Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Book Review: Why People Believe Weird Things

Since I am on Christmas break, I have had the opportunity to read something other than finance cases, so I picked up Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine at the University Book Store and gave it a read.

While at times disappointing, on the whole I found the book interesting. Characters familiar to 9/11 debunkers such as Willis Carto and Joseph Firmage even made extensive appearences. The most useful section was a chapter where Shermer identified 25 logical fallacies. As I have said before, the conspiracy theorists are pretty predictable in that they fall into certain patterns of logical error. Whether you are a 9/11 denier, Holocaust denier, or believe that someone can bend spoons with your mind, you tend to come to the same conclusions in the same false ways.

One line, from page 35 described the 9/11 denial movement so well:

Each of us may have a different view of history, but they are not all equally valid. Some are historical, and some are pseudohistorical, namely, without supporting evidence and plausibility and presented primarily for political or ideological purposes.

That just about sums it up.

54 Comments:

At 26 December, 2006 11:54, Blogger Simon Lazarus said...

I think I can understand what makes "conspiratorialists" and their ilk tick.

They have this wild-eyed fantasy that somehow little old them can just peel back layers of a story and come up with an answer everyone else missed, so that they will become famous.

The three retards behind "Loose Change" don't care that their hilarious "shlockumentary" is full of holes, nonsense, and lies - what makes them feel important is that their names are out there. If they can be famous (and get rich on top of the fame), then it was worth it to question reality.

After all, people who hold on to the belief that we never went to the Moon, or that 9/11 was an inside job, are not normal everyday people. They are twisted malcontents who need psychiatric care and medicine, not websites to peddle their false baloney.

 
At 26 December, 2006 12:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of what people believe, is it "anti-semitic" to be against Zionism:

Episode #37: PAK|CAST SE.101: Distinguishing between Judaism

 
At 26 December, 2006 13:14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

American Professor: Bin Laden NOT Responsible for 9/11

 
At 26 December, 2006 13:22, Blogger James B. said...

She added: "I do not find any evidence that makes me agree that Osama bin Laden was behind the attack on the twin trade towers. All we have heard from him was simply a praise and commendation of those who had carried out the operation."


So Osama was praising the Jews?

 
At 26 December, 2006 13:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James,

I chuckled at your comment, understanding the logic of your query.

Let me be clear, nothing I have said or written blames "Jews".

With respect to 9/11, I do find evidence of spying or other operatives, probably controlled by the State apparatus of Israel worthy of further investigation.

I do find the attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli war assets warrants consideration as a previous false flag operation.

So, I would suggest that your question would be better worded as:

So Osama was praising the "Zionist Influenced Elements" behind 9/11?

To understand Osama better, consult this.

 
At 26 December, 2006 14:12, Blogger Triterope said...

They have this wild-eyed fantasy that somehow little old them can just peel back layers of a story and come up with an answer everyone else missed, so that they will become famous.

Agreed, but they're not nearly that rigorous. CTs demand adulation just for being CTs. How many times has some newbie CT poster to this blog thrown around terms like "sheeple" and "red pill" when all they've offered is links to long-debunked BS?

 
At 26 December, 2006 15:11, Blogger shawn said...

Shermer is my idol, and this book is one of his best.

Speaking of what people believe, is it "anti-semitic" to be against Zionism:

Zionism is the belief that the Jewish people have the right to self-determination. It is bigoted to deny any people such a right.

 
At 26 December, 2006 15:26, Blogger Murdervillage said...

Out of curiosity, does anyone ever read bg's spams? Does he?

 
At 26 December, 2006 15:33, Blogger Lying_Dylan said...

I like Alex's approach to BG's BS spam.
:)

 
At 26 December, 2006 16:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Murdervillage said...

Out of curiosity, does anyone ever read bg's spams? Does he?


I absolutely read it.

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:19, Blogger default.xbe said...

American Professor: Bin Laden NOT Responsible for 9/11

Natana J. DeLong-Bas is a Lecturer in Theology

thank you and goodnight

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:25, Blogger Alex said...

I do find the attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli war assets warrants consideration as a previous false flag operation.

I'm sorry...you think that an attack to which Israel immediately admitted was a "false flag attack"?

What do you do for an encore? Claim that the US civil war was a false flag attack?

Do you even know what "false flag" means?

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:30, Blogger Lying_Dylan said...

BG is 100% american hater so any scumbag out there that claims it was an inside job he will believe!

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:31, Blogger Lying_Dylan said...

Do you even know what "false flag" means?

Please stand by Alex, BG is consulting with the voices in his head.

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex said...

I do find the attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli war assets warrants consideration as a previous false flag operation.

I'm sorry...you think that an attack to which Israel immediately admitted was a "false flag attack"?

What do you do for an encore? Claim that the US civil war was a false flag attack?

Do you even know what "false flag" means?


They admitted it when the mission was unsuccessful.

"I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. . . . Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn't believe them then, and I don't believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous "
-- US Secretary of State Dean Rusk

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most likely plan that the US and Israel agreed on was to blame it on Egypt.

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:43, Blogger Lying_Dylan said...

As usual BG doenst even answer the question completely.

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throughout these sorties, no one aboard the Liberty suspected that the planes were Israeli. Indeed, rumors spread that the attackers were Egyptian MiGs.

What is incomplete about my answer?

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, according to Peter Hounam, the author of the expose’, “Operation Cyanide,” the murderous Israeli attack was a set up to blame the Egyptians and bring the U.S. into the 1967 war on their side.

 
At 26 December, 2006 17:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The documentary includes some never before seen or heard evidence.

For example, newly released audio intercepts of radio communication of Israeli pilots and their superiors discussing the impending attack on the Liberty were made in real time by the National Security Agency (NSA). These intercepts show that the Israeli pilots knew that they were about to attack an American naval vessel. To his credit, whoever he is, one of the Israeli pilots was surprised to see that he was being directed to attack an American ship. When he pointed out to his superiors that the Liberty was American he was told to continue on a flight path for attack. Incredulous, he repeated to his superiors that the ship was American and again they just told him to follow orders not question them and attack the Liberty which, of course, he did along with other Israeli air and naval forces.

One of the things that the documentary discusses is that Israel sought to sink the Liberty with all hands going down in order that Washington would assume that Egypt was at fault and then America would go to war against Egypt.

 
At 26 December, 2006 18:04, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to 9/11:

"I tried to believe"

 
At 26 December, 2006 19:13, Blogger shawn said...

911: Govt-Media Suspends Laws of Physics

BG, that was as far as I had to go to realize whoever wrote that article had no idea what he was talking about.

ONLY the conspiracy theories require suspension of physical laws, the "official story" is the only theory thus far that adheres to scientific law.

 
At 26 December, 2006 19:14, Blogger shawn said...

Damn, then I read half a page and saw at least a dozen idiotic statements/mistakes.

 
At 26 December, 2006 19:16, Blogger default.xbe said...

Throughout these sorties, no one aboard the Liberty suspected that the planes were Israeli. Indeed, rumors spread that the attackers were Egyptian MiGs.

What is incomplete about my answer?


of course no one aboard suspected they were isreali, not everyone gets shot at and says "i think its our allies staging a false flag attack!"

i think the closest to a conspiracy your going to get out of USS liberty is saying the pilots and the immediate commanders knew who they were attacking, but thats as high as it went

 
At 26 December, 2006 19:18, Blogger The Artistic Macrophage said...

Here is the reason behind the vast majority of the 9/11 truth movement.

"A chance to be the Hardy Boys."

Find me one truther who doesnt seem to fit into the above when you deal with them.

TAM (please no raging clue jokes).

:)

 
At 26 December, 2006 20:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chomsky's Outrageous Display of Ignorance and Inhumanity

"Even if it's true, it doesn't really matter"[!!!!!!!]

 
At 26 December, 2006 20:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

default.xbe said...

You haven't performed much research on the USS Liberty story, have you?

 
At 26 December, 2006 20:49, Blogger Lying_Dylan said...

You haven't performed much research on the USS Liberty story, have you?

You haven't performed eough bullshit links on the USS Liberty story, have you?

 
At 26 December, 2006 20:50, Blogger Lying_Dylan said...

I admire those of you who even bother responding to thie retard.

 
At 26 December, 2006 21:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sounds like a national freaking emergency to me, neh?

 
At 26 December, 2006 23:31, Blogger Bubbers said...

You gotta love how he dares people to go through Steven Jones and David Ray Griffin and debunk every flawed claim they make. This has been done before but they don't seem to notice anything that disagrees with them. And of course a gem of a comment from BG..
===================================
BG said...
"In order to sleep at night, not tormented by thinking that millions of Americans have fallen for the 9/11 ruse, I take comfort in the idea that the amount of money and power that has corrupted our Nation is so massive that those bought off or intimidated into spewing such nonsense (such as the Americanthinker article supporting the official story of 9/11) are truly captured souls. Meanwhile, Joes and Marys in the masses simply have no way the comprehend the level of corruption."
====================================
So what you are saying is that somehow out all of us YOU apparently are able to comprehend the corruption but some how none of us do. Just wondering what made YOU so smart and all of us so unable to comprehend the corruption. We all know that there is corruption in the government. The problem with you CTists is that you are accusing of a lot more than just being corrupt. If a politician takes a bribe he's corrupt, but if he is responsible for 3,000 murders, he's a murderer.So please do tell why YOU and only you and your CT ilk just KNOW the great extent of the corruption that none of us can seem to see. Please explain. Because we all know of the corruption in the government, but seriously do tell how you are so sure that they committed murder and paid a bunch of people off to keep it secret. Because you just know everything. And anytime you wanna get that evidence ready for the DA, I'm sure the offer still stands over at JREF.
Also, out of curiousity, do you tend to talk with your eyes closed, and/or drive a hybrid?

 
At 27 December, 2006 06:32, Blogger JPSlovjanski said...

Bg....

If the Liberty attack was a "false flag", where's your outrage over the USS Stark attack? That actually killed more sailors.

 
At 27 December, 2006 07:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what I found out about the USS Stark attack

Is there more to the story which you think I should be aware?

 
At 27 December, 2006 07:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, out of curiousity, do you tend to talk with your eyes closed, and/or drive a hybrid?

Thanks for paying attention.

Answering your quesiton:

No.

 
At 27 December, 2006 07:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubbers said...

you said in part...

..Because you just know everything...

Let me ask you a few questions, because I don't know everything.

1. Is John Kerry the saddest excuse for a honest, able politician this side of Tom Delay?

2. Is Nancy Pelosi an honest person? Who is she representing?

3. Is John Conyers an honest person? Who is he representing?

4. Who in Washington is honest and is standing up for the Constitution and the American Citizens' rights?

5. Are there any "war" actions that the US would undertake that would be so egregious in unprovoked aggression or perfidy that would cause you to take a moral stand of opposition?

 
At 27 December, 2006 12:19, Blogger R.Lange said...

How is any of that even related to 9/11? To paraphrase another member of a forum I frequent: "Physical evidence does not have a political bias."

 
At 27 December, 2006 13:37, Blogger CHF said...

Just imagine how many friends and family BG has probably scared away this his bullshit....

 
At 27 December, 2006 14:21, Blogger shawn said...

Chomsky's Outrageous Display of Ignorance and Inhumanity

Isn't that always the case with him?

 
At 27 December, 2006 14:31, Blogger Bubbers said...

BG, most likely they are all dishonest to some extent. Most politicians are. That's all I'm gonna say because I don't know for sure, hence I don't go around accusing politicians of murder with absolutely no evidence.

 
At 27 December, 2006 14:44, Blogger The Artistic Macrophage said...

BG:

Do you have your own blog. Seems to me you have a lot of issues you want us to discuss, but most of us are not really interested in such, mainly because of the sources you use, and the volume of spam you post here. Perhaps your own blog, and a link for us, should we be curious would be enough. respect the owners of this blog and stop spamming.

TAM

 
At 27 December, 2006 16:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TAM,

I respect your thoughts (about what some are calling my spamming). There's a completely different (and better) dynamic of comment discussion here than I hope to find on my blog. I don't mind admitting that.

As I've admitted before, the quality and quantity of "eyes" who read the SLC blog contains a huge number of people who I believe need to have their horizons expanded, and I'm not going to get them to my blog.

I realize that I may be failing at achieving my objective in terms of opening minds to new ideas.

The kind of viewpoint that I'm trying to represent is that of someone who knows:

1) Fetzer's presentation is flawed and discrediting at times.

2) Stephen E. Jones' and Scholars for 9/11 Truth have indeed failed to make inroads into a mainstream with a Scholarly Forum.

3) Alex Jones general "NWO is the enemy" talk, and his general charge of "governments are always corrupt" message fails to gain traction for a true challenge to the status quo.

4) David Ray Griffin has been less that thorough and scholarly in some of his writing and presentation.

5) People like John Conner really are annoying and even if well intentioned (which I don't think he is) creates a discrediting image to those of us who try not to be circus-like in our argument for asking questions, and supporting the idea that some alternative explanations such as Controlled Demolition, especially with respect to wtc7, are worth close review.

Overall, I don't think my comments here fall into the "troll" or "spamming" category.

I will admit that more that some individuals have unreasonably sent insults my way, I have been even more determined to not be shouted down, or silenced based on harassment.

 
At 27 December, 2006 17:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bg - answer me this one question. IF 9/11 was a government set-up what minimum number of people had to be involved - i.e. have knowledge that it was an inside job?

 
At 27 December, 2006 17:14, Blogger Alex said...

Once again, BG displays his inability to think:

They admitted it when the mission was unsuccessful.

two posts later:

Throughout these sorties, no one aboard the Liberty suspected that the planes were Israeli. Indeed, rumors spread that the attackers were Egyptian MiGs.

So, even though nobody on the liberty suspected that the planes were Israeli, the Israelis still, for some mysterious reason, decided to come forward and say "hey guys, it was us". Yep, there's a real great conspiracy. The Israelis must be even stupider than those damn Republicans, eh?

Let me lay it out for you, gluebag. In order to believe your theory, we have to accept the following:

1) US and Israeli authorities agreed to attack a US ship and blame it on Israel.
2) A ship was dispatched with the sole purpose of being attacked, without anyone in the Navy noticing.
3) The combined might of the Israel navy and airforce was unable to sink one US ship, even with the element of surprise on their side.
4) Israel immediately panicked, took responsibility for the attack, and offered aid to the USS Liberty, without even bothering to check with their US co-conspirators.
5) Over the following 30 years, not a single person came forward to admit that they were a knowing member of this conspiracy.

Now, for a freak like you, I suppose that the above list seems perfectly rational. I just want you to realize that only morons and microcephalics would agree with you, and everyone else is laughing at you. The odds of any one of those events occurring is so slim as to be non-existent, let alone all five of them. Asking us to accept the idea that they did in fact occur, without any supporting evidence whatsoever, is beyond ridiculous. I'd sooner believe that Santa Claus just married the tooth fairy.

 
At 27 December, 2006 17:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Alex Jones is having the Tooth Fairy on Friday. Didn't hear about Santa though.

bj - can you shed some light on this? Hey, and whatever happened to that great video clip of Tim McVeigh parking APC in ND?

 
At 27 December, 2006 18:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now, in 2002, retired Navy captain Ward Boston, one of the Navy's chief legal counsels reporting to Adm. Kidd, who conducted the Navy's inquiry, now says that the Navy inquiry was a sham and a fraud and both he and Adm. Kidd knew that the attack was not an accident but deliberate.

 
At 27 December, 2006 19:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The incident of the USS Liberty serves us as a classic example of "false-flag operations" which have been used by our government and congress to steer our foreign policy.

 
At 27 December, 2006 19:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ward Boston???

You're kidding - right?

http://www.libertyincident.com/docs/boston-comments.pdf

I'm sure he had some crediability at some point in his life...

 
At 27 December, 2006 19:34, Blogger Simon Lazarus said...

Of course "BG" is a douchebag.

But that does not answer the question: why is this delusional nut so obviously, well, deluded?

Tight shorts, cutting off the circulation to his lower extremities?

An unreported abortion?

Stupidity?

It has to be something. After all, no one could be this dumb.

Then again, the Democrats do have Nancy Pelosi as their leader, so perhaps there are true dummies to be found.

 
At 27 December, 2006 19:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS Liberty: False Allegations of Anti-Semitism

 
At 27 December, 2006 20:04, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moorer, who as top legal council to the official investigation is in a position to know, agrees that Israel intended to sink the USS Liberty and blame Egypt for it...

 
At 27 December, 2006 20:06, Blogger Alex said...

BG Spams Again!

 
At 27 December, 2006 20:09, Blogger Alex said...

But that does not answer the question: why is this delusional nut so obviously, well, deluded?

Initially? Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. Ofcourse, the effects of Aluminium Pot Syndrome in his old age don't help much either.

 
At 28 December, 2006 14:57, Blogger The Artistic Macrophage said...

BG:

I guess my point is, that what you do on your own blog is your own business, but you are hijacking this blog as a vehicle to spam links. I understand your position, trying to get your message out, but you are doing it inappropriately, without the permission of endorsement of the blog owners...

TAM

 
At 02 August, 2007 12:47, Blogger Elroy said...

BLIND NAVY VETERAN ACCOMPLISHES THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
The Navy has a tradition of helping their own. Elroy day, a former bubble head has an incredible story to tell. He was blinded in a home invasion in North Carolina in 1995. He recently applied for and was accepted into the Purple Heart Service Foundations job training program to teach him how to become an at home call center agent. Against all odds, working with a disability that would stop most everyone else, he graduated. He completed 600 hours of hard training and now he is reaching out to other blind and vision disabled veterans to tell them about the opportunity that he had. He wants other blind veterans to come and join him. You see, he has a dream of opening a blinded veterans call center. Staffed by former members of the US military who are now blind, for what ever reason. You can help with his dream, just spreading the word. If you know of any veteran who is vision disabled, have them contact Elroy Day immediately . They can email him at eday@carolina.rr.com
And remember, the Navy has a tradition of helping their own.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home