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  #1  
Old 03-04-2014, 2:27 PM
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Default META Discussion: Extraordinary claims ...

Carl Sagan is credited with "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Problemchild's thread Puzzle Pieces seems to fit in the category of extraordinary claim. In concept, it is entirely reasonable: what are the signs and portents that suggest government or society is deteriorating? I seem to recall one or two other threads on that topic.

But some folks are far to quick to go to the 'tin foil hat' and 'conspiracy' response, and other folks sometimes get all defensive when challenged that way.

Steve_in_29 posted there
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_In_29 View Post
Just because you are paranoid....doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

Plenty of signs have been ignored throughout history of events, that upon looking back after-the-fact people were like...how did we not see that coming?
What we need here is an agreement to explain why it is we believe a particular source that provides unconventional information,
and
a parallel agreement to actually answer the question when someone asks 'why do you believe that?' if one happens to forget that reasoning in the first presentation
and
yet another parallel agreement to ask politely.


And I recommend this short story: The Silly Season
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Old 03-04-2014, 3:19 PM
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I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish here Librarian. The thread to which you refer was classic . Here is a list of the other articles from that blog site:

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Are we supposed humor these people? Calling TFH TFH is not the same as being rude.

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Old 03-04-2014, 4:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lasbrg View Post
I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish here Librarian. The thread to which you refer was classic . Here is a list of the other articles from that blog site:



Are we supposed humor these people? Calling TFH TFH is not the same as being rude.
No, it isn't.

It's an effort to create some transitive effect.

Anyone is free to read what he/she likes.

Anyone is free to believe some of what he/she reads.

But if the goal is to persuade other people to believe what you believe, and the things you believe are, shall we say, 'out of the mainstream', then explaining the reasons for your belief would go a long way towards that goal.

Data, not assertions, is the best tool.

And, given data, it is possible to reason to different conclusions. Seeing what data has been used to reach conclusions gives the reader an opportunity to see what is included, what might have been omitted, and how each of those might inform the reasoning process.

Let me pick myself for an example.

I can be as silly as anyone, when the mood strikes. But I see my role here at Calguns as 'preventing people from going to jail because they did not know something.' I want folks to have as much correct information as possible, so they can make good decisions.

So, to reach my goal, I quote references, link to them, and 'show my work'; I try to explain how I got from 'here' to 'there'.

If another member has a desire to help the rest of us by pointing out things we may have missed, that should be laudable. But success in that effort will require a bit more than 'trust me and my sources'.
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Old 03-04-2014, 4:56 PM
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We found out that the government was tracking our phone calls because of Edward Snowden. Before Snowden we knew nothing. We will find out about "FEMA camps" when someone who works for FEMA leaks internal documents. Until then, it's just noise from the blogospere that's utterly unfalsifiable.
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Old 03-04-2014, 5:43 PM
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Librarian is Spock like
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They don't believe it's possible, but then Alison didn't believe there'd be 350K - 400K OLLs in CA either.
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Old 03-04-2014, 6:04 PM
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Librarian is Spock like
Yes, that is a logical conclusion
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Old 03-04-2014, 6:14 PM
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Snowden and FEMA leaks are data. The rest is speculation.

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Old 03-04-2014, 6:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lasbrg View Post
We found out that the government was tracking our phone calls because of Edward Snowden. Before Snowden we knew nothing. We will find out about "FEMA camps" when someone who works for FEMA leaks internal documents. Until then, it's just noise from the blogospere that's utterly unfalsifiable.
Are you seriously saying that we need to wait for someone from FEMA to effectively end their life in the USA before we can discuss government plans to declare war on US citizens?

You do realize things get done verbally all day long, and they may have learned not to put violating civil rights into power point presentations anymore.

I'm hoping you were being sarcastic above, otherwise waiting for someone to provide the proof you seek shows willful ignorance of the consequences. I fully think the president and many of his allies inside and outside of the whitehouse consider conservatives enemies, just as we considered Al Qaeda enemies after 9/11.

Also - flying planes into buildings would have been considered TFH on 9-10-01, let's keep in mind that if it's possible is should be discussed respectfully.
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Old 03-04-2014, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lasbrg View Post
We found out that the government was tracking our phone calls because of Edward Snowden. Before Snowden we knew nothing...
Not exactly true. For those of us old enough, in 2000 60 Minutes reported on it. I remember thinking then that I'd never convey anything I didn't want known using an electronic communication device.

Carry on
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Old 03-04-2014, 6:35 PM
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Librarian is Spock like
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Yes, that is a logical conclusion




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  #11  
Old 03-04-2014, 7:04 PM
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Are you seriously saying that we need to wait for someone from FEMA to effectively end their life in the USA before we can discuss government plans to declare war on US citizens?
Yes.

Quote:
You do realize things get done verbally all day long, and they may have learned not to put violating civil rights into power point presentations anymore.

I'm hoping you were being sarcastic above, otherwise waiting for someone to provide the proof you seek shows willful ignorance of the consequences. I fully think the president and many of his allies inside and outside of the whitehouse consider conservatives enemies, just as we considered Al Qaeda enemies after 9/11.

Also - flying planes into buildings would have been considered TFH on 9-10-01, let's keep in mind that if it's possible is should be discussed respectfully.
I wasn't being sarcastic. I honestly believe that commentary like "war on U.S. citizens" is gibberish. The basic problem is one of falsifiability: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

Quote:
Falsifiability or refutability of a statement, hypothesis, or theory is an inherent possibility to prove it to be false. A statement is called falsifiable if it is possible to conceive an observation or an argument which proves the statement in question to be false. ... This is often epitomized in Wolfgang Pauli famously saying, of an argument that fails to be scientific because it cannot be falsified by experiment, "it is not only not right, it is not even wrong!"
If I say that France intends to launch a nuclear attack on the United States, how would you go about proving me wrong? This is the idea of falsifiability. If there is no good truth test for a claim, it's of no interest. We absolutely do need proof, in the form of leaked documents, like we got from Snowden.
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Old 03-04-2014, 7:14 PM
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Not exactly true. For those of us old enough, in 2000 60 Minutes reported on it. I remember thinking then that I'd never convey anything I didn't want known using an electronic communication device.

Carry on
That's an interesting read.
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Old 03-04-2014, 7:42 PM
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Yes.



I wasn't being sarcastic. I honestly believe that commentary like "war on U.S. citizens" is gibberish. The basic problem is one of falsifiability: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability



If I say that France intends to launch a nuclear attack on the United States, how would you go about proving me wrong? This is the idea of falsifiability. If there is no good truth test for a claim, it's of no interest. We absolutely do need proof, in the form of leaked documents, like we got from Snowden.
I wouldn't attempt to prove you wrong, I would attempt to mitigate the damage caused if it were true. France does have nuclear weapons, I know little about their security protocols regarding their nuclear weapons. So your claim is possible. So let's agree that the state could be involved, or a small group, or possibly one person with control of weapon(s). If the state was involved, a leak is possible, small group - leak is not likely, single person - a leak is highly unlikely. Finding a powerpoint of France's plan to hit the USA with a nuclear weapon - not likely.

Further while something may be considered not likely today, if the danger involved is significant, it doesn't hurt to look at again with fresh eyes sometime in the future.

You seem to want to dismiss everything as being impossible when you know these things are possible, have happened before, and will happen again. I look at the danger involved and the probability of it coming to pass - then decide how much energy I'll put into research. Sometimes a little digging earns the not likely designation, but I rarely label something as not possible.

Finding a single guy like Snowden, - no wife or kids involved - willing to put his life (as he knew it - and I'd guess he has a drone with his name on it) on the line in every US agency that could be doing nefarious deeds hoping they will advise the US public in a credible way that there is trouble brewing is foolish.

If the above is your main plan to avoid tyranny in our lifetime, you are either willfully ignorant or you are on the .gov payroll working the late shift at the fusion center.

I'd guess that every major intelligence failure likely involved someone who used the word "falsifiability".
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Old 03-04-2014, 7:42 PM
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In line with the "META" theme of the OP, here is a quote from Terry Goodkind that, I think, get's to the heart of the human condition.

Quote:
“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”
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Old 03-04-2014, 7:44 PM
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Originally Posted by halifax View Post
Not exactly true. For those of us old enough, in 2000 60 Minutes reported on it. I remember thinking then that I'd never convey anything I didn't want known using an electronic communication device.

Carry on
After my military time and follow on work as a contractor seeing demonstrations at the NSA, if there is something I don't want public knowledge it doesn't leave my brain.
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Old 03-04-2014, 7:55 PM
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I wouldn't attempt to prove you wrong, I would attempt to mitigate the damage caused if it were true. France does have nuclear weapons, I know little about their security protocols regarding their nuclear weapons. So your claim is possible. So let's agree that the state could be involved, or a small group, or possibly one person with control of weapon(s). If the state was involved, a leak is possible, small group - leak is not likely, single person - a leak is highly unlikely. Finding a powerpoint of France's plan to hit the USA with a nuclear weapon - not likely.
Wow. I really did mean the France bombing the U.S. thing to be the type of wild statement to be dismissed out of hand. I repeat, I totally made that up.

Quote:
Further while something may be considered not likely today, if the danger involved is significant, it doesn't hurt to look at again with fresh eyes sometime in the future.

You seem to want to dismiss everything as being impossible when you know these things are possible, have happened before, and will happen again. I look at the danger involved and the probability of it coming to pass - then decide how much energy I'll put into research. Sometimes a little digging earns the not likely designation, but I rarely label something as not possible.

Finding a single guy like Snowden, - no wife or kids involved - willing to put his life (as he knew it - and I'd guess he has a drone with his name on it) on the line in every US agency that could be doing nefarious deeds hoping they will advise the US public in a credible way that there is trouble brewing is foolish.

If the above is your main plan to avoid tyranny in our lifetime, you are either willfully ignorant or you are on the .gov payroll working the late shift at the fusion center.
No, it's more my plan to avoid noise and irrelevance. Also, we don't always need a Snowden figure to provide documentation. See my sig for an example of our government spelling out it's intentions on it's own.

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I'd guess that every major intelligence failure likely involved someone who used the word "falsifiability".
Say what?
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Old 03-04-2014, 8:22 PM
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After my military time and follow on work as a contractor seeing demonstrations at the NSA, if there is something I don't want public knowledge it doesn't leave my brain.
I know if I tell my wife anything, eventually she will tell my mother. I find that really annoying. If I complain, she just laughs. The NSA is like a crazy, spiteful woman who's constantly trying to find fault with you and who's not even your girlfriend.
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Old 03-04-2014, 8:30 PM
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Just for clarification... Are we being told by the moderators that we are not ALLOWED to discuss unverified theories or we SHOULDNT?
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Old 03-04-2014, 8:35 PM
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I think Librarian is making a plea for more links and references, especially if the topic can be considered controversial.
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Old 03-04-2014, 8:47 PM
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Wow. I really did mean the France bombing the U.S. thing to be the type of wild statement to be dismissed out of hand. I repeat, I totally made that up.
My point is I can absolutely 100% guarantee that somewhere in some .gov office before 9/11 somebody tossed out the idea of using planes as bombs to attack the USA. It was dismissed out of hand. I'm just a little tired of the arrogance that causes failures on a grand scale.

If you really believe that Fast & Furious and the IRS scandal were the only thing the .gov was doing behind the scenes, again I call that willfully ignorant. It's like I'm always trying to teach my daughter about liars, they don't get caught every time they lie, some percentage of the time they get away with the lie because the evidence doesn't make it to the light of day.

If that means I read some threads that you consider - I'm good with that.

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No, it's more my plan to avoid noise and irrelevance. Also, we don't always need a Snowden figure to provide documentation. See my sig for an example of our government spelling out it's intentions on it's own.

Say what?
You are free to avoid noise and irrelevance, the point of this thread (I believe) was that -

A. Starting a thread without some reasonable data to support the subject is not likely to engender a real discussion.

B. Posting is not likely to engender a real discussion.

C. Arguing a subject without some reasonable data to support the argument is not likely to engender a real discussion.

My take is Librarian was trying to encourage spending a little time to develop a post so it might make guys like you consider the data, instead of moving to the next thread.

And probably trying to reduce the 5 character posts that only start the dick measuring contest.
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Old 03-04-2014, 9:09 PM
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Just for clarification... Are we being told by the moderators that we are not ALLOWED to discuss unverified theories or we SHOULDNT?
Neither.

Just be prepared to get questions - which should be asked politely - and then actually answer the questions.

I regularly make the simplifying assumption that a poster actually means what he/she posts, and that the intent of a post is to share something valuable with other members.


ETA Almost all of the 'unverified theories' do not belong in Survival and Preparations; a very narrow range of 'it's time to head for those prepared bug-out locations - here's why I think so' discussions go here.

Over the years a lot of threads have gone off the rails when participants accused each other of gullibility and insufficient levels of skepticism of 'official' accounts; those mostly die over bad behavior of the participants. And those seldom include any honest evaluation of counter-conspiracy arguments.
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Last edited by Librarian; 03-04-2014 at 9:29 PM..
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Old 03-04-2014, 9:34 PM
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With all due respect Librarian, Propaganda is just that. Just enough of the facts with all the embellishment the author wants to further his agenda.

I am well read and educated. I even don't mind taking the other side of a discussion as long as it is a rational topic. It becomes a issue when anyone always takes dubious or questionable source every time as gospel and tries to preach to everyone.

I always smile at the personal attacks a poster makes when you disagree with them. It screams that their position is weak.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:13 PM
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With all due respect Librarian, Propaganda is just that. Just enough of the facts with all the embellishment the author wants to further his agenda.
You want me to give up my simplifying assumption? I'm shocked, shocked.
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Old 03-05-2014, 4:25 AM
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Just for clarification... Are we being told by the moderators that we are not ALLOWED to discuss unverified theories or we SHOULDNT?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
Neither.

Just be prepared to get questions - which should be asked politely - and then actually answer the questions.

I regularly make the simplifying assumption that a poster actually means what he/she posts, and that the intent of a post is to share something valuable with other members.


ETA Almost all of the 'unverified theories' do not belong in Survival and Preparations; a very narrow range of 'it's time to head for those prepared bug-out locations - here's why I think so' discussions go here.

Over the years a lot of threads have gone off the rails when participants accused each other of gullibility and insufficient levels of skepticism of 'official' accounts; those mostly die over bad behavior of the participants. And those seldom include any honest evaluation of counter-conspiracy arguments.
Concise, reasonable and eloquently stated, as usual Librarian. But what I still want to know is what you, as the OP, want this thread to be. I'm not complaining; actually I'm intrigued. What are your ground rules for participating in this Survival and Preparations "meta thread"?
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Old 03-05-2014, 5:13 AM
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B. Posting is not likely to engender a real discussion.
I stopped reading the OP of the "Puzzle pieces" thread when I got to this part where the "author" switchs from first person singular ("I") to first person plural ("we").

Quote:
... When this event will happen, I have no idea. But the government seems to believe it’s imminent, or they wouldn’t be engaged in such large scale purchases at such a frantic pace.

An embryonic DHS bastion system?

Based on the overall information we compiled above, we can begin to see a part of the plan, but not the whole picture. ...
I then followed the link and discovered that the OP copied and pasted an anonymous blog post, with the link but without quotes or attribution of authorship, from a blog that currently has two articles about demonic possession. As Librarian noted above, these conspiracy stories are not related to Survival and Preparations.
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Old 03-05-2014, 6:10 AM
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After my military time and follow on work as a contractor seeing demonstrations at the NSA, if there is something I don't want public knowledge it doesn't leave my brain.
I had an uncle who spent many years in the military, His specialty was electronic intelligence. For the past 15 years or so, he had been becoming increasingly convinced that the gov was spying on everyone. It got to the point that he disconnected his phone, cable, internet, etc. He used public hotspots and throwaway cell phones to communicate.

Most in the family wrote him off as a nutjob. I gave him some credit, since electronic eavesdropping is what he had done for a living. Sadly, he passed away last year shortly before Snowden's revelations became public.

Some of us were also paying attention to Mark Klein when he detailed wiring the NSA room in ATT's facility in San Francisco 10 years ago.

There are little bits and pieces of information here and there. Certainly they aren't all credible, but it would be foolish to not pay attention.
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Old 03-05-2014, 6:36 AM
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I stopped reading the OP of the "Puzzle pieces" thread when I got to this part where the "author" switchs from first person singular ("I") to first person plural ("we").
Me too, dead giveaway that it was not his first person observations/point of view.

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I then followed the link and discovered that the OP copied and pasted an anonymous blog post, with the link but without quotes or attribution of authorship, from a blog that currently has two articles about demonic possession. As Librarian noted above, these conspiracy stories are not related to Survival and Preparations.
See I didn't feel the need to follow the link, based on the initial post and site the links are hosted on. You will also notice I didn't feel the need to post in the thread. I posted to this thread to ensure the threshold for reporting encroachments on civil liberties is never at the level you referred to in your post below. In my opinion a breach of security the likes of Edward Snowden will never happen again, in part because of stricter controls, partially because others will have seen that Edward Snowden is a marked man who can be charged (and blamed) with anything the .gov wants at this point. There will also be an increase in not documenting anything that can be accomplished with a wink and a nod.

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We found out that the government was tracking our phone calls because of Edward Snowden. Before Snowden we knew nothing. We will find out about "FEMA camps" when someone who works for FEMA leaks internal documents. Until then, it's just noise from the blogospere that's utterly unfalsifiable.
My take is Librarian in his normal smooth demeanor is trying to improve the atmosphere in the sub forum by getting PC (or anyone else) to add his opinions and why he feels a certain subject should be re-evaluated based on new information. Merely posting the TFH just feeds PC's persecution complex, and starts the thread on the way to closure. If PC were to notice that 50-100 people read his post and nobody replied, he might get the message that merely cut and pasting from a blog isn't starting a discussion and using quotes would help the reader understand that the quote is from an external source.

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Originally Posted by Wheels
I find the data here compelling, may need to re-evaluate where this program may be going.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BloggerwitheNewInfo
I found new information revealing X about subject Y. This changes assumptions made about policy Z the administration has been pursuing
Encouraging better posting here vs. routinely plowing through the sub forum with a ban hammer is a testament to the caliber of moderators calguns has. I personally am more irritated by 5 character posts than I am by conspiracy theory posts, as the more eyes that look at the data surrounding a conspiracy the less likely it will succeed.
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Old 03-05-2014, 6:50 AM
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I had an uncle who spent many years in the military, His specialty was electronic intelligence. For the past 15 years or so, he had been becoming increasingly convinced that the gov was spying on everyone. It got to the point that he disconnected his phone, cable, internet, etc. He used public hotspots and throwaway cell phones to communicate.

Most in the family wrote him off as a nutjob. I gave him some credit, since electronic eavesdropping is what he had done for a living. Sadly, he passed away last year shortly before Snowden's revelations became public.

Some of us were also paying attention to Mark Klein when he detailed wiring the NSA room in ATT's facility in San Francisco 10 years ago.

There are little bits and pieces of information here and there. Certainly they aren't all credible, but it would be foolish to not pay attention.
Yep - I never worked as an analyst, mainly in the distribution pipelines (RF & Network) but a friend of mine managed a startup co-location facility in San Diego shortly after 9/11 and since I was connected/interested I followed the construction & provisioning pretty closely. Around 1/8 of his facility was a "federal" customer peered into all of his service providers.

It was pretty clear to me that they were capturing and/or processing low OSI layer data at that point. When it became an option to capture data higher up the stack, with the providers consent(?) that was certainly easier to mine for intel.

They are walking a fine line capturing all the data without analyzing, kind of like if I set up a camera looking at your backyard, but never looked at the video did I violate your privacy?
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Old 03-05-2014, 7:37 AM
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I agree that many people will just go on believing what ever they are told never checking facts and thinking our .gov is out for our best interest even when caught not telling the truth. But as far as this topic goes (survival and prep.) I do not need facts but just look at past history to keep my family prepared for the possibility of :
Earthquakes- Do you need proof there will be another big one.
Hyperinflation- Many other countries have experienced this when you run the printing presses non stop.
Other natural disasters- Tsunami, meteor, bad weather etc.
Riots-Rodney King and social unrest if the .gov cannot provide welfare.
Terrorist attack- I worry most about our water supply.
While I can not predict if or when these things will happen history shows some of these things will happen and directly effect us. It does not really matter which one but history is on my side on this one. Oh yeah the holocaust never happened ! jk.
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Old 03-05-2014, 8:12 AM
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I agree that many people will just go on believing what ever they are told never checking facts and thinking our .gov is out for our best interest even when caught not telling the truth. But as far as this topic goes (survival and prep.) I do not need facts but just look at past history to keep my family prepared for the possibility of :
Earthquakes- Do you need proof there will be another big one.
Hyperinflation- Many other countries have experienced this when you run the printing presses non stop.
Other natural disasters- Tsunami, meteor, bad weather etc.
Riots-Rodney King and social unrest if the .gov cannot provide welfare.
Terrorist attack- I worry most about our water supply.
While I can not predict if or when these things will happen history shows some of these things will happen and directly effect us. It does not really matter which one but history is on my side on this one.
I agree with what you are saying here. Rational prepping should be more like the Eagle Scout "be prepared" motto, and less like something from Noah or Revelations. Also, being prepared means (or should mean) putting money in a retirement account like a 401k. After all, we should be "prepared" for the possibility that things could go on as they have been for maybe hundreds of years, even if it doesn't seem like that's very likely based on everything we see on the news.

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Oh yeah the holocaust never happened ! jk.
^"On topic" posts in this thread need to have a least some comment that's "meta".
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:16 AM
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Problem I have with this whole discussion is this... this type of logic which states that ONLY through good solid data can anything ever be believed or known has a major flaw - The Black Swan!

If you adhere to this style of thinking, as the MAJORITY of people on the internet do, not only do you close yourself off to the things that could very well be true, you close yourself off to the possibility of things being true that could potentially have the biggest impact BC OF the refusal to believe it without data. A perfect example of this is the Snowden leaks.

So, I get the point that we should all be WEARY of assertions and theories that aren't logical or supported, but I think it's foolish to completely disregard them because they dont adhere to either our own way of thinking or the standards of "proof" we arrogantly expect things to have.

That way of thinking is wrong and flawed IMHO, and BEHIND much of the fact that such nonsense happens behind the scenes without our knowledge.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:54 AM
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Problem I have with this whole discussion is this... this type of logic which states that ONLY through good solid data can anything ever be believed or known has a major flaw - The Black Swan!

If you adhere to this style of thinking, as the MAJORITY of people on the internet do, not only do you close yourself off to the things that could very well be true, you close yourself off to the possibility of things being true that could potentially have the biggest impact BC OF the refusal to believe it without data. A perfect example of this is the Snowden leaks.

So, I get the point that we should all be WEARY of assertions and theories that aren't logical or supported, but I think it's foolish to completely disregard them because they dont adhere to either our own way of thinking or the standards of "proof" we arrogantly expect things to have.

That way of thinking is wrong and flawed IMHO, and BEHIND much of the fact that such nonsense happens behind the scenes without our knowledge.
(Wary, rather than weary, I think, though one could easily weary of such things!)

Exactly.

Again, going to my simplifying assumption, I presume the poster actually believes what is posted.

Calguns has thousands of members. That could be a widespread intelligence network, or one of the state's largest 'party lines' (old telephone network version).

I'd like members posting things to offer why they believe something. That, of course, is META data, a call-back to the title of the thread, and a deliberate usage.

Years ago, reading US vs Miller, the Court said "The Court cannot take judicial notice that a shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches long ...". So, what's judicial notice, I wondered?

Turns out, it's things that are so obvious and well known that no testimony is needed. That would be something like 'the sun rises in the east' or 'Sacramento is the capitol of California'.

Similarly, there isn't a lot of information of which we may take 'forum notice'. We do have spammers and scammers and trolls - it's the Internet. It's appropriate to have the filters set high.

But it would be unfortunate to miss something important because we refused to examine it at all.

So this thread is mostly to encourage posters to go beyond posting links and rumors, and provide some criticism of the information, some description of how it fits in with or refutes what he/she knew or thought he/she knew.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:02 PM
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So this thread is mostly to encourage posters to go beyond posting links and rumors, and provide some criticism of the information, some description of how it fits in with or refutes what he/she knew or thought he/she knew.
So Mission Accomplished, this thread has served it's purpose and now there is nothing more to discuss? It would be nice to have an "OT" thread within the Survival and Preparations forum.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:19 AM
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Carl Sagan is credited with "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

... What we need here is an agreement to explain why it is we believe a particular source that provides unconventional information,
and a parallel agreement to actually answer the question when someone asks 'why do you believe that?' if one happens to forget that reasoning in the first presentation and yet another parallel agreement to ask politely.


And I recommend this short story: The Silly Season
Yes, I agree with all of the above.

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Old 03-06-2014, 5:59 PM
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Not exactly true. For those of us old enough, in 2000 60 Minutes reported on it. I remember thinking then that I'd never convey anything I didn't want known using an electronic communication device.

Carry on
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:59 AM
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Carl Sagan ...
The reboot of Carl Sagan's old "Cosmos" show starts tonight: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:26 AM
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Any conspiracy crap that oozes from the mouths of people, either on an electronic forum or in person immediately gets discounted by myself. If it's some un-falsifiable garbage like Oblahblah being the 666 beast I just exit the discussion.

For personal decision making, where the stakes are low and the costs are low, I will operate on assumptions that can not easily be tested, such as the EMP gibberish that is so fun to talk about around here: It costs me very little to put my electronic goods in a decent metal cabinet or roll-away tool chest from harbor-freight compared to putting them in a piece o keerap particle board concoction from Ikea... low cost to take the precaution against a high-impact low-probability event and big payoff if it does actually occur.

To go to the great expense in both time and materials of reinforcing my foundation to accommodate a Skousen Wall to make my place more bullet resistant in the event of widespread civil unrest would be a high-cost precaution against a higher-probability lower-impact event that I deem just too dang unprofitable at this point and time.

To sell the properties, quit my high-paying job and join the ranks of the unemployed and uproot family to migrate to some far-away rural redoubt is a gambit of incredible life-changing/opportunity-reducing cost that unless I have high-95+% probability notice of upcoming thermonuclear war/EMP/asteroid impact/zombiewhatever outbreak, there is no way I am going to play those cards: the payoff vs probabilities just don't work out.

Remember, prepping is prepping for everything, including the dire possibility of living to a ripe old age in a nation that somehow manages to overcome its problems and steers the course towards survival and renewed prosperity.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:28 PM
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When anyone learns something, they compare it with what they already know.
Either it will confirm or expand on something they already know or it will challenge their currently held belief.

Confirmation bias is the tendency of people to continue believing what they already believe.

Being aware of all of that. I typically apply Occam's razor when deciding if I believe something to be true or not. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected, or the simplest answer tends to be the correct answer.

I keep an open mind, look for multiple sources and reasonable explanations as to why something is true or false.

Using your example of problemchilds post of puzzle pieces.

If I had learned of the government stockpiling, food, guns, ammo, body bags... etc. I would come to the conclusion it is because they government foresees a need for it.

Is it likely that they are gathering this for a coming war with it's citizens... I don't think so. Since the government is made up of it's citizens and many of them have friends or family that are also citizens, is it likely they wish to hurt themselves? I would say it is not likely.

Are there bad people who would hurt others? Of course there are. How many conspirators would it take for that kind of upheaval. How complicated would that plot have to be to actually be true? Applying Occam's razor I would say it is not likely.

It is far more likely they are preparing for a fight they hope to never have to fight. One example could be an EMP that wipes out all electronics in the US like in One Second After, and the invasion that follows.

Does an EMP have to be likely for them to prepare for it? No, they prepare for it because that is their job.
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Old 03-09-2014, 1:36 PM
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^ Occam's Razor is a good rule of thumb but there are times and places where following it can be fatal:

Were I a poor Ukranian peasant in the 1920s, I might simply assume that it was a bad year for harvests and the government was legitimate and good-hearted in it's efforts to collectivize and redistribute. The notion that Stalin would use famine as a tool of genocide and wanted me and my family dead and rotted so someone else could take the land would have been tinfoil hat kookiness.

Were I an Asian businessman in Los Angeles in the 1940s, I might assume that everyone was genuinely concerned about saobteurs and spies and that upon returning from Manzanaar, My properties, inventory and businesses would be returned to me and my family. The notion that some locals might use things as a pretext for land and asset grabs would be just tinfoil hattery...

One thing I've noticed about really high-functioning sociopaths is that they can game the Occam's Razor mindset for quite a while before supposedly very intelligent but naďve people can catch on.

It can be a very tricky thing to maintain skepticism without falling too far one way or the other.

It is extraordinary hazardous to one's personal and financial well being to believe the slogans written on the side of patrol cars or emitted from the mouths of anyone in public relations or with any agenda, no matter how friendly towards my own ideology.
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Old 03-09-2014, 3:29 PM
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^ Occam's Razor is a good rule of thumb but there are times and places where following it can be fatal:

Were I a poor Ukranian peasant in the 1920s, I might simply assume that it was a bad year for harvests and the government was legitimate and good-hearted in it's efforts to collectivize and redistribute. The notion that Stalin would use famine as a tool of genocide and wanted me and my family dead and rotted so someone else could take the land would have been tinfoil hat kookiness.

Were I an Asian businessman in Los Angeles in the 1940s, I might assume that everyone was genuinely concerned about saobteurs and spies and that upon returning from Manzanaar, My properties, inventory and businesses would be returned to me and my family. The notion that some locals might use things as a pretext for land and asset grabs would be just tinfoil hattery...

One thing I've noticed about really high-functioning sociopaths is that they can game the Occam's Razor mindset for quite a while before supposedly very intelligent but naďve people can catch on.

It can be a very tricky thing to maintain skepticism without falling too far one way or the other.

It is extraordinary hazardous to one's personal and financial well being to believe the slogans written on the side of patrol cars or emitted from the mouths of anyone in public relations or with any agenda, no matter how friendly towards my own ideology.
No argument here, completely agree. Which is why it tends to be true, or is a good rule of thumb. I always liked the saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you."

With Occam's Razor:
If I saw something cross my path that moved like a bear, looked like a bear, and sounded like a bear... well the simplest answer is that it is a bear.

Without Occam's Razor:
Al Gore would have me believe that bear is really ManBearPig, which is just crazy! Everyone knows he is with the yeti and bigfoot celebrating Santa's birthday.
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