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Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 17:12:58 -0400
Archived: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 08:07:22 -0400
Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 07:15:14 -0500
>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>>From: Gerald O'Connell <goc.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 14:36:35 +0100
>>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing


>>Of course conspiracies exist. History is replete with them! 9/11
>>was a conspiracy - how else would it be possible to organise
>>that number of people secretly with a common and complex

>Hi, Gerald,

>As I have stressed in virtually every posting on this subject -
>to no avail, clearly - real conspiracies exist. No one disputes
>that. Why would anybody? Not more than a decade ago, a
>conspiracy at the top level of the U.S. government manipulated
>a 9/11-traumatized American public into (at least a measure of)
>support for a disastrously unnecessary war in the Middle East.

>A conspiracy theory is a different animal, the sort of thing the
>late Richard Hofstadter (whose influential essay nobody on
>this thread has ever acknowledged, probably because none
>has bothered to read it) and many political historians since,
>have studied and written about. A conspiracy theory is different
>from a real conspiracy in having too many moving parts (along
>with too many other factual and logical problems) to be believable.

Gerald, excuse me for jumping in, but Jerry has here given a
clear definition of conspiracy theory. I had wondered about that
in my recent reply to him. That is, a conspiracy theory, as
opposed to a real conspiracy, has too many moving parts and
other factual and logical problems, to be believable.

By this definition, the official theory about 9/11 qualifies as
a conspiracy theory rather than a real conspiracy. Just the
facts about the rate of the towers' descent and the absence of
sufficient debris on the ground are enough to make this
distinction. Many more physical inconsistencies have been
documented. Yet people who don't accept the official theory are
often painted as unpatriotic, addled nincompoops.

Jerry's definition of the difference between real and non-real
conspiracy theories seems okay as far as it goes, but when
people are free to trump physics with their political views when
determining the facts, then it falls apart. That's why I think
the work of Judy Wood, PhD in mechanical engineering, is
important - she tried to deal dispassionately with the facts of
what happened rather than who did it. Still, there are people
who intentionally ignore her work, perhaps because of where it
might lead. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force and
demonstrably interferes with the assessment of facts and logic,
hence, the weakness in Jerry's definition.


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