Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Who Really Killed Kennedy: Joe Rogan gives Steven Pinker's Expert on "weird beliefs" a hard time on the Kennedy Assassination

In his latest book, Rationality, Steven Pinker heaps contempt on those who think that on 9/11 the Twin Towers may have been brought down with explosives, or that there was a "plot" to kill President J.F. Kennedy. In so doing, Pinker cites Michael Shermer, the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, who regards such conspiracy theories as "weird," i.e., irrational, beliefs. 

However, in this conversation with Shermer, Joe Rogan shows Shermer's position, and by inference Pinker's, to be mere name-calling maskerading as logic, irrationality in fact, from those claiming to defend rationality, while, in fact, defending the official narrative.  

For example:

Rogan: Do you think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
Shermer: Yeah, sure.
Rogan: What makes you think that?
Shermer: All of the evidence. None of the evidence against anyone else.

An open-minded approach! 

In fact, Shermer is as closed-minded as any committed conspiracy theorist, as by inference is Pinker. 

But hear the discussion for yourself, while remembering that this covers only a tiny fraction of the relevant evidence:



  1. I tried to listen to this, but couldn't. We're past the fifty year anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, and what happened or didn't happen has been hashed and rehashed endlessly. I'm sick of it. Pinker et al don't have to be convinced by what convinces us. There is no rule of the universe (or rationality) requiring them to come to the same conclusion as we do. At times it is just plain sickening to me to listen to their reasoning.

    Oswald is on the top floor of the School Book Depository with a rifle, waiting, above what just happens to be the route of the Presidential motorcade -- "just by chance". That it was chance was a thought which never occurred to me, but now Shermer suggests it (He did say that, didn't he, CS?) I consider it to mean levels of preparation, planning, and "set up" heretofore also never occurring to me. Most decidedly not Oswald had that sniper nest fortuitously, "just by chance".

    Shermer can't say there is no evidence but then say there were anomalies. Or rather, Shermer can say anything Shermer wants. Some of these people get a paycheck from the CIA. It is a power play to say inconvenient evidence is simply anomalous. It is a power play to by executive fiat declare the reasoning of your intellectual opponent irrational.

    According to Plato, might doesn't make right. Modern democracy in particular is predicated on might not making right.

    Shermer and Pinker could take the anomalies seriously as points of departure for further investigation. There is a power play involved in why they do not do so. (By the way, that flattening of the single bullet would have been caused when it was fired into a swimming pool prior to being planted on the gurney. Good God. To hear Shermer say this slight flattening supports the single bullet theory--masterful! Shermer and Pinker are not our masters, however.)

    1. I too am tired of the debate (although the points you raise are interesting to me as I had not previously considered them), but I despise a professor who seek to force acceptance of a dubious proposition by sheer bullying: accept the official narrative or you're a dupe of "canards," i.e., unfounded rumors; a person harboring "weird," which is to say irrational, ideas.

      And it is interesting that in the chapter of his book dealing with conspiracy theories the only such theories that Pinker mentions -- other than Holocaust denial, which he includes surely only to smear conspiracy theorists as anti-Semites -- concern the Kennedy assassination, and 9/11.

      Interesting because it is these theories that directly challenge the legitimacy or competence of the US security services. They were either complicit in the Kennedy assassination and 9/11, or incompetent in preventing the Kennedy assassination and 9/11. Either way, no discussion of the Warren Commission report or the 9/11 Commision report is acceptable. That is notwithstanding that the Warren Commision report was largely directed in its findings by Allen Dulles, former CIA director who Kennedy had fired, and that the 9/11 Commission was minimally funded and generally obstructed by the Bush Administration.

      As to paychecks from the CIA, one wonders which psychologists the CIA consulted on "enhanced interrogation" techniques, and who came up with the idea of sexual humiliation as a way of dealing with detainees at Abu Ghraib. A psychologist, surely.