Best Conspiracies

  • #26
Ivan Seeking
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Although many people believe this to be true, it is not proven to be a conspiracy.
 
  • #27
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Ivan Seeking said:
Although many people believe this to be true, it is not proven to be a conspiracy.
Well I guess it is a bit difficult to call it a conspiracy considering that it has been openly debated and talked about since Gulf War I. Plus the fact that PNAC and AIPAC and a few other alphabet lobbyists have been talking about it for a while. I guess a more covert and/or clandenstine circumstance would be necessary in order to fit the current connotation of the word 'conspiracy'.

Perhaps a better fit would be: "A conspiracy to decieve everyone in order to justify invading Iraq"! My only problem with that is they were so obviously lying that you had to be a fool to buy the BS they were pushing! So once again it really does not fit the present connotation of the word. Oh well!
 
  • #28
Ivan Seeking
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Dazzle me with patriotism

Here is a little discovery that I made some years ago. While researching dazzle - the temporary blindness associated with a bright flash - for a special project, I found a report in the archives at OSU about testing done by the military, which was about the only information available at the time [pre-internet days]. The USAF was studying the effects of the bright flash from a nearby nuclear detonation, and how this might affect pilots and their ability to complete a mission. After reading through pages and pages of how the experiments were done, I finally came to the data plots.

Young men are seated, one eyed blindfolded, and with the other eye an actual above ground nuclear detonation is seen through through a periscope. Inside of the scope is a shutter that limits the time of exposure. From there a little red dot is projected onto the closed shutter, and the time until vision returns sufficiently to see the red dot is plotted as a function of the length of exposure. Real data is plotted as a solid line, and extrapolated data is plotted as a dotted line.

As I read through the material, it finally hit me that we had plenty of real data in which the period of dazzle was infinite. In other words, they sat these guys down and said, "hey soldier, look here", and blinded them. I have thought about digging those up and sending copies to some news agency.
 
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  • #29
Moonbear
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Ivan Seeking said:
As I read through the material, it finally hit me that we had plenty of real data in which the period of dazzle was infinite. In other words, they sat these guys down and said, "hey soldier, look here", and blinded them. I have thought about digging those up and sending copies to some news agency.
Infinite, or just longer than the test duration? Not that I would put it past the military to have truly blinded people in a study in that era of history, but it's also a common practice to assign a value to data when the latency for an event to occur is longer than the sampling period. Noting it as infinity would be an easy way to identify that these were not actual data, but assigned values. For example, you might not sit around having the guy staring into a periscope looking for a dot for more than an hour before someone needs to move or he starts panicking that you really have blinded him, but his sight may return by two hours or two days later, long beyond the termination of the experiment. In that case, you need to represent that data in some way. Either you can assign it a value equal to the maximum observation period, which makes people uneasy because it's confusing to distinguish the real from the undetermined data, or you give it a value clearly larger than that of the test period and tell your statistician to censor those values, which somehow accounts for them not being exact values but something that is real data in that there was a long latency to response, so you can't just drop those subjects and not include them at all.

Anyway, I'd look into that before you decide to send it off to a reporter who really won't understand statistics.
 
  • #30
Ivan Seeking
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That may be a valid point but I don't think so. Long term dazzle in the order of hours was addressed.
 
  • #31
mouseonmoon
"I personally just don't really know which conspiracy theory is true."
polyb re 911

"In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war...."

OK,some 'nut cases' "drafted plans"-but obviously not carried out (and hopefully not seriously considered)- BUT, ya gotta wonder-this time the 'nut cases' are in control?

however, looks like a similar choice as Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor(did he know it was coming?)-to clarify,did Bush 'let it happen'....did FDR 'allow' the attack on Pearl Harbor?
<<it's really a 'damned if you do,damned if you don't' predicament.>>

-----
and contact with ET-honestly, this is bigger than 'anything'!--i can handle it, but i'm sure this World wouldn't be able to ..... microbes on Mars-no problem.

Flying Saucer on the White House lawn-BIG problem!

the Debunkers seem to believe ET would want to make themselves known-this is ridiculous....

(don't get me started!)
 
  • #33
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Ivan Seeking said:
As I read through the material, it finally hit me that we had plenty of real data in which the period of dazzle was infinite. In other words, they sat these guys down and said, "hey soldier, look here", and blinded them.
This can't be as cut and dried as you think. What blinds people is UV, and UV doesn't pass through ordinary glass. Feynman, if you recall, sat in the cab of a pickup and watched the first bomb go off with no protection except the truck's windshield. I think the people who've been blinded by nuclear blasts saw the flash with no protection whatever.
 
  • #34
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Ivan Seeking said:
One of my all time favorites was a gotcha on us by the KGB during the early years of the cold war.
This dosn't fall squarely into the definition of a conspiracy. I would call this an "act of espionage." I think this whole thread is running a bit eccentric, stemming from the lack of a good working definition of "conspiracy". Espionage, conspiracy, deception, fraud etc. are often related, but aren't interchangable terms.
 
  • #35
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
This can't be as cut and dried as you think. What blinds people is UV, and UV doesn't pass through ordinary glass. Feynman, if you recall, sat in the cab of a pickup and watched the first bomb go off with no protection except the truck's windshield. I think the people who've been blinded by nuclear blasts saw the flash with no protection whatever.
That's not true. Even a fairly low intensity red LASER can do damage.
 
  • #36
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
This dosn't fall squarely into the definition of a conspiracy. I would call this an "act of espionage." I think this whole thread is running a bit eccentric, stemming from the lack of a good working definition of "conspiracy". Espionage, conspiracy, deception, fraud etc. are often related, but aren't interchangable terms.
They all involve conspiracies.

noun: a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)

noun: a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act

noun: a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
 
  • #37
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Ivan Seeking said:
That's not true. Even a fairly low intensity red LASER can do damage.
Nuclear blasts emit LASER-type light?
 
  • #38
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Ivan Seeking said:
They all involve conspiracies.

noun: a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)

noun: a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act

noun: a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
Something like the plot to assassinate Lincoln falls squarely into the definition of a conspiracy. Spying on a foreign embassy is much better described as "espionage". To call the hoodwinking of Hitler by the allies a "conspiracy" really misses the connotation of the word. To refer to Churchill having to keep the fact they cracked the enigma code a secret despite lives lost, as a "conspiracy" misses both the connotation and denotation of the word.
 
  • #40
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
Nuclear blasts emit LASER-type light?
The only reason LASER does damage is the intensity. It allows for high flux densities over a small area. A bright enough ~white light flash will do the same thing.
 
  • #41
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
Something like the plot to assassinate Lincoln falls squarely into the definition of a conspiracy. Spying on a foreign embassy is much better described as "espionage". To call the hoodwinking of Hitler by the allies a "conspiracy" really misses the connotation of the word. To refer to Churchill having to keep the fact they cracked the enigma code a secret despite lives lost, as a "conspiracy" misses both the connotation and denotation of the word.
I chose to use the broader definition.
 
  • #42
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Ivan Seeking said:
As I read through the material, it finally hit me that we had plenty of real data in which the period of dazzle was infinite. In other words, they sat these guys down and said, "hey soldier, look here", and blinded them.
Did they "dazzle" them, or "blind" them? The important difference being 1.)temporary inability to see, or 2) permanent damage to their vision.

Direct exposure to the UV light emitted by a nuclear blast will permanently harm a person's vision. But ordinary glass won't transmit UV light. You say the soldiers viewed the blasts through periscopes, which, as used by the military, routinely have thick glass prisms. As I mentioned, Feynman watched the first nuclear blast protected only by the windshield of a pickup truck. In his case the initial dazzle was so short that he could see everything of importance. You can re-read his account in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. After the initial flash hit him, he was so surprised he ducked down in the cab, and experienced a short period of "dazzle" where all he could see was a purple splotch. That cleared up fast enough for him to watch the main formation of the explosion, which he said all lasted about a minute and a half.
I have thought about digging those up and sending copies to some news agency.
What Moonbear and I are trying to bring your attention to, is that there is probably no story here. Soldiers being "dazzled" in one eye for several hours after exposure to a nuclear blast is very minor compared to the idea they were callously permanently blinded in one eye.

If you want to indict the military there are many much more serious offences they've committed. This one doesn't add up from the information you've presented to be what you thought it was.
Ivan Seeking said:
The only reason LASER does damage is the intensity. It allows for high flux densities over a small area. A bright enough ~white light flash will do the same thing.
Nuclear blasts don't emit anything like LASER light, because they emit light over a wide range of frequencies. LASER light remains intense over long distances because it is composed of light, all of the same frequency. The light from a nuclear blast obeys the normal inverse square laws for intensity. If we measure the intensity of the light from a nulear blast at point A, say one mile from the blast, and compare it to the intensity at point B, two miles from the blast, it will be only a quarter as intense at point B than it was at A.

We already know from Feynman's story that the intensity of the non-UV light from a blast isn't necessarily of concern simply because the source is so intense. What also matters is how far you are from that source, and the duration of exposure. I don't see any cut and dried case in all this that the soldiers in those tests were permanently blinded.
I am sure they were temporarily dazzled, but that's the only thing that is sure from your information.
 
  • #43
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Ivan Seeking said:
I chose to use the broader definition.
Which broader definition? All the ones you gave are equally broad:

Ivan Seeking said:
They all involve conspiracies. noun: * a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
noun: * a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an
unlawful act
noun: * a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some
harmful
or illegal purpose
The trouble with claiming you chose the broader definition is that words carry connotions as well as denotations, and this isn't something you can ignore. It is inherent in the word because of the history of its usage.

If you call the allied efforts to fool Hitler a conspiracy, you are implying a criticism of them for that. You are pointing out that they were plotting to carry out a harmful act. You are giving it a bad connotation when you associate it with the words: illegal, harmful, unlawful. A conspiracy is a bad thing.

The Harbrace College Handbook advises:

"Choose the word with the connotation, as well as the denotation, appropriate to the idea you wish to express.

Reading the thread leaves me unsure what kind of activities it is you want to examine. Conspiracies is clearly the wrong word for whatever it is. Looking at all the examples, I would say that something like "Secret Activities" covers it.

The first example, the secret microphone, involved some conspiring to perpetrate yes, but is conspiracy the best word to communicate the idea of what went on there?

The above book advises:

"Before choosing a synonym or closely related word from such a list [synonyms in a thesaurus], look it up in the dictionary to make sure that it expresses your meaning exactly. Although void, idle, and inane are all listed as synonyms of empty, they have different meanings."

This points out that just because words are related doesn't mean they are interchangable. Using the embassy espionage as an example of a great conspiracy conveys an eccentric or maybe careless attitude toward the meaning of the word "conspiracy". That seems to have set the stage for successive examples to stand further off center.

When you chose a word the connotation is just as important as the denotation.

-------------

Reference book: Harbrace College Handbook
By Hodges and Whitten
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
1986 pp. 223 & 191
 

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