Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Coach Kook?

Well, looks like James' football team is run by a nutbar:

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll hosted a retired four-star general at the Seahawks facility last spring and blitzed him with questions about whether the 9/11 attacks “had been planned or faked” by the government, according to Deadspin.com.

Decorated general Peter Chiarelli, who had just called it a career, was discussing football and brain injuries with Carroll before the conversation took a turn, Deadspin reported.
I had to chuckle at this part:

“Pete grew up in California during Vietnam, and during Watergate,” Ellison said. “That’s just the perspective he brings to the table.”
I grew up during Vietnam and Watergate, and I don't get the point.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Psychological Study of Truthers and Debunkers Online

Worth a read.

The raw data consisted of the comment sections of various online news articles. Samples were taken from news articles posted between July 1st and December 31st, 2011, on four mainstream news websites: ABC (American Broadcasting Company) News, CNN, the Independent, and the Daily Mail. This date range was chosen because of the large number of 9/11-related articles around the time of the tenth anniversary of the attacks, and these four news sites were selected on the reasoning that an ideal sample would not be restricted to a single country, journalistic style, or ideological position, as well as for more practical reasons such as search capabilities, comment archiving, and unpaid access.

I do have an alternate explanation for this observation:

We also found that hostility was higher in persuasive arguments made by conventionalists than in those by conspiracists. As 9/11 conspiracism is by and large a minority viewpoint in the West (WorldPublicOpinion.org, 2008), this makes sense: conventionalists, rather than focusing on presenting novel information, instead attempt to enforce conformity to the majority viewpoint (Latané, 1981).
There's an element of truth in that; keeping people in line lends itself more to denigrating the opposition, whereas converting people requires gentler persuasion.  But there's another dynamic as well.  In general, Truthers know a great deal more of the minutiae of 9-11 than those debating them.  I have been at this for over 7 years now, and I'll freely admit that many if not most Truthers know more about that day than I do (although on the important issues I have them cold).  This is probably true for most conspiracy theories for an obvious reason; if you are into a conspiracy theory you are going to spend a lot more time studying up on the event than if you believe in the conventional explanation.

But of course, what happens when a conventionalist without a lot of background knowledge runs up against a conspiracy theorist who can provide a lot of detail?  He gets frustrated and angry; he knows he's right, but he cannot provide the evidence to support his opinions and hence tends to lash out.  There's an old joke about how lawyers work: When you have the facts on your side, pound the facts.  When you have the law on your side, pound the law.  When you have neither, pound the table.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Pakistani Report on bin Laden Leaked

Once more I think of Hanlon's Razor. Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. News you won't find on 911 Blogger. In fact you won't find much over there nowadays. Hello, anyone awake? Will the last person to leave the "truth" movement please turn out the lights....

Via the BBC.
Incompetence and negligence allowed Osama Bin Laden to live in Pakistan undetected for almost a decade, a leaked government report suggests.
A version of the report leaked to al-Jazeera says the killing of Bin Laden by US forces was a "criminal act of murder" ordered by the US president.
It also reveals details of the al-Qaeda leader's whereabouts and day-to-day life after fleeing Afghanistan in 2001.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Org Chart From Hell

Sometimes the Truthers make our points better than we can make them ourselves. In this case, we have always pointed out how ridiculously complex and unmanageable their 9/11 conspiracies are, as compared to real examples of conspiracies which tend to involve just a few people in a single organization, and even then they tend to blow up. Anyway, a Truther posts this graphic demonstration of the conspirators, in the comments on 911 Flogger  in reference to Kevin Ryan's new book Another Nineteen.

Oh yeah, all these guys are just supposed to somehow meet, agree to carry out murder and treason, and then cover it up afterwards. And this is just the middle management! What could possibly go wrong?