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

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

Post by Canadian Skeptic » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:33 pm

djembeweaver wrote: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:

Thanks. I'll have to take a closer look at the quotes later when I have some time. The serious problem I initially have with this video and the other quotes you've brought up -- and I hope you share these same concerns, because it's seriously important if you intend to be critical about this issue -- is that the quote are extremely short snippets, and very noticeably spliced in the middle of a sentence. It gives no sense whatsoever of context or what the speakers actually mean by what they're saying. Do they qualify their statement in some way? Give any direction on what they mean by "seriously flawed?"

Taken out of context, their quotes can seem to lend credibility to thinking the government participated in some way in the attacks on 9/11. Finding the full context, however, may clarify that. I have no doubt they are genuinely critical of the administration and of the constraints they were given in their report; yet, we have no idea (based on these short, out-of-context quotes) if they felt the administration was intentionally hiding something; if they could have done more with the report to stem public fears of it being an inside-job, if only they had more resources; if there were some other players that deserve additional blame; in what form of blame that would take, whether intentionally aiding the attacks vs. gross incompetence, etc.

So before commenting further, I feel the need to place these quotes in their greater context before either of us assumes anything of their actual meaning.
djembeweaver wrote: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.
I think that's fair enough, dj. I would ask you to also be patient and understand that so many of us, on a fairly regular basis, deal with people who raise the exact same questions you have -- word for word, in many cases -- and eventually make their way to the 'gubmit did it!' with all the conviction in the world supporting them. Usually in all caps and red font.

Even when they simply ask questions, like you have, without pointing out any particular conclusion, as you have, it's often a coy and subversive way to, eventually, result in the same crazy views about thermite, there being no planes, etc. that we have all come to roll our eyes at. It's hard to disentangle that entire context and regular barrage of crazy when being challenged by someone new, because we all expect for it to eventually devolve to that point.

That may explain the response you're getting (and have gotten), whether fairly or not.

For my part, I (and suspect others, if pressed) would accept that the "official" narrative is not perfect, and even has major flaws. There may well be parties who deserve greater blame than they've received (departmental agencies, etc.), and other issues. That being said, I do not personally go any further than chalk this up to gross incompetence at best, and to departments trying to shirk some of the blame for their major screw-up on 9/11. I do not believe anyone in the American administration, be it CIA or otherwise, knew about the attacks before they happened and, crucially, made the intentional decision to allow it to happen for their own reasons, political or otherwise. I think that goes too far, and doubt it's even seriously a possibility -- even if we accept many of the major flaws in the report you've raised (and many of them, I don't think we should accept -- such as that the buildings fell at free fall, which they didn't, except for at a single stage of the fall, which is perfectly reconcilable with the official report and known physics, so far as I can tell.).

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

Post by djembeweaver » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:15 pm

Canadian Skeptic wrote:
djembeweaver wrote: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:

Thanks. I'll have to take a closer look at the quotes later when I have some time. The serious problem I initially have with this video and the other quotes you've brought up -- and I hope you share these same concerns, because it's seriously important if you intend to be critical about this issue -- is that the quote are extremely short snippets, and very noticeably spliced in the middle of a sentence. It gives no sense whatsoever of context or what the speakers actually mean by what they're saying. Do they qualify their statement in some way? Give any direction on what they mean by "seriously flawed?"

Taken out of context, their quotes can seem to lend credibility to thinking the government participated in some way in the attacks on 9/11. Finding the full context, however, may clarify that. I have no doubt they are genuinely critical of the administration and of the constraints they were given in their report; yet, we have no idea (based on these short, out-of-context quotes) if they felt the administration was intentionally hiding something; if they could have done more with the report to stem public fears of it being an inside-job, if only they had more resources; if there were some other players that deserve additional blame; in what form of blame that would take, whether intentionally aiding the attacks vs. gross incompetence, etc.

So before commenting further, I feel the need to place these quotes in their greater context before either of us assumes anything of their actual meaning.
djembeweaver wrote: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.
I think that's fair enough, dj. I would ask you to also be patient and understand that so many of us, on a fairly regular basis, deal with people who raise the exact same questions you have -- word for word, in many cases -- and eventually make their way to the 'gubmit did it!' with all the conviction in the world supporting them. Usually in all caps and red font.

Even when they simply ask questions, like you have, without pointing out any particular conclusion, as you have, it's often a coy and subversive way to, eventually, result in the same crazy views about thermite, there being no planes, etc. that we have all come to roll our eyes at. It's hard to disentangle that entire context and regular barrage of crazy when being challenged by someone new, because we all expect for it to eventually devolve to that point.

That may explain the response you're getting (and have gotten), whether fairly or not.

For my part, I (and suspect others, if pressed) would accept that the "official" narrative is not perfect, and even has major flaws. There may well be parties who deserve greater blame than they've received (departmental agencies, etc.), and other issues. That being said, I do not personally go any further than chalk this up to gross incompetence at best, and to departments trying to shirk some of the blame for their major screw-up on 9/11. I do not believe anyone in the American administration, be it CIA or otherwise, knew about the attacks before they happened and, crucially, made the intentional decision to allow it to happen for their own reasons, political or otherwise. I think that goes too far, and doubt it's even seriously a possibility -- even if we accept many of the major flaws in the report you've raised (and many of them, I don't think we should accept -- such as that the buildings fell at free fall, which they didn't, except for at a single stage of the fall, which is perfectly reconcilable with the official report and known physics, so far as I can tell.).
I agree 100% with what you say about the video being short, out of context and possibly edited in a misleading way but it was the best I could at short notice. I intend to read their book when I get my hands on a copy as I think it will be very enlightening.

I understand why you might assume that because I raise the same points as others have I might have the same agenda but I assure you I am only interested in getting at the truth with sound logic and evidence. I have encountered these kind of reactions before so it is no big surprise, but it is frustrating that every time I engage with a new group of people regarding this issue I have to spend a long time proving to them that I am a genuine non-partisan skeptic and truth-seeker before they will actually engage with my arguments. It feels as if we're approaching that point but it's been a battle.

Regarding your last paragraph I also find it hard to believe that anyone knew about the attacks before-hand and allowed them to happen, but the more I read about history, geopolitics, security services and so on the more I realize that many unbelievable things have, and do, happen. If you have the time (and inclination) I seriously recommend watching Adam Curtis' three-part documentary series, the first of which is called 'The Power of Nightmares'. He is a well respected documentary film maker and the series, originally aired on the BBC was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and has won several awards. It will give you a whole new insight into the neo-conservative movement in the United States and its relationship with radical Islam. Here is a link to the first part:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x20su5 ... -2004_news

Lastly, I never claimed that the buildings (in the plural) fell at free-fall. I claimed only that WTC7 fell at free-fall for 2.5 seconds, and highlighted the way that NIST (either intentionally or carelessly) misrepresented this.

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:57 pm

Did the whole building ever approach "free fall"? To me phrasing of what seems like such a non-issue (parts might have/probably have, so what?) the way you do seems misleading. No wonder you get flak.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:14 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Did the whole building ever approach "free fall"? To me phrasing what seems like such a non-issue (parts might/probably have, so what?) the way you do seems misleading. No wonder you get flak.
Good god...have you even looked at the NIST report? Their own graph shows 2.3 seconds of free-fall. Please at least look at it before discussing the issue any further.

Seeing, however, as you seem quite unwilling to even look at the evidence yourself I will make it easy for you. Here is the link to the full report:

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

The discussion of this issue is on pages 44-45. The graph of velocity against time is on page 46.

Just in case you still don't read it here is a direct quote from the report:
n Stage 2, the north face descended at gravitational acceleration, as the buckled columns provided negligible support to the upper portion of the north face. This free fall drop continued for approximately 8 stories or 32.0 m (105 ft), the distance traveled between times t = 1.75 s and t = 4.0 s.
Have I made it clear enough?

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:44 am

djembeweaver wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:Did the whole building ever approach "free fall"? To me phrasing what seems like such a non-issue (parts might/probably have, so what?) the way you do seems misleading. No wonder you get flak.
Good god...have you even looked at the NIST report? Their own graph shows 2.3 seconds of free-fall. Please at least look at it before discussing the issue any further.

Seeing, however, as you seem quite unwilling to even look at the evidence yourself I will make it easy for you. Here is the link to the full report:

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

The discussion of this issue is on pages 44-45. The graph of velocity against time is on page 46.

Just in case you still don't read it here is a direct quote from the report:
n Stage 2, the north face descended at gravitational acceleration, as the buckled columns provided negligible support to the upper portion of the north face. This free fall drop continued for approximately 8 stories or 32.0 m (105 ft), the distance traveled between times t = 1.75 s and t = 4.0 s.
Have I made it clear enough?
(emphasis mine)
Is that clear enough?
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:50 am

You're David Chandlers, aren'tcha? :-P
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:39 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:You're David Chandlers, aren'tcha? :-P
You got me...it's a fair cop guv ;)

Seriously though, regarding the wording - specifically the use of 'facade' and 'north face' - while you are quite right to point that out it is an odd statement since the north face (or facade) did not fall at a different rate or time to other faces or facades. Most videos are shot from an oblique angle showing that at least two faces fell together at the same rate. You can see this clearly in many shots in the following link, perhaps most clearly at around 8:10:



In some other shots you can also see the other face descending in sync (I think the the east face).

Then there is the following statement, made in the NIST report:
The global collapse of WTC 7 was underway. The shell of exterior columns buckled between the 7th and 14th floors, as loads were redistributed to these columns due to the downward movement of the building core and the floors. The entire building above the buckled-column region then moved downward as a single unit, completing the global collapse sequence
So it certainly was not the case that the rest of the building collapsed first, leaving only the facade of the north face to descend at free-fall. Of course it is possible (and I think this is what is implied) that the entire internal support structure collapsed progressively, leaving what was essentially a hollow shell to collapse at free-fall acceleration. This is consistent with the fact that the penthouse descends first, a full second before any movement is detected in the outer shell.

Remember that all this is highly speculative and largely based on computer modelling. Even NIST admit that:
the reader should keep in mind that the building and the records kept within it were destroyed, and the remains of all the WTC buildings were disposed of before congressional action and funding was available for this Investigation to begin. As a result, there are some facts that could not be discerned and, thus, there are uncertainties in this accounting

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

Post by djembeweaver » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:40 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:You're David Chandlers, aren'tcha? :-P
Btw you even got his name wrong

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

Post by djembeweaver » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:40 pm

scrmbldggs - I've found the source of the ambiguity:

If you study chapter 12 of the full report (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, WTC Investigation) you will find the fine detail of their method. The initial analysis concerned the movement of the penthouse resulting from the progressive collapse of the internal support structure. Then, in their words:
To obtain a better understanding of the vertical motion of the building in the first several seconds of descent, the motion of the north face was studied in more detail by tracking the vertical position of a point near the center of the roofline using the same video
Thus the reason they refer to the 'north face' is because that is the portion of the building from which the measurements were taken. It is pretty clear that they do not mean to imply that rest of the building collapsed first, leaving only the north face standing, which then collapsed independently at free-fall.

Here is a link to the full report:

http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861611

The quote I selected is on page 601.

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:13 pm

djembeweaver wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:You're David Chandlers, aren'tcha? :-P
You got me...it's a fair cop guv ;)
Thanks, Dave. Can I call you Dave? Seriously, though...
Seriously though, regarding the wording - specifically the use of 'facade' and 'north face' - while you are quite right to point that out it is an odd statement since the north face (or facade) did not fall at a different rate or time to other faces or facades. Most videos are shot from an oblique angle showing that at least two faces fell together at the same rate. You can see this clearly in many shots in the following link, perhaps most clearly at around 8:10:



In some other shots you can also see the other face descending in sync (I think the the east face).
I don't think it's an odd statement, considering that:

"3.6 TIMING OF COLLAPSE INITIATION AND PROGRESSION

The timing of global collapse of WTC 7, as indicated by downward motion of the north exterior face, was investigated using a video of the collapse taken from the vantage point of West Street near Harrison Street (Camera No. 3, Figure 5-183 of NIST NCSTAR 1-9). An initial analysis compared the observed time it took for the roofline to fall approximately 18 stories to the free fall time under the force of gravity. A more detailed analysis examined the vertical displacement, velocity, and acceleration through different stages of the collapse process. (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 12)
(NIST report, p 86)
djembeweaver wrote:Then there is the following statement, made in the NIST report:
The global collapse of WTC 7 was underway. The shell of exterior columns buckled between the 7th and 14th floors, as loads were redistributed to these columns due to the downward movement of the building core and the floors. The entire building above the buckled-column region then moved downward as a single unit, completing the global collapse sequence
^That's from p 65 (2.4 THE PROBABLE COLLAPSE SEQUENCE, beginning on p 63).
djembeweaver wrote:So it certainly was not the case that the rest of the building collapsed first, leaving only the facade of the north face to descend at free-fall. Of course it is possible (and I think this is what is implied) that the entire internal support structure collapsed progressively, leaving what was essentially a hollow shell to collapse at free-fall acceleration. This is consistent with the fact that the penthouse descends first, a full second before any movement is detected in the outer shell.
To this I would like to add:
NIST report wrote: p 84
[...]
3.5.1 Aspects prior to the Global Collapse

Analysis of a video shot prior to and during the collapse showed an east-west vibration of the building prior to its collapse (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 5 and Appendix C). The horizontal motion (± 2 in.) began 6 s before the east penthouse began to move downward. The horizontal building motion started at nearly the same time as the cascading floor failures started in the LS-DYNA analysis (-6.5 s), which preceded the buckling failure of Column 79. A seismic signal approximately 10 s prior to the onset of

p85
collapse was likely due to the falling of debris from the collapse (NIST NCSTAR 1-9 Appendix B). It is consistent that the falling debris (on the east side of the building) imparted some momentum in the east west direction as it descended.
djembeweaver wrote:Remember that all this is highly speculative and largely based on computer modelling. Even NIST admit that:
the reader should keep in mind that the building and the records kept within it were destroyed, and the remains of all the WTC buildings were disposed of before congressional action and funding was available for this Investigation to begin. As a result, there are some facts that could not be discerned and, thus, there are uncertainties in this accounting
Yes, some data is incomplete. But none of it says: "WTC7 fell at free-fall for 2.5 seconds". All I can find is that at best an upper portion of WTC7 did, according to video evidence and modelling.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:15 pm

djembeweaver wrote:scrmbldggs - I've found the source of the ambiguity:

If you study chapter 12 of the full report (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, WTC Investigation) you will find the fine detail of their method. The initial analysis concerned the movement of the penthouse resulting from the progressive collapse of the internal support structure. Then, in their words:
To obtain a better understanding of the vertical motion of the building in the first several seconds of descent, the motion of the north face was studied in more detail by tracking the vertical position of a point near the center of the roofline using the same video
Thus the reason they refer to the 'north face' is because that is the portion of the building from which the measurements were taken. It is pretty clear that they do not mean to imply that rest of the building collapsed first, leaving only the north face standing, which then collapsed independently at free-fall.

Here is a link to the full report:

http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861611

The quote I selected is on page 601.
Thanks. :)
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:06 pm

Yes, some data is incomplete. But none of it says: "WTC7 fell at free-fall for 2.5 seconds". All I can find is that at best an upper portion of WTC7 did, according to video evidence and modelling.
I think you have misunderstood the wording slightly. The reference to the 'upper portion' is saying that initial buckling of the exterior columns in the lower stories removed the support of the upper portion. Additionally, as I have already explained, the only reason they refer to the 'north face' at all is because that is where they made their measurements. Thus they are not claiming that the upper portion of the north face fell at a different rate to the rest of the building. David Chandler's graph of velocity as a function of time almost precisely matched NIST's yet NIST took their measurements from a point in the centre of the north face and DC used the upper intersection of the north and west faces. Quite aside from any calculation, watching any video of the collapse will reveal that once global collapse was initiated the building (you might want to claim the exterior shell) fell as a single unit.

Don't worry though: According to NIST this is "consistent with the results of the global collapse analyses discussed in Chapter 12 of NIST NCSTAR 1-9". Apparently you can accept free-fall without any challenge to their 'progressive collapse' theory.
Last edited by djembeweaver on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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

Post by djembeweaver » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:23 pm

scrmbldggs: Describing their own graph NIST state that
The slope of the velocity curve is approximately constant between about 1.75 s and 4.0 s, and a good straight line fit to the points in this range (open-circles in Figure 3-15) allowed estimation of a constant downward acceleration during this time interval. This acceleration was 32.2 ft/s2 (9.81 m/s2), equivalent to the acceleration of gravity g
Pretty unequivocal I would have thought...

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

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:26 pm

Epic derail, folks.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:46 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Epic derail, folks.
True. This confusion should be in the other thread. I apologize for contributing. :bag:
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:16 pm

I also apologize for my part in the derailment.

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

Post by djembeweaver » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:21 pm

To get back to the original topic of this thread and the point I was trying to make, here is a journal article written by Ginna Husting of Boise State University entitled 'Dangerous Machinery: "Conspiracy Theorist" as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion' (https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/si ... b_contents)

The abstract reads:
In a culture of fear, we should expect the rise of new mechanisms of social control to deflect distrust, anxiety, and threat. Relying on the analysis of popular and academic texts, we examine one such mechanism, the label conspiracy theory, and explore how it works in public discourse to "go meta" by sidestepping the examination of evidence. Our findings suggest that authors use the conspiracy theorist label as (1) a routinized strategy of exclusion; (2) a reframing mechanism that deflects questions or concerns about power, corruption, and motive; and (3) an attack upon the personhood and competence of the questioner. This label becomes dangerous machinery at the transpersonal levels of media and academic discourse, symbolically stripping the claimant of the status of reasonable interlocutor—often to avoid the need to account for one's own action or speech. We argue that this and similar mechanisms simultaneously control the flow of information and symbolically demobilize certain voices and issues in public discourse
This is essentially the same issue that was raised earlier in this thread, concerning whether one has to consider the merits of each claim independently, or whether one can dismiss them a priori on the basis that they form a 'conspiracy theory'.

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

Post by Scott Mayers » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:38 pm

Agreed. I usually don't have any problems with being accused but I often notice how some who often remain relatively indeterminate as a friend can sometimes hint they have something against me if they all of a sudden speak up when I show concern for some realistic possible problem I see in my environment. I might say, "you know, I swear that someone's been in my place. I can't find my shades anywhere." But then such a person might all of a sudden speak up to indicate that I must be thinking that some kind of conspiratorial behavior is amok. Sure, I could have misplaced them. But why the hostile response? Is it impossible that someone could have actually stolen them?

So I get the idea of this. But I won't be paying the $42 (?) to see the full article.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:36 pm

Then there is the revelation revealed by Edward Snowden, that GCHQ has a previously secret unit called JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) which seeks to influence or manipulate political discourse online through 'Online Covert Action'. Here is a link to piece written on this topic by Glenn Greenwald for the Intercept:

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

Then there is the paper written by Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups:

http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/

All this lends credence to the idea that security services may have at least played a part in turning the phrase 'conspiracy theory' into a way to discredit dissenters.

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

Post by supervitor » Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:39 pm

djembeweaver wrote:
All this lends credence to the idea that security services may have at least played a part in turning the phrase 'conspiracy theory' into a way to discredit dissenters.
Only in your paranoid little mind it does, little dj. One needs to have conspiracy ideation to make that connection. We've been over this, son. Subject A and Subject B lend zero credence to Subject C, because they are not related: you lend yourself credence, because that's what you want to believe (tell us, do you still have that "I want to believe" poster in your little room? I told you to remove that). As for discrediting "dissenters", you discredit yourself with your speech: what you write makes no sense (you present no evidence, only imagined connections). And you (and other conspiracy theorists) pose absolutely no danger to state power because what you write is silly. In a way, you are good for state power, because you distract gullible people from real issues (not to say you would be hired by the CIA to do what you do, I don't think they give a f%ck, let's just say you willingly play the part of useful idiot).

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:17 am

djembeweaver wrote:Then there is the revelation revealed by Edward Snowden, that GCHQ has a previously secret unit called JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) which seeks to influence or manipulate political discourse online through 'Online Covert Action'.
You are a very strange person. You have identified the blatantly obvious, in that every government on this planet has a variety of agencies that push government initiated propaganda onto all forms of media. You probably heard about this on Radio Free Europe, or maybe read an academic article in a Butterworths professional journal. Perhaps you caught the 9/11 internet conference hosted by the Iranian IPIS. or an article issued by the Russian TASS.

You then conclude that the US government must be doing the same to hide "something" about 9/11 but you can't actually say why you think this or what the other alternative "truth" is in any detail, with supporting evidence. You are simply looking for "conspiracy theories" because you said you were looking for "conspiracy theories". This is silly and shallow.

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

Post by Scott Mayers » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:54 am

supervitor wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:
All this lends credence to the idea that security services may have at least played a part in turning the phrase 'conspiracy theory' into a way to discredit dissenters.
Only in your paranoid little mind it does, little dj. One needs to have conspiracy ideation to make that connection. We've been over this, son. Subject A and Subject B lend zero credence to Subject C, because they are not related: you lend yourself credence, because that's what you want to believe (tell us, do you still have that "I want to believe" poster in your little room? I told you to remove that). As for discrediting "dissenters", you discredit yourself with your speech: what you write makes no sense (you present no evidence, only imagined connections). And you (and other conspiracy theorists) pose absolutely no danger to state power because what you write is silly. In a way, you are good for state power, because you distract gullible people from real issues (not to say you would be hired by the CIA to do what you do, I don't think they give a f%ck, let's just say you willingly play the part of useful idiot).
And you are just supporting a sample of this behavior here which acts as confirmation of what the linked proposal was suggesting by accusing him of "conspiratorial" thinking. Conspiracies DO exist by probability of the nature of humanity. We even "conspire" by simply agreeing to something without even overt intent. I want to assure you that I have nothing against you here. But the point is that conspiracy theories really DO have some substance even where they lack specific evidence that directly provide justice for this. This is the contradictory nature of us as living entities to compete for selfish interests over all others. It is natural for us to conspire, but it is precisely what causes us to differentiate how we treat each other in practice.

REAL conspiracies DO exist, even if formally unintended AND un-provable with sufficient clarity and good reason. The function of a conspiracy, whether intentional or not, is to favor ones' own group interests without attending to the 'out-group'. This obeys evolution but defeats any actual concern for the particular class defined as the 'whole'. In practice, we can only best defend what assures those things that preserve our present conditions which favor us as individuals. Yet it contradicts our ability to care for others with compassion to respect ourselves AND others simultaneously.

I hate this contradiction as much as I understand it. And this depresses me for knowing this. We are still stupid animals underneath all of our intellect that takes precedence even if it acts only as a motive for nature to allow us to exist. So as long as we are privileged to exist, nature predetermines us to act in ways that favor our selfish individual or group interests.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:44 am

Scott Mayers wrote:
And you are just supporting a sample of this behavior here which acts as confirmation of what the linked proposal was suggesting by accusing him of "conspiratorial" thinking.
I didn't just accuse him. I've explained why. Here, look:
We've been over this, son. Subject A and Subject B lend zero credence to Subject C, because they are not related
It doesn't follow.
Like what you said, that my behaviour acts as confirmation. That's a silly idea. I saying that he's having conspiracy ideation has absolutely no relation with the CIA using certain terms to discredit dissenters. You're missing an important logical step in there Scott. Think again.

Conspiracies DO exist by probability of the nature of humanity. We even "conspire" by simply agreeing to something without even overt intent. I want to assure you that I have nothing against you here. But the point is that conspiracy theories really DO have some substance even where they lack specific evidence that directly provide justice for this. This is the contradictory nature of us as living entities to compete for selfish interests over all others. It is natural for us to conspire, but it is precisely what causes us to differentiate how we treat each other in practice.

REAL conspiracies DO exist, even if formally unintended AND un-provable with sufficient clarity and good reason. The function of a conspiracy, whether intentional or not, is to favor ones' own group interests without attending to the 'out-group'. This obeys evolution but defeats any actual concern for the particular class defined as the 'whole'. In practice, we can only best defend what assures those things that preserve our present conditions which favor us as individuals. Yet it contradicts our ability to care for others with compassion to respect ourselves AND others simultaneously.

I hate this contradiction as much as I understand it. And this depresses me for knowing this. We are still stupid animals underneath all of our intellect that takes precedence even if it acts only as a motive for nature to allow us to exist. So as long as we are privileged to exist, nature predetermines us to act in ways that favor our selfish individual or group interests.
No one is arguing against conspiracies. I was very specific about what I was arguing against. Do you want to argue for dj's position?

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:45 am

Scott Mayers wrote:And you are just supporting a sample of this behavior here which acts as confirmation of what the linked proposal was suggesting by accusing him of "conspiratorial" thinking. Conspiracies DO exist by probability of the nature of humanity.
Scott, you are right. There are real conspiracies. However this is a matter of applying critical thing to the overall scenario.

What's going on is that new person is looking for "conspiracy theories" as his evidence that something is wrong with the official theory. In reality, he should be looking at the evidence itself and reach a hypothesis based on the evidence. He doesn't have to look at "conspiracy theories" at all, or even need to use the words.

He's playing the standard game "I think there is a conspiracy and I am nitpicking this particular tiny piece of evidence" when he hasn't bothered to set out a hypothesis that can account for all the evidence simultaneously. You and I, as skeptics, don't need to bother with people who play that game.

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

Post by Scott Mayers » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:09 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:And you are just supporting a sample of this behavior here which acts as confirmation of what the linked proposal was suggesting by accusing him of "conspiratorial" thinking. Conspiracies DO exist by probability of the nature of humanity.
Scott, you are right. There are real conspiracies. However this is a matter of applying critical thing to the overall scenario.

What's going on is that new person is looking for "conspiracy theories" as his evidence that something is wrong with the official theory. In reality, he should be looking at the evidence itself and reach a hypothesis based on the evidence. He doesn't have to look at "conspiracy theories" at all, or even need to use the words.

He's playing the standard game "I think there is a conspiracy and I am nitpicking this particular tiny piece of evidence" when he hasn't bothered to set out a hypothesis that can account for all the evidence simultaneously. You and I, as skeptics, don't need to bother with people who play that game.
I think we owe it to those people who should be sincere in their thinking, even where they may be 'wrong'. We need to default to assuming them sincere from their perspective. If they are acting with sincere interest to deceive, this would PROVE that they are correct by their own intentions to deceive. As such, they would be proving that very REAL conspiracies DO exist. If not, though, they are simply in error and need the compassion they deserve for understanding things from their living experiences. Only WE have a power to prove that they have validity to their concerns and can at least provide a 'hope' that this world is not all against them. But doing whatever it takes to simply defeat them as rational beings, we isolate them and only confirm what they belief from their reasonable experiences.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:28 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
djembeweaver wrote:Then there is the revelation revealed by Edward Snowden, that GCHQ has a previously secret unit called JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) which seeks to influence or manipulate political discourse online through 'Online Covert Action'.
You are a very strange person
Ad hominem.
You have identified the blatantly obvious, in that every government on this planet has a variety of agencies that push government initiated propaganda onto all forms of media
If it was so banal then why have Edward Snowden's revelations caused such a stir?
You probably heard about this on Radio Free Europe, or maybe read an academic article in a Butterworths professional journal. Perhaps you caught the 9/11 internet conference hosted by the Iranian IPIS. or an article issued by the Russian TASS.
Never heard of any of those. I heard about this by following Glenn Greenwald's coverage of the Edward Snowden story.
You then conclude that the US government must be doing the same to hide "something" about 9/11 but you can't actually say why you think this or what the other alternative "truth" is in any detail, with supporting evidence
Nope. You have conflated two separate issues. My feeling that something about 9/11 was hidden is largely based on the fact that many of the 9/11 commissioners conclude the same thing. The 'truth' is that the commission was obstructed. What was held back is impossible to speculate on.
You are simply looking for "conspiracy theories" because you said you were looking for "conspiracy theories
I never said I was looking for conspiracy theories. I presented hard evidence that security services seek to manipulate online discourse and suggested that might contribute to the phrase being synonymous with "irrational person"
This is silly and shallow
Ad hom again...

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

Post by Scott Mayers » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:37 am

While it may or may not be directly interpreted as an intentional cause, if you 'know' that another has intention to harm with extreme prejudice against others, the act of neglecting is one too impossible to ever prove one way or the other.

I am an avid television fan, for instance. I had noticed that prior to discovering Osama bin Laden of his whereabouts, the President had a distaste for the present competitor for the Republican candidacy, Donald Trump. I was a fan of the show he hosted called, the "The Apprentice". At the time near the end of the season's shows, Obama had certain public events which were intended to insult Trump personally. I understood this as a matter or difference of perspective and unimportant. Obama insulted Trump indirectly through humor through the media. Yet, at its height of insult, during the very showing of Donald's last show of the season, it was interrupted to announce the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. It was like a slap in the face that suggested that our government already knew of his whereabouts but primed it to insult the opposing views of those like Trump and steal the headlines. [note that I'm a preferential Obama fan by virtue of his politics]

The timing to me was so unusual to suggest that the government at least MAY have actually known where Obama was long ago. Only if you were simultaneously a fan of "The Apprentice" and still follow the politics would you even be suspicious of the drama that unfolded. It sincerely MAY be nothing.

But the very fact that it is at least possible and even probable of certain groups to be acting conspiratorial, we still have a hint that this may be reasoned as more likely than not. As such, this represents a sample that suggests "conspiratorial thinking" which often gets diminished as non-sense. But we, as humans, only have these kind of events to interpret as even potentially "conspiratorial". As such, we have to accept others for what they may propose as potential conspiracies that may at least appear 'conspiratorial'.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by scrmbldggs » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:49 am

Scott Mayers wrote:The timing to me was so unusual to suggest that the government at least MAY have actually known where Obama was long ago.
One would think they sort of should. At least sometimes. :-P
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:58 am

Remember that the points I have raised about JTRIG and Sunstein's proposals have nothing to do with conspiracy theories but are statements of fact reported in mainstream media outlets. The fact that I am being accused of being a conspiracy theorist for merely raising these issues is a pretty good example of the kind of 'discrediting' tactic I am talking about.

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

Post by supervitor » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:09 am

djembeweaver wrote:Remember that the points I have raised about JTRIG and Sunstein's proposals have nothing to do with conspiracy theories but are statements of fact reported in mainstream media outlets. The fact that I am being accused of being a conspiracy theorist for merely raising these issues is a pretty good example of the kind of 'discrediting' tactic I am talking about.
You discredited yourself, dj. Not by raising JTRIG, but by trying to make a link between that and your beliefs. It's silly thinking: the fact that I said you were having conspiracy ideation is because of that faulty thinking, not to discredit you.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:17 am

Matthew Ellard wrote: You have identified the blatantly obvious, in that every government on this planet has a variety of agencies that push government initiated propaganda onto all forms of media
djembeweaver wrote: If it was so banal then why have Edward Snowden's revelations caused such a stir?
It didn't. The stir was about what specific information the Russian got off Snowden, not that every country has pro active propaganda agencies.
Matthew Ellard wrote:You probably heard about this on Radio Free Europe, or maybe read an academic article in a Butterworths professional journal. Perhaps you caught the 9/11 internet conference hosted by the Iranian IPIS. or an article issued by the Russian TASS.
djembeweaver wrote:Never heard of any of those.
* The CIA set up Radio Free Europe in the late 40's to pro actively broadcast radio propaganda in Eastern Block countries.
* Butterworths was set up by the old UK Mi6, in the 20's to propagate and obtain technical documents from Eastern Block countries, disguised as an academic journal exchange.
* The IPIS was established by the Iranian Foreign service to promote anti -Jewish propaganda on the internet and by hosting conferences in Tehran, under Amadinejad.
* TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) is the government news agency of the Soviet Union for "wire stories" since 1925.


The bottom-line is that you are just another individual who is unable to set out an alternative working hypothesis, that matches all the facts, for 9/11. The words "conspiracy theory" are not required to do this.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:33 am

Scott Mayers wrote:The timing to me was so unusual to suggest that the government at least MAY have actually known where Obama was long ago.
scrmbldggs wrote:One would think they sort of should. At least sometimes. :-P
. Obama was hiding in the USA senate, at the time, the tricky bastard.

However I think Scott is sort of right, in that everyone knew that the Pakistani ISIS was running "both sides of the show, for individual's profit, from legacy US sponsored Afghanistan opiate production". although I don't think anyone knew Bin Laden was being protected in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It is not exactly clear what the ISI's long term intention was and I personally find it a little odd that the Indian Foreign Service's intelligence services, never get mentioned although they are "the experts" on Pakistan. (I'm suggesting that "bits of information" were coming from a variety of sources and we won't get to know what these sources were. )

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

Post by djembeweaver » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:00 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote: You have identified the blatantly obvious, in that every government on this planet has a variety of agencies that push government initiated propaganda onto all forms of media
djembeweaver wrote: If it was so banal then why have Edward Snowden's revelations caused such a stir?
It didn't. The stir was about what specific information the Russian got off Snowden, not that every country has pro active propaganda agencies.
Matthew Ellard wrote:You probably heard about this on Radio Free Europe, or maybe read an academic article in a Butterworths professional journal. Perhaps you caught the 9/11 internet conference hosted by the Iranian IPIS. or an article issued by the Russian TASS.
djembeweaver wrote:Never heard of any of those.
* The CIA set up Radio Free Europe in the late 40's to pro actively broadcast radio propaganda in Eastern Block countries.
* Butterworths was set up by the old UK Mi6, in the 20's to propagate and obtain technical documents from Eastern Block countries, disguised as an academic journal exchange.
* The IPIS was established by the Iranian Foreign service to promote anti -Jewish propaganda on the internet and by hosting conferences in Tehran, under Amadinejad.
* TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) is the government news agency of the Soviet Union for "wire stories" since 1925.


The bottom-line is that you are just another individual who is unable to set out an alternative working hypothesis, that matches all the facts, for 9/11. The words "conspiracy theory" are not required to do this.
This represents such muddled thinking I hardly know where to begin...
The stir was about what specific information the Russian got off Snowden, not that every country has pro active propaganda agencies
And I was referring to a specific bit of information that Glenn Greenwald thought was important enough to write about.
The CIA set up Radio Free Europe in the late 40's to pro actively broadcast radio propaganda in Eastern Block countries.
* Butterworths was set up by the old UK Mi6, in the 20's to propagate and obtain technical documents from Eastern Block countries, disguised as an academic journal exchange.
* The IPIS was established by the Iranian Foreign service to promote anti -Jewish propaganda on the internet and by hosting conferences in Tehran, under Amadinejad.
* TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) is the government news agency of the Soviet Union for "wire stories" since 1925
Thanks for the info.
The bottom-line is that you are just another individual who is unable to set out an alternative working hypothesis, that matches all the facts, for 9/11. The words "conspiracy theory" are not required to do this
Again, you are conflating two separate issues. My point in this thread had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. Setting that aside, if I assume that this comment is referencing the other thread, then I would agree 100% and go as far as saying that this is partly what I've been arguing all along. I am indeed unable to set out an alternative working hypothesis, that matches all the facts, for 9/11, which is why I would never cry 'conspiracy' or argue that it was a controlled demolition.

On a more general note, after having someone point out that the thread was being derailed I apologized and tried to get it back on track, only to have it immediately derailed by people who can't stay on topic for more than two posts. Remember that this thread had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, or Obama or any specific conspiracy but rather the reason that 'conspiracy theorist' is synonymous with "irrational person". Do you have a view on that?

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:19 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:The timing to me was so unusual to suggest that the government at least MAY have actually known where Obama was long ago.
scrmbldggs wrote:One would think they sort of should. At least sometimes. :-P
.Obama was hiding in the USA senate, at the time, the tricky bastard.

However I think Scott is sort of right,

If so, it wasn't for the reason he thinks. If it was delayed for a bit, it was because they knew were a majority of viewers were at the time. That is was Trump's gig was just a little bonus. :-P


However, back to regular programming...
in that everyone knew that the Pakistani ISIS was running "both sides of the show, for individual's profit, from legacy US sponsored Afghanistan opiate production". although I don't think anyone knew Bin Laden was being protected in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It is not exactly clear what the ISI's long term intention was and I personally find it a little odd that the Indian Foreign Service's intelligence services, never get mentioned although they are "the experts" on Pakistan. (I'm suggesting that "bits of information" were coming from a variety of sources and we won't get to know what these sources were. )

Edit: Fixed italics.
Last edited by scrmbldggs on Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by supervitor » Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:28 pm

djembeweaver wrote: Remember that this thread had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, or Obama or any specific conspiracy but rather the reason that 'conspiracy theorist' is synonymous with "irrational person". Do you have a view on that?
You're the one who brought up the 9/11 subject into this thread. But anyway I'd like to ask you what's the rational of this post, on the context of the building 7 doubts discussion:

http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.p ... 13#p478647
djembeweaver wrote:One other thing that I forgot to throw into the discussion was John Kerry's statement regarding building 7 that:
They made a decision based on the danger it had of destroying other things that they did it in a controlled fashion
Tell us, dj, what's the rational of inserting that? The possibility that was a slip by Kerry? He was confessing what he knew without realising it?

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

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:59 pm

You all know that saying "I'll believe theory but I'm not a conspiracy theorist" is like saying "I agree with NAMBLA in principle but I'm not a pedophile."
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:15 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:You all know that saying "I'll believe theory but I'm not a conspiracy theorist" is like saying "I agree with NAMBLA in principle but I'm not a pedophile."
Wow...that's pretty low.

Everyone knows that is a logical fallacy but to defend that position one would run the risk of defending an argument used by paedophiles.

See how this line of argument works? It is clever, but should be spotted and refuted immediately on a forum such as this.

By the way the tactic just described is exactly the same as the use of the phrase 'conspiracy theorist' to invalidate someone's arguments a priori...

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

Post by supervitor » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:58 pm

Just answer the question, dj. I'm trying to answer the OP by having you say what is the rational behind that post on the building 7 thread: If you cannot make sense of it, I guess we can establish there is some sense on the irrationality conotation for the expression "conspiracy theory"

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

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:00 pm

djembeweaver wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:You all know that saying "I'll believe theory but I'm not a conspiracy theorist" is like saying "I agree with NAMBLA in principle but I'm not a pedophile."
Wow...that's pretty low.
People chose the height of their position.
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Re: Why do people think conspiracy theorist is a synonymous with "irrational person"?

Post by djembeweaver » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:39 pm

supervitor wrote:Just answer the question, dj. I'm trying to answer the OP by having you say what is the rational behind that post on the building 7 thread: If you cannot make sense of it, I guess we can establish there is some sense on the irrationality conotation for the expression "conspiracy theory"
Wrong thread again. It is pretty confusing I'll grant you.