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Old 27th March 2007, 07:41 PM   #1
Sword_Of_Truth
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Objectivity and balance out the window at Howstuffworks.com

Read the article on "How Conspiracy Theories Work" and tell me if you see the same thing I'm seeing?

From what I can see, the author (the founder of howstuffworks.com, no less) has stuffed his article with twoofer gibberish with almost no debunking or rebuttal. The main body of the article links to several twoofer sites but only one debunking resource. The same thing happens again with a list of links at the end of the article, all but one are pro-CT links.

Has the once reputable HowStuffWorks.com gone off the deep end?
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Old 27th March 2007, 07:46 PM   #2
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That's a site ripe for parody. howstuffdoesntwork.com filled with illustrations of gnomes, fairies, angels etc. propelling the inner workings of various devices
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Old 27th March 2007, 08:25 PM   #3
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Conspiracy Theory = "A theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act."

I agree with this. Al Qaeda is not a "Secret group" therefore saying that Bin Ladin and AL Qaeda are the perpetrators of 9/11 does not make you a conspiracy theorist. The 19 hijackers are known.
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Old 27th March 2007, 08:51 PM   #4
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That is amazing pro-nutter bias, Sword! But I wonder if it's all that credible a source to begin with. Check this part out of their 9-11 Timeline:

Quote:
# 9:43 a.m. - Flight 77 hits the Pentagon.
# 10:05 a.m. - The South Tower falls.
# 10:10 a.m. - Flight 93 crashes in Pennsylvania.
As Gravy likes to say, they got it 100% wrong. Flight 77 hits the Pentagon at 9:37, the South Tower fell at 9:59 and Flight 93 crashed at 10:03 (or 10:06 according to some Deniers).

Regardless of whether this site had some credibility before, it is complete nutter now. I think this is a big deal.
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Old 27th March 2007, 09:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FactCheck View Post
Conspiracy Theory = "A theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act."

I agree with this. Al Qaeda is not a "Secret group" therefore saying that Bin Ladin and AL Qaeda are the perpetrators of 9/11 does not make you a conspiracy theorist. The 19 hijackers are known.
I think the fact that a poster called 'Factcheck' can post a tub o'********* like this, unchallenged, on this forum - speaks volumes.
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Old 27th March 2007, 09:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scooby View Post
I think the fact that a poster called 'Factcheck' can post a tub o'********* like this, unchallenged, on this forum - speaks volumes.
You are challenged on thinking. He said since we know who did it, it is not a CT, it is just a C.

short sweet just a C, and you truthers have no idea what that means?
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Old 27th March 2007, 09:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scooby View Post
I think the fact that a poster called 'Factcheck' can post a tub o'********* like this, unchallenged, on this forum - speaks volumes.
The fact that all you have are insults tells me I'm rght. It also tells me you're a mental midget who uses insults as a three legged stool. Don't make me take out the saw.
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Old 27th March 2007, 09:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FactCheck View Post
The fact that all you have are insults tells me I'm rght. It also tells me you're a mental midget who uses insults as a three legged stool. Don't make me take out the saw.
But its a complete load of bollocks.

You're using hindsight, combined with a whole lot of 'what you've been told', to claim that the Sept 11th attacks were not a secret conspiracy - because today - 6 years later - 'everyone knows al-qaeda did it!' - hoot, slap of thigh

I've used more brain cells replying to this **** than it looks like you can afford to waste tying shoe laces. Buy some slip ons.
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Old 27th March 2007, 09:59 PM   #9
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Pharyngula (well known and fairly reliable science blog) caught on to the fact that the site was BS about a year ago:

Quote:
There is this site called How Stuff Works that I've run into a few times, that has nice, short, kid-friendly summaries of, obviously enough, how stuff works. I hadn't used it much, but it seemed like a cool idea…until a reader suggested I take a look at the section on how evolution works.

It's terrible.

The author has a very, very poor understanding of basic biology, and it looks like the essay was simply spun off the top of his head, with a few quick glances at some websites. The author, Marshall Brain, is an electrical engineer and computer scientist, and it shows, embarrassingly enough.
He also points out that they have overly credulous articles on Witchcraft, Tarot Cards, and UFOs. But of course there is a different level of craziness here. And this is not an insignificant site; it's an eight on Google's page ranking scheme, which is huge; by comparison the NY Times website is a nine and Ford Motor Company's home page is a seven. Technorati ranks it as the 30th most cited website on the blogs.

And it's nutbar.
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:17 PM   #10
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I only use How Stuff Works when tying to explain to a complete layman the mechanics behind things like dvd players and seatbelts.
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:17 PM   #11
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Have you got sick of us and so started being a prick to get yourself banned? JAQ.
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by scooby View Post
But its a complete load of bollocks.

You're using hindsight, combined with a whole lot of 'what you've been told', to claim that the Sept 11th attacks were not a secret conspiracy - because today - 6 years later - 'everyone knows al-qaeda did it!' - hoot, slap of thigh

I've used more brain cells replying to this **** than it looks like you can afford to waste tying shoe laces. Buy some slip ons.
The dictionary seems to disagree with everything you've just said, here...

A conspiracy theory is not the same thing as a theory which contains a conspiracy.

I know you want it to be- but wishing won't make it happen. You're not on equal ground: the evidence undeniably points our way, and everyone is laughing at you.
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Totovader View Post
The dictionary seems to disagree with everything you've just said, here...

A conspiracy theory is not the same thing as a theory which contains a conspiracy.

I know you want it to be- but wishing won't make it happen. You're not on equal ground: the evidence undeniably points our way, and everyone is laughing at you.
Oh you can ride to the rescue and split hairs all day, anyone can read Factchecks triumphant nothing and just smell the 'woo'.
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by scooby View Post
Oh you can ride to the rescue and split hairs all day, anyone can read Factchecks triumphant nothing and just smell the 'woo'.
I wish I could take the credit- but as I said, it's the dictionary that refutes your claim, here.

Not sure why you need to make it about factcheck...
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post


Have you got sick of us and so started being a prick to get yourself banned? JAQ.
No, I've genuinely disliked most of you since I started posting here.
May I draw your attention to this section of the rules ....

"The JREF wishes civility be the norm and will endeavor to ensure that civility
will be the norm, however this does not mean that Members will be
insulated from all insults or challenges; the nature of the forum
inevitably involves strong emotions and opinions which can result in heated
exchanges.
The JREF also wishes the forum to be accessible to as many people
as possible and will endeavor to ensure that the content in the Forum is suitable for a mature audience."

My interpretation of this, is that if a position is found to be exceptionally distressing, say the persons an idiot, and posting like one - then you can say so.
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by scooby View Post
No, I've genuinely disliked most of you since I started posting here.
May I draw your attention to this section of the rules ....

"The JREF wishes civility be the norm and will endeavor to ensure that civility
will be the norm, however this does not mean that Members will be
insulated from all insults or challenges; the nature of the forum
inevitably involves strong emotions and opinions which can result in heated
exchanges.
The JREF also wishes the forum to be accessible to as many people
as possible and will endeavor to ensure that the content in the Forum is suitable for a mature audience."

My interpretation of this, is that if a position is found to be exceptionally distressing, say the persons an idiot, and posting like one - then you can say so.
Depends on whether you're qualified to make that assessment or not...
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Totovader View Post
The dictionary seems to disagree with everything you've just said, here...

A conspiracy theory is not the same thing as a theory which contains a conspiracy.

I know you want it to be- but wishing won't make it happen. You're not on equal ground: the evidence undeniably points our way, and everyone is laughing at you.
Does it now - does it mention Factcheck by name?
Odd place to find references to him and his posts - a dictionary.

This is the claim ...

Originally Posted by FactCheck View Post
Conspiracy Theory = "A theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act."

I agree with this. Al Qaeda is not a "Secret group" therefore saying that Bin Ladin and AL Qaeda are the perpetrators of 9/11 does not make you a conspiracy theorist. The 19 hijackers are known.
You agree with this do you?
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Old 27th March 2007, 10:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Totovader View Post
Depends on whether you're qualified to make that assessment or not...
Well, considering the fact that about 20 of you need to share the burden of responding to me, believe me - I feel qualified.
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Old 27th March 2007, 11:21 PM   #19
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I dixcovered & noted the same crap a couple months ago, in the Marshall Brain, dingleberry thread.
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Old 27th March 2007, 11:38 PM   #20
Sword_Of_Truth
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Scooby -
Edited by Lisa Simpson:  Inappropriate remark removed.


JamesB, Greyleonard, others - My formerly favorable opinion of howstuffworks.com was obviously not a fully informed one. I was not aware how silly they really are over there.

Mod WarningDo not advocate suicide.
Posted By:Lisa Simpson

Last edited by Lisa Simpson; 28th March 2007 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 28th March 2007, 12:12 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by scooby View Post
You agree with this do you?
Yes, there was a conspiracy involving the terrorist organisation Al Queda that involved nineteen hijackers taking control of planes and flying them into American icons (the final destination of UA93 will forever remain the topic of informed speculation).

This makes it a conspiracy to commit an act of terror, but not a 'conspiracy theory' in the accepted sense.

The 'secret organisation/s' mentioned in the definition refer to organisations such as 'The Illuminati', or 'The New World Order', for which there is no proof of existance.

It can also extend to 'The Jews', 'The Zionists', or any other broad generalisation where there is no proof of any involvement in the conspiracy, or even necessarily any coherent organisation in place (just a shared ethnicity/religion) - e.g. 'The Blacks', 'The Muslims'.

Understand?
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