Monday, November 06, 2006

Become an instant expert

One of the more annoying fads in some circles is the 9/11 conspiracy theories. I wasted days researching this material and think it all a bunch of rubbish. The arguments I've seen are irrational, often dishonest, and frequently just downright bizarre. But still I was a bit suprised when I saw something headlined "Experts Call for Release of 9/11 Evidence". When I checked out the headline I end up at a petition campaign where it is titled "Scholars Call for Release of 9/11 Information".

Apparently the petition is for scholars and/or experts or an expert and a scholar are the same thing. But here is the odd thing. Anyone can sign the petition. You can become an instant expert/scholar merely by signing.

So I looked at the first couple hundred names. No one I recognized as a scholar or expert. In fact none of the first few hundred even had a credential listed such as "Dr. So & So" even though there is nothing to prevent anyone from signing any name they want. In fact, based on the first few hundreds names, several hundred of the "experts" who signed appear to share the same name: anonymous.

No doubt some conspiracists will eventually tell me how thousands of experts have signed a petition endorsing the 9/11 "Truth Movement" -- they always do exaggerate a bit when they retell things.