9/11 Survey

by roland1 min read2nd Nov 201129 comments

-39

Personal Blog

Hello,

 

we had a number of posts on 9/11, for example there was this one

http://lesswrong.com/lw/5ku/what_causes_people_to_believe_in_conspiracy/

that listed the opinions of people in several countries. But AFAIK there never has been a survey regarding the opinion of LWers on this subject. So here it is, I'm grateful for all answers:

 

Click here to take the survey. (Closed)

 

EDIT: Added a 3rd option(no opinion) to the survey.

EDIT 2: Link to other opinion polls:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks_opinion_polls#United_States

EDIT 3: The survey is closed now(2012-06-14), no further answers will be accepted.

Answers:

Inside Job(The US Government did it)   3 3%
Outside Job(Al Qaeda, Bin Laden or others did it)   102 92%
I have no opinion on this.   5 5%

 

 

29 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 2:12 PM
New Comment

You know (virtually) everyone here thinks your conspiracy theories are crazy. Don't troll.

No I don't know that, otherwise I wouldn't have made the survey. What I know is that there are some members who are very vocal about this issue, but I'm curious about the others. I guess you could also be a bit more respectful.

I don't think this comment deserves this many downvotes, or for that matter any downvotes at all. Overly vocal members giving a skewed view of the group consensus is a perfectly valid concern.

Had Yvain posted this comment as a response to someone questioning why he included the polyamory question on the LW poll, when everyone knows LW:ers are poly, it would have been upvoted.

I disagree. (I am a downvoter.)

Consider Bayes. The prior proportion of people who do not think his conspiracy theory is crazy is 0.06, according to the article he linked to in the OP. (This assumes that your prior is equal to the US population, and since the significant majority of LW is American (I think) this is a reasonable prior. Even if I'm wrong, it's unlikely to affect the results significantly.) Roughly twenty people replied to the conspiracy theory thread without mentioning that they thought 9/11 was a conspiracy, which seems a highly likely response, if you actually thought that. Browsing through rolands post history, I find a number of users who have explicitly said they disagree with his theory: wedrifid, Eliezer, Mitchell_Porter, lessdazed, WrongBot, Constant, Blueberry, Nisan, mattnewport, Alicorn, simplicio, Jayson_Virissimo, retired_phlebotomist, quanticle, and... well. That's as far as I care to go. But I think it's pretty clear that roland had enough Bayesian evidence prior to making his post that virtually everyone here thinks his conspiracy theory is crazy.

Score of a comment depends on its author as well as (or sometimes even more than) its content. It's hard to overcome this, but nevertheless having a comment similar to the grandparent standing at -7 doesn't paint a good image of LW voting habits. It can be that people have downvoted it because they suspect roland indeed knows what the opinions of LW:ers [1] are and is trolling, but far more plausible is that most downvoters (of that comment) did vote just because it is a comment written by an unpopular author on an unpopulat topic. Voting on topic is fine with me, but one should do it once for the post and not automatically downvote any subsequent comment of the author.

[1] Is it possible in English to use the Nordic habit of separating abbreviations from suffixes by a colon? It looks useful, but I thought it is permitted only in Swedish and Finnish.

It can be that people have downvoted it because they suspect roland indeed knows what the opinions of LW:ers [1] are and is trolling

Personally I do not think this, but I think he has little excuse for not knowing it by now. If he weren't so attached to the idea, he would have realized that he already has enough data to work out what the vast majority of people here believe about the issue with high confidence.

[1] Is it possible in English to use the Nordic habit of separating abbreviations from suffixes by a colon? It looks useful, but I thought it is permitted only in Swedish and Finnish.

Didn't even notice you did it. It's not technically right, as JoshuaZ pointed out, but I think my brain just saw it, processed it as being strange, and moved on since it understood anyway.

Kaj did it first. I wanted to know whether he did it intentionally, or whether it was a subconscious code switch.

Oh, I didn't realize I did that.

Ah. Didn't notice that either...

It can be that people have downvoted it because they suspect roland indeed knows what the opinions of LW:ers [1] are and is trolling, but far more plausible is that most downvoters (of that comment) did vote just because it is a comment written by an unpopular author on an unpopulat topic.

I'm unconvinced either way. I suspect that some degree of unpopularity exists is relevant, but it also likely extends from issues such as those mentioned in my remark above. People have given Roland suggestions about what he needs to do to get people to actually listen and he hasn't done them, even when those suggestions (like the PredictionBook suggestion) would take minimal effort.

There's a certain point where on loses patience with actions like this and wonders if someone doesn't really want to convince everyone else but just wants to feel that that they have the secret knowledge and is smarter than everyone else who just won't listen.

[1] Is it possible in English to use the Nordic habit of separating abbreviations from suffixes by a colon? It looks useful, but I thought it is permitted only in Swedish and Finnish.

It isn't common in English. I've seen it occasionally, but generally from non-native speakers. I do however think that it is common enough that people will recognize what you are doing and it won't disrupt readability.

I didn't downvote and haven't previously commented on any of your posts as far as I remember, but political subjects have a lot of hurdles to overcome before they become worthwhile for discussion here. There's a strong tendency for politically charged topics to generate more heat than light, so it's best to broach such a topic only if it informs an epistemic point for which no other compelling examples exist or if it has powerful and immediate implications for instrumental optimization in some other field. Even then I'd be cautious.

Your survey doesn't qualify in either respect, yet the bare mention of 9/11 carries a strong political charge by itself, to say nothing of any implications that might be sneaking in. I'd rather not see it here.

I both participated in the survey and downvoted the post.

I worked for the USG in a quasi-law enforcement anti-terrorist capacity for over three years. In my professional opinion, the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a conspiracy, but the USG did not plan the attacks.

Then again, that's what I would say, wouldn't I?

I already suggested to you a more viable course of action if you wanted to get people here to listen to you. Note that since making that post with the specific predictions, I've added two more predictions of a similar sort to PredictionBook 1, 2.

You have not in that time since made any attempt to respond to those predictions, nor have you attempted to take up any form of bet. So apparently you are ignoring actual advice about what to do to get people to listen to you. In that context, don't be surprised if you get ignored or how have your remarks downvoted.