New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mad as Hell 2

Do you want to inflame some New Yorkers? Then set up a 9/11 conspiracy presentation on the street. There are several grassroots organizations involved in promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories - i.e. that the United States Government was responsible for 9/11 and the attacks were either a) intentionally allowed to happen or b) a false flag covert operation actually orchestrated and committed by the US Government itself.
The alleged motives for such an act? To justify the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, increase military spending, and/or to restrict civil liberties. The movements are large enough to have grabbed the attention of mainstream media. You may also have seen "9/11 Was an Inside Job" on t-shirts and bumper stickers.

We Are Change is one group that has appeared on a semi-regular basis in Washington Square Park on Saturday nights. On a recent occasion, a man who identified himself as an architect (and said his wife was also an architect) was so outraged that a major war of words ensued between himself and one of the presenters. Virtually out of control, the man paced to and fro like a wild animal. When approaching his foe he asserted, "You're an idiot. I defend your right to be an idiot, but you're still an idiot." He turned and attempted to leave repeatedly, but each time he left he was compelled to come back and repeat his mantra.

The 9/11 conspiracy joins history's many hoaxes and conspiracy theories:
NASA faked the moon landings, Paul is dead, Shakespeare was somebody else, global warming is a hoax, Elvis Presley faked his own death, Diana, Princess of Wales was murdered, Holocaust deniers, Jesus conspiracy (ala The Da Vinci code), the AIDS virus was created in a laboratory, the Illuminati control world affairs, a flying saucer crash in Roswell, New Mexico, JFK assassination conspiracy theories, fluoridation is mass medication, Pearl Harbor was allowed to happen.

One problem with such conspiracies is that the proponents are armed with a myriad of details that average person is unfamiliar with and thereby unable to refute on the spot. Without opposing viewpoints, the arguments can be persuasive to some. Another problem is that unexplained facts or anomalies do not necessarily invalidate an accepted theory. From Scientific American:

The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking. All the evidence for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy. Such notions are easily refuted by noting that scientific theories are not built on single facts alone but on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry.

In the case of the 9/11 conspiracy, there are now numerous websites, magazines, and books which debunk the 9/11 conspiracy theories, point by point (and there are websites and books which attempt to debunk the debunkers).

When conspiracists appear, I'm staying on the sidelines and letting others get mad as hell...

Note: For another New Yorker pushed to the breaking point, see Mad as Hell here.


Mary said...

While he may have been a bit extreme, those 9/11 conspiracy guys are a bit annoying. One of them confronted me and attempted to argue "facts." I stayed polite and kept walking. He accompanied me a good way with his comments until I said "Thank you, and let's not talk about it any more."

Leslie said...

Worth watching, take it in half hour doses if needed:
9/11 Blueprint for Truth: The Architecture of Destruction Commercial architect Richard Gage (founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth) presents a watertight case for controlled demolition of the three steel-building collapses at the World Trade Center, New York on 9/11/01.

Anonymous said...

Leslie, get real. :-(