Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sticking Up For Conspiracy Theorists

My bother sent me this link: Professors of Paranoia?

This article, by John Gravois, staff reporter for The Chronicle Of Higher Education, won't remain online without subscription for long, but I linked anyway. It is a philosophical debunking of conspiracy theorists, basically painting them as tinfoil-hat nutjobs. This quote sums up the author's primary objections to conspiracy theories:

"One of the most common intuitive problems people have with conspiracy theories is that they require positing such complicated webs of secret actions. If the twin towers fell in a carefully orchestrated demolition shortly after being hit by planes, who set the charges? Who did the planning? And how could hundreds, if not thousands of people complicit in the murder of their own countrymen keep quiet? Usually, Occam's razor intervenes."

I simply approach 9/11 conspiracies from an opposite direction. Broad theories about what happened are not needed. But glaring holes in official explanations still need to be exposed. Not all these conspiracy theories have equal merit. The evidence that explosions brought down the twin towers seems weaker than the evidence that a cruise missile hit the pentagon. This particular theory is at least worth debating. Watch Loose Change for some highly disturbing evidence.

However, I also disagree with the above quote. I think "complicated webs of secret actions" are not so uncommon among business tycoons and governments. How did Hilter rise to power? Certainly complicated webs of secret actions (combined with demagoguery) were his method. All would-be authoritarians, in nations in every continent, are forever conspiring. The CIA, Kissenger and Pinochet conspired to take over Chile. And they did, commiting unspeakable evil in the process. For decades afterward, if you said the CIA was involved, people would think you were a nut. As for the legions who would be required to keep their mouths shut, they can be made to do only the smallest part of the plan, and so are not party to the conspiracy as a whole. If the CIA really wanted to blow up the WTC, I don't think they would find it so hard to train (and silence) a demolition team. The information that the WTC's bomb sniffing dogs were removed weeks before 911, and a number of unidentified construction crews were seen in the building is unsettling to say the least. Everything can be rationalized, and people can be made to believe that the evil deed they do is necessary and right. If Bin Laden is capable of conspiracy, then certainly Dick Cheney is also. Ambitious and ruthless men conspire.

Not to say a neoconservative led cabal did have anything to do with 9/11. I don't know. The truth is hard to find. And perhaps even harder to stomach. I am just saying don't stifle debate. I don't see the value in all the character assassinations of conspiracy theorists. Same for peak theorists. What's the point? Harper's published a particularly silly article on peak oil (not online), interviewing mainly survivalists, ridiculing their views, with minimal explanation. If the theory is stupid, don't write about it. If the theory is intriguing but flawed, expose it. Whether the theorist is eccentric is irrelevant.


Think said...

The evidence for controlled demolition is anything BUT weak. Rather all it takes is common sense. Consider: The uppermost floors fell through the majority of the building as quickly meaning as effortlessly as falling through air. Meaning something (explosives) had to have rendered the remainder of the building to such a state that it offered no more resistance than air, otherwise the "collapses" would have taken longer to go by several orders of magnitude, nowhere near freefall rate. But freefall rate was what occured, which is 100% unexplainable without demolitions. In the real world, solid objects do not pass through other solid objects as easily as passing through air, however in order to believe the official myth, you have to make yourself believe that this is somehow possible. Also, just watch the video footage of WTC # 7. You can't miss the two parallel rows of puffs going up the face of the building JUST before it "collapses". This can be nothing other than the squibs from explosions. Think there's a reason why the official story even admits that its "theory" on why WTC # 7 "collapsed" has an infinitesimally small chance of actually being possible?

ron_o said...

I'm a bit late coming to this blog, but my comments I hope make some sense.
I think this blog has some rational opinions about the economy, the war for oil and other things. But the 911 conspiracy is pure bunk. It's way out there. Too far out there to be credibly believed. And, like it or not, it adds less to your credibility than it does your gullibility.
You would have had to have no less than 3,000 (arbitrary number) people conspiring together, uniformly, all knowing what completely what is going on, (unlike in the military where it's compartmentalized) and none wavering and blowing the whistle; none feeling a bit of guilt and coming forth after all these years!
The only credible conspiracy, as a hypothetical, that could have happened during 911 was that the CIA knew of it and Bush too and did nothing about it. However, even that's going over the top and holds no water unless there's proof to back it up. And I don't believe it for one second.
As far as the plume of smoke mentioned can be fairly explained by the pressure of the collapsing building. Like smoke blowed at a tube, pressure will build up faster in the tube than elsewhere.
So what *did* they do with all the passengers on the planes? Four planes went AWOL, all four were accounted for in the end. Two hit the towers one crashed in a field and the other one hit the Pentagon. Did they just kill all the passengers in the fourth plane, or all the planes? Where is the plane now and all the passengers? How could people have called their loved ones? The list goes on and on.
Incredible conspiracies require incredible evidence. There's no perfect crime, and yet many believe -- no, demand -- that there's such a thing as a perfect conspiracy.
Only conspiracies of this magnitude that are false could have come together so perfectly, I suggest. And I suggest you consider your own faults of perception as to how this conspiracy could still be perpetuating as it is.