Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Conspiracy motifs in the 9/11 "Truth" Movement

To help you with our lecture/discussion tomorrow, here is my current list of conspiracy theory "motifs." Obviously many of these won't be clear just from the name, and you won't find all of them in the 9/11 conspiracy theories, but see what you can do. I will be adding to the list as I prepare for class over the next week:
  • Pseudo-academic debates
  • Suppressed miracles
  • Economic manipulation
  • Inversion
  • Sympathy for the Overdog
  • Disinformation
  • Proportionality: Huge, impressive event requires a huge, impressive cause
  • “Who benefits?”: beneficiaries of an event must have caused it
  • Institutions are Evil: Diabolical secret government experiments, plots, and research projects are the normal way that governments & corporations do business
  • The Provocation Motive: to justify war or repression
  • Legendary historical precedents
  • Negative subjunctive reasoning, or argument by anomaly
  • Occam’s Razor in Reverse: the most complicated explanation is best