do we actually conclude from this possibility?
I conclude that the Bush administration and elements of the CIA were complicit in the cover-up of many aspects of 9/11 in order to avoid blame being apportioned where it is due. I cannot have a coherent explanation in the absence of key facts and I don't think that makes me a conspiracy theorist.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:15 pm

If you happen to have a link to this, I would be happy to take a look at it and address it, if able
Here is a link to the full NIST report on building 7:

http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861610

The three-stage graph plotting velocity against time is on page 46

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:48 pm

djembeweaver wrote:
Sure. But to what end? What do we actually conclude from this possibility?
I conclude that the Bush administration and elements of the CIA were complicit in the cover-up of many aspects of 9/11 in order to avoid blame being apportioned where it is due. I cannot have a coherent explanation in the absence of key facts and I don't think that makes me a conspiracy theorist.
I don't think you can conclude this at all. At best you can put forward a simple hypothesis if you only look at that one fact.

However, as soon as you start introducing all the facts, you start having to prepare a detailed hypothesis, that can account for everything. You haven't done that yet. That Barry Jennings was knocked down by air pressure from a collapsing building air, fits the conventional detailed hypothesis. ( Although there are timing issues about exactly when he was knocked down and what building he heard).

On a side note, Some of the smarter skeptics at JREF point out that the conventional explanation of 9/11 is itself, just a hypothesis, but it does fit all the facts. It is counter productive to ignore some facts to come up with an alternative hypothesis, because that's simply not going to explain the big picture of what happened.

( The holocaust deniers spend all their day "nit picking" isolated facts. They complain that 200 Jewish victims cant fit in a particular gas chamber but ignore asking why the Germans had 200 people people standing outside a gas chamber anyway. It's just silly and a waste of time.)

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by mgardner » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:23 pm

Conspiracisim is, at it's core, both irrational and highly toxic.

One of the fundamental problems with conspiracism is that it is highly unfalsifiable. Once people assert that the entire world is controlled by the dark forces of the powers-that-be, they also assert that all lack of evidence for their theory, and all evidence against their theory has been manufactured by those same powers. Thus, they dismiss all evidence against their theory and retain only the scant few bits of evidence that might, maybe, provide some hint of support for their theory.

Conspiracists also tend to be obnoxiously narcissistic. They are the "awakened", while the rest of us are the dumb "sheeple" being led around by the corporate controlled media. It's an ego trap for the vain, those desperate for attention and validation.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:31 pm

djembeweaver wrote:
Sure. But to what end? What do we actually conclude from this possibility?
I conclude that the Bush administration and elements of the CIA were complicit in the cover-up of many aspects of 9/11 in order to avoid blame being apportioned where it is due. I cannot have a coherent explanation in the absence of key facts and I don't think that makes me a conspiracy theorist.
In what ways were they complicit? What aspects were covered up? Where else should the blame be apportioned, and what exactly are they being blamed for?

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by mgardner » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:32 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote: You have fallen into your own definition trap.

A rational scientist, applying the scientific method is only concerned that you are presenting them with "a hypothesis" to explain the observed facts. That you categorise that this hypothesis is a "conspiracy theory" up front, already introduces a "qualification" and "character" that may not be part of the actual theory. The logical reasons presented in the theory should speak for themselves and all cases should be reviewed separately and on their own merit. Only a fool would artificially place all subjectively perceived conspiracy theories in the same set and judge them in a unique way.
I kind of disagree with this. Conspiracy theories do not need to be each diagnosed within their own separate ideological vaccuum. Many conspiracy theories share a family of systemic flaws which can be understood and used to dismiss those which are irrational or virtual impossibilities.
- Unfalsifiability
- The likelihood of success and maintenance of the secret decreases geometrically with the number of people that would have to be involved
- Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence
- Magical thinking (Aliens did it, the government has super-secret magic technology that did it, etc...)
- Making stuff up (The government is watching me, The aliens kidnapped my brother etc...)

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:10 pm

So,
supervitor wrote:
Canadian Skeptic wrote:Djembeweaver was perfectly clear in his original statement
So, Canadian Skeptic, this is how djembeweaver started off:
It is not my fault if you cannot deconstruct a well-written sentence.
This is how he ended up:
When I look at it in the cold light of day I would have to accept that you do have a point, and that I overgeneralized in my initial comment and was, perhaps, slightly imprecise in my use of language.
Do you want to go through the same process, or do you just admit you're talking nonsense?
Tactic 1: try to divert the subject to my use of grammar.
Tactic 2: not responding (not owning to his own statements)

I guess that counts as a win.
Pleasure doing business, Canadian Skeptic!

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:15 pm

supervitor wrote:Pleasure doing business, Canadian Skeptic!
The pleasure was all mine, boss.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:35 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:
Sure. But to what end? What do we actually conclude from this possibility?
I conclude that the Bush administration and elements of the CIA were complicit in the cover-up of many aspects of 9/11 in order to avoid blame being apportioned where it is due. I cannot have a coherent explanation in the absence of key facts and I don't think that makes me a conspiracy theorist.
In what ways were they complicit? What aspects were covered up? Where else should the blame be apportioned, and what exactly are they being blamed for?
Complicit in the cover up by ensuring the inquiry was limited in scope, under-funded, staffed with people who were not independent and not given the power of subpoena. That even the chairman of the commission takes this view makes it pretty uncontroversial imo. I think that someone should be made accountable for the decision to block the sharing of info with the FBI at least. It's pretty difficult to say who should be blamed for what specifically if the full version of events has been covered up isn't it? It remains a possibility that someone allowed the hijackers to proceed so the resulting act of terror could be used as political leverage, but without full disclosure it is impossible to know. It is equally possible that the CIA thought that if they told the FBI about the hijacker's presence in the USA they would lose the opportunity to use them as assets.

There are many possibilities and I don't think that wanting the truth to emerge should be ridiculed or warrant being called a conspiracy theorist

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:27 pm

djembeweaver wrote:It remains a possibility that someone allowed the hijackers to proceed so the resulting act of terror could be used as political leverage, but without full disclosure it is impossible to know.
Okay, let's focus on this specifically, then. Based on the evidence we have, and what we know, how plausible is it that someone in Bush's administration (possibly including himself?) knew about the hijacking in advance, as well as their objective, and intentionally allowed it to happen? Is it more, or less, plausible that no one in Bush's administration knew precisely about the hijacking and intended targets until it was too late (that is, following the official account -- but only on this specific point)? On what basis do you decide which theory is more/less/equally plausible?

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:30 pm

djembeweaver wrote:There are many possibilities and I don't think that wanting the truth to emerge should be ridiculed or warrant being called a conspiracy theorist
Sure -- note, I'm not ridiculing you nor calling you a conspiracy theorist, but merely asking questions about your positions. I hope I'm not giving you reason to be defensive, though I understand where you're coming from in often receiving hostility. I will attempt to not do that, so long as you debate in good faith (which I believe you have been).

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:20 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:It remains a possibility that someone allowed the hijackers to proceed so the resulting act of terror could be used as political leverage, but without full disclosure it is impossible to know.
Okay, let's focus on this specifically, then. Based on the evidence we have, and what we know, how plausible is it that someone in Bush's administration (possibly including himself?) knew about the hijacking in advance, as well as their objective, and intentionally allowed it to happen? Is it more, or less, plausible that no one in Bush's administration knew precisely about the hijacking and intended targets until it was too late (that is, following the official account -- but only on this specific point)? On what basis do you decide which theory is more/less/equally plausible?
As I said, without being in possession of all of the facts it is very hard to make that judgement. I have no idea how likely it is but it remains a possibility. Another possibility is that this hypothetical someone knew that the terrorists were planning something, but did not know what specifically. What makes me consider it as a possibility is the lengths that seem to have been gone to to ensure that the commission did not uncover the truth. Furthermore looking at the detailed picture of the CIA / FBI information-sharing issue (http://www.salon.com/2011/10/14/insider ... s_cia_911/) as well as reading up on the history of the CIA makes me far less likely to discount the idea a priori. Similarly things like Adam Curtis's excellent and informative three-part documentary on radical Islam and the neo-conservatives (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x20su5 ... -2004_news) raise similar doubts regarding the neo-cons.

As far as I'm concerned if the chairman of the 9/11 commission thinks he was 'set up to fail' to stop him pointing fingers then that is good reason to believe that the administration and the CIA were complicit in covering up the full story. Given the gravity of the events surrounding 9/11 I'm stunned that people find this acceptable.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:22 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:There are many possibilities and I don't think that wanting the truth to emerge should be ridiculed or warrant being called a conspiracy theorist
Sure -- note, I'm not ridiculing you nor calling you a conspiracy theorist, but merely asking questions about your positions. I hope I'm not giving you reason to be defensive, though I understand where you're coming from in often receiving hostility. I will attempt to not do that, so long as you debate in good faith (which I believe you have been).
I appreciate that. I'm still a little sore at the way certain other posters responded...

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:25 pm

djembeweaver wrote:As far as I'm concerned if the chairman of the 9/11 commission thinks he was 'set up to fail' to stop him pointing fingers, then that is good reason to believe that the administration and the CIA were complicit in covering up the full story.
Did the chairman specifically say or imply he was set up to fail to stop him pointing fingers? I didn't read that into his quote, but perhaps you could indicate otherwise?

Edit: And to clarify, by pointing fingers, do you mean in the sense of identifying inside people who orchestrated or allowed the attacks, or identifying incompetence/dysfunctional relationships between departments for mishandling the situation? As those are separate issues.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:37 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:As far as I'm concerned if the chairman of the 9/11 commission thinks he was 'set up to fail' to stop him pointing fingers, then that is good reason to believe that the administration and the CIA were complicit in covering up the full story.
Did the chairman specifically say or imply he was set up to fail to stop him pointing fingers? I didn't read that into his quote, but perhaps you could indicate otherwise?

Edit: And to clarify, by pointing fingers, do you mean in the sense of identifying inside people who orchestrated or allowed the attacks, or identifying incompetence/dysfunctional relationships between departments for mishandling the situation? As those are separate issues.
That was a direct quote from Lee Hamilton (another of the principle authors who subsequently wrote a book with Thomas Kean). Here is a link to a video of them making these exact points. Judge for yourself:


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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:40 pm

The exact quote is:

"They were afraid we were going to hang somebody; that we would point the finger"

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:07 am

djembeweaver wrote:
Canadian Skeptic wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:There are many possibilities and I don't think that wanting the truth to emerge should be ridiculed or warrant being called a conspiracy theorist
Sure -- note, I'm not ridiculing you nor calling you a conspiracy theorist, but merely asking questions about your positions. I hope I'm not giving you reason to be defensive, though I understand where you're coming from in often receiving hostility. I will attempt to not do that, so long as you debate in good faith (which I believe you have been).
I appreciate that. I'm still a little sore at the way certain other posters responded...
:lol:

I swear, I don't do this on purpose!
It will pass, don't worry... Just be honest straightaway instead of trying to be cunning..

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:38 am

Just wish to point out two earlier posts appeared/were approved from a new user - mgardner.
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.p ... 21#p478321
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.p ... 21#p478323
.
Lard, save me from your followers.

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by Matthew Ellard » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:21 am

Matthew Temple-Ellard wrote:A rational scientist, applying the scientific method is only concerned that you are presenting them with "a hypothesis" to explain the observed facts. That you categorise that this hypothesis is a "conspiracy theory" up front, already introduces a "qualification" and "character" that may not be part of the actual theory. The logical reasons presented in the theory should speak for themselves and all cases should be reviewed separately and on their own merit.
mgardner wrote:I kind of disagree with this. Conspiracy theories do not need to be each diagnosed within their own separate ideological vaccuum.
Yes they do. Evidence is Evidence. Either the hypothesis put forward by a scientist or conspiracy theorist, stands on its own legs or it doesn't. It doesn't matter who puts forward the hypothesis. If we start pre-judging the source, then we are failing under the rule of Halo Behavioural Theory. Critical thinking rules forbid this.

Halo Effect.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect

The only time we would introduce past behaviour or similar behaviour by other people, is when the hypothesis has already been dismissed using the scientific method, and we are assessing the source of the theory for inherent risk of fraud, from their motives or previous M.O. However, that's more related to assessing whether it is worth reading someone's bizarre hypothesis in the first place. :D

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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:06 pm

Conspiracy theories do not need to be each diagnosed within their own separate ideological vaccuum
This kind of illustrates my original post in this thread: 'Conspiracy theory' is used pejoratively to discredit. By labeling someone a conspiracy theorist you can disregard any arguments they might make a priori. As I've probably made quite clear by now I consider this to be logical fallacy - something like the negative 'halo effect' that Mathew Ellard referred to. Another aspect of this kind of flawed logic is lumping everyone together into a homogeneous group. For example, to many people I fall into the same category as those who think that the twin towers were brought down by explosives just because I think that the 9/11 commission report was seriously flawed. Of course these two things have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. There are many claims and counter claims made by 'truthers' and 'debunkers' and each must be judged on its own merit. That the CIA knew before hand the identities of several hijackers and were tracking them prior to 9/11, Able Danger and the data-mining project disclosed by Anthony Schaffer etc - these things happened and are no longer 'theories'. Believing in the reality of these events does not put one in the same category as someone who believes this and also believes in a worldwide conspiracy of the illuminati. If you say that the earth orbits the sun and the moon is made of green cheese I might think you are crazy. If someone else expresses the same view that the earth orbits the sun but says nothing and the moon and green cheese then I cannot put them in the same category just because they share you view on one issue.