Archive for the ‘irritations’ Category

9/11 and the truth movement

November 19, 2008

I seem to be consistently drawn into arguments with ‘truthers’ who believe in various outlandish theories about the terror attacks carried out in America on 9/11.  In fact during my short blogging and commenting career I have spent more time on this than anything else.  This is partly because as an engineer by training I have some professional interest but also fleshisgrass did mount a campaign to get me involved.

Having done so it has been an education in a number of ways.  I have learnt a lot more about how the twin towers and WT7 actually came to fall down including why they are unique but not surprising events.

But more than that I have been exposed to conspiracy theorists in a way that I hadn’t been previously.  This has at times been entertaining but mostly just frustrating.  Most of the conversations rapidly descend into what feels like one of those conversations with a child where they ask an absolute barrage of questions without considering the answer to the previous one.  As far as I can tell asking questions is the big thing here and if you don’t do that you are either hopelessly naive or a government stooge.

I haven’t seen anything that actually amounts to a consistent theory about why any one would have wanted to put in place such a conspiracy (apart from the terrorists of course who did take the time to admit to this and try and justify it) which is surely the one question they should be asking?

So it just turns into trench warfare with the winner in the comment battle being the side who can keep lobbing refutation bombs longing than the other one.  But still in the end the truthers will not acknowledge any possibility that there isn’t some huge conspiracy to either do something to us or hide something from us.  No evidence is good enough for them and all experts are merely part of the problem.

On the other side those of us who are fighting the truthers don’t appear to spend enough time thinking about their motives or considering different ways of engaging with them.  Why are they desperate to believe their government is conspiring against them?  Why don’t things that seem obvious/rational to us (such as the fact that if a massive building is collapsing there will be loud bangs that could be mistaken for explosions in the confusion) seem the same way to them?

I haven’t reached any conclusions yet but will return to this, I think it is these questions that will help us to win the truth war rather than just the battles.

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Arab Media Watch – is it objective?

November 16, 2008

Very short post on Arab Media Watch, which is basically to say are they having a laugh? Of all the descriptions of John Pilger I could muster ‘objective’ is not one of them.  Does the Arab world need this lot? Surely they are getting on fine with their own media and anyone who is interested enough would go to the source not this blog?  Yes it looks like a blog to me and not an objective review of the reporting about  the middle east.

If they want to address what they see as an imbalance then maybe that is OK, but to call stuff like this objective is pushing it bit.