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Stellarator
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

13 May 2019 19:42

Summary: The most well-known conspiracies of our modern age are catalyzed by a crisis of confidence in so-called experts, and seem keen on undermining your trust in authority rather then seeking out any truth, however misguided the premise of that search may be.

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Conspiracy Theory Thread

14 May 2019 13:16

Stellarator, do you find having authority figures a good thing?  I feel that authority eventually becomes corrupt and abuses their power.  I didn't see the video, but them having an image of JFK is interesting.  Part of the reason behind the controversy behind the JFK assassination has to do with CIA people coming out and saying they had information about the assassination beforehand and chose to do nothing about it, as well as the Zapruder films and seedy characters that were associated with (and prosecuted) Oswald.  There's a long dark history behind the events that took place before the assassination, including Oswald's connection to Castro and a visit to Mexico where he was enlisting the help of mercenaries that were sympathetic to his cause, including ex-CIA people.  He dined with these people a week or so before the assassination, as presented in the PBS documentary.  Also, Jack Ruby, another ex-CIA agent, murdering Oswald before he could be put on trial, is pretty suspicious.  To this day, much of what happened just before and just after the JFK assassination is shrouded in mystery and remains classified (one particular nugget was rumors of JFK's last mistress keeping a diary and she was mysteriously murdered 3 days after JFK was killed, and CIA people ransacked her apartment looking for the diary.  The person who murdered her was never caught.)

J Edgar Hoover, who was basically blackmailing the Kennedys to retain his power was also a shadowy figure in all of this- he was against the civil rights movement and threatened Martin Luther King after he had him wiretapped.  It was a very unstable period in history.

In my view, most humans should use their brains and do their own research rather than relying on authority- but maybe I am overestimating the average human's intelligence and capability of doing that.  That opens up another question, in a healthy and sustainable society, should we count all votes equally, or should people of higher intellect and merit count for more?

In general I like to do my own research rather than rely on anyone else, no matter who they are.
 
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

14 May 2019 18:28

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Stellarator, do you find having authority figures a good thing?

Yes I do, but we must be aware of their limitations and create laws or regulations that curb their interests so that they are doing what is best for society, not themselves or their peers. "What is good for society" is a tricky and subjective term, and could apply for anything, but in this context I use it to describe basic Humanitarian rights and other freedoms of that nature. They must also adhere to what is agreed-upon "truth" - a fundamental concept of reality that no-one can disagree with.

The reason why I think there should be "authorities" and "experts" on certain things (like science), is because the modern human being cannot hope to learn and be efficiently literate in all the modern advances and nuances of fields like STEM, or politics. We can certainly try, but without specialized training and thus gaining expertise in, a certain field, we cannot pull off complicated modern tasks that our society needs. The end result of a technological civilization is to have experts on various tasks and endeavors. To make sure that these "experts" are on the right track (they are only human after all), we must refer to an authority - most often not a person or thing, but rather an fundamental theory or principle that has been proven without a doubt and which is represented by a school of thought or organization (in physics, the fundamental would be Newtonian Thermodynamics or Einsteinian Relativity, and their representation would be by other physicists).

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post In general I like to do my own research rather than rely on anyone else, no matter who they are.

I agree with you, but there must be some degree of trust in some authority. Otherwise it is a slippery slope of subjective "truths". While I do not doubt your information mining techniques, it is difficult to say for sure without relying on something already proven that the information you (or I) gather is valid. At some point, there is a bedrock idea that all of our theories rely on, and we must assume that it is true (we cannot rightly prove it, because we are not experts on the matter of, say, General relativity). Unfettered "research" and "questioning" established authority (without much consideration for overall goals or system of origins) is how we got Flat-Earthers (mixed in with a healthy dose of ignorance and religious ideals).
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15 May 2019 11:41

We lost one of the greats recently when it comes to conspiracies.

UFO researcher Stanton Friedman dies after half-century effort to prove alien life
Image

“I have never seen a flying saucer, and I have never seen an alien. But remember, I chased neutrons and gamma rays for a lot of years as a physicist and never saw one of them either,” “In fact, I’ve never seen Tokyo, but I’m convinced it’s there.”
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

16 May 2019 00:42

Round trip airfare between Seattle and Tokyo: ~$1000
Gamma ray source and detector:  a few hundred dollars
Summon a flying saucer to study:  ???
 
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16 May 2019 01:15

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
Source of the post We lost one of the greats recently when it comes to conspiracies.

That is indeed sad. He was one of the few level-headed ones (as far as UFOlogists go ;)).
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16 May 2019 15:12

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post Summon a flying saucer to study:  ???


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16 May 2019 18:46

Where are the flying saucers?  I just see bright lights.  Signal flares by the looks of it (and much more than just a couple miles away). Sodium would easily explain the golden color.  I would love to be proven wrong, someone should bring a spectrometer to the next sighting.
 
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16 May 2019 20:57

Ah, much better.  This man can properly summon UFOs.

 
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24 May 2019 16:54

Stellarator wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Stellarator, do you find having authority figures a good thing?

Yes I do, but we must be aware of their limitations and create laws or regulations that curb their interests so that they are doing what is best for society, not themselves or their peers. "What is good for society" is a tricky and subjective term, and could apply for anything, but in this context I use it to describe basic Humanitarian rights and other freedoms of that nature. They must also adhere to what is agreed-upon "truth" - a fundamental concept of reality that no-one can disagree with.

The reason why I think there should be "authorities" and "experts" on certain things (like science), is because the modern human being cannot hope to learn and be efficiently literate in all the modern advances and nuances of fields like STEM, or politics. We can certainly try, but without specialized training and thus gaining expertise in, a certain field, we cannot pull off complicated modern tasks that our society needs. The end result of a technological civilization is to have experts on various tasks and endeavors. To make sure that these "experts" are on the right track (they are only human after all), we must refer to an authority - most often not a person or thing, but rather an fundamental theory or principle that has been proven without a doubt and which is represented by a school of thought or organization (in physics, the fundamental would be Newtonian Thermodynamics or Einsteinian Relativity, and their representation would be by other physicists).

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post In general I like to do my own research rather than rely on anyone else, no matter who they are.

I agree with you, but there must be some degree of trust in some authority. Otherwise it is a slippery slope of subjective "truths". While I do not doubt your information mining techniques, it is difficult to say for sure without relying on something already proven that the information you (or I) gather is valid. At some point, there is a bedrock idea that all of our theories rely on, and we must assume that it is true (we cannot rightly prove it, because we are not experts on the matter of, say, General relativity). Unfettered "research" and "questioning" established authority (without much consideration for overall goals or system of origins) is how we got Flat-Earthers (mixed in with a healthy dose of ignorance and religious ideals).

Yes, absolutely, I find that so many people don't know how to research that if all authority were completely absent, there would be a vacuum that would become occupied by those who seek to grab power in their place, like "cults."  The leaders of these groups know human weaknesses and can play upon them to control people into behaving like sheep.
In a free and open society, the presence of experts is actually what keeps the society free and open, otherwise we would descend into cliques and cults.

This has been all over the news around here

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings-navy-pilots.html


Experts were careful to note that there are many non-alien explanations for these unexplained sightings. Still, this isn’t the first major report on UFOs in recent years. In December 2017, the Times published a story about the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which shut down in 2012, and described “sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift.” In 2018, a UFO research group shared a declassified Pentagon video which supposedly showed a U.S. Navy aircraft encountering a UFO.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/12/ ... 1559079001

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/03/ ... 1559079001

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/0 ... kAsUft1zps

Updating this post because GMA conducted an interview with military personnel- the sec'y of defense came out and said that there are only two possible explanations- extraterrestrial or another nation with technology far in advance of what the US has.

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news ... s-63396652
https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news ... e-63331280
https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news ... s-63315985
 
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26 Jan 2021 12:20

Somebody pointed me to this video today:


Actually a pretty well made video.  What gives it away, besides the extremely unlikely suggestion that spaceships several km in size fly over the Moon, is their speed.  They're moving way too fast to be in orbit around the Moon.  Apollo completed one orbit in two hours or so.  At that speed the accelleration would be ridiculous, especially for that massive objects, in order to be able to swing around the Moon like that.
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26 Jan 2021 12:33

midtskogen wrote:
Source of the post Actually a pretty well made video.  What gives it away, besides the extremely unlikely suggestion that spaceships several km in size fly over the Moon, is their speed.

Indeed it is a very well made piece of fakery. Captain Disillusion did a very good video explaining and reproducing this one.
 
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26 Jan 2021 17:34

I do like Phil Plait's criticism, which was that in order to take any video like this very seriously, it should be substantiated by other videos. The Moon is not an exotic target for amateur astronomers. With so many eyes and cameras on it all the time, it's not believable that nobody else would have noticed these objects.

Then again, it is possible that multiple people around the world could try to collaborate to produce a convincing fake from multiple simultaneous views. In that case we would still require looking at all the videos more carefully for evidence of forgery. As Captain Disillusion showed, there are multiple lines of evidence to show that this was a product of computer generation, not a real capture through a scope or zoom lens. It was a pretty good fake, but not good enough. ;)

Part of me worries that with the ever increasing capabilities of computers, forgeries (of any subject) are only getting better. Will there be a time where they are so convincing that we won't have any way to tell?
 
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27 Jan 2021 00:11

A lot of people are watching the Moon at any time, but these objects were too small to be visible with the unaided eye.  Would other people somewhere in the world watch the Moon through a powerful enough telescope at that very time?  Very likely, but not as many as one could think.  Consider that this was a very new Moon and close to the sun, so these objects would be hard to spot in full daylight, and the Moon in this phase is not a very popular object, except as an exercise of how soon you can observe it after a full Moon.  Would someone who did watch the Moon through a powerful telescope record it on video?  Well, I wouldn't be 100% sure.  I think the best bet would be projects continuously recording the Moon for meteor impacts, even in daylight.  But these videos would need to be checked manually, and given the limited information given, it could be several hours that needs to be checked.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  So, I don't think this argument alone is good enough to dismiss the video right away in this case.  You would need video evidence showing that there was nothing there, and that is not trivial to get.

The Captain's rolling shutter argument is also weak.  My ordinary 5 year old <$1000 video camera does not have a rolling shutter.  Maybe many DSLR cameras have rolling shutters when recording video, but we don't know the setup in this case.

I think the best hard evidence for it being fake is that atmospheric turbulence stopped after a certain frame (which I didn't notice), and the extreme accelleration needed to swing around the Moon like this.  Phil said that the speed was 300,000 kph, which means that a full loop around the moon should take less than 2.5 minutes.  If my calculations are correct, that turns into about 1500G.  On a 20 km spaceship...
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

27 Jan 2021 01:02

Cameras with electronic shutters that have a decent readout speed dont have rolling shutters.  Like you said, affordable cameras (including mirrorless cameras) fixed the rolling shutter problem about 5 years ago, and these are in the sub thousand dollar range.

And I also worry about counterfeiting.  Not that long ago a couple of high school girls were found to have created their own counterfeiting ring and the only reason they got caught was because they were laundering the money into Euros.
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