The 5 Experiments
One of the original purposes of the "book" was to
1) Initiate intelligent and fact-based discussion of the WTC collapses through the unique lens of accurate descriptions and mappings.
After careful consideration of the facts more than a decade after the collapses, one would have to be quite idealistic to think that this is possible. This leads to a second purpose of the mappings within the "book":
2) To see the process of science and skepticism melt before ones eyes.
This opportunity allows the careful observer to catch a rare glimpse of how the mind functions and how scientific institutions function.
Layers of Protection Provided by the Technical Hierarchy
It is a study of human vulnerability.
- It is a study of how people can be manipulated to embrace and defend illusions.
Layers of government, professional and academic review along with investigative journalism, in theory, are supposed to act as filters through which facts are checked to protect one from misleading and false claims. There is a common belief that these institutions offer layers of protection to society as a whole.
This book and the accompanying experiments put this common assumption to the test on 5 levels:
1) The state of the NIST professionalism and transparency (government)
2) The state of professional and academic skepticism, The publication and peer review process (professional and academic)
3) The state of investigative journalism
4) The state of citizen researchers
5) The active awareness of individual citizens
The book finds that with respect to the World Trade Center collapses there was no protection against false technical claims on any of these levels. All levels proved quite vulnerable to believing in false technical claims and passing on false second hand knowledge as if it is directly verifiable.
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW; TRICKLE-DOWN BELIEF SYSTEMS
The technical hierarchy can be described in terms of a pyramid.
Professional and academic levels
The top levels in red consist of the general professional and academic community.
What are the interrelationships between different levels of the technical hierarchy? Each layer effectively forms part of a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid in this case is the NIST. They are ultimately responsible for representing the technical collapse history as we know it to all levels of society and members of the technical pyramid.
Below them is the general professional and academic technical community. Employees of the NIST are drawn from the general professional and academic community. These two layers of the pyramid together are assumed to be the technical fact-checkers for the rest of society.
The unbridgeable gap between those with technical abilities and those without
Due to the complex mathematical nature of technical literature, the pyramid has a sharp division between those with higher academic and professional technical skills and those who don't have access to that type of knowledge. This occurs between the red and yellow sections. This sharp division strongly contributes to the stratified nature of the hierarchy. The simple truth is that a large majority of the public does not have the capacity to read papers like the ones on the extensive list linked here
. With no exaggerations, these papers might as well have been written in chinese to many of the journalists and private citizens outside the red section of the pyramid. Forum records on the subject of the WTC towers from 2006 to the present demonstrate this fact conclusively.
The special responsibility among the technically educated toward the public at large
Due to the special technical nature of the WTC collapses, the technically inclined levels of the social pyramid have a special and irreplaceable burden of responsibility toward the rest of society with regard to the World Trade Center collapses. The large majority of citizens are not members of the technical tiers. It is close to impossible for those citizens to fact-check many technical claims. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to believing in false technical claims.
Misrepresenting oneself to the strata below
A curious feature of the pyramid in the case of the WTC collapses is that each level misrepresents itself to the level just under it. The NIST misrepresents itself to the academic and professional community. To those not trained in technical literature, the peer reviewed articles in professional journals seem more perfect than they really are. At the same time few technical professionals will honestly represent their own level of confusion and ignorance to laymen or to each other. They commonly appear to the layman as knowing more than they actually do.
Journalists are in a helpless position when it comes to fact-checking technically complex literature. But within their finished articles or reports, the journalist will rarely admit or possibly even comprehend just how vulnerable they really are to passing along false technical information without being aware of it.
As for ordinary citizens at the bottom of the pyramid, there is no real reason to pretend they know more than they do since nobody is looking up to them for answers. Since they play no role for a group below them, they are freer to admit how little they actually know without encountering peer group pressure to conform.
Consider the case in which the red levels make unchecked false technical claims, yet astute individual citizens spot the mistakes. It is commonly believed that if an individual citizen is in possession of such proof, they can present this information to an individual journalist or news agency that can publish the material directly to a wider audience, allowing the false claims to be corrected. In this particular case the taboo is so great that the yellow level proved useless and quite vulnerable to passing the false information onto a wide audience. The yellow level has come to serve as simpy a means by which unchecked false technical claims made by the red level are passed to the general public. Major media has come to effectively serve as a means the red level protects itself from public scrutiny.
Individual citizen investigators
In the case of 9/11, among the general public there are supposedly various groups of private citizens that claim to do their own research. Some of them have come to form in a general polarity some of us call "truthers" and "debunkers". One may assume that some of these groups would have been interested in the most detailed mappings of the visible collapse processes available to the public. But once again, this is found not to be the case. In the cases of the scholars organizations or AE911T, for example, detailed mappings are perceived as a threat.
One would think that if the information in these mappings was damaging to many common "truther" arguments (which they are), then "debunkers" would utilize the mappings. But this does not happen either since the mappings do not support debunker beliefs and they are quite embarrassing to the NIST.
Inability to distinguish technical fact from fiction
The resulting environment has become so anti-intellectual and laden with taboo that if accurate, verifiable mappings did surface, people wouldn't be able to distinguish between the illusions and the reality even if their very lives depended upon it.
The environment is filled with so much useless and distracting information that people on the whole cannot distinguish between real or unreal information to "save their souls". People in general loose the means by which fantasy could be distinguished from the reality in this condition. Hence they have no means by which to defend themselves from being manipulated by false technical claims.
The only defense remaining: Direct verification through individual initiative
The only defense left is ones own ability to fact-check claims through ones own direct efforts. There is no other way. But how many people will show the initiative or have the talents or experience to check ones facts directly?
Consider the large, large majority of people who have neither the patience, ability or motivation to check facts using ones own direct effort. They will be forced to choose a belief
. What choice do they have? Admitting that this is the case can be quite a humbling experience which requires honesty and self awareness.
Lacking the capacity to check claims through direct verification, but also lacking the capacity to admit that one is forced to choose a belief as a result, people are put in a curious situation. What about the many people who do not have the ability, drive or free time to check claims directly, but also are not able to admit to themselves that as a result they are forced to choose a belief?
That is the situation that many people are actually in at present without being aware of it. They can be expected to cling to something that "looks like science".
Many people are familiar with classical and operant conditioning. In the same way a dog can be trained to salivate when hearing a bell or seeing a light, so many people have effectively been "trained" to react to any mention of the WTC towers as if it is a taboo subject. Mapping the collapse processes in detail is perceived as some kind of deviant, subversive activity. Looking more carefully is viewed with "suspicion".
Feynman describes a "disease" and a "cure"
Richard Feynman refers to this reaction as a type of "disease".
Feynman: "Then a way of avoiding the disease was discovered. This is to doubt that what is being passed from the past is in fact true, and to try to find out ab initiio, again from experience, what the situation is, rather than trusting the experience of the past in the form in which it was passed down. And that is what science is: The result of the discovery that it is worthwhile re-checking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting in the race experience in the past. I see it this way. That is my best definition."
Feynman refers to trusting in information without any direct effort to verify or fact-check the information as a type of "disease". This disease is quite contagious as it is magnified within a group setting. The experiments to follow are highly effective ways to check how far this "disease" still penetrates scientific institutions, journalism and the public at large.
THE 5 EXPERIMENTS
Experiments that Further Test the Thesis on 5 Levels
Experiment 1) If this information is presented to the NIST, or to a representative of government, how will they react?
Experiment 2) If presented to technical professionals or to academics in technical fields, how will they react?
Experiment 3) If presented to an investigative journalist or news agency, how will they react?
Experiment 4) Consider those who identify themselves as "truther" or "debunker". How do they react, respectively?
Experiment 5) As for individual citizens of all types, what kind of reactions will be seen?
How vulnerable are each of these subgroups in reality to false technical information?
The Kubler-Ross Experience
A close look at the case of the Kubler-Ross studies gives a useful parallel example. During her research on the psychological reactions of terminally ill patients during terminal illness, reactions of those within the medical field, from doctors, to nurses, to clergy, to students and finally those of the patients themselves were recorded. The order of hierarchy as Kubler-Ross experienced it in order:
The author predicts that various people will react to the mappings in a similar way to which many people reacted to the Kubler-Ross findings. Their reactions will largely depend on the the position they occupy on the technical hierarchy.
Kubler Ross on the reactions she received to her work:
Staff reactions to the seminar
As described earlier, the hospital staff reacted with great resistance, at times overt hostility, to our seminar. At the beginning, it was almost impossible to get permission from the attending staff to interview one of their patients. Residents were more difficult to approach than interns, the latter more resistant than externs or medical students. It appeared that the more training the physician had, the less he was ready to become involved in this type of work. Other authors have studied the physician's attitude toward death and the dying patient. We have not studied the individual reasons for this resistance but have observed it many times.
Approximately 9 out of 10 physicians reacted with discomfort, annoyance, or overt hostility when approached for their permission to talk to one of their patients. While some of them used the patient's poor physical or emotional health as a reason for their reluctance, others flatly denied having terminally ill patients under their care. Some expressed anger when their patients asked to talk to us, as if it reflected their inability to cope with them. While only a few flatly refused, the great majority regarded it as a special favor to us when they finally allowed an interview.
Early in my work with dying patients I observed the desperate need of the hospital staff to deny the existence of terminally ill patients on their ward."
In an amazing feat that this author has no intention of repeating, Kubler-Ross was forced to walk miles and miles of hospital corridors over a period of months and almost gave up the project altogether in frustration before being given permission to conduct her first interview.
Interestingly, after her experiences with the hierarchical nature of hospital staff and their respective reactions, she encountered a similar hierarchical pattern within the terminally ill patients themselves toward the reality of their own condition.
"Earlier conflicts and defense mechanisms allow us to predict to a certain degree what defense mechanisms a patient will use more extensively at the time of this crisis. Simple people with less education, sophistication, social ties, and professional obligations seem in general to have somewhat less difficulty in facing this final crisis than people of affluence who lose a great deal more in terms of material luxuries, comfort, and number of interpersonal relationships. It appears that people that have gone through a life of suffering, hard work, and labor, who have raised their children and have been gratified in their work, have shown greater ease at accepting death with peace and dignity compared to those who have been ambitiously controlling their environment, accumulating material goods, and a greater number of social relationships but fewer meaningful interpersonal relationships which would have been available at the end of life."
In general, those with the most to lose are those who can be expected to not grasp the reality of the condition they are in.
Parallel to the Milgram Experiment
Within part 1 of the book the Milgram experiment is mentioned. Before conducting the experiment Stanley Milgram asked various people to predict the results of the experiment beforehand.
Before conducting the experiment, Milgram polled fourteen Yale University senior-year psychology majors to predict the behavior of 100 hypothetical teachers. All of the poll respondents believed that only a very small fraction of teachers (the range was from zero to 3 out of 100, with an average of 1.2) would be prepared to inflict the maximum voltage. Milgram also informally polled his colleagues and found that they, too, believed very few subjects would progress beyond a very strong shock.
In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment, some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment.
Those polled unanimously assumed that only a very small minority of the subjects would be vulnerable enough to conform to the wishes of perceived authority completely. In truth, the number was found to be remarkably high.
In the case of the Milgram experiments, people on the whole did not realize how vulnerable people actually were to this type of manipulation. Experience proved to be quite different to what they anticipated, and not in a positive way.
EXPERIMENT #1; The NIST
The NIST is considered to have written the foremost statement on how and why each building collapsed. They are ultimately responsible for representing the technical collapse history as we know it to all levels of society and the technical pyramid. They alone are responsible for their own mistakes, as there is no one else to which to pass the buck. They have already made their opinions very clear through the NIST reports themselves. How can they be expected to react to the collapse records in the book?
It may be quite enlightening to request personal interviews with some individuals representing the NIST, or with technical professionals or with academics in technical fields and video record the interview in progress.
EXPERIMENT #2; Technical Professionals or Academics in technical fields
There is over a decade of published articles since the WTC collapses. Many of them are available within journals published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
ASCE library linked here
A list of all articles having to do with the WTC collapses within ASCE Publications at this link
. This list also includes articles published elswhere on the WTC collapses.
Some incorrect representation of the WTC collapses from the ASCE peer reviewed journals have already been examined:
Bazant's 4 Papers Reviewed
Keith Seffen: Progressive Collapse
Usmani, Chung, Torero Initiation Model
Other academic and professional mischaracterizations of the collapse processes:
Greening: Energy Transfer WTC
Gordon Ross: Momentum Transfer Analysis
Charles Beck: Descent Curves WTC7
S Jones: Why Indeed Did WTC Collapse
Journal of 9-11 Studies
Judging from common tendencies within this large body of literature, how can many of these authors and those academics and professionals who read these articles be expected to react to the collapse records in the book?
This is the biggest wildcard of all 5 experiments. I really don't know. I have had many, many good experiences discussing various technical issues with academics and professionals, but never on a socially taboo subject.
EXPERIMENT #3; Journalists
There were many articles within major publications and written by independent journalists included within part 6 of the book. They are in a strange position in that they are generally incapable of direct verification of complex technical claims. They can only ask others with a higher level of technical education for their opinion and compare various opinions of others. Of course they rarely report it that way. The degree of vulnerability of the writer to false technical claims is hardly owned up to within printed articles.
As shown within part 6 of the book, journalists can easily create a type of echo chamber throughout major media. Each reporter expressed certain untrue claims as verified fact. Since the reports come from a variety of sources, this creates a false impression of certainty in readers who are themselves quite vulnerable to believing in false technical claims.
It is not difficult to predict how many journalists will react. Many have already published their opinions of this subject.
EXPERIMENT #4; Those who identify themselves as "truther" or "debunker"
The reactions to experiment #4 are not difficult to predict. Some of us have been watching the common pattern of beliefs and misrepresentations for a few years.
Logging beliefs through websites
Online Misrepresentations of the WTC Collapses
__Critical Review of 9-11 Research, 911 Review
Scholars for 9-11 Truth and Justice
__Critical Review of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice
Architects & Engineers for 9-11 Truth
__Critical Review of Architects & Engineers for 9-11 Truth
Examination of Scholars for 911 Truth
Examination of gravysites, 9/11myths, debunk911
Gordon Ross Website and Review
Consensus Panel 9/11
Within these various websites there is not a single accurate represntation of either the collapse initiations or the collapse progressions of any of the collapsed towers.
Logging the change of common beliefs through forum records 2006-2012
The evolution in thought is logged through the following forums. All posts and threads are dated so it is not difficult to observe what various participants believed at different times.
Forum and Blog Records on the WTC Collapses
The 9/11 Forum
Loose Change Forum
__Critical Review of 9/11 Blogger
Abovetopsecret 9/11 Forum
Letsroll 9/11 Forum
JREF 9/11 Forum
9/11, 7/7 Forum
Pumpitout 9-11 Forum
Pilots for 9/11 Truth Forum
It is not difficult to verify that these forum records demonstrate there are many confused people. Among them there are many who do not realize how confused they really are.
The most common characteristics within many of the forum posts demonstrate:
1) Headstrong false certainty
2) Technical ignorance of structures and collapse
3) Clinging to explanations that "look scientific"
4) Extreme vulnerability to false technical claims (Inability to distinguish technical fact from fiction)
Every one of these tendencies is magnified and reinforced through
A combination of these contradictory impulses invariably results in widespread hypocrisy. On a more positive note, the following positive qualities are evident, though to a much lesser degree:
7) Sincere confusion
8 ) Quality citizen research and discussion
Within the posting records there is also evidence of many people with sincere questions.
It must also be remembered that much of the most accurate records of the collapse processes currently available to the public was originally posted in these same forum records. Records show individual researchers sharing ideas in the spirit of cooperation. Granted these were rare cases, but they did exist.
However, the large majority of these posting histories are nothing more than a rehashing of the same limited issues over and over, locked almost completely within an artificially narrowed false choice.
EXPERIMENT #5: Private citizens
The role of groups, technical father figures, and artificially narrowed false choices
Due to the simple truth that a large majority of the public does not have the capacity to read technical papers or understand technical argument about the collapses, the public is highly, highly vulnerable to false technical information. Such extreme vulnerability allows for easy manipulation of the general public through clumsy or cunning argumentation by anyone who claims to be an "expert".
Such "experts" seem to form into groups and attract followers. Each group has the same relation between "expert" and follower; the follower is not capable of directly verifying the claims made by the group of perceived "experts" through their own efforts.
This inability to verify technical claims made by perceived experts puts the individual in a quasi-religious position with respect to the technical subject matter.
The role of trained taboo
Taboo is designed to create a spontaneous reactionary avoidance in person. Before the first thought or inquiry is pondered, a reaction to avoid is already triggered.
Taboo is not an intellectual thing. It is designed to control behavior before thoughts can reflect upon its true value. Taboo is designed to block
5 types of taboo I expect to encounter regularly are listed in this link
A large percentage of people will probably cling to something that "looks like science". When problems with their respective views are shown to them through means which can be independently verified, many people can be expected to make little or no effort to verify any claims.
Very few people will be willing to admit that their views are ultimately rooted in beliefs. The almost invariable result will be to cling to something that "looks like science" and attack those who challenge their opinions with verifiable information.
On the positive side, I expect to see a lot of candidly honest replies from all levels of the pyramid with the exception of the highest level, the NIST.
Created on 10/02/2012 12:20 PM by admin
Updated on 10/24/2012 05:00 PM by admin