Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't Sweat the Details, John

Jonathan Kay, a columnist for the (Canada) National Post admits that Truthers know the minutiae better than he does:

Since none of that has happened, I have never bothered schooling myself in the minutiae of 911-ology — the microscopic examination of photos and videos, the comparison of melting points and mechanical properties of this or that construction material, the second-by-second timetable of U.S. Air Force activity on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. I have never done so because it is tedious and time-consuming.

No kidding. The good news is that people have done it already, so there's not a lot of sense in recreating the wheel. Use the resources that are already out there, like Mike Wilson's (correction: Williams) 9-11 Myths, or Kate's Debunking 9-11 or Mark Robert's WTC 7 Lies page. Our archives contain a lot of material that you can find by using the search feature at the top left.

But you cannot catch up, as Jonathan suggests he's going to try to do:

How does a non-Truther reclaim his intellectual self-esteem amidst the Truther onslaught? The hard way: I’m going to slog through the 9/11 Commission Report — and maybe even some other texts besides. I don’t suppose this will earn me more than a draw in my arguments with Truthers. But at least I won’t have to pretend that I can’t hear them talking.

It's great that he's going to read the 9-11 Commission Report; it's excellently written and about 99% accurate, and an absolutely compelling read. But the idea that's going to put him on the plane of the Truthers about this stuff is silly. Look, I have dedicated thousands of hours to debunking and I will freely admit that in some ways, lots of Truthers know more about 9-11 than I do or ever will.

Of course, they're miles off in their conclusions and so in terms of the central fact about 9-11--who did it--I have them cold. And I can usually catch a Troofer in a lie or obvious error in about a minute or two, so maybe I'm selling myself short here.

And that's really the important thing. Nobody has to study this stuff terribly hard. When a Truther confronts you with six pieces of evidence, odds are that you can debunk two of them with Google, and three others using 9-11 Myths or Debunking 9-11, and so you should put the onus back on your Truther buddy: Why should you trust him on that last bit when you've been able to debunk 83.4% of his claimed evidence without even breaking a sweat?