Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conspiracy theorist and stuttering

Here is an interesting quote on conspiracy theorists that Ora has sent me. Might this apply for some theories on stuttering, too?
Conspiracy theorists typically argue indirectly. They don't pit the merits of their theory against the merits of competing theories. Instead they try to erode confidence in some "official story" to the point where it seems arbitrarily incredible, whereupon their conspiracy theory is supposed to stand as the "default" conclusion when the official story fails. The conspiracists never put the conspiracy theory "default" to the test to see whether it too make sense.

In other words, they never test their tests. The myths that were tested on the program are the basis for the conspiracy theory "rules" that purport to distinguish genuine photographs from fake ones. But before relying upon them, the conspiracy theorists never put them to the test. Their suppositions about shadow direction are wrong. Their supposition about fill lighting is wrong. In the real world, where there is no "default" conclusion and where both hypotheses are tested equally rigorously, the conspiracists' conclusions simply don't hold. They appear to hold only because the conspiracist authors manipulate the discussion to avoid a meaningful test.

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