Author Topic: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals  (Read 6922 times)

Online VQ

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #60 on: September 18, 2019, 09:06:50 AM »
While on the moon?   :o

I'm not sure what that would prove anyway.  How could one tell there was a person there, that it wasn't an unmanned nuclear tipped rocket fired at the moon?

Which we actually considered doing a decade earlier.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_A119

Offline ineluki

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #61 on: September 18, 2019, 10:28:29 AM »
And don't forget that at one point in the film, Danny is watching the Road Runner Show,

There are no roads on the moon - another hint...

Offline Abaddon

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #62 on: September 18, 2019, 05:24:36 PM »
And don't forget that at one point in the film, Danny is watching the Road Runner Show,

There are no roads on the moon - another hint...

Not to mention the "Acme" company has no branches there...

Offline NthBrick

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #63 on: September 18, 2019, 08:38:19 PM »
Its been very quiet hasn't it!?

Frankly, I will be very surprised if we see jr Knowing back. LO will not approve any posts of his unless they answer the questions put to him, and I don't think he has any evidence to present - no legs to stand on.

I would be less than surprised to find him posting on other forums, telling them that he has been banned here (all the evil NASA shills at Apollohoax won't listen to his twoof!)
Guess it's time to hibernate until 1) jr knowing bucks up and starts actually answering some questions, 2) cambo makes his inglorious return, or 3) some new HBs decides they want to embarrass themselves. Ah well, at least there's the "The Reality of Apollo" subreddit. By the way, is anybody else aware that Michael Collins has an Instagram account? It's been really cool following along with him posting various Apollo 11-related things and adding his own commentary.

Offline Peter B

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #64 on: September 19, 2019, 05:34:16 AM »
Its been very quiet hasn't it!?

Frankly, I will be very surprised if we see jr Knowing back. LO will not approve any posts of his unless they answer the questions put to him, and I don't think he has any evidence to present - no legs to stand on.

I would be less than surprised to find him posting on other forums, telling them that he has been banned here (all the evil NASA shills at Apollohoax won't listen to his twoof!)
Guess it's time to hibernate until 1) jr knowing bucks up and starts actually answering some questions, 2) cambo makes his inglorious return, or 3) some new HBs decides they want to embarrass themselves. Ah well, at least there's the "The Reality of Apollo" subreddit. By the way, is anybody else aware that Michael Collins has an Instagram account? It's been really cool following along with him posting various Apollo 11-related things and adding his own commentary.

You could always come over to the Unexplained Mysteries forum. There are a couple of vaguely Apollo-hoax related threads active there ATM.

Offline bknight

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #65 on: September 19, 2019, 08:46:03 AM »
Its been very quiet hasn't it!?

Frankly, I will be very surprised if we see jr Knowing back. LO will not approve any posts of his unless they answer the questions put to him, and I don't think he has any evidence to present - no legs to stand on.

I would be less than surprised to find him posting on other forums, telling them that he has been banned here (all the evil NASA shills at Apollohoax won't listen to his twoof!)
Guess it's time to hibernate until 1) jr knowing bucks up and starts actually answering some questions, 2) cambo makes his inglorious return, or 3) some new HBs decides they want to embarrass themselves. Ah well, at least there's the "The Reality of Apollo" subreddit. By the way, is anybody else aware that Michael Collins has an Instagram account? It's been really cool following along with him posting various Apollo 11-related things and adding his own commentary.

You could always come over to the Unexplained Mysteries forum. There are a couple of vaguely Apollo-hoax related threads active there ATM.

Still?  I haven't visited since Derek stopped posting nonsense about A12.  I may go and have a look today.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline gillianren

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #66 on: September 19, 2019, 11:01:49 AM »
Delightfully, I am dealing with an idiot on Facebook right now who doesn't understand how art works.  A friend posted a link to an astonishingly beautiful photo gallery of someone who takes a thousand pictures over the course of a day and blends them into one image, and this guy is insisting that images like this are why people fall for photo manipulation in the media.  I suppose I have encountered HBs who would fall for them and need the "this is digitally manipulated" watermark this guy is insisting should appear on the picture with both a sunrise and a sunset in a single location.
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates

Offline JayUtah

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #67 on: September 19, 2019, 02:19:24 PM »
Lots of good discussion happening in Jr Knowing's absence.  And I agree that absence stands a good chance of becoming permanent.  I think he wants a minimally responsive audience that will praise him for his cleverness.  He doesn't appear to want, or be capable of, an actual debate.  So this may not be the forum for him.

On the issue of the narrative, I agree that a narrative is not categorically inappropriate.  It's just unacceptable at this stage of the presentation, and in the manner Jr wants to employ it.  The intellectual process suggests we should form a parsimonious narrative to explain observations.  Then, based on what that narrative implies, we should look for other evidence that the narrative is either true or false.  Naturally the observations that the narrative was formulated to explain cannot be that evidence; that would be circular reasoning.  Testing the narrative requires other observations.  In science we develop those observations via empiricism and deduction.  In history we have to go back to what the record offers us.

A narrative that has no particular observations to explain fails the test of parsimony.  A narrative whose bottom line is that the Apollo visuals were faked is fairly subverted by an inability to show any actual signs of fakery in the visuals themselves.  Charitably, we can say the observations Jr wishes to explain are the perceived irregularities in the production record and the purported Easter eggs in others' work.  Then identifying the visual artifacts of fakery could be considered evidence that confirms that narrative.  There is simply no way of telling the story Jr wants to tell without, at some point, identifying what parts of the visuals are supposed to be fake.

What's happening here instead is what happens a lot in fringe argumentation.  We get a narrative instead of evidence.  We're supposed to be impressed by the claimant's ability to pick through the outlying data and draw an intriguing alternative narrative that skips most of the evidence.  As others have pointed out, if it's shown that someone has the motive and opportunity to murder his mother-in-law, none of the clever narrative that comes out of those suppositions matters if the mother-in-law is still very much alive.  It may be possible -- even advantageous -- to do a thing, but on that basis alone you can't assert that it was done.

If you believe, as I do, that the purpose of a conspiracy theory is not to find the truth, but to prolong the debate as long as needed, then you see the utility of Jr's approach.  His narrative centers around premises that can never be tested, never be concluded, and which in some cases boil down simply to differences of opinion.  What information can we expect to be public regarding someone's employment?  What was this or that filmmaker thinking when shooting a scene?  To what degree should we expect evidence to be consistent and complete?  As long as those are the questions, instead of which actual visuals are fake and why, then the debate never ends and the conspiracy claims keep a semblance of relevance.

On the question of professional qualifications, I'm willing to grant a fair amount of leeway.  It's probably more accurate to say that a technical argument for fakery should be able to appeal to a professional.  That requirement is a little less ad hominem than it might otherwise come across.  It comes down to the correctness and sophistication of the argument itself.  But to make such an argument requires expertise that is generally beyond the layman's ken.  What we definitely don't want is a qualification that stops at, "I have a copy of Photoshop and I have wiggled the sliders."  Such software is the tool in the same way that the chisel is the tool in sculpture.  Owning the chisel doesn't make you Michelangelo.

In this day and age, we grant also that people can and should self-educate.  But the question of adjudication arises.  I've said many times that head of mechanical engineering in a place where I once worked did not have a degree in engineering.  But his hobby was designing and building race car engines from scratch and winning with them on the track.  This is a test in lieu of a degree or a license for actual expertise and ability.  So long as one can demonstrate expertise, we don't have to inquire deeply into a formal background of education and professional practice.  But we need more than just the claimant's assurances or assumptions of his own competence, more than just ad hoc Googling.

To avoid tests of his claims, Jr Knowing has tried to shame the notion of attacking someone's opinion.  All opinions have to be respected, it is claimed, especially if you disagree with them.  But that's not really true.  An opinion should get only as much respect as it deserves.  And to further hide his ignorance, Jr has asked facetiously whether only professional opinions should be respected.  In many cases, yes -- especially if the opinion is to play a role as evidence and the circumstances suggest specialized understanding.  An opinion deserves respect only to the extent it is based on complete and correct information, and only insofar as it makes reasonable inferences.  Opinions predicated on ignorance and soiled by bias don't deserve as much respect.

Jr doesn't really heed the difference between an opinion and an allegation of fact.  How the aerospace industry regards legacy designs, for example, is a matter of historical and ongoing fact.  Assertions made one way or another are either true or false according to those facts.  No amount of labeling those beliefs "opinions" makes them so, or entitles them to any respect if they contradict facts.  Not knowing the facts doesn't entitle you to substitute for them with imagination.  In contrast, whether the aerospace industry is prudent to treat legacy designs the way it does is a matter of opinion.  And as with all opinions that touch on specialized knowledge and the fruits of experience, opinions well informed from those sources deserve more respect than those that work from imagination.  An opinion doesn't have merit simply because it exists.

Very often we hear things such as, "It's my opinion that the Apollo visuals are faked."  As stated, it's an expression of judgment.  Now whether the visuals really are fake is still a matter of objective fact.  It's not a question that has no good answer, or no right-or-wrong answers.  The merit of that judgment hinges on the preparation behind it.  What gives an expert's judgment evidentiary power is not some title or scrap of paper, but the ability to describe in correct detail the principles, sciences, observations, and experiences that lead to that judgment in conclusion.  "They just look fake to me," is not persuasive.  The expert is an expert because he can speak at length why they look fake.  And those explanations will make sense to other people who possess the same specialized knowledge and have had similar experience.,

So yes, the explanation given for fakery should be of sufficient quality and quantity to appeal to a professional, even if the claimant himself is not nominally a professional.  And a simpler argument comes to the fore:  if the claimant thinks a professional might reject his argument, then why make it at all?  It's obviously not something the real world would respect.  It's just someone piddling around on the internet, to no great effect.  This is why a better explanation for Jr Knowing's performance is ego reinforcement, not a study of history.  He's unwilling to mount an argument that survives outside his own mind.

Unless Jr Knowing actually presents the visuals and tells us what specifically about them identifies them as fake, we probably will never know what's going on in his head.  What others have presented really runs the gamut.  Many of them allude to things for which we have formal techniques such as photogrammetry.  And none of the claimants know anything about them.  They make up their own techniques as they go, which are rarely validated to show that they address authenticity.  Others refer to stagecraft techniques they insist could have been employed.  Well executed stagecraft works because it mimics closely what we see in nature.  What we expect from good stagecraft is what we expect from nature.

And on and on.  We can't test the evidence until the claimant presents it.  We apply gatekeeper criteria in the form of relevant qualifications to reject arguments based on the usual ignorance of such things as parallax, stage lighting, photographic exposure, JPEG artifacts, etc.  And then we listen carefully to the narrative presented to account for the alleged anomalies and try differential deducting reasoning to see if the record supports one narrative or another better.  There is no evidence in mere imaginative storytelling, no matter how clever or dripping with detail.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline jfb

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #68 on: September 19, 2019, 04:12:31 PM »
Delightfully, I am dealing with an idiot on Facebook right now who doesn't understand how art works.  A friend posted a link to an astonishingly beautiful photo gallery of someone who takes a thousand pictures over the course of a day and blends them into one image, and this guy is insisting that images like this are why people fall for photo manipulation in the media.  I suppose I have encountered HBs who would fall for them and need the "this is digitally manipulated" watermark this guy is insisting should appear on the picture with both a sunrise and a sunset in a single location.

There was that video that a woman posted to YouTube showing a rainbow in her sprinkler, and that was evidence of The Government doing something nefarious to our water, because water simply doesn't do that.

It's like, had she never seen a sprinkler on a sunny day?  Ever?  In her entire life? 

You have to wonder how many people are just bullshitting to be edgy, how many of them suffer from a legitimate mental illness (which I think is the case for sprinkler woman), and how many of them are just genuinely that confused/naive/ignorant.  And how people in that last group get along in the world.  At least few of them must have jobs, must be able to navigate the outside world on a daily basis, and yet...

For giggles, while we're waiting for Jr to come back with answers to bknight's original questions (I know, work with me here), here's an image IZRAUL linked in his short-lived thread:



Now, you and I see a panorama made up of multiple prints laid over each other, with some bonus lens flare in several of them from pointing toward the sun (but not at the sun, which would result in a detail-free white blob and nothing else). 

IZRAUL (or whoever originally posted it) sees studio lights.  Or 3 suns.

Edgy?  Crazy?  Dumb as the proverbial stump?  It bothers me that I can't tell anymore. 

Offline bknight

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #69 on: September 19, 2019, 04:57:50 PM »
Delightfully, I am dealing with an idiot on Facebook right now who doesn't understand how art works.  A friend posted a link to an astonishingly beautiful photo gallery of someone who takes a thousand pictures over the course of a day and blends them into one image, and this guy is insisting that images like this are why people fall for photo manipulation in the media.  I suppose I have encountered HBs who would fall for them and need the "this is digitally manipulated" watermark this guy is insisting should appear on the picture with both a sunrise and a sunset in a single location.

There was that video that a woman posted to YouTube showing a rainbow in her sprinkler, and that was evidence of The Government doing something nefarious to our water, because water simply doesn't do that.

It's like, had she never seen a sprinkler on a sunny day?  Ever?  In her entire life? 

You have to wonder how many people are just bullshitting to be edgy, how many of them suffer from a legitimate mental illness (which I think is the case for sprinkler woman), and how many of them are just genuinely that confused/naive/ignorant.  And how people in that last group get along in the world.  At least few of them must have jobs, must be able to navigate the outside world on a daily basis, and yet...

For giggles, while we're waiting for Jr to come back with answers to bknight's original questions (I know, work with me here), here's an image IZRAUL linked in his short-lived thread:



Now, you and I see a panorama made up of multiple prints laid over each other, with some bonus lens flare in several of them from pointing toward the sun (but not at the sun, which would result in a detail-free white blob and nothing else). 

IZRAUL (or whoever originally posted it) sees studio lights.  Or 3 suns.

Edgy?  Crazy?  Dumb as the proverbial stump?  It bothers me that I can't tell anymore.

I can't remember whether it was BertieSlack or , Phil Webb or, Astrobrant2 that did a debunking of a video by my "favorite" Marcus Allen concerning the same image.  Although Marcus noted that the image was a composite, the "lights" had a different angle of flaring.  It was most amusing to see Marcus taken down. 
On second thought it may have been another individual that used a previous M.A. YT and made one for himself, but it definitely was M.A. speaking.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline AtomicDog

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #70 on: September 19, 2019, 05:31:47 PM »
Its been very quiet hasn't it!?

Frankly, I will be very surprised if we see jr Knowing back. LO will not approve any posts of his unless they answer the questions put to him, and I don't think he has any evidence to present - no legs to stand on.

I would be less than surprised to find him posting on other forums, telling them that he has been banned here (all the evil NASA shills at Apollohoax won't listen to his twoof!)
Guess it's time to hibernate until 1) jr knowing bucks up and starts actually answering some questions, 2) cambo makes his inglorious return, or 3) some new HBs decides they want to embarrass themselves. Ah well, at least there's the "The Reality of Apollo" subreddit. By the way, is anybody else aware that Michael Collins has an Instagram account? It's been really cool following along with him posting various Apollo 11-related things and adding his own commentary.

You could always come over to the Unexplained Mysteries forum. There are a couple of vaguely Apollo-hoax related threads active there ATM.

I paid those threads a visit. I have no patience for such an obvious troll.
"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." - Isaac Asimov

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #71 on: September 19, 2019, 05:54:57 PM »
As others have pointed out, if it's shown that someone has the motive and opportunity to murder his mother-in-law, none of the clever narrative that comes out of those suppositions matters if the mother-in-law is still very much alive.

I used to use the example of murdering my wife, until she joined this forum and noticed how often I used the example and asked if she should be concerned...

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In this day and age, we grant also that people can and should self-educate.

This is where most of my knowledge of spaceflight, history, engineering and Apollo has come from. And frankly, while it is always easier to educate oneself in a subject that one is interested in, it wasn't hard work to do so. Jr and others like him should have no difficulty in educating themselves to a similar standard. Instead they demonstrate a near patholigical wish to avoid doing so, which (as far as I can see) leads only to the conclusion that they are not interested in the actual truth, only in perpetuating the conspiracy theory and their own self-created image as a shrewd, 'woke' individual not taken in my 'the man'. Or that they are only interested in yanking the chains of those who are educated in some attempt to make themselves feel relevant.

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To avoid tests of his claims, Jr Knowing has tried to shame the notion of attacking someone's opinion.  All opinions have to be respected, it is claimed, especially if you disagree with them.  But that's not really true.  An opinion should get only as much respect as it deserves.

See my signature line below for my favourite simple take on this concept. :)

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Not knowing the facts doesn't entitle you to substitute for them with imagination.

As Dara O'Briain said in the same show I pinched the quote for my signature in:

"'Ooh, science doesn't know everything!' Well science knows it doesn't know everything, otherwise it'd stop. But just because it doesn't know everything doesn't mean you get to fill in the gap with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you!"

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We can't test the evidence until the claimant presents it.

And another thing we've seen from JR and his ilk is them triumphantly slapping down some piece of 'evidence' while also making it blatantly obvious they have not understood it or even read it. Witness JR's memo about LM stability, presented as 'evidence' because it mentions LM instability, but utterly failing to serve as evidence in favour of his arguments by actually detailing precise circumstances under which the instability arises and then giving instructions on how to overcome it. Going back further, how about Timfinch's use of Apollo radiation data to prove Apollo radiation data was fake?

Evidence only works if examined dispassionately. Looking for evidence to support a predetermined conclusion is the usual tactic of the conspiracy theorist. It's such a shame that they can't even get that right....
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain

Offline gillianren

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #72 on: September 20, 2019, 10:58:44 AM »
I used to use the example of murdering my wife, until she joined this forum and noticed how often I used the example and asked if she should be concerned...

I used to have some quite nice conversations with her, too.  Personally, I used the example of my mother; for one thing, the closest thing I have to a mother-in-law is now dead, and for another, murdering my partner would actually be disadvantageous in a long series of ways and everyone knows it.

I also tend to use the example of "what I've taught Simon" for things that HBs and other CTs should be capable of learning.  Simon is aware that "I like pizza" is an opinion that gets respected and "I don't think I have to get ready for school" is not!
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"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates

Offline smartcooky

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2019, 03:34:13 PM »
To avoid tests of his claims, Jr Knowing has tried to shame the notion of attacking someone's opinion.  All opinions have to be respected, it is claimed, especially if you disagree with them.  But that's not really true.  An opinion should get only as much respect as it deserves.  And to further hide his ignorance, Jr has asked facetiously whether only professional opinions should be respected.  In many cases, yes -- especially if the opinion is to play a role as evidence and the circumstances suggest specialized understanding.  An opinion deserves respect only to the extent it is based on complete and correct information, and only insofar as it makes reasonable inferences.  Opinions predicated on ignorance and soiled by bias don't deserve as much respect.

....there's a notion that everyone's opinion is valid, My arse! A bloke who's a professor of dentistry for 40 years does not have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"
- Dara O'Briain

If you want to see where this quote comes from, here it is... (WARNING: Course Language)

► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline JayUtah

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Re: jr Knowing's faked Apollo visuals
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2019, 04:30:06 PM »
I used to use the example of murdering my wife, until she joined this forum and noticed how often I used the example and asked if she should be concerned...

The mother-in-law might be a better target for that sort of rhetoric.  But it still builds on the stereotype of the mother-in-law as an odious tyrant.  Better to change the rhetoric to avoid crimes against persons.  But crimes against chattels rarely engender enough indignance to operate the rhetoric effectively.  If we change the charge to larceny, my neighbor can argue that I had the motive and opportunity to steal his car, did so, but then returned it to his driveway such that its absence was never observed.  Death is a watershed event that offers an indisputable corpus delicti.  So our rhetoric is necessarily tasteless.

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This is where most of my knowledge of spaceflight, history, engineering and Apollo has come from. And frankly, while it is always easier to educate oneself in a subject that one is interested in, it wasn't hard work to do so. Jr and others like him should have no difficulty in educating themselves to a similar standard.

Indeed it's becoming less excusable these days not to be at least minimally informed on subjects that come up in conversation.  Even someone with no prior knowledge of space exploration should be able to answer in seconds questions like, "Who was the commander of Apollo 15?"  To some extent we see Jr Knowing availing himself of this.  When introduced to concepts like free-body dynamics, fluid dynamics, and radiant heat transfer, he Googles enough to be able to say belatedly, "Yes, I understand those things, as evidenced by a few buzzwords I'm going to regurgitate from Wikipedia."  As you note below, the effort goes no further than to stave off proximate accusations of ignorance.  Regardless of when he learned about the existence of those fields of knowledge, he doesn't try to reconcile it with his prior claims.

Self-education has its limits.  The advantage of formal education or professional experience is that they incorporate a test of proficiency.  One doesn't get a degree unless one demonstrates mastery of the material through proctored exams.  Success in the marketplace is difficult without some demonstration of competence.  Learning by just reading or viewing a discussion is too shallow for every purpose.  But not every legitimate purpose needs depth.  If I just want to understand some person's literary analysis of an author's work, I may need only a cursory understanding of the techniques those analysts employ.  I used to photograph ballet students as a paying gig.  I need to know a little bit about how dancers are trained in order to do that effectively.  But I don't need to be a teacher myself, or an expert dancer.  I don't need formal, adjudicated training.  But neither would I pass myself off as having more than an interested layman's understanding of ballet.

For the past several years I've engaged more in the world of motion picture production design.  I have a wealth of experience in theatrical stage design, but I don't do it for a living.  But the people I'm working with have specialized in production design and construction for their entire careers.  Naturally I defer to their expertise and wisdom, and to their recollections and interpretations of the history of that field.  Similarly the regulars here who are prodigiously self-taught in space science and engineering engage with the professional practitioners here to hone their understanding.  There are things that just can't be Googled for, read in books, or seen in videos.

These are all essentially defensible purposes and commensurate levels of knowledge.  On the other hand, if you propose to dispute ongoing or historical practice in the field, to question the status quo or the conventional wisdom, or anything of that degree of controversy, I would recommend preparation beyond self-education.  If I want to criticize someone's ballet pedagogy, I might need more than self-taught Ballet 101 to back that up.  If I want to cry fraud over some Broadway set design, I might want to consider that my expertise doesn't include design and building in the specialized environment of New York.  If I say that Bo Welch is a talentless hack, he would rightly say that my opinion lacks substance.  Granted, disagreement per se isn't invariably the province of bona fide experts.  But the amount of actual expertise you need, in my view, increases with the percentage of practicing experts you disagree with.

In a nutshell (pun intended), the number of credentialed aerospace engineers who dispute the authenticity of Apollo are so few we can almost name them individually.  To credibly dispute something so widely depended on in the field requires more than skimming the Wikipedia article on fluid dynamics or radiant heat transfer.  And most of us are reasonable people who know the limits of our understanding and remain safely within them.  Conspiracy theorists, the kind who formulate them to play up their own imagined strengths, aren't as introspective.

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Instead they demonstrate a near patholigical wish to avoid doing so, which (as far as I can see) leads only to the conclusion that they are not interested in the actual truth, only in perpetuating the conspiracy theory and their own self-created image as a shrewd, 'woke' individual not taken in my 'the man'.

I agree.  They appear to work from the premise that they've already arrived.  Often the argument is framed to emphasize "different thinking."  It's not how much you know about the topic that matters, but what kind of knowledge it is.  It's a roundabout argument in favor of intuitive belief over book learning.  That argument is most sharply defined in the holistic medicine sphere.  Often you hear practitioners say they have a natural gift of healing while licensed medicine requires trial-and-error science to approximate their success.  In Apollo terms, the argument relies upon intuitive understanding of free-body dynamics, fluid mechanics, advanced manufacturing, etc. which is naturally superior. The rest of us have to rely on ad hoc foibles to get there.

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Or that they are only interested in yanking the chains of those who are educated in some attempt to make themselves feel relevant.

We don't really talk about this much.  How much of these individual interactions are just nerd-baiting?  In the 21st century, STEM types are not as stigmatized and marginal as they were a generation ago.  So nerd-baiting isn't as credible a motivation as it may have once been.  There is also the dynamic of the failed STEM student/practitioner getting back at those who succeeded.  I guess if we're surveying the personality types and behavioral patterns, we should at least list everything.  Bill Kaysing spilled the beans.  He let it slip in a radio interview that he wrote his book in order to embarrass the U.S. government over its treatment of veterans.  Not really an attack on the educated, of course, but still a clear signal of an ulterior motive.

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And another thing we've seen from JR and his ilk is them triumphantly slapping down some piece of 'evidence' while also making it blatantly obvious they have not understood it or even read it. Witness JR's memo about LM stability, presented as 'evidence' because it mentions LM instability....

That tactic almost always comes across as cargo-cult reasoning.  The worst examples of it come from the anti-science religionists.  They are coached to present certain canned responses or canned references in response to scientific allegations, but without any inherent understanding of what they mean.  It may be sensationalist garbage like "Scientific Misconduct Among Evolutionary Biologists," but those ploys work more than they should.  The maxim, "If you're explaining, you're losing," applies.  The claimant is mostly following advice of the form, "When a scientists says this, you respond with this -- just trust me."    But it isn't always so head-in-the-sand.  The claimant may accept full well that he doesn't understand what he's quoting.  He proceeds anyway from one of three premises:  (1) his critics are as untutored as he, (2) the critic is on the hook to explain it regardless, or (3) the science is a farce.

The memo Jr produced alludes to the math that describes free-body dynamics -- how things move and rotate when unconstrained and unattached to anything.  But in keeping with the "different thinking" hypothesis, he might say that mathematics is a crutch.  To someone who thinks he understands intuitively how freely rotating objects behave, any accelerated spacecraft might obviously be unstable.  He's not conversant with the math because he doesn't need to be in order to "know" the truth.  But it's not as if some pompous bloke raised a finger pontifically and declared, "Behold my mathematics; thus shall free bodies hereafter behave."  It's not prescriptive; it's descriptive.  We created the math to quantify how we observe freely rotating bodies to behave.  Similarly Newton didn't invent calculus to torment STEM students.  He invented it because he needed it in order to accurately describe how the quantifiable properties of the world were observed to behave..  It's attractive to believe that mathematical notation is a world all its own, detached from reality.  In fact, when used in practical science, it's merely the descriptive language.  It takes some effort to understand it.  But it's not some esoteric nonsense that can be safely ignored.

Some people do have an intuitive understanding of free-body dynamics.  We call them such things as pilots and acrobats.  And we reward them with praise and money for their demonstrated skill.  Intuition is not unreliable if it is adjudicated intuition.  Untested intuition is what we reject, especially when it contradicts the formal description of the observations.  A pilot struggling to recover an errant craft is not solving Euler angles in his head.  But that math is operative in what he's doing.  Successful intuition must closely parallel the effects of the formalism.

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Evidence only works if examined dispassionately. Looking for evidence to support a predetermined conclusion is the usual tactic of the conspiracy theorist.

The dynamics of debate make it seem like we're doing that too.  Someone says, "This indicates that this photo was staged."  The answer, "But this is how that would be expected on the Moon." opens the door to the proposition that we too are just emphasizing the evidence that supports a predetermined conclusion that Apollo was real, to the exclusion of other possibilities and other evidence.  It's not always clear in our rebuttals that we're taking all claims into consideration and all evidence, and arriving at what we think is the best reasoned, most parsimonious answer.

Consider the claim that some photos show a ridge in the near background that marks a sharp boundary with the distant background.  They point out that there's a theatrical set design technique that uses this principle to create the illusion of depth.  This, they say, supports the idea that it was shot on a stage with limited space available.  The predictable rebuttal leaps to mind:  the stage illusion works because that's how nature works.  Hence the observation is also consistent with the proposition that it was really shot on the Moon.  It behooves us to take the extra step to say we're not just playing turnabout.  We're evaluating all the claims and evidence and showing why one explanation is considerably more parsimonious than the other.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams