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A-L-E-X
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

07 May 2017 16:56

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
A-L-E-X, conspiracies are real, they happen all the time, governments and businesses try to hide and cover stuff up.  There are dozens of cases where governments and businesses have even invented conspiracies to redirect attention somewhere else. 

When it comes to uncovering the truth it is best to approach things with an open mind, but as the old saying goes not so open that your brain falls out.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post But this NASA stuff is way over the top!


NASA could very well be covering something up.  Given the number of people who work at NASA/ESA/Roscosmos, companies involved, and how many leaks have already happened it is highly unlikely anything like aliens, flat Earth, hollow Earth, or similar conspiracies are legit.  The amount of people who would benefit from exposing such conspiracies far outweigh any negative consequences for those actions, any of the major conspiracies would be world changing events and whoever breaks the news would go down in history.  

We live in an amazing universe and we also live in a mediocre day to day life, some people just get hooked on the sense of uncovering something even when it isn't true.  Science is a tool for sorting the false claims from the legit claims, humans aren't perfect and mistakes are made, but that doesn't usually mean there is a conspiracy to hide the truth.

I agree and it's actually a great mental exercise to try and unravel the facts from the fiction.  Our current political situation (which is actually a global situation) provides a lot of fodder for this.  It seems apparent that the top of the top 0.1% and their lobbyists are having much fun in employing their divide and conquer strategy (one which works in political circles as well as it works in military ones) while the two parties are blaming each other and there is a big donut hole where the middle class used to be.
 
A-L-E-X
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

07 May 2017 16:58

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
ZackG wrote:
Source of the post I have a bad feeling that this topic is going to turn into a political flamewar...

It won't because I won't allow it.  Anyone going to insults or raging is going to be taking a 7 day break from posting. 

You and Watshisname (quite literally lol) are two of the most balanced people I've encountered on any forum.  This place is very lucky to have you guys.
 
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ZackG
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

07 May 2017 22:28

Im guessing you saw my rant on the climate change topic. Thats politics for ya. yea I try not to start a flame war but it just irks me that there isnt anyone like me in this world. 
 
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Watsisname
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

07 May 2017 22:32

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post You and Watshisname (quite literally lol) are two of the most balanced people I've encountered on any forum.  This place is very lucky to have you guys.

I think this whole community is one of the the most intelligent, mature, and respectful of any that I have ever found on the internet.  It's awesome that we have so many members of such quality as we do. :)


Looking back at the earlier discussion, I think my favorite part about the whole thing -- besides being almost comically strange as far as conspiracies go -- is a couple of tidbits learned out of it.  

First, that the amount of air you look through when viewing the stars from low Earth orbit is equivalent to looking through less than a millimeter of air at the surface... is really amazing.  I and FFT did not know that before doing the calculation to check our challenge to Gary to substantiate one of his claims, so this was a cool (if silly) way to learn it.

Speaking of which, if anyone was wondering how that calculation works, it's actually fairly simple... which is why I think anyone making a claim about what stuff looks like from high altitude based on the amount of air up there should be able to do this.  

Column density is the amount of stuff (e.g. number of molecules, or the mass) along a line of sight, measured per unit area along that line.  You can think of it as taking all of that substance in the column and squashing it down into a square, and asking how much is in that square.   So to find it, you integrate the number per volume with respect to length, along the entire column.  For the upper atmosphere, the density follows a decaying exponential with height, and you can integrate that from some starting altitude to infinity.  But the approximate answer can also be found without even doing any calculus.  To do an integral is simply to find the area under a curve, so you can approximate the column density by multiplying the density at an altitude by a bit of altitude, and then sum this up for a bunch of altitudes and see what the sum approaches. 

The other fun tidbit is just how powerfully wrong a prediction can be.  For instance, proposing that UV is converted to visible by passing through air predicts that UV sources cannot exist on Earth -- they would immediately turn into visible sources.  Or, proposing that this occurs instead by electron scattering then predicts that the atmosphere must be so full of electrons that you literally could not see through it -- it would be an electron fog.  

It's easy to come up with a hypothesis about something and believe that it must be right, but when you do the math you can very often find that not only does it not work, but it does not work in spectacular fashion.

To arrive at a theory that does work usually requires a good starting point (you do not start from your conclusion and find evidence to support it -- you start with the evidence that supports it and work to the conclusion, mainly in the sense of trying in every way possible to see if the conclusion is wrong).  You should also have a good understanding of any principles of physics that may apply, and a good helping of rigor and experiments to test it.

GaryN seemed eager to present what he thought is evidence that he was right, but would not pursue anything that would show if he was wrong.  And if you cannot accept that you might be wrong, you are not doing science. :)
 
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Watsisname
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

07 May 2017 22:35

ZackG wrote:
Source of the post Im guessing you saw my rant on the climate change topic. Thats politics for ya. yea I try not to start a flame war but it just irks me that there isnt anyone like me in this world. 

A number of people replied to you in that thread, explained some of the faults in what you presented, and showed you how to arrive at the correct conclusions -- using principles of science, not politics.

You're more than welcome to continue the discussion there if you want to, and if you do then I encourage you to make an effort to learn how to distinguish reliable from unreliable sources of information, and engage with the body of scientific knowledge, rather than with secondary sources like videos or blog articles.  

And for my part I will also uphold Doc's promise that there will be no flamewar, and will shut down any attempt at one.
 
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midtskogen
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

12 May 2017 05:02

The moon landings were all staged.  They even went to such lengths with the cover-up that they filmed everything on location.
NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI
 
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Watsisname
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

12 May 2017 05:18

Image

This can only mean one thing.
 
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Salvo
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

12 May 2017 07:31

Watsisname wrote:
This can only mean one thing.

It look like the meme gif to me  8-)
Image
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

CPU: Intel Core i7 4770 GPU: ASUS Radeon R9 270 RAM: 8 GBs
 
A-L-E-X
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

24 May 2017 22:36

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post You and Watshisname (quite literally lol) are two of the most balanced people I've encountered on any forum.  This place is very lucky to have you guys.

I think this whole community is one of the the most intelligent, mature, and respectful of any that I have ever found on the internet.  It's awesome that we have so many members of such quality as we do. :)


Looking back at the earlier discussion, I think my favorite part about the whole thing -- besides being almost comically strange as far as conspiracies go -- is a couple of tidbits learned out of it.  

First, that the amount of air you look through when viewing the stars from low Earth orbit is equivalent to looking through less than a millimeter of air at the surface... is really amazing.  I and FFT did not know that before doing the calculation to check our challenge to Gary to substantiate one of his claims, so this was a cool (if silly) way to learn it.

Speaking of which, if anyone was wondering how that calculation works, it's actually fairly simple... which is why I think anyone making a claim about what stuff looks like from high altitude based on the amount of air up there should be able to do this.  

Column density is the amount of stuff (e.g. number of molecules, or the mass) along a line of sight, measured per unit area along that line.  You can think of it as taking all of that substance in the column and squashing it down into a square, and asking how much is in that square.   So to find it, you integrate the number per volume with respect to length, along the entire column.  For the upper atmosphere, the density follows a decaying exponential with height, and you can integrate that from some starting altitude to infinity.  But the approximate answer can also be found without even doing any calculus.  To do an integral is simply to find the area under a curve, so you can approximate the column density by multiplying the density at an altitude by a bit of altitude, and then sum this up for a bunch of altitudes and see what the sum approaches. 

The other fun tidbit is just how powerfully wrong a prediction can be.  For instance, proposing that UV is converted to visible by passing through air predicts that UV sources cannot exist on Earth -- they would immediately turn into visible sources.  Or, proposing that this occurs instead by electron scattering then predicts that the atmosphere must be so full of electrons that you literally could not see through it -- it would be an electron fog.  

It's easy to come up with a hypothesis about something and believe that it must be right, but when you do the math you can very often find that not only does it not work, but it does not work in spectacular fashion.

To arrive at a theory that does work usually requires a good starting point (you do not start from your conclusion and find evidence to support it -- you start with the evidence that supports it and work to the conclusion, mainly in the sense of trying in every way possible to see if the conclusion is wrong).  You should also have a good understanding of any principles of physics that may apply, and a good helping of rigor and experiments to test it.

GaryN seemed eager to present what he thought is evidence that he was right, but would not pursue anything that would show if he was wrong.  And if you cannot accept that you might be wrong, you are not doing science. :)

Wow, interesting piece of info about low earth orbit.  There are places on Earth where viewing is particularly great- one is Mauna Kea on Hawaii where the big telescope is, another is the Western Australian Outback which has the lowest levels of light pollution and you can visually see stars down to Mag 8.5 there (you can do the same in parts of the Rocky Mtns.) - but the best place (although not very accessible) might be Dome C in Antarctica, where conditions are the best for viewing this side of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Something to do with the stability of the air there.
 
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Watsisname
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

14 Jun 2017 01:56

Tying up remaining loose ends, for the sake of fun and pointing out interesting things that might not be obvious.

GaryN wrote:
Source of the post The astronauts spent extended periods of total blackout while in cislunar space in order to perform low light photography experiments, yet none mentioned the brilliance of the stars

Stars were frequently used for navigational fixes during the Apollo missions, which is apparent in the transcripts.  In particular, they use guide stars for fixing their orientation when doing midcourse corrections in cislunar space.  

When the astronauts comment on the stars not being visible, it is because their eyes are not sufficiently dark-adapted to see them.  Simply looking at any part of the spacecraft illuminated by the Sun, or even the Earth, is sufficient to ruin your dark adaption for a very long time.  Anyone who has been to a star party and had someone drive onto the field with their headlights on will understand this. :)

Apollo 13 was also notable for the astronauts commenting on not being able to see the stars after the accident.  This was due to the amount of debris moving along with the spacecraft (resulting in a confusion of bright specks in addition to the stars).  This created a serious problem for navigation later, when they needed to do course corrections to have a proper atmospheric reentry, but could not use the stars to navigate.  Instead they used the terminator of the Earth as a reference point.  The Apollo 13 film portrays this moment (visually very over-dramatized, though in terms of how difficult and nerve wracking it was for the astronauts, pretty accurate).


GaryN wrote:
Source of the post The images of the solar eclipse (FFT), yes, I would say the light is created from solar radiation interacting with the matter around the Sun

This has a different effect -- it is called the Zodiacal Light:

Photographed by Fireinthehole.
Photographed by me.

It is a very neat thing to see and it is observable from dark sites as a triangular wedge of light along the ecliptic before dawn or after sunset.  But the mechanism is scattering by dust grains, with no change in the wavelength.  

If this scattering or some other interaction did change the wavelength to produce the visible spectrum from ultraviolet, then this would be easily testable like most of the other claims were.  In particular, you'll never obtain a solar spectrum by shooting a UV source through dust.  Furthermore, to sufficiently scatter the light to change it to visible, the Sun would be invisible, because all the photons would have been scattered and you'd only see a diffuse cloud of light in place of the Sun.  (Same problem as predicting that the sky is opaque with electrons).


GaryN wrote:
Source of the post And also with the big ugly bright Sun you say was taken on approach to the Moon, the Sun would have been at their backs on approach, the lunar nearside being fully lit, though I am not sure of their exact trajectory, though most graphics show a generally front-on approach.

The problem here is that the figure shown is not to scale.  Use one that is, or better yet, try recreating the voyage in Orbiter.  You'll see that you must aim for a point well ahead of where the Moon actually is (which should be obvious, but isn't -- the Moon is moving, and it takes several days to get there, so you can't just aim at where the Moon is.)  During the later parts of the approach, it is as if you are hanging in space moving very slowly (you are near apoapsis of a very eccentric orbit with respect to Earth), and the Moon is catching up to you from the side.  So the relative angles of Earth and Moon relative to you throughout the trip are not what you might expect.

This will also be familiar to users of Kerbal Space Program.

GaryN wrote:
Source of the post With the creation of the light on Earth, the electron density needs to be considered, though for forward scattering, which must be in operation to produce a central beam, then I think it is bound electrons that are the more important.

When the electrons are bound in atoms, then the scattering involves the Compton wavelength of the entire atom, which results in a scattering effect orders of magnitude smaller than for free electrons.  We also just saw that scattering by free electrons is too weak to cause the claimed effect, and produces hilariously wrong predictions if we assume that it does anyway.  So this claim went from wrong to wronger. :P

GaryN wrote:
Source of the post As a (maybe) interesting aside, the ISS orbits where it does I think because the electrical 'ground' on the ISS is floating, and will be at the plasma potential of its altitude. Lots of electrons there. 


Besides being hilarious, I don't think this one requires comment at this point -- I assume everyone here has at least some knowledge of how orbits work. :)
 
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FastFourierTransform
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

14 Jun 2017 02:39

This is awesome Watsisname!!
I really think that if each pseudoscience get this kind of detailed responses when they are at birth like this there would be no pseudoscience.

If GaryN still bears some doubt of what has been said I would love to hear from him, pointing out the errors and the evidence that supports his claims, image by image, concept by concept. But if not I would be very happy because not only GaryN has learned but all of us.
 
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N0B0DY
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

01 Jul 2017 03:47

 
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Watsisname
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

01 Jul 2017 04:54

Oh, Alex Jones.

 
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ZackG
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

02 Jul 2017 10:27

Alex jones is a joke. Now he says that there is a child slave ring in mars.
 
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Tiber
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Conspiracy Theory Thread

06 Jul 2017 21:55

I love that one.

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