Wednesday, January 31, 2007

9-11 Conspiracy web sites

If you are unfamiliar with the common themes of the so-called 9-11 Truth Movement, here are some sites to look at:

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Welcome 2007 Students

Winter semester here at MU begins today, with appropriate levels of ice and cold. This web site and embedded blog will be your major source of information (besides the syllabus and actually attending class) on the doings of the course. I update this site as we go along so please check the date on anything you find in here. I just posted a pdf of the 2007 syllabus.

Beside announcements and readings, I will use the blog (and you should use the comments) to pass along conspiracy theory news and comment as it appears in the media and on the Internet during the semester. For instance, you can check out a local angle on something I will mention today in class, by reading this KC Pitch article on the so-called "9/11 Truth Movement" in Kansas City.