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Friday, September 18th, 2009 08:06 pm
I deeply resent the way this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist. - Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

You don't know me, I expect - I'm an intermittent (manic-depressive, really) reader of Less Wrong, a website on which [personal profile] woozle has posted a few times, and this is in fact where I encountered this individual. On that site, we had a moderately animated conversation about 9/11 wherein [personal profile] woozle explained the grounds of his suspicions and I explained the grounds of my dismissal of his suspicions. At the end of our conversation we suggested that this community might be a reasonable venue for a discussion of the matter.

That said, I by no means claim the sort of personal investment in this discussion that [personal profile] woozle has - I have never spent much time being concerned with the chronology of the September 11th, 2001 hijackings - so I cannot promise to be well-researched in my remarks. My hope is merely to do the following small things:

First. Assert the official story as I understand it, noting a few elements which are subject to controversy. It will be much like woozle's telling, of course, but there are a few points on which we differ.

Second. Establish a working definition of conspiracy theories and the problems thereof, paying especial attention to well-known general principles.

Third. Justify skepticism towards the deliberate-enablement story and towards the controlled-demolition story in the context of these first two points.

I am sympathetic towards [personal profile] woozle's position, you must understand - I included the above cute little quotation from a moderately-famous Internet personality for this very reason. But in the interests of sanity, recognizing that most stories aren't true, I think it important that the newcomer begin from a position of wariness. And while skepticism for the official story is present in his account, skepticism for contrarian accounts is absent.

I expect each of the three aforementioned points will require a post in and of itself.

(For the record, on woozle's scale, I am inclined toward B, but have no reasonable objections to the positions described by A through E.)
Sunday, September 20th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Greetings (again, sort of)! Thanks for coming over and posting, and I'll be looking forward to your take on events.

I'd especially be interested in your take on the list of questions I just posted on Issuepedia in response to another 9/11 discussion over on David Brin's blog.

No, really, I don't normally spend all my time advocating conspiracy theories; it was some sort of confluence of the 8th anniversary of 9/11, the fact that we're still apparently using 9/11 as an excuse for all kinds of horrible stuff, and the fact that reasonable people seem to be continuing to lump "truthers" with "creationists" and even "flat-earthers"... I felt it was time to stop letting such things lie unchallenged.

It's sometimes a challenge to go up against my innate fear of looking like an idiot, but at this point I'd rather end up feel like an idiot than feel like a coward for not saying anything when it seemed important.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
If you take this quiz (which doesn't require any research -- just answer according to your current beliefs), then we can figure out where we actually disagree and not waste any time hashing over stuff we actually do agree on.

Bon appetit!