Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Twoof is Wewative

I've been dueling with a twoofer over at Denialism. Can't exactly call it a debate, since I doubt it'll get into his head that "trusting Bush" isn't anywhere in my stance. I've been meaning to do a post about a key difference between science and woo: Science converges, woo diverges. Science narrows down possibilities to a handful or even just one theory. Woo, however, does the opposite: It diverges, breaking into countless hypotheses, each usually unfalsifiable. 9/11 twoofers are no exception:

R9 Orbital Wave Cannons: These twoofers are generally regarded as the silliest, though I don't quite agree. They do tend to be the most "Hollywood spectacle," though. They're the ones who believe that the finishing blow (or possibly only blow) to the towers was from some giant space laser or other impractical space opera-type superweapon that, for some reason, is never used elsewhere. It's been a while, but I'm sure if you search the JREF Forums, you could find some wonderful takedowns of this hypothesis where they calculated just how much energy, accuracy, and so forth it would take to do this. Someone gave me some points for the R-Type reference when I came up with the appropriately term.

Thermate/ite: Can't quite settle on which substance was responsible, but what they refer to is a powerful incendiary substance that supposedly melted the supports. While this has the advantage of not requiring the loud bangs you would hear in a controlled demolition, most overlook gravity: You can't get the stuff to burn sideways into the support beams. That's probably why no one I met at the JREF forums debating these trolls ever heard of a demolition team using the stuff for taking out supports. The biggest hole in this hypothesis, however, is that it'd require a massive demolitions team working for a lot of time in a building that's almost continuously occupied AND covering up their tracks every day. There's also concern about the stuff remaining stable and not igniting prematurely. Also, they'd have to deal with being able to ignite the stuff after the building has suffered a plane/missile impact that probably stands a strong chance of breaking the electrical circuit for the trigger.

Hushaboom: This is what I consider the silliest crowd, even though some may think they're the more serious type: The crowd that thinks conventional demolition explosives were used. The "hush" part of the boom comes in when some fellow skeptics pointed out the lack of appropriate seismic and audio data, which they'll claim was "muffled" or something equally silly. They may shout that it looks like a controlled demolition, but it sure doesn't sound like one. This pretty much requires that explosives have enough concussive force to take down support beams and yet be weak enough to not be heard. Contrary to what the dramatic glowing red fireballs of Hollywood fame would have you believe, heat and fire are not what makes the typical explosive powerful: It's the wave generated as the expansion of the bomb pushes air out of the way. Some may debate semantics, but air being pushed around in a wave is sound. And yet they expect these bombs to be nearly silent. To add further problems, this one suffers from the same need for invisible man-hours and technical problems as the thermate/ite hypothesis.

Missile/Holographic Plane: There are plenty of no-plane twoofers still out there who think it was missile(s) that hit the WTC and/or Pentagon. The big problem with this is that it requires that all footage be doctored and all the eyewitnesses and people with contradictory footage be wrong / bribed / silenced/ in on it. If the government had planned on doing it this way, wouldn't they have it done it in the dark to be more plausible, and less risky? The way some get around this little problem is to propose that the government developed very, very good holography before any of the industries devoting big research funding to this sort of thing can do anything really comparable. This, of course, would require a lot of setup in advance. Not surprisingly, advocates of this hypothesis will sometimes pull out claims of reverse-engineered Area 51 technology.

Let It Happen On Purpose: What I presume "LIHOP" means. This would require that Bush has direct and absolute control over everyone who could have done something or later bring up his inaction. This one's key advantage and disadvantage is that little or no planning is involved. The disadvantage aspect of it is that you can't easily identify keep the compassionate people out of the situation until something happens. It's more parsimonious than any of the nigh-supernatural hypotheses above, but it's still a hard one to swallow: It still requires a lot of people in on it.

Hire Al-Queda: This is one that I've made up myself, and about the least crazy one I can think of. Curious why I've never met a twoofer who does this one: It only requires a handful of people: The hijackers, a government officer to hire them, and some people to fake Osama's messages and hope that he doesn't deny responsibility. All they need is to exploit existing security holes that the twoofers often like to pretend we don't have, since America's so perfectly secure only we are capable of attacking us.

Now take all those hypotheses and multiply them by the number of supposed ringleaders and motives. Sprinkle in lots of combinations of who was/wasn't in on it.

Sorry I don't have links on hand at the moment. I need to get back to the JREF forums after being away for so long. Imagine it won't be hard to hunt them down, or for my regular readers to do so for me.

31 comments:

Joshua said...

Well, the "Hire Al-Qaeda" hypothesis is tossed around sometimes, just usually not in the twoofer circles. There are a few lefty types who make a big deal out of Bush's connections with the bin Laden family and other well-off Saudis. They usually stick to just implying that Bush and Al-Qaeda cut some kind of deal rather than saying it explicitly, but the idea is definitely out there.

Perhaps ironically, the reason you might not have heard this from twoofers is that it's more mainstream than their favourites.

The Factician said...

Any chance you could point me towards a retail site for those R9 orbital wave cannons? You think I could trade my airmiles for one of those?

Wes said...

There's also the "Israelis evacuated their people before the planes hit" crowd who, by implication, accuse the Israeli government of either carrying out the attacks, or knowing about them and letting them happen.

The most prominent member of the "Israel did it" camp is probably Amiri Baraka, former Poet Laureate of New Jersey: http://www.loc.gov/rr/main/poets/newjersey.html

And, yes, I do find it difficult to say "Poet Laureate of New Jersey" with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in the 3rd world I know I can find (anytime, on demand)...

* The desperately no hope poor.
* Who have no hope for their loved ones future anyway.
* Who are dying of AIDS anyway.
* Who will gladly secure their loved ones future at cost of themselves, especially if they can take a stab at those they percieve to have put them in this mess anyway.
* Can be hired for way less than a thousandth of the budget of the joint strike aircraft.

Those are the facts.... the question thereafter is what you conclude from them.

Bronze Dog said...

If you're suggesting the government hired some desperate people to do the run, you'll need to provide evidence, not merely a not-insane alternative. Occam's razor.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Occam's Razor...

If it really worked we'd use it to shave the universe bald of all these complicated silly beings.

The trouble is there are so many humans, with so many motivations, and we reward so well the most intelligent and active of them...

...and then we sit back and use Occam's Razor to conclude that nobody did anything.

Am I saying the government funded 9/11?

No silly.

I'm saying you have millions of naturally secretive, hardworking, intelligent, imaginative, butt covering humans doing millions of different things all chasing amazingly huge chunks of cash....

And you shave it all away with Occam's nifty razor and say nothing happened...

I say, neither you, or I, or any 9/11 conspiracy theorist has a clue as to what was going on. Only heavily filtered and biased glimpses.

To use Occam's razor to say "Nothing untoward happened" is blindly foolish and uncharitable to all the hardworking serious and active people in the world desperately trying to solve what they perceive are the problems of the day.

To say "Because they could, they did" is equally foolish.

The sanest path is consider every possibility that goes by and accord it some measure of probability, however small, and store it for later reference...

What to do with all that info?

Probably nothing. Maybe someday use it in evaluating other info.

Bronze Dog said...

1. Do you even know what Occam's Razor is?

2. Don't make stuff up about my stance. I'm counting on the fact that there are lots of factions working against each other, both openly and in secret. That's why conspiracies of massive scale can't succeed: You can't count on the government being one big monolith: There's always going to be someone on the other end of the political spectrum working against you. The twoofers would have you believe that the government is one big Bush monolith without any checks and balances.

3. False 'issue agnosticism' is very transparent. The reason I don't believe in the inside job is because there's no evidence. Give me evidence or I'll go ahead and default with the most parsimonious assumptions like any rational person should. Anything less, and we get into invisible dragons in the garage.

Anonymous said...

Oh, having done a fair bit of physics I know ye olde Occam... just that he really only applies to efficient and rational natural systems. In the presence of dippy dilly idea-illogical humans he doesn't count for much.

But as they say in finance circles... the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

I wouldn't bet on Occam's Razor being correct in the field of, ah, umm, what Clausewitz may call, ahh, "robust" politics...

You can't count on the government being one big monolith

Ah Good. Lots of people don't get that one.

There is, however, a strong selection procedure.... you don't advance unless you (apparently) see things the same way as the boss.

You don't get invited to a conspiracy if you likely to whinge.

I don't believe anything. I allocate everything a probability strictly greater than zero and strictly less than 1.

I've placed this book on order and await its arrival with great anticipation...

Black Swan

Anything with a glossary like...
Glossary
is likely to be interesting.

Until it arrives I will go to a lake near me and gaze out upon nothing but Black Swans as far as the eye can see...

Bronze Dog said...

If Occam's razor doesn't apply to political systems, then what keeps you from inventing more and more and more entities without necessity? That kind of attitude makes circular logic and unfalsifiability very, very easy.

What makes political systems any different than any other complex physical systems? Am I going to get a vitalism lecture from Creationist Michael Egnor, whose secret identity is Deepak Chopra before this is over?

As for loyalty, how can you be certain they won't wince once they find out? Last time I checked, psychics still haven't passed the Randi challenge.

Of course, even if they could magically screen those people, the pool would likely end up being a hell of a lot smaller than expected. Nixon couldn't even maintain a handful of conspirators, and Bush is no Doctor Doom mastermind.

I don't believe anything. I allocate everything a probability strictly greater than zero and strictly less than 1.

And I'm banking on the one with the highest probability. The smaller the conspiracy, the less likely it is to fail. The accepted theory requires the fewest conspirators and resources out of all the hypotheses that explain the existing evidence. Most anything else balloons very, very rapidly, as does its chance to fail spectacularly.

Anonymous said...

What makes political systems any different than any other complex physical systems? Am I going to get a vitalism lecture from Creationist Michael Egnor, whose secret identity is Deepak Chopra before this is over?


That's just so weird, I struggle to comprehend what you are trying to say.

If you are trying to explain how a chemical reaction works, use Occam.

If you trying to work out what people are doing...
* Assume they have personal (maybe, ah, curious) private lives.
* Assume they have hidden agendas aimed at increasing personal profit.
* Assume they have one or more slightly irrational notions. (I do, You clearly do :-)) so why not everyone else? :-))
* Assume they have friends and associates which you haven't been told about.
* Assume at least some of them have screwball motivations (revenge, ideologies, religion, ...)

ie. You don't have to needlessly multiply entities... you just have to be aware that there are a hellavuh lot more entities floating around any picture involving humans than a neat chemical eaction in a tube.

Humans are pathologically complex critters with really long histories and Big Memories.

The problem with understanding life is not "needlessly multiplying entities" the problem is there are really always way way too many entities in the picture already!

Any description of an event that fits in a TV sound bite or newspaper article is way way oversimplified.

The problem isn't Dr Doom politicians, the problem is Paris Hilton obsessed public.

Nobody would even notice a Dr Doom type conspiracy of your choice, if Paris happened to let slip a nipple.

Andrew Dodds said...

The thing I've never managed to get out of Twoofers is this:

*Why* was WTC7 demolished?

You see, because WTC7 fell from the bottom up [for very good reasons], and all the video cameras were pointing at the least damaged side, it *looks* superfically more like a demolition than the towers. So it is usually held up as the 'smoking gun' of CD.

This begs the question - why was this (already huge) conspiricy considerably enlarged just in order to blow up a building that no one had ever heard of (And I speak as someone who once stood on top of the WTC!). Money isn't an explanation as payoffs are so much easier.

OF course, it could just be an Orbial Wave Cannon misfire..

Bronze Dog said...

If you are trying to explain how a chemical reaction works, use Occam.

If you trying to work out what people are doing...
* Assume they have personal (maybe, ah, curious) private lives.
* Assume they have hidden agendas aimed at increasing personal profit.
* Assume they have one or more slightly irrational notions. (I do, You clearly do :-)) so why not everyone else? :-))
* Assume they have friends and associates which you haven't been told about.
* Assume at least some of them have screwball motivations (revenge, ideologies, religion, ...)

ie. You don't have to needlessly multiply entities... you just have to be aware that there are a hellavuh lot more entities floating around any picture involving humans than a neat chemical eaction in a tube.


And I assume all of those entities. That's an entirely unremarkable list. The problem is that you're opening the window for conspiracies and so forth that don't do a better job of explaining the evidence.

The Roswell incident is perfectly explainable as is: It was a balloon designed for detecting Soviet nuke tests, combined with false memory, yadda yadda. All of the entities involved already exist.

Where Roswell conspiracy nuts violate Occam's razor is assuming a conspiracy (and, of course, aliens) that so perfectly covers itself up it looks exactly the same as the non-alien hypothesis and explains the same level of evidence.

Any description of an event that fits in a TV sound bite or newspaper article is way way oversimplified.

Commonly true, but not always.

1. Sometimes things are that simple.

2. What's that got to do with this conversation we're having right here?

The problem isn't Dr Doom politicians, the problem is Paris Hilton obsessed public.

Nobody would even notice a Dr Doom type conspiracy of your choice, if Paris happened to let slip a nipple.


Riiiiight. Because everyone's exactly the same, and no one rates "hey, that looks funny, and I have the power to seriously investigate" over pop culture.

You're contradicting yourself, and heck, you do realize that there are *gasp* other countries out there with structural engineers who could point out anything funny, right?

Instead, you'd rather make unjustifiable and irrelevant blanket statements about all the 'dupes.'

And, of course, the conspiracy would STILL require absurd amounts of competence to perfectly cover things up. The fact that the world is made of idiots says absolutely nothing relevant because there are non-idiots out there who aren't distracted by the latest fad.

Bronze Dog said...

Occam's Razor:

Hypothesis A includes a few known entities predicts that you will find evidence X, Y, and Z.

Hypothesis B includes the government performing actions Q, R, S, T, U, V, and cover-up W to hide all the evidence for Q through V and plant evidence X, Y, and Z so that everything looks exactly the same as what hypothesis A predicts.

Which is more probable? Hint: Occam's Razor says it's not hypothesis B.

Of course, there's no reason to presume that one complex physical process is any different on the epistemology front than any other complex physical process.

Reminds me of a parody of a murder movie: Book critic invites a bunch of famous mystery authors to his mansion and announces a contest to see who can solve a murder. Lights go out, come back on, and the critic has a knife stuck in his chest. After some antics, the writers confront the villain and start coming up with these elaborate background tales from nowhere on no evidence and declaring victory. The villain removes his face, and it's the allegedly murdered critic, who berates them for their sloppy novels that invent characters during the last few pages without any evidence whatsoever that would lead a person to suspect their existence.

In all their desires to spin elaborate, fantastic tales of intrigue, they neglected to investigate the obvious and look where the evidence lead. They stopped being bound by evidence and Occam's Razor because they presumed there must always be a more elaborate tale.

It's very, very rare for Hollywood to actually make a point in favor of the skeptics.

Dunc said...

Actually, you could make the "hire AQ" hypothesis work with only one person, in the right place. A commonly-overlooked flaw in the decentralised, "cell" model of a terrorist organisation is that if you can turn one person in the right place, you can take over entire sections of the organisation. It worked wonders for German Intelligence around Paris during WWII...

Wikinite said...

The murder movie parody is called "Murder by Death". It has Peter Sellers in it.

Anonymous said...


Bronze Dog said...

Occam's Razor:

Hypothesis A includes a few known entities predicts that you will find evidence X, Y, and Z.

Hypothesis B includes the government performing actions Q, R, S, T, U, V, and cover-up W to hide all the evidence for Q through V and plant evidence X, Y, and Z so that everything looks exactly the same as what hypothesis A predicts.

Which is more probable? Hint: Occam's Razor says it's not hypothesis B.


If the event is indeed simple involving one or two poeple. Perhaps.

But the huge events that have great impact on our lives attracting swathes of media attention are seldom simple. Usually millions of people have touched on aspects of it over a period of years.

Actually your Hypothesis A includes something you forgot to mention. It says "Only known entities producing evidence X, Y, Z were involved. All million other sods involved, suddenly and concertedly and magically refrained from going about there daily monkey business over an extended period of time."

Hypothesis C says lots and lots of people have, as they always are, been very very busy doing something, you know not what. Some of that stuff, as it usually is, doesn't look all that Good in the public eye so its, ahh, "confidential". Some of the stuff, (given how many laws there are), was downright illegal, so they actively falsified their trail. So in all this mess of busy busy busy...something untoward comes to your attention.

The paltry bits of Evidence X, Y, Z.

The millions of other people active are unknown to you, what they were doing is "confidential". Some of what they did was actively falsified.

Yet you use Occam's razor to shave away the busy busy lives of many people...

My contention is the most accurate hypothesis is... "Lot's of stuff was happening, what and why it was, I have no clue...except for these few paltry shreds of evidence which only bears heavily selection biased witness to a very small percentage of what was going on at the time."

Bronze Dog said...

Why do you presume that everything big requires such deliberate complexity under the surface?

It's guaranteed that politicians are up to all sorts of things, but there's no reason (evidence, that is) to presume that their monkey business includes this particular event.

Conspiracies are not magically immune to evidence. Just like there can be no perfect crime, there can be no perfect cover up.

The evidence is hardly paltry. You're just redefining what we have as "not enough" in order to claim an a priori tale of intrigue without evidence.

This isn't one of those parodied murder novels: You can't assume that a case is more complex than the evidence merits just because it'd be convenient for some people and makes for a smashing story.

Politics doesn't get a free pass from Occam's Razor any more than any other complex physical system.

I'm not about to presume that the perfect cover up is possible. If you live life according to that absurd premise, you wind up presuming that circular logic is required, like anonny has.

arby said...

On a lighter note, have you seen Red State Update's "Shimmysham The 9/11 Truther"? I love those guys, I wish I wasn't condemned to really bad dialup. travisandjonothan.com/RedStateUpdate. Their "Night at the Creation Museum" is worth a watch too.
Thanks for this blog, I love to send it to my one twoofer friend. rb

Winston Smith said...

thermite / thermate, a plane would probably break the circuit?! yeah, like there was loads of wires rather than radio controlled demolition. you assert a possibility to remove any doubt of an alternative explaination. Doesn't work. Leman and his mate French are two of the most misguided shrinks with a most flawed hypothesis, as I have demonstrated in my critical analysis of 'who really runs the world - conspiracy' on channel 4, where they outright lie in order to force their false assertions.

http://wearechangenorwich.blogspot.com/2009/05/conspiracy-realists.html

Bronze Dog said...

Do stick around, Winston. It's been a while since I've wrestled with a conspiracy theorist.

thermite / thermate, a plane would probably break the circuit?! yeah, like there was loads of wires rather than radio controlled demolition.

Additional problems: Installing all that thermite would take time and stealth. Something that burns that hot has got to be extremely reactive, even when it's not burning. There'd be a risk that it'd go off early, or at least steadily denature over time if not very carefully stored, which would add onto the already staggering logistics of the situation. And, of course, they would have to get the stuff to burn perpendicular to gravity to get it through a pillar, rather than burning straight down like it does in real life.

And who cares about a pair of psychologists? Never heard of them. I tend to rely on my experiences with conspiracy theorists to make inferences. Of course, I don't make those a founding premise in how I deal with them, though I have done some mentioning of it in an effort to make one realize how silly and "Hollywood" they were being.

Bronze Dog said...

And looking back on this old post, I noticed you just glossed over my mentioning of those hurdles in the main post. Clever.

Anonymous said...

more than that, in fact, i glossed over pretty much the entire piece. just dropped by to voice anti Chris French and Patrick Leman sentiments, who linked me to your writing. I've no interest in 'wrestling', 'dueling', stone-throwing, shin-kicking or any other primative male fighting style in order to settle a personal differences. If and when I do decide to reject the laws of physics perhaps I'll find you over at 'Denialism' calling people twoofers. real clever.

your reasoning is flawed, I cant believe this is the best people can come up with..your forth para doesnt even mention the endless line of witnesses to multiple bomb blasts, weak. I'll leave you to your devices now I think - but check my link! it demonstrates in detail how people who dont believe in conspiracies are quick to base their opinions on partial evidence, you'll love it.

peace.

Anonymous said...

more than that, in fact, i glossed over pretty much the entire piece. just dropped by to voice anti Chris French and Patrick Leman sentiments, who linked me to your writing. I've no interest in 'wrestling', 'dueling', stone-throwing, shin-kicking or any other primative male fighting style in order to settle a personal differences. If and when I do decide to reject the laws of physics perhaps I'll find you over at 'Denialism' calling people twoofers. real clever.

your reasoning is flawed, I cant believe this is the best people can come up with..your forth para doesnt even mention the endless line of witnesses to multiple bomb blasts? suggesting they don't exist! shameful.

I'll leave you to your devices now I think - but check my link! it demonstrates in detail how people who dont believe in conspiracies are quick to base their opinions on partial evidence, you'll love it.

peace. Winston.

Bronze Dog said...

your reasoning is flawed, I cant believe this is the best people can come up with..

Why is it flawed?

your forth para doesnt even mention the endless line of witnesses to multiple bomb blasts, weak.

Ah, yes, the old "eyewitnesses are more reliable than scientific instrumentation" model of epistemology. You do realize there's a reason eyewitness testimony is always regarded as inferior to physical evidence in matters of science, right?

How about you show me some seismic data.

Don't be surprised if I do analyze that thing of yours.

Bronze Dog said...

You know, one of the things I find the most hilarious about the exchange is that you're relying on Hollywood stereotypes of skeptics to inform you as to the details of my opinions, when you don't even know one of the founding principles of science that I try to make people aware of.

If you knew that principle, you'd know why I wouldn't have bothered to mention eyewitnesses. Hint: It's essentially the same reason I don't bother to analyze anecdotes when talking about quackery or psychics.

Anonymous said...

There is one interesting group of individuals that I think you should look into if you are a man of facts. Architects and engineers for 911 truth, ae911truth.org. Here are a few general facts, as resources may be slighty off, i have gotten it from an average from serching the making of the twin towers. the Steele created for the twin towers was a high grade steele with a melting point of roughly 3,000-3,300 degrees with an outside tempature of 60-80 degrees with a wind of 10-20 mph, in any direction, with a 5 degree wind chill. Now, the hottest possible tempature for rocket fuel to burn at similar paramaters of wheather conditions is about 1,600-1,700 degrees. Even if you caculate the imposible of time and wheather ware decreasing the steeles melting point, it would be a mere 50-200 degrees. To late to calculate now. Plus, the beams were designed to strethen each other by supporting each other by distributing stressed mass of wieght and also flex stress from weather, and was designed and tested to withstand a plan crash by structural engineering. Physically, and factually, it is impossible for jet fuel to melt any structural beam in that building. Period.

Bronze Dog said...

Last I checked, there were precisely zero people who believed the steel melted. It was merely weakened by being heated up, not melted. IIRC, it still loses 80% or more of its strength at 1,600 degrees.

tanabear said...

"Last I checked, there were precisely zero people who believed the steel melted. It was merely weakened by being heated up, not melted."

Hyman Brown, "This building would have stood had a plane or a force caused by a plane smashed into it. But steel melts, and 90,850 litres of aviation fluid melted the steel. Nothing is designed or will be designed to withstand that fire."
Hyman Brown: Senior Instructor Construction Engineering and Management. The project engineer for the construction of the Twin Towers
http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/disinfo/collapse/sundaytimes_kamikaze.html

Chris Wise "The columns would have melted, the floors would have melted and eventually they would have collapsed one on top of each other."
Chris Wise: Structural engineer.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1540044.stm


John Knapton: "The 35 tonnes of aviation fuel will have melted the steel... all that can be done is to place fire resistant material around the steel and delay the collapse by keeping the steel cool for longer."
John Knapton: Professor in Structural Engineering at Newcastle University, UK
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/1604348.stm



Eduardo Kausel: "I believe that the intense heat softened or melted the structural elements--floor trusses and columns--so that they became like chewing gum, and that was enough to trigger the collapse."
Eduardo Kausel: Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT
here:http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-the-twin-towers-fell&page=5


Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Co-Chair: "What caused the collapse of the buildings, to summarize it, was that the super-heated jet fuel melted the steel super-structure of these buildings and caused their collapse."
http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/911hamilton.html

"...it still loses 80% or more of its strength at 1,600 degrees."

But what evidence do you have that any of the steel got that got from the jet-fuel fires?

"Of the more than 170 areas examined on 16 perimeter column panels, only three columns
had evidence that the steel reached temperatures above 250ºC(482F)...using metallographic analysis, NIST determined that there was no evidence that any of the samples had reached temperatures above
600C(1112F)"
NIST

Bronze Dog said...

Seems I've got some deeper research to do on those quotes, since this is the first time a twoofer ever bothered to cite any sort of source to me.

Note, of course, even if these experts said that, it hardly does anything to advance the ninja drywall worker theory.

Anyway, continuing with my digging:

It seems I remembered my stats wrong: At 700-1000 degrees, the steel loses half its strength. Adding in the damage, I don't see a problem.

From your own Hyman source: "On that score, both towers had withstood this test, as they did not immediately fall over, for it was the resultant fire that probably inflicted the mortal blow, he said.

Whether the plane was a 707 or a somewhat bigger modern twinjet was largely irrelevant. What mattered was that a very large object impacted the building, projecting aviation fuel inside that caused an "instant inferno," he said.

The temperature of the fire would be in the region of 800-1,000 deg C, easily enough to destroy the remaining integrity of the steel supports, which would soften at 600 deg C, he said."

This is the official story, last I checked. The context of the quotation is Hyman's speculation based on footage. About the worst I think you can say about him was being less than literal about "melted."

Chris Wise source: Look at the date. September 13, 2001. Two days after. That's about the same as a Creationist quoting Darwin at me, long after the move to Modern Synthesis. And, of course, this is through the filter of the idiot mainstream media who might have asked him to dumb it down.

John Knapton: October, 2001. Still fairly early, and the worst thing I see is another person being to broad in the word, without meaning the literal definition.

Kausel: October 2001. "I believe that the intense heat softened or melted the structural elements, floor trusses and columns, so that they became like chewing gum, and that was enough to trigger the collapse..."

It's fun moving the bold tags to where twoofers try to bury a key word.

Hamilton: "...but not on fire through jet fuel, I don’t think you have any evidence of that. But here again, I’m not the expert on it. We relied on the experts, and they’re the engineers and the architects who examined this in very great detail."

Sounds to me like you're quoting one of the paper pushers that works for the experts, not an actual expert.

---

I'll look at that last bit on the NIST, in context, later. It's late, and you haven't exactly done much here except to suggest that some engineers are prone to exaggeration when being interviewed and that they deserve a thump behind the ears for it.

Please do tell me if you come up with a solution for the logistical problems of having ninjas install tons and tons of explosives in a continuously occupied building without being detected.

Anonymous said...

Of the ones that you listed, I think the holographic plane thing is by far the silliest. Of course all of them are patently absurd... but if they can put a silencer on a gun why not on a bomb? Plus some idiots insist that explosions were heard, so any evidence to the contrary is dismissed as part of the cover-up.

As others have mentioned, your "hire al qaeda" hypothesis actually is bandied about, usually in very vague terms. I work in the Middle East and know for a fact that many people over there believe that Osama bin Laden was in the employ of the CIA because he was allegedly working directly for them in Afghanistan. There are also morons who believe that the Mossad did it or put AlQaeda up to it, and of course there are plenty who think bin Laden was framed... or that he was killed before 9/11 ever took place... or that he never actually existed.

I think the main reason that the much more plausible (by comparison to other conspiracy nut theories) (but still very stupid) "hire al qaeda" theory has not gained much traction is because the majority of nuts out there have invested so much energy in believing that the facts of the official story are IMPOSSIBLE (namely that planes can't destroy big buildings, that fire can't have any effect on steel, that the US military/intelligence bureaus are so saavy no real attack would ever succeed, etc.)... that they cannot allow themsleves to believe in a conspiracy that admits that most or even a significant portion of what really happened really happened. In other words, they are dug in so deep that at this point the crazier and stupider the theories are, the better.

Anonymous said...

something else conspiracy 'tards seem to casually ignore all the time that I noticed in the above jibbery-joo about occham's razor: even IF the two theories were equal (they so totally are NOT, as Mr. Dog deftly proved)... then what about the very important question of motive? If the Bush administration were put on trial for orchestrating 9/11 and there actually were some evidence that they did it (there is none, but just walk with me for a second here)... then the case would still get thrown out because there is ZERO plausible motive. They wanted to improve the economy or fortunes of the United States by doing enormous damage to its economy, destroying its own buildings, and starting massively expensive wars? That doesn't make sense. Bush/Israel wanted an excuse to invade Iraq so they set up a very elaborate conspiracy to frame some Saudis hiding out with some Afghanis none of whom had anything to do with Iraq? That doesn't make sense. Bush had a desire to invade a rocky and mountainous notoriously difficult to occupy country with no known resources or value of any kind? That doesn't make sense. Or one of my favorites... Bush/Cheney needed an excuse to start a few wars that will cost trillions of dollars just so that Halliburton could make some money on no-bid contracts... well that one would actually provide some slimmer of motivation... but... Republicans are evil, granted. but come on. They're not quite that evil.