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May 17, 2011

Back, and to the Left. Back, and To the Left: Birth Certificate Conspiracy Theory Might Be Getting Slightly Obsessive

Parallel lines. Thus it is proven.

This is called "confirmation bias." We saw Denninger do this earlier when he claimed the Long Form's notation of a 7:24 time of birth proved it was fake, because gee, why did the long form have the same time of birth as the "Kenyan birth certificate" hoax? Gee, that must mean the Kenyan birth certificate is real, and this long form one is a forgery.

Or, gee, the 7:24 was included on the "Kenyan birth certificate" because Obama's time of birth was known for years -- it was on the short form. And it's also on the long form because, um, the long form is real and the short form is derived from it.

Oh, and having made such a foolish error, and having missed such an obvious possibility, he rewrote the post to cover his tracks. Credibility.

Confirmation bias is seizing upon any hope of evidence because you're not looking to evaluate a theory as true or false, but simply to prove it. Evidence isn't looked at skeptically. It's just all scooped up in a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" effort.

Like the Truthers. Exactly like the Truthers. Own it.

Please don't send me these tips anymore. I am tired of having to see this half-baked crap. No one on the birther side ever seems to evaluate this crap themselves and determine if it's "ready for prime time." No, this bullshit is just shoveled out as it's crapped out of the bull, and everyone else is expected to then take it seriously and "disprove it if you can!"

How much bullshit can be thrown at the non-birthers here before we can step up and say, "Hey, how about you prove some crap first before demanding everyone else disprove your increasingly torturous illogic"?

So, Denninger has some smoking-gun proof, kind of like he did last time, except he didn't last time, but he does now.

He's an expert on this stuff, apparently, because he says so.

Seems to me the birth certificate conspiracists are choosing their experts according to whether or not the expert opinion is that the document is a forgery. If you say yes, you're an expert, even if you have no expertise whatsoever.

Meanwhile, if FoxNews goes out and just contacts a real expert -- like an expert in Photoshop, who actually makes a living fielding non-birth certificate conspiracy questions -- and that expert says it's genuine, well that doesn't count. Obviously that guy doesn't know his beans.

Unlike Denninger, of course. He's an expert. He says it's weird that a document has "layers;" an actual paid expert, not a blogger with free time on his hands, insists it is weird; of course we believe that latter guy.

Because we're expert-shopping, as lawyers say. Just looking for that one guy willing to claim what you need him to claim on the stand.

At this point, birtherism is a deliberately self-isolating subculture, in which adherents only talk with each other and reject outside voices. That's fine.

But let it be a subculture then. If you want birther porn, fine. Enjoy your birther porn.

But this is not a general interest discussion topic. This is for a hardcore fringe of conspiracists.

Oh, and WND has some truly startling new theories about the arcane topic of birth certificate registration numbering in Hawaii circa 1961.

They also have some Magic Beans. Both are delicious.

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posted by Ace at 06:46 PM

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