Friday, April 25, 2014
Anyone Can Deconstruct 911 Disinformation: Simple Strategies to Help Cut through the 'Debunker' Con-Artistry
Posted by SpookyOne
Whatever the issue, official propagandists and false skeptics (disinformation artists) use similar ploys, involving the use of misplaced arguments from authority, false analogies and fraudulent 'scientific' reports, when trying to mislead the public.
Whether it is through fraudulent studies such as the 911 NIST reports, or via the public defence of their overall conclusions - such as we see from members of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF) - the same strategies apply. As independent free-thinking individuals there are a few key points to keep in mind that can help us think critically about the subject matter and avoid being captured by unreasonable obfuscations.
Firstly, be aware of the problematic nature of arguments based on appeals to authority. Ultimately an argument based solely on authority does not hold any weight. To quote Richard Feynman; "Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts." In science, and rational argument, you must show how you came to your conclusions starting with the raw data (hard evidence or observations) followed by the application of logic and the scientific method. Taking things on faith, like NIST's secret computer model of the collapse of World Trade Centre building 7, is like taking the side of the church over Galileo's reasoned observations. Without the underlying data or evidence, there is no valid argument.
Secondly we must ignore ridicule and ad hominem attacks, that focus on the person rather than the argument. These sorts of ploys do nothing to advance a discussion that focusses on specific evidence. Name calling and attacks on an opponent's work unrelated to the topic are largely irrelevant. Regardless of the person's background, if their source material is unimpeachable and their argument is rational it matters not who they are. If you can confirm or replicate the argument then it is solid.
Thirdly be aware of the employment of trick arguments used by fake skeptics who pretend to act as 'independent arbiters' of the issue. The two main tricks are outlined below.
1. FALSE ANALOGIES
False analogies are one of the most commonly encountered tricks that are used in two main ways.
The first is in a general way designed to freeze out or stop a detailed appraisal or prevent thinking about a contentious subject before the person even looks at any facts or data. A disinformation artist will try to associate the criticism of an official narrative by associating it with discredited or 'lunatic' ideas that imply mental impairment (stupidity or illness). The 'guilt by association' trick, a logical fallacy, is a powerful psychological deterrent to many who only have a passing interest in the debate. By telling the public that a belief in one subject is similar to a belief in another 'discredited' or 'socially repugnant' issue will prevent people, who often have limited 'spare' time, from even considering what is being debated.
The second way the false analogy is used occurs within a fairly detailed argument, when considering points of evidence. The disinformation artist will use a false analogy that pretends to account for a point of (damning) evidence, often showing off a ton of detailed knowledge in the process, and yet not actually offering a valid rebuttal. The analogy being used will not apply to the particular circumstance. This is how long winded and science packed 'debunker' or official reports are produced. They may seem impressive in terms of volume, but get an 'F' when it comes to relevance. We see this in various failed fire collapse analogies, applied to the world trade centre buildings on 911.
The disinformation artists might claim there was a raging inferno inside the Twin Towers, and use damage seen in a wildfire analogy to show warped metal, upon which a great amount of material can be compiled, whilst ignoring the fact that the specific fires in question on 911 cannot be construed as a 'raging inferno', that fire tests on steel beams, and previous fires in steel-framed high rise buildings, show negligible damage to such structures despite fairly intense fires. The analogies do not hold.
2. PRODUCING FALSE OR ERRONEOUS STUDIES
False or erroneous studies are used to claim an explanation that satisfies the official position. The disinformation artists will contend that the argument has been settled (this time not via an ad hoc analogy) but through direct analysis or experimentation. The Bazant twin tower 'crush down' collapse paper and the Millet study on the nano-thermite are the two main faux explanations outside the fraudulent NIST paper (that has been thoroughly dismantled by the AE911truth.org) that are/were often cited (even if implicitly). 911 truth 'debunking' proponents will point to this research whilst being unaware or unwilling to acknowledge the bankruptcy of these sources. Other sources like the National Geographic 'documentary' or the Popular Mechanics book on 911 make up some of the other cited material used in debate that have been thoroughly debunked.
In open discussions the disinformation artists will point to the fraudulent and erroneous studies and claim this as an answer.
*Disinformation Artist Rebuttal strategy - which they use after their bankrupt points of argument have been exposed.
General false and hypercritical (nit-picking) rebuttals are commonly found in many online discussion threads, usually delivered when their position flounders. You can easily identify the invalid nature of these accusation by following the course of the discussion and fact checking what was said. Disinformation artists will accuse their targets of cherry picking (take out of context) information, that the targets are avoiding certain key issues, that they have inflated trivialities, or they will accuse the target of being unable to comprehend the argument when IT IS THEY WHO are GUILTY of acting in such a way.
Propagandists will use this tactic to frustrate, discourage and insult their opponent and stifle the thread. This may fool some observers to the debate thread but will actually educate anyone with a shred of intelligence as to the nature of the 'debunker' and thus teach a valuable lesson.
So dear reader, by keeping these points in mind you should be able to see through the propaganda.
All you need to do is research both sides of the argument, understand the crux of the issue or key scientific principle, and be aware of the established (primary source) facts which will reveal who is being truthful. This exercise may take some time, but various online resources are available to help you speed the process. Common sense will tell you if one of the debaters is trying to twist the discussion.
Be aware that minor 'mistakes' may appear on both sides of a debate, especially when we deal with murky subjects where not all the facts are known (although key facts may be known - like melted steel). Dead ends in criminal investigation do not mean the end of the investigation. Wise observers will recognise that an error does not necessarily invalidate the entire argument so long it does not strike at the crux of the matter under analysis (melted steel, nano-thermite, freefall collapse rates).
Carefully check the facts and the evidence will speak for itself. Given time anyone can come to their own reasoned conclusions.