Author Topic: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists  (Read 95875 times)

Offline Noldi400

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
True, but I've never been entirely convinced that Kaysing believed the nonsense he was spouting. I'm more inclined toward the notion that he initially wrote it up to be a pain in NASA's behind, then it sort of outgrew him.

That's almost certainly to be the case.  My producer buddy John scared up video of Kaysing saying pretty much that:  he simply made up that stuff to embarrass the government.  I think it got out of hand because there will always be people to believe that sort of thing and want more of it.

However, Kaysing also wrote on holistic nutritionism and Pearl Harbor conspiracies.  He expressed at least enough interest in other fringe subjects to make (something of) a living as an author on them.

As opposed to, say, Ralph Rene.  I don't remember hearing about his opinions on other CT subjects (of course, he was busy refuting modern science one fact at a time), but I can take a purty G.D. good guess; the man was, IMHO, the most extreme example of  Dunning-Kruger ever observed in the wild.

Even our old friend Hunchbacked is branching out. Just lately he's been expounding on some theory about the Kennedy brothers being executed or politically ruined (Teddy) by the ebile CIA because they traitorously conspired with the USSR in faking the Cuban Missile Crisis. Or something.

Didn't mean to go OT - just making the point that, frequently, crazy is just crazy.

"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline JayUtah

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2013, 05:21:33 PM »
As opposed to, say, Ralph Rene.  I don't remember hearing about his opinions on other CT subjects (of course, he was busy refuting modern science one fact at a time), but I can take a purty G.D. good guess; the man was, IMHO, the most extreme example of  Dunning-Kruger ever observed in the wild.

Ralph Rene had issues that far outstripped mere conspiracism for fun and profit.  Based on the entirety of everything I know about him, I wouldn't have had any problem referring him to a psychiatrist for suspicion of paranoid schizophrenia.  As in, I have evidence he suffered from 7 of the 9 classic symptoms of it.  Keep in mind that I don't make accusations lightly of mental illness.  I generally don't think conspiracy theorists are mentally ill.  Rene was a special case.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Noldi400

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2013, 06:27:26 PM »
As opposed to, say, Ralph Rene.  I don't remember hearing about his opinions on other CT subjects (of course, he was busy refuting modern science one fact at a time), but I can take a purty G.D. good guess; the man was, IMHO, the most extreme example of  Dunning-Kruger ever observed in the wild.

Ralph Rene had issues that far outstripped mere conspiracism for fun and profit.  Based on the entirety of everything I know about him, I wouldn't have had any problem referring him to a psychiatrist for suspicion of paranoid schizophrenia.  As in, I have evidence he suffered from 7 of the 9 classic symptoms of it.  Keep in mind that I don't make accusations lightly of mental illness.  I generally don't think conspiracy theorists are mentally ill.  Rene was a special case.
That he was.

My impression always was that Rene actually believed what he was saying. Whether that was delusion or illusion I couldn't say. Psych was probably the sketchiest part of my training, and I wouldn't even attempt to make an assessment on the basis of what little actual information I have about the man - I yield to your undoubtedly greater familiarity.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline Glom

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2013, 10:13:52 PM »
With Kaysing, was it the case that he made it up but got to believing his own lie because it suited him? You know one of those types who doesn't quite understand what it means to be truth?

Offline Noldi400

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2013, 11:16:19 AM »
With Kaysing, was it the case that he made it up but got to believing his own lie because it suited him? You know one of those types who doesn't quite understand what it means to be truth?
Or, say, a sci-fi author/grifter who expands a story idea into a version of the "long con" and eventually founds a religion?

A pure hypothetical, of course. I mean, who would ever believe such a thing?
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline JayUtah

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2013, 11:24:56 AM »
With Kaysing, was it the case that he made it up but got to believing his own lie because it suited him?

I don't know whether he ever really believed it.  I interpret his behavior to indicate that he enjoyed the notoriety his claims brought him, and continued in them simply to perpetuate that attention.  He spent a lot of time trying to attract attention -- writing, speaking, etc.  I think this is just one of several tales he told to hold attention, without serious regard to whether it was true.

Quote
You know one of those types who doesn't quite understand what it means to be truth?

I would have a hard time believing he didn't know the difference between truth and fiction.  I simply think that as a professional storyteller, he didn't consider that distinction important in the face of entertaining people and telling a good yarn.  In this interpretation I find some sympathy in Kaysing's fans and supporters.  My impression is that they think we're all taking this too seriously and we should have lightened up and let an old man tell his stories.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2013, 11:25:36 AM »
Or, say, a sci-fi author/grifter who expands a story idea into a version of the "long con" and eventually founds a religion?

A pure hypothetical, of course. I mean, who would ever believe such a thing?

Well played.  ;D
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Online gillianren

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2013, 12:16:11 PM »
My impression is that they think we're all taking this too seriously and we should have lightened up and let an old man tell his stories.

You know, I know an old man who tells great stories.  He can recite Beowulf and make it riveting.  He knows all kinds of old folk tales, and he creates different voices for all the characters.  I love listening to him.  And his stories don't defame anyone.
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Offline nomuse

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2013, 02:55:34 PM »
Well, except this one-handed dude and his mom...

Offline Andromeda

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2013, 10:26:26 AM »
I have a question about the "multiple light sources" claim.  How do CT-ers square this claim with the very obvious lack of multiple shadows?  Has a CT-er ever explained this?  The mental gymnastics involved would be good for a laugh.
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Offline AtomicDog

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2013, 11:13:10 AM »
Handwaving or ignoring.
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Offline raven

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2013, 11:28:52 AM »
Obviously they've never seen a sports field at night. Sometimes there is literally no shadows because of all the lights coming from different directions.

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2013, 11:46:07 AM »
I have a question about the "multiple light sources" claim.  How do CT-ers square this claim with the very obvious lack of multiple shadows?  Has a CT-er ever explained this?  The mental gymnastics involved would be good for a laugh.

Years ago I had one HB respond to that by saying NASA used reflectors to eliminate extra shadows, but I don't think that would work for large outdoor sets. I believe that's done more for indoor shoots, but I'm not a lighting expert.
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Offline Glom

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2013, 12:38:26 PM »
That's so contorted.

They perfectly eliminate all other shadows while keeping one perfectly dark and yet they don't so anything about the fact that the direction is wrong.

Offline nomuse

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2013, 12:49:11 PM »
It's a bane of theater lighting.

The essential idea of most theater lighting is that you are establishing the same lighting angles for every spot on a stage which is both wide and deep.  That is to say, if a man downstage right is lit with warm sunlight over his left shoulder, a woman upstage left should also be lit with warm sunlight over her left shoulder.

The way this is achieved, given the limitations of available lighting angles and the sheer size of lights, is to take dozens of directional lights, spaced by approximately the beam diameter as they hit the stage, and hung down the length of several battens so they all arrive at similar angles.

From the right perspective point, it looks like a whole bunch of overlapping ovals across the entire stage.  Repeat this for every one of the lighting angles of your plot, whether it is a key-base-fill scheme or a "McCandless" 45-degree front, high side and back, or one of many other basic schemes.

(As an aside, when I am designing lights, the first thing that goes down on paper is what I call a rosette; a diagram of an arbitrary spot -- what we call a lighting Area -- with the angles and colors and type of fixtures that will define the look of objects lit within it).

Since the grid or electrics are not at infinity, only at the exact center of each area are lights actually parallel.  Each cone of light expands, and overlaps somewhat.  And even if you could achieve a perfect square edge between adjacent pools (we try, we do...especially when lighting a backdrop) an object anywhere within that shared space would have two shadows pointing in different directions, and they would move visibly as you crossed the field.

So we don't try to match shadows.  We hang multiple lights from multiple directions and cancel the majority of the shadows both in that and with interobject reflection.  By the time 300-odd lights have finished bouncing through a 40x60 foot space, what shadows remain are dim and fragmentary and unless you spend a lot of time looking at feet or the lower margin of set walls you won't be conscious of them.

When we WANT a shadow, we hang a single light.  Full stop.  End of line. 

(Or, in some very specific cases, several lights placed as physically/optically close to each other as can be practically obtained.  And the results thereof are usually not pretty).