Debunked: 9/11 truth experts are knowledgeable professionals and their judgments are to be trusted

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
I'm concerned that we are drifting "off topic" - the thread topic is the unreliability of 9/11 Truther "side" professionals. We are discussing identified flaws with the legitimate professional explanations associated more with the "debunker" side. And clearing up the confused issues can lead to extended debate going further "off-topic". So I will try to keep comments brief - we may need a separate thread or threads.

The Wikipedia article is, in my opinion a good generalised overview. Accurate in most of what it says but does not delve deeply into some details.
But I identify two flaws that are relevant to our current discussion. I wil explain the most blatant one which is in the section addressing Total progressive Collapse.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse_of_the_World_Trade_Center#Total_progressive_collapse

That explanation is the "Crush Down/Crush Up" hypothesis published by Bazant & Verdure in their 2007 paper "Mechanics of Progressive Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions."

I say that explanation is wrong. It has four fatal errors when applied to WTC Tin Towers collapses. And I'm well aware that most debunkers regard Bazant as infallible and that the CD/CU hypothesis is accepted wisdom by many. Here is the outline of my explanatory proof:
1) I believe that B&V fell for the mistake that many debunkers had made by misapplying the "limit case" modelling of the Bazant & Zhou papers of 2001-2. The specific error being the assumption that columns remained inline resisting collapse and were crushed (buckled) as the collapse progressed. And a second associated error - that the collapse started by the "Top Block" dropping so that the upper part of each column impacted on its lower part.

The following are specific examples of false aspects in the quote from Wikipedia:
2) "upper block destroyed the structure below in a progressive series of column failures roughly one story at a time." >> That did NOT happen. The falling debris missed the columns allowing the perimeter columns to fall away and topple and fall away in "sheets" of carious sizes. Not buckled".

3) "Each failure began with the impact of the upper block on the columns of the lower section.." >> Didn't happen. (See #5 below)

4) "This buckled the columns of the story immediately beneath the advancing destruction.." >> Same error - didn't happen that way. Columns were not buckled. Debris fell on floor areas and sheared floors off columns.

5) "This repeated until the upper block reached the ground and the crush-up phase began..." >> Not so - the Top Block was dismantled at the start of progression collapse. (Separate proof available of that assertion.)

The fundamental error is that B&V assumed "columns in line" resisting collapse. The error that B&Z did NOT make 5 years earlier but one that most early truther v debunker discussions got wrong. And was the foundation error of T Szamboti's "Missing Jolt" paper.

I will pause there - members will realise that what I am explaining opposes current "accepted wisdom". And I'm committing "lèse-majesté" - having the unmitigated gall to disagree with Bazant. So I'll await comments. Possibly discussion in another thread?

And I haven't forgotten my earlier reference to "...two flaws that are relevant to our current discussion..". The second flaw can wait. ;)
Not to mention the FACT that the columns were 3 stories tall - 36'
 

econ41

Senior Member
....which only talks about conditions that initiated the collapse, is so poorly worded that it is used by David Chandler and others to claim that NIST scientists dismissed progressive floor failure as the mechanism that sustained the collapse after it had started. Below is Question 28 and part of NIST’s poorly worded response.

A better wording for that part of the response might be the following:
Just a suggestion and a practice that I have followed for at least 12 years. Recognise explicitly that the Twin Towers collapses involved distinct stages. NIST's FAQ and your comments implicitly recognise two stages - initiation and progression. I suggest being very explicit. And, when necessary to avoid confusion, identify all four of the distinct stages. Because a lot of discussion has been confused when persons conflated the two main stages or simply failed to distinguish the stages when the distinction was necessary to clear argument. Both Szamboti and Chandler have made errors from either conflation or failure to distinguish the two main stages. And very few even recognise the other stages or "sub-stages".

And, although not always necessary, if you ever get into detailed explanations of mechanisms you may find it necessary to define all four "stages" as follows:
1) "initiation". The process from aircraft impact >> starting fires >> through to "Top Block" starts to move bodily downwards** and that, by the way, establishes that top parts of broken columns are bypassing ("missing") their bottom parts;
2) "Transition" the bridge from "initiation" to "progression"** >> which ensured that the two key features of "progression" were in place viz (a) column ends missing - not aligned as "progression stage "starts AND (b) floors starting to shear off columns i.e. starting what has been described as "ROOSD" (Runaway Open Office Space Destruction"); Some proof in this graphic:
ArrowedROOSD.jpg
3) "Early Progression" >> the first few storeys of progressive collapse which saw mutual destruction as Top Block and upper levels of lower tower were dismantled**. (And THAT falsifies Bazant & Verdure's "Crush Down/Crush Up" hypothesis.)
4) "Established Progression"** >> what is probably accepted as the mode of progression as partly explained in this graphic:
003c350.jpg

Bottom line - recognise that Twin Towers collapses involved two distinct main stages and two more sub-stages AND I recommend explicitly defining those stages each time there is a need to refer to them.

And - just to complicate it for those who have difficulty arguing without accurate detailed specifics:
** All four of those stage boundaries are hard to define specifically. :rolleyes:
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
Just a suggestion and a practice that I have followed for at least 12 years. Recognise explicitly that the Twin Towers collapses involved distinct stages. NIST's FAQ and your comments implicitly recognise two stages - initiation and progression. I suggest being very explicit. And, when necessary to avoid confusion, identify all four of the distinct stages. Because a lot of discussion has been confused when persons conflated the two main stages or simply failed to distinguish the stages when the distinction was necessary to clear argument. Both Szamboti and Chandler have made errors from either conflation or failure to distinguish the two main stages. And very few even recognise the other stages or "sub-stages".

And, although not always necessary, if you ever get into detailed explanations of mechanisms you may find it necessary to define all four "stages" as follows:
1) "initiation". The process from aircraft impact >> starting fires >> through to "Top Block" starts to move bodily downwards** and that, by the way, establishes that top parts of broken columns are bypassing ("missing") their bottom parts;
2) "Transition" the bridge from "initiation" to "progression"** >> which ensured that the two key features of "progression" were in place viz (a) column ends missing - not aligned as "progression stage "starts AND (b) floors starting to shear off columns i.e. starting what has been described as "ROOSD" (Runaway Open Office Space Destruction"); Some proof in this graphic:
ArrowedROOSD.jpg
3) "Early Progression" >> the first few storeys of progressive collapse which saw mutual destruction as Top Block and upper levels of lower tower were dismantled**. (And THAT falsifies Bazant & Verdure's "Crush Down/Crush Up" hypothesis.)
4) "Established Progression"** >> what is probably accepted as the mode of progression as partly explained in this graphic:
003c350.jpg

Bottom line - recognise that Twin Towers collapses involved two distinct main stages and two more sub-stages AND I recommend explicitly defining those stages each time there is a need to refer to them.

And - just to complicate it for those who have difficulty arguing without accurate detailed specifics:
** All four of those stage boundaries are hard to define specifically. :rolleyes:
Your 4th stage suggests to me at least that the floors failed at their connections to the perimeter and then dropped down. This is not accurate. I suggest that yes there was overload at those perimeter connections.... and they failed. There was also likely failures to the slab integrity shattering from dropping material on the open office floors. The dropping pancake concept depends on all slab to frame failing simultaneously from being over loaded simultaneously. This is not likely.
In 2 wtc there was clearly a none uniform impact as the top block was dropping AND tilting. Same in 1WTC but to a lesser extent.
However once the ROOSD was established... it also appears that some quadrants/sections of the floor destruction led and other sections lagged every slightly behind.
 

Edward Current

Active Member
Whilst I endorse "..improving the Wikipedia article.." I doubt it is pragmatically achievable. Certainly not by comments from a retired Water and Sewarage Engieer - bachelors degree - Australian - with ZERO "publishing" record. Being "correct" wont count for much in the status games of academia. Nor trying to correct the seried ranks of academic status hierarchy from the platform of Wikipedia. Just read Bazant's patronising put downs in the published formal discussion of Bazant's works by those who dared to question.
Wikipedia is just based on whatever can be reliably sourced. If for example an engineering/technology magazine did an update on the Towers' collapse mechanism and spoke to experts, then you could use whatever is said in that article to improve the Wikipedia article (provided the magazine is itself notable). It's actually a pretty good system. No, original research isn't tolerated. There's an old adage at Wikipedia, "verifiability, not truth."

Bringing this back to the topic thread, the so-called experts that "speak out" in AE911Truth videos are not notable experts by Wikipedia standards.
 

econ41

Senior Member
No, original research isn't tolerated.
A perpetual frustration for me when "citation of sources" outweighs being correct by reasoning from base principles. And so many of the high status "debunker" side are simply blindly following higher status persons who are equally wrong.
Bringing this back to the topic thread, the so-called experts that "speak out" in AE911Truth videos are not notable experts by Wikipedia standards.
Hence my concern about "off-topic".

BTW I Edited my post slightly and crossed in posting with you.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
In your interaction with AE911Truth mouthpieces, have you had the experience of having your publicly visible comments censored? I have given up making comments for videos on the AE911Truth YouTube channel because any comment I made that revealed the tricks behind their smoke and mirrors was deleted within hours. When I first started watching AE9/11Truth videos, I couldn't understand how it could be that almost every comment was flattering and supportive. I suspected that it was because people with an understanding of physics and the actual evidence were just not drawn to videos like that. When I posted my first comment offering a more reasonable explanation for the evidence cited by Gage and company, I thought that the voice of reason could finally be heard. Later that evening, after discovering that my comment had been removed by the channel host, I realized what was going on.

...
For many years now, I have been blocked from writing comments on the ae911truth Facebook page. How ironic they very recently (2 weeks ago perhaps) had an article crying about how they get censored. I get censored by just about every Truther resource I ever interacted with - for content, not behavior.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
members will realise that what I am explaining opposes current "accepted wisdom"
Wikipedia is just based on whatever can be reliably sourced. If for example an engineering/technology magazine did an update on the Towers' collapse mechanism and spoke to experts, then you could use whatever is said in that article to improve the Wikipedia article (provided the magazine is itself notable).
A perpetual frustration for me when "citation of sources" outweighs being correct by reasoning from base principles. And so many of the high status "debunker" side are simply blindly following higher status persons who are equally wrong.
Bringing this back to the topic thread, the so-called experts that "speak out" in AE911Truth videos are not notable experts by Wikipedia standards.
This is quite illuminating for me. And it suggests the need for some good, mainstream science journalism before any more progress can be made. (Edward is right that such an article could be used to improve the Wikipedia article.)

It seems to me that Econ is raising serious doubts about how knowledgeable and trustworthy the experts on the debunker side are too. And this all goes back to uncertainty about what the received view in the engineering community is, and even, as Marc points out, what the "official" (i.e., NIST) position is.
Another good place to invest some effort might be to offer NIST assistance with rewording some of the answers on their Towers FAQ webpage ( www.nist.gov/world-trade-center-investigation/study-faqs/wtc-towers-investigation ) so as to eliminate ambiguities that truthers take advantage of in their false narratives.
After all, those FAQs are used as "reliable sources" in the Wikipedia article.

If the NIST FAQs are poorly worded, and the Wikipedia article violates reasoning from basic engineering principles, then I don't see what shame there is in someone declaring that they don't understand how the buildings collapsed. The next step -- being open to alternative views -- seems equally justified.

One of those views is ROOSD and another is CD. Neither of those views, it seems, is the mainstream engineering view, i.e., what Econ calls "accepted wisdom". When he demands that we reject authorities and "reason from base principles" he sounds a bit like a truther telling us that "the offiicial story violates basic physics".

My view is that there must be trustworthy and knowledgeable experts that understand the actual, full mechanism of collapse as well as or better than any of us here. And I would hope their understanding is available already in written form so that a correct Wikipedia article could be reliably sourced. (I note the Uwe Starossek book - footnote 26. When I read it, it seemed to line up with Bazant's view. But I'm not sure I understood it fully.)

In any case, if a truther says that the official story is wrong, and cites the Wikipedia article as their source of what the official story says, it seems we're stuck with just agreeing with them. They're of course still wrong to conclude from this that the buildings must have been demolished. But it would seem that we've granted that their "experts" are as good as the mainstream's (i.e., Wikipedia's).

And who are our experts, anyway? What trustworthy, knowledgeable authorities do we believe? (Names and institutional affiliations please!)

Or is our argument now that AE911T's experts shouldn't be trusted because we should never trust experts and always reason from first principles? That way madness lies, I'm afraid.
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
ROOSD amplifies and clarifies what a pancake of runaway progressive floor collapse is. The acronym comes from I believe 911FreeForums... Nothing radical about it and any competent engineer would find it sensible and an accurate way to describe the floor collapse/destruction.
 
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econ41

Senior Member
@Thomas B Please refresh the sequence of posts which led to your most erecent comments.

You asked a straight forward question. This:
What is your take on the Wikipedia article?
I responded and on that specific question I said this:
The Wikipedia article is, in my opinion a good generalised overview. Accurate in most of what it says but does not delve deeply into some details.
But I identify two flaws that are relevant to our current discussion. I will explain the most blatant one which is in the section addressing Total progressive Collapse.
Please read that again Thomas B. I said in my opinion the Wikipedia article is a good general overview. And I said that I found TWO flaws and I identified the "most blatant one" as:
That explanation is the "Crush Down/Crush Up" hypothesis published by Bazant & Verdure in their 2007 paper "Mechanics of Progressive Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions."
.. and I presented an outline of the flaw and my proof of why it is wrong
I say that explanation is wrong. It has four fatal errors when applied to WTC Twin Towers collapses. And I'm well aware that most debunkers regard Bazant as infallible and that the CD/CU hypothesis is accepted wisdom by many.
I suggest that your response goes much further in denial of my comments than is warranted and yet makes no attempt to rebut or falsfy what I outlined as proof.

Let me take the discussion right back to the fundamental issue which is "Do we still rely on experts and referenced sources when those experts or sources are wrong?"

Or, as I framed it for ONE specific issue the Bazant & Verdure "Crush Down/CRsuh Up" hypotheseis is demonstrablt incorrect when applied to WTC TWinTowers. So - if you or I need to discuss the related mechanisms of WTC collapse do we accept the B&V version? OR Do we go with the actual facts? I for one do not accept your implicit position that if some thing is in a book or published paper it is correct.

I'll defer commenting on your extended comments at this stage. Let's see what comments other make.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
So in my opinion... experts on both sides of this "debate" have left something to be desired.
B&V's contribution did not describe what happened at the WTC. Their math is likely correct. Truther experts clearly are not representing facts and making their theories out of whole cloth without supporting evidence...in many cases directly lying... like molten steel... Nat Geo and so on fail to explain how pancakes fail... or that there were no pancake like floor failures.

The theories/explanations must be consistent with the observations. If they are not... it is garbage in... garbage out.
 

Marc Powell

Active Member
For many years now, I have been blocked from writing comments on the ae911truth Facebook page. How ironic they very recently (2 weeks ago perhaps) had an article crying about how they get censored. I get censored by just about every Truther resource I ever interacted with - for content, not behavior.
It is also ironic how Richard Gage presents psychologists in his films who assure the audience that anyone who does not believe AE911Truth malarkey must be suffering from cognitive dissonance.
 

econ41

Senior Member
Your 4th stage suggests to me at least that the floors failed at their connections to the perimeter and then dropped down. This is not accurate.
I'm not sure either what you are trying to say or why you think you are disagreeing with me. I showed one example of a floor to column connection - the office space floor joist to perimeter column. Because THAT was the feature that most people did nor recognise in the era pre about 2008-9. The inner end of the floor joist is analogous. As are all the beam to column connections in the core area. Those shearing failures were the ONLY structural features contributing resistance to free fall acceleration in the progression stage. What is "not accurate" about that such that it makes my assertion wrong?

Then you list some details which I did not describe because they add nothing to the simple principle - the net STRUCTURAL contribution to resisting progressive collapse was the force causing failure of beam/joist to column connections.
I suggest that yes there was overload at those perimeter connections.... and they failed.
Which is what - and all - I said.
There was also likely failures to the slab integrity shattering from dropping material on the open office floors. The dropping pancake concept depends on all slab to frame failing simultaneously from being over loaded simultaneously. This is not likely.
In 2 wtc there was clearly a none uniform impact as the top block was dropping AND tilting. Same in 1WTC but to a lesser extent.
However once the ROOSD was established... it also appears that some quadrants/sections of the floor destruction led and other sections lagged every slightly behind.
I never said otherwise - but those details have no effect on the simple point I made.
 

econ41

Senior Member
@Thomas B - just some brief comments or clarifications on those parts of your post which relate to my comments:
This is quite illuminating for me. And it suggests the need for some good, mainstream science journalism before any more progress can be made. (Edward is right that such an article could be used to improve the Wikipedia article.)
Agreed "could be used". I've already referred to some of the pragmatic obstacles.

It seems to me that Econ is raising serious doubts about how knowledgeable and trustworthy the experts on the debunker side are too. And this all goes back to uncertainty about what the received view in the engineering community is, and even, as Marc points out, what the "official" (i.e., NIST) position is.
I'm merely identifying that "experts", "references", "sources" etc are NOT the final authority tho some persons and some groups implicitly assume they have that status. And, in response to a specific example posted by Thomas B, I identified an example of an error in the "source" he referenced.

The final test of any assertion must be "is it true" including "are the supporting arguments made out". So, any person relying in argument on such a third party "source", must be prepared either to vouch for its accuracy themselves OR recognise that it's accuracy is open to challenge. Same rules apply to the debunker "side" as we insist for the truther "side".

UNLESS members are saying that debunker side books, papers, cited references are immune from challenge or validity checking. Hence my reference in the first post I made on this topic - the issue that many debunkers accept both NIST and Bazant as ultimate authorities. Omniscient and incapable of error. I don't.

One of those views is ROOSD and another is CD. Neither of those views, it seems, is the mainstream engineering view, i.e., what Econ calls "accepted wisdom".
The mechanism labelled by the acronym is probaly accepted tho much debate glosses over the details. The acronym "ROOSD" has been contentious because it was introduced by a person perceived to be a "truther". A complex history for those who may be interested. So "ROOSD" should be "accepted wisdom" and CD is certainly not.


When he demands that we reject authorities and "reason from base principles" he sounds a bit like a truther telling us that "the offiicial story violates basic physics".
If you disagree with anything I post then address what you see as the error and rebut it. The hyperbole of "demands" and "like a truther" does not address whatever problem you seem to have with the concept that not all "authorities" are always correct. So what is YOUR position when a referenced source of authority is wrong?

Now you seem to correctly identify the need but miss the most appropriate solution when you say this:

In any case, if a truther says that the official story is wrong, and cites the Wikipedia article as their source of what the official story says, it seems we're stuck with just agreeing with them.1 They're of course still wrong to conclude from this that the buildings must have been demolished. But it would seem that we've granted that their "experts" are as good as the mainstream's (i.e., Wikipedia's).2

And who are our experts, anyway? What trustworthy, knowledgeable authorities do we believe? (Names and institutional affiliations please!)3
1) Why do you abandon the primary tool of debate? Reasoned argument? Basic principle - Prove them wrong by reasoned argument.
2) Why rely on "my expert is better then your expert"? If you cannot rely on argument - why are you involved in debate?
3) Same problem - relying on and limiting the means of explanation to "experts".
Or is our argument now that AE911T's experts shouldn't be trusted a because we should never trust experts b and always reason from first principles? c That way madness lies d, I'm afraid.
That is an astonishing statement. Four of them actually:
(a) "our argument" should be "our argument" and not limited to arguing that AE911's experts are wrong. Container<>Content confusion.
(b) You can legitimately "trust" experts when EITHER you know they are right OR you have no other option and you accept them as expert in the topic.
(c) Proof of an assertion requires a coherent string of logic from base principles. Whether is is necessary to elucidate the full reasoning on each and every occasion depends on the situation. BUT - unless you are confident that the full chain of logic can be presented and is valid you have no right making the claim.
(d) The application of the protocols of argument by scientific method is "madness"????
 
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Thomas B

Active Member
So what is YOUR position when a referenced source of authority is wrong?
As a non-expert, this puts me in a tough spot actually. Normally, errors in the literature are corrected by other experts, so if something doesn't make sense or seems wrong to me, the challenge is to find some later source that clears it up. Ideally, the original author will acknowledge the mistake somewhere. So, for example, it's possible to find experts in the days immediately after 9/11 talking about the steel "melting". But this mistake has been cleared up and doesn't cause me any confusion today.

In the case of Bazant's crush-down/crush-up model (which depends on a "top block" destroying a "lower section" by way of a series of localized, floor-by-floor column failures) I'm a bit lost. I can't make sense of it, but that of course doesn't make it wrong. You say it is definitely wrong, but you are arguing from first principles that I don't understand and which can't be demonstrated in physical models (or even simplified mathematical ones) because the problems "don't scale" and involve "chaotic interactions". So I'm looking for a published expert that confirms your explanation and, importantly, rejects Bazant's explanation.

To a non-expert like me, Bazant seems to be a recognized authority on the collapses (and you even describe his status as almost god-like). This impression is strengthened by the central role he always played Wikipedia's explanation. If his model were really only considered a toy model or "limit case" with no relevance to the actual collapses, I'd expect the article to have replaced him with something better by now. The Starossek book seems like a solid reference, but it is presented in the article as consistent with Bazant's column-buckling explanation and also seems to use the "top block" model.

So, I'll repeat my question from above. If we're going to reject Wikipedia's explanation as flawed, are we stuck arguing from first principles and second-hand data, or are there any experts on our side who publicly explain and endorse the ROOSD model? If we can't cite experts that are knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals, why should AE911T be embarrassed that theirs are a little dodgy?

I'll grant that this was poorly worded:
In any case, if a truther says that the official story is wrong, and cites the Wikipedia article as their source of what the official story says, it seems we're stuck with just agreeing with them.
What I meant was: we're stuck agreeing with them that the Wikipedia article is wrong. We then have to explain that it is also getting the "official story" or "accepted wisdom" wrong on some points. But this, like I say, obligates us to show them a reliable source that, in principle, could be used to correct the Wikipedia article.

The "no original research" rule at Wikipedia, we should remember, was instituted to avoid endless discussions with physics and mathematics cranks who insisted on defending their "truths" using (their understanding of) first principles and home-made data. The basic idea is that if something is well-understood by scientists, then it can be properly sourced to the scientific literature. This has turned out to be a necessary and useful constraint on discussion there.

I like to understand things for myself. But if my own reasoning and experiments contradict the accepted wisdom of recognized experts, I'm inclined to think there was something wrong with my understanding rather than the state of science. At that point (to answer your question about my "position") I admit that I don't understand the science rather than declare the experts wrong. And that's more or less where I am with with the WTC collapses at present.
 
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Thomas B

Active Member
(d) The application of the protocols of argument by scientific method is "madness"????
This is really a minor and trivial point that I expressed in somewhat bombastic terms. It's not the application of the scientific method that is mad, but the abandonment of all discursive constraints (authority, consensus, civility, etc.) based on the conviction that the facts can be known unambiguously and directly by YOU.

In other words, what is mad is your absolute certainty that you are right and that the experts you disagree with are wrong. You may be right, of course. They may be wrong. But this will be settled in the literature by recognized experts (i.e., authorities), not directly by your clear vision of the facts.
 

econ41

Senior Member
@Thomas B - thanks for your thoughtful and extended post. I'll respond over the next couple of hours.

Let's resolve this set of issues first:
This is really a minor and trivial point that I expressed in somewhat bombastic terms. It's not the application of the scientific method that is mad, but the abandonment of all discursive constraints (authority, consensus, civility, etc.) based on the conviction that the facts can be known unambiguously and directly by YOU.

In other words, what is mad is your absolute certainty that you are right and that the experts you disagree with are wrong. You may be right, of course. They may be wrong. But this will be settled in the literature by recognized experts (i.e., authorities), not directly by your clear vision of the facts.
Yes I can be and was deliberately aggressively arrogant. I wouldn't offer to explain anything that I was not sure of. That would be even more arrogant. In effect saying "I can explain to you even though I dont know what I'm talking about!" We have a diverse range of members here with varying degrees of expertise across different 9/11 topic areas. Structural applied physics happens to be one of my professional strong points.

I identified ONE issue where I assert Bazant is wrong. I wouldn't make the assertion if I had doubts. If I was offering advice I was unsure of I would disclaim it as "tentative" or "opinion". And I'm both prepared to defend the assertions AND confident that I can express the argument in language at a suitable level. It requires collaborative discussion with a person prepared to discuss what I am explaining.

Remember also that my comments were in response to your request:
What is your take on the Wikipedia article?
.. to which I responded:
The Wikipedia article is, in my opinion a good generalised overview. Accurate in most of what it says but does not delve deeply into some details.
But I identify two flaws that are relevant to our current discussion. I will explain the most blatant one which is in the section addressing Total progressive Collapse.
So I identified ONE "blatant" issue AND I outlined my arguments which we still have not yet attempted to discuss.

I have through out these recent discussions been aware of your preference for a "book" or third party on-line, published resources.

I'm simply suggesting that there is sufficient expertise here to satisfy the level of enquiries we are seeing. A separate, alternate, parallel track to satisfying the type of need you identify.
 

econ41

Senior Member
@Thomas B - Let me respond to the issues raised by your thoughtful and lengthy post #93 point by point. I'll take them on your order:
As a non-expert, this puts me in a tough spot actually. Normally, errors in the literature are corrected by other experts, so if something doesn't make sense or seems wrong to me, the challenge is to find some later source that clears it up. Ideally, the original author will acknowledge the mistake somewhere. So, for example, it's possible to find experts in the days immediately after 9/11 talking about the steel "melting". But this mistake has been cleared up and doesn't cause me any confusion today.
There are two key issues here.
First the status of those who have sufficient expertise in the topic contrasted with those like yourself who recognise themselves "non-expert". On most of these WTC collapse topics I do possess the expertise sufficient to discuss the collapse applied physics at experienced professional level. So I can address the topic in my own right AND should know if I ever get "out of my depth". Which means I have a strong probability of being right but can still make mistakes and be subject to challenge. Contrast the "non-expert" who needs a reliable source of valid expertise to rely on. Hence your preference for third party published resources. I am suggesting that you may also be able to develop trust in more local expertise as you become familiar with persons such as other members here. I have a list of persons I have observed over years of debate who I regard as "go-to" person in topics where I lack the expertise. Examples include aeronautical maters where I respect member Kieth Beachy as expert. My go-to person on matters thermXte is member Oystein. There are others.

Second the source scenario. You have a strong preference for remote, published, accessible third party expert sources. I agree they are valuable. And probably the preferred source for persons like yourself EXCEPT.... they are not the only source. And there is expertise available in forums such as this. (Actually Metabunk is IMO currently the best on WTC collapse physics.)

Bottom line - Don't limit to one source of expertise. I'll leave this topic at this point.
 

econ41

Senior Member
@Thomas B - Your second sub-topic from post #93
In the case of Bazant's crush-down/crush-up model (which depends on a "top block" destroying a "lower section" by way of a series of localized, floor-by-floor column failures) I'm a bit lost. I can't make sense of it, but that of course doesn't make it wrong. You say it is definitely wrong, but you are arguing from first principles that I don't understand and which can't be demonstrated in physical models (or even simplified mathematical ones) because the problems "don't scale" and involve "chaotic interactions". So I'm looking for a published expert that confirms your explanation and, importantly, rejects Bazant's explanation.
You aren't as lost as you think. Youcorrectly identify that Bazant's "crush-down/crush-up model (which depends on a "top block" destroying a "lower section" by way of a series of localized, floor-by-floor column failures)" The actual collapse did NOT involve "..localized, floor-by-floor column failures". The progression involved so=called "ROOSD" debris landing successively on floors and MISSING the columns. So ifyuo believe "missing the columns" you already know Bazant's CD/CU is wrong. IF you dont believe "missing the columns" then I can offer more proof. Your call. And, BTW, it doesn't need significant engineering understanding.

So your middle - third sentence objections "You say it is definitely wrong, but you are arguing from first principles that I don't understand and which can't be demonstrated in physical models (or even simplified mathematical ones) because the problems "don't scale" and involve "chaotic interactions"... don't even come into play in the logic.

But you do have a problem with your final sentence: "So I'm looking for a published expert that confirms your explanation and, importantly, rejects Bazant's explanation."... because you wont get one for all the reasons we have already identified. The ranks of academia will close around Bazant because he is thought of as omniscient "King". And no action by me will be tolerated even if I was interested in trying it. BUT I've already posted enough oultine of logical argument for you to see the prima facie case "Bazant is wrong" ;) ;
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
As a non-expert, this puts me in a tough spot actually. Normally, errors in the literature are corrected by other experts, so if something doesn't make sense or seems wrong to me, the challenge is to find some later source that clears it up. Ideally, the original author will acknowledge the mistake somewhere. So, for example, it's possible to find experts in the days immediately after 9/11 talking about the steel "melting". But this mistake has been cleared up and doesn't cause me any confusion today.

In the case of Bazant's crush-down/crush-up model (which depends on a "top block" destroying a "lower section" by way of a series of localized, floor-by-floor column failures) I'm a bit lost. I can't make sense of it, but that of course doesn't make it wrong. You say it is definitely wrong, but you are arguing from first principles that I don't understand and which can't be demonstrated in physical models (or even simplified mathematical ones) because the problems "don't scale" and involve "chaotic interactions". So I'm looking for a published expert that confirms your explanation and, importantly, rejects Bazant's explanation.

To a non-expert like me, Bazant seems to be a recognized authority on the collapses (and you even describe his status as almost god-like). This impression is strengthened by the central role he always played Wikipedia's explanation. If his model were really only considered a toy model or "limit case" with no relevance to the actual collapses, I'd expect the article to have replaced him with something better by now. The Starossek book seems like a solid reference, but it is presented in the article as consistent with Bazant's column-buckling explanation and also seems to use the "top block" model.

So, I'll repeat my question from above. If we're going to reject Wikipedia's explanation as flawed, are we stuck arguing from first principles and second-hand data, or are there any experts on our side who publicly explain and endorse the ROOSD model? If we can't cite experts that are knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals, why should AE911T be embarrassed that theirs are a little dodgy?

I'll grant that this was poorly worded:

What I meant was: we're stuck agreeing with them that the Wikipedia article is wrong. We then have to explain that it is also getting the "official story" or "accepted wisdom" wrong on some points. But this, like I say, obligates us to show them a reliable source that, in principle, could be used to correct the Wikipedia article.

The "no original research" rule at Wikipedia, we should remember, was instituted to avoid endless discussions with physics and mathematics cranks who insisted on defending their "truths" using (their understanding of) first principles and home-made data. The basic idea is that if something is well-understood by scientists, then it can be properly sourced to the scientific literature. This has turned out to be a necessary and useful constraint on discussion there.

I like to understand things for myself. But if my own reasoning and experiments contradict the accepted wisdom of recognized experts, I'm inclined to think there was something wrong with my understanding rather than the state of science. At that point (to answer your question about my "position") I admit that I don't understand the science rather than declare the experts wrong. And that's more or less where I am with with the WTC collapses at present.
impossible to have FLOOR by FLOOR column failures at the WTC buildings..
"by way of a series of localized, floor-by-floor column failures)"

Columns in the twin towers were all 3 stories tall except on the mech floors... they were two story heights
Columns at 7WTC were 2 stories tall
Anyone who makes a statement ab out floor by floor column failures is not only wrong... but demonstrates that they do not know what the structures of those buildings were.
+++
Any "floor by floor" failures were the floor slabs themselves or their connections to the steel frame. It astounds me how many "experts" make this fundamental mistake.

Understanding is informed by accurate observation and the technical knowledge to understand them.
 
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Thomas B

Active Member
The ranks of academia will close around Bazant because he is thought of as omniscient "King".
Unfortunately, this is basically what the truthers believe about academia. I don't. I don't think it is possible for engineering science to maintain a false explanation of the collapses for 20 years. (If one man's vanity is enough of a motive, then surely two or three trillion dollars in misappropriated military spending will do as well!) If that were possible, pretty much everything the truthers want us to believe about how knowledge and power work in the world would be granted. How the WTC collapsed would be a minor side-issue.

I outlined my arguments which we still have not yet attempted to discuss.
The topic of this thread is how (and whether, if you ask me) to debunk the so-called expertise of AE911T's experts. So I'm intentionally avoiding deep dives into the how and why of the collapses. As I understand it, you are saying that Wikipedia appears to present a flawed explanation, not informed by ROOSD, and cites Bazant, who is "king" but wrong. If that's more or less the state of non-truther (debunker?) expertise*, then I think we may be living in a glass house and should be careful with all these stones.

*PS (edit). By "that's more or less the state of debunker expertise", I mean that we have no authorities to cite but only our "arguments from first principles" and public domain evidence to explain ROOSD to people who don't understand how the "top block" (invoked by an apparently "knowledgeable and trustworthy" Bazant) destroyed the whole building.
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
What I find interesting about the collapse of WTC "technical" discussions by "experts" is how uniformed and poor their observations were/are and how many of them were clueless about the structural details of the towers.

It appears to me and others (non experts) that the collapses were complex events with different "destructive mechanisms" in play as the collapse evolved from static to piles of rubble on the ground. We were subject to cartoons and cartoon like thinking rather than details.

Ironically the "global collapse" part of the collapse was the clearly mind boggling to many (most?) observers and hardly any effort was made by the "experts" to explain this. The unnamed independent "researchers" produced the most logical well supported explanation which was tagged ROOSD. To NIST... "global collapse" was adequate.

Listening to some of the AE911T experts one has to wonder if they actually looked at the collapse footage. And the same lack of understanding of the actual visuals is displayed by the so called "experts" supporting the "official collapse narratives".

Blind leading the blind comes to mind.
 

econ41

Senior Member
Unfortunately, this is basically what the truthers believe about academia. I don't. I don't think it it possible for engineering science to maintain a false explanation of the collapses for 20 years.
Don't make the common error of building global claims on ONE example. I've repeatedly cautioned that you asked about a Wikipedia article which I COMMENDED EXCEPT for two flaws. And both those flaws are commonly taken as "accepted wisdom".

You seem to be running away from the advice I offered in response to your request.
The topic of this thread is how (and whether, if you ask me) to debunk the so-called expertise of AE911T's experts. So I'm intentionally avoiding deep dives into the how and why of the collapses.
I'm well aware of both the topic and this forums preference for "on-topic" discipline. Hence my several offers/sugestions to discuss in a seperate thread IF there is interest. And I have several times in recent posts "pulled my punches" keeping explanations brief because we are drifting off topic. Plus it seems that the interest is not there. No problem. I'm accustomed to occasinally being "odd man out".

As I understand it, you are saying that Wikipedia appears to present a flawed explanation, not informed by ROOSD, and cites Bazant, who is "king" but wrong. If that's more or less the state of non-truther (debunker?) expertise*, then I think we may be living in a glass house and should be careful with all these stones.
Once again you are interpreting a single "blatant flaw" as if it is (or I am making it) a global condemnation. An error of false generalisation. I commended the subject article and Identified TWO flaws - one of which I still haven't identfied and wont given the lack of interest in what I am saying. And, by the way, you extend the false generalisation to include the whole of debunker thought as "living in a glass house". Nothing is further from the truth.

*PS (edit). By "that's more or less the state of debunker expertise", I mean that we have no authorities to cite but only our "arguments from first principles" and public domain evidence to explain ROOSD to people who don't understand how the "top block" (invoked by an apparently "knowledgeable and trustworthy" Bazant) destroyed the whole building.
I need not comment. You are not taking "on board" the comments and explanations I have posted.

I still believe the several topics are worthy of discussion. Esp the reality that discussion among persons with expertise is a valid way of learning the truth. And references to "sources" published by "authorities" is NOT the only or final determinant of truth. But it looks like ther is little interst and this is neither the place nor the audience for the discussions. Thanks for your contributions. I'll leave you with it.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Don't make the common error of building global claims on ONE example. I've repeatedly cautioned that you asked about a Wikipedia article which I COMMENDED EXCEPT for two flaws. And both those flaws are commonly taken as "accepted wisdom".
I wasn't reacting to your critique of the Wikipedia article but to your disrespect for Bazant's "academic" credentials and the other academics who prop him up. In full context, you had said:
you wont get [a published expert that confirms ROOSD and rejects Bazant's explanation] for all the reasons we have already identified. The ranks of academia will close around Bazant because he is thought of as omniscient "King". And no action by me will be tolerated even if I was interested in trying it. BUT I've already posted enough oultine of logical argument for you to see the prima facie case "Bazant is wrong".
This, I'm sorry to say, is how truthers talk about their "prima facies" and how well they are "tolerated" by the "ranks" of established science. Except that they also claim to have "experts" who "speak out" for their side. They can name them and tell us where they work. If we're going to debunk that so-called expertise, I think we should be able to name a few experts who speak in favor of ROOSD, not sound like we're conspiracy theorists about science and academia and that's why the public has never heard of ROOSD and believes some nonsense about the "top block" destroying a whole building, etc.

You can't see how that sounds?
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
First... note to mods.... all my posts are held because I made a boo boo, I accept this.... but not approving them and allowing them to appear in a timely fashion... makes a conversation impossible.

++++

Experts are human and as human they make mistakes. My sense is that perhaps most of many of the "experts" on both sides of this discussion approached the collapses as "theoretical models"... so you would get truther experts do things like... declare the collapse impossible. The are things which are impossible... defy laws of physics... but an assertion is hardly a convincing case/argument.

Likewise the non CD experts gave us their own "theoretical" explanations... grounded in solid physics and engineering but not the physics/engineering of the world trade center collapses. B&V are / did this as far as I can tell.

++++

So when I tried to understand the collapses.... the last thing I would want is a series of physics/engineering formulas... especially because I don't have the skill to do or understand that sort of analysis. I think this is where Thomas's everyman explanation makes sense. More people are like me than they are like Bazant in this sense. However as an architect I have more understanding about structure than the average person. My "research" got me to online discussion forums such as 911freeforum where several posters were doing very detailed analysis of the vids and stills... the observations.... and explaining... or trying to... what could cause those movements. I thought there was wisdom in this approach.
Then it was obvious to me that the main "driver" of the collapses was heat... a common element for all three collapses. I personally did not think the mechanical damage to 7wtc seemed significant enough to cause the collapse. And it turned out that the plane damage itself was not fatal to the twin towers... both survived the damage and did not collapse from that alone.
So the clue had to be what does heat do to a steel frame. The temp was not hot enough to melt the steel. And there was no evidence found of melted steel. Heat distorts, expands and lowers the strength of steel. It's design characteristics are for normal temperature range.
So... to understand the collapse one needs to see what abnormal... out of spec temps would do to the steel frame.... beams, connections, columns.. While heat reduces the compressive strength of steel... it seems to me that the higher temps on the cross section of the columns would not weaken them to the point of buckling. Did any columns at the WTC buckle from losing strength from being too hot? I think not.
There were failures related to expansion of steel. NIST used this for their sagging truss theory... pushing/pulling the facade. I personally found this made little sense because of the 3 story staggered column design... and that to move a large part of the perimeter would require heating many trusses over multiple floors "simultaneously". I can visualize columns being pushed out of axial alignment. loss of bearing area and bucking. I can visualize connections shearing from expansion of beams... bolts weakening as well. But how do local "expansion" problems manifest into a runaway collapse? That's complex. And that's where the notion of failure progression from load redistribution comes into play. As parts of the frame fail... the remaining has more work to do, more load to support...and those members get more easily pushed past their capacity and fail... wash rinse and repeat... until aggregate capacity is too low.. columns will fail/buckle tops will come crashing down... floors will shatter and the sensible ROOSD gets going.
What does this have to do with experts? I don't recall any experts drilling into the collapse on this level... except for the NIST column 79 theory.
 

econ41

Senior Member
I wasn't reacting to your critique of the Wikipedia article but to your disrespect for Bazant's "academic" credentials and the other academics who prop him up. In full context, you had said:

This, I'm sorry to say, is how truthers talk about their "prima facies" and how well they are "tolerated" by the "ranks" of established science. Except that they also claim to have "experts" who "speak out" for their side. They can name them and tell us where they work. If we're going to debunk that so-called expertise, I think we should be able to name a few experts who speak in favor of ROOSD, not sound like we're conspiracy theorists about science and academia and that's why the public has never heard of ROOSD and believes some nonsense about the "top block" destroying a whole building, etc.

You can't see how that sounds?
I can see clearly that that you are circling and not taking "on board" the comments and explanations I have posted.

I still believe the several topics are worthy of discussion. But it looks like there is little interest and this is neither the place nor the audience for the discussions.

Thanks for your contributions. I'll leave you with it.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
I've asked this a few times above in the exchanges above, but I think it's important enough to consider on its own:

As a benchmark for the knowledgeability and trustworthiness of 9/11 truth experts, who are the experts that publicly support the ROOSD model of the WTC collapses? What sort of expertise (and kinds of credentials) does it take to explain how the WTC really collapsed? On what standard do the truther's experts fail?

To me, the most imporant thing in answering this question is to name some that are employed in major universities or engineering firms.
 

econ41

Senior Member
First... note to mods.... all my posts are held because I made a boo boo, I accept this.... but not approving them and allowing them to appear in a timely fashion... makes a conversation impossible.
That solves something that puzzled me Jeffrey. I made several posts yesterday and, after I had posted, several of your's appeared as is by "magic". Fortunately it did not effect what I was saying. ;)
I think this is where Thomas's everyman explanation makes sense. More people are like me than they are like Bazant in this sense.
Absolutely. In fact - despite all the apparent confusion - the need for explanations in lay-persons language is substantially agreed by everyone posting in THIS thread and in the several previous threads dealing with the same theme. It is certainly the prime objective - the raison d'être for my involvement in on-line discussions

Did any columns at the WTC buckle from losing strength from being too hot? I think not.
Probably true. The NIST "trigger" of column IB does not require heat weakening of columns. BUT >> take care - we are derailing off-topic.

But how do local "expansion" problems manifest into a runaway collapse? That's complex.
Sure - but relatively easy to explain EXCEPT we are again derailing.
What does this have to do with experts? I don't recall any experts drilling into the collapse on this level...
The "experts" mostly haven't "drilled" to the depth or explained in the style needed for the desired "Layperson's Guide to WTC collapses".

(Dare I name it "WTC Collapses for Dummies"?)

And the central issue of contention. Thomas B wants a layperson's reference written by "experts" whilst I want a layperson's reference that is CORRECT.
 
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econ41

Senior Member
What sort of expertise (and kinds of credentials) does it take to explain how the WTC really collapsed?
One standard. Being CORRECT. Independent of "status" or "qualification".
On what standard do the truther's experts fail?
They fail when they are wrong and someone proves they are wrong.
To me, the most [important] thing in answering this question is to name some that are employed in major universities or engineering firms.
and - putting it simply - the most important thing from my perspective is that it be CORRECT.

Independent of status or qualification. If they are wrong >> they are wrong. Ditto if they are right >> they are right.
 

econ41

Senior Member
B&V's contribution did not describe what happened at the WTC.
Correct. Their "Crush Down/Crush Up" ["CD/CU"] model is not valid for the WTC Twin Towers. Four fatal errors - easily proved.
Their math is likely correct.
Yes. In effect it is the favourite trick of Tony Szamboti which I identified way back:
The paper referenced as Engineering Reality by Tony Szamboti is typical of many which look impressive in detail to the non-engineer. The complex calculations may even be correct but the base premises are faulty and the resulting conclusions can readily be demonstrated to be totally wrong.
CD/CU assumes a false premise - that columns remained in line presenting resistance. That is not true.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
One standard. Being CORRECT. Independent of "status" or "qualification".

If a chicken is offered two bowls of corn, one of which is labelled "controlled demolition", the other "damage from being hit by a plane", and it first pecks at one of them, has it "explain[ed] how the WTC really collapsed" - because that's the criterion that was being asked for. Half of the chickens will be "correct", but where does that get anyone?

There is a reason why "knowledge" is sometimes defined as "a believed justified truth". Using such a definition, just believing a truth doesn't make it knowledge, the justification for the belief is necessary too. I'd proffer that a similar standard should be apply to "explanations". Randomly emitting the correct answer is not an explanation, it's possibly nothing more than a coincidence. For something correct to be explanatory, it surely ought to be grounded in supportable deductions from supportable premises - which requires some actual insights into the field under discussion, i.e. "expertise" or perhaps "qualifications" that would demonstrate proven expertise.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
So the OP is about trusting experts. The default is obviously yes. We presume people who have education in a field are honorable and knowledgeable and their presentation are informed by their train and they are honorable.

However.... people and experts make mistakes or are not completely informed about a matter and so their presentation is flawed... regardless of whether it was intentional. Usually when they learn of their mistake, they issue a formal retraction and a proper, accurate explanation/presentation.

For the layperson... for any person interested in something... it is not who offered the presentation/explanation but if it is correct. And of course when the subject is esoteric we find ourselves relying on experts. And assume they are honorable and with no motive other than accuracy.

Next consider who is interested in understanding the matter... in this case the collapse of the WTC. And why? I suppose anyone who goes into high rise building could be concerned that they are vulnerable to catastrophic collapse... from something as "normal" as "office fires". So this may apply to millions of people. Will I be safe? Was I essentially misled to believing I was safe when I am not. And then... Was this a result of incompetence or some form of malfeasance.... cutting corners to make money and so on.

But one can also assume that the designs were sound, but something "out of spec" occurred and that revealed the vulnerability of the towers. Again was this an innocent oversight or misconduct? Could/should the designs have been different?

In the case of the WTC things get more complicated because we were led to believe that terrorism was involved... terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into the towers in a suicide mission. And we know the response was to begin the war on terrorism. Now we are in the realm of the political where the actions were purposeful as was the reaction. Here's where it gets complicated and all manner of "free lance" / conspiracy thinking enters the discussion. Who WAS actually behind the attack? Hello false flag enthusiasts.

So let's circle back to the experts who tell us how the towers collapsed. If someone accepts some version of a false flag... then they embrace the the collapse was intended and the most reliable way to collapse/destroy anything is to blow it up with explosives. Hello controlled demolition. So to "technically support" this idea... you need experts to claim that the WTC could only collapse with explosives of some manner of CD. And lo and behold... there appear a string of professionals who espouse this POV in support of the false flag concept.

But these professionals need to make a sound case for their CD belief. Several made attempts and in my layman's opinion they were shabby and unconvincing and many simply amounted to... I am an expert in "buildings" and I declare it impossible for the WTC to collapse without CD (eg McCoy)... Some come up with flawed technical arguments like "missing jolt" (eg Szamoboti) Most claim... "free fall" can only occur with a CD. (eg Chandler, Gage). Some claim fires couldn't do it. (eg Hulsey) Some claim they found the mysterious silent CD (eg nano thermite of Niels Harrit, Jones et al). All of the "truther" technical arguments are incorrect and have been proven incorrect.

Who proved them truther claims incorrect? For the most part the truther claims were "debunked" by debunkers posting their analysis online in forums such as MetaBunk, JREF/ISF and 911freeforum, Some debunkers engages with the truther experts to demonstrate they truthers were wrong. This had no impact. The false narratives continued... no retractions were made... debate ended. NIST did not bother to enter these discussions. Few to no engineering institutions or professional organization got into debunking truther "engineering".

The laymen was left to decide on their own what to believe... which experts to trust... And it essentially came down to trust because the laymen is not technically equipped to evaluate the technical arguments. So... people who... don't trust the government as a default.... trust the truther experts... people who don't trust the "media" will claim the media is the mouth piece for gov and covering up the deception. They will not trust the experts that do no support CD because they don't understand the arguments and so they can claim it's word salad in service to a political agenda.

++++

So finally we come to the notion of a simplified layman understandable explanation of the complex engineering to explain the collapse. First... who would be interested in this? Would "truthers" change their understanding and abandon the framework of distrust of USG and the media? I think not. I can't see truther experts... saying... Oh now we get it. I was wrong... No CD. How embarrassing would that be! At best expect a truther expert to slink away and go silent... (eg Gordon Ross) I suppose they can't erase their nonsense of the WWW.

But sure there are some people who simply want an layman type explanation of the WTC collapse. And ironically one problem with this... is that the collapses explanations are not precisely understood. NIST offered a technically correct scenario. However it may not be THE correct scenario. This is because ALL EXPLANATIONS ARE TROUBLED BY THE ABSENCE OF DETAILED DATA. And so all explanations use assumptions and so an explanation can be technically correct based on the data assumptions. And if the data assumptions are reasonable you could have multiple "correct" but differing explanations. THAT does not help someone who simply wants to know THE truth.

When NatGeo came up with their pancakes... it DID have elements of truth and was largely correct. It was incomplete and lacked details and was so cartoonlike it was lampooned by engineers and truthers alike.

++++

Does truther (fake science" engineering about the WTC need to be debunked? Who benefits? If there is already reasonable sound engineering out there... does it matter that the conspiracies are debunked? In the case of the WTC probably not. But lately with the anti-vax movement we see how this can and does impact millions of people in a very real way. So perhaps debunking matters. In the case of covid19 debunking may save lives. In the case of 911 not so.

But wait...truthers will argue that 911 was a false flag and millions have died and are dying as a result of the fake war on terror.

So.... the plot thickens. I doubt an layman explanation will have any impact. Anyone who wants to understand can find the truth on the WWW and there are people like Econ who will help them.

Don't be willfully ignorant!
 

econ41

Senior Member
If a chicken is offered two bowls of corn, one of which is labelled "controlled demolition", the other "damage from being hit by a plane", and it first pecks at one of them, has it "explain[ed] how the WTC really collapsed" - because that's the criterion that was being asked for. Half of the chickens will be "correct", but where does that get anyone?

There is a reason why "knowledge" is sometimes defined as "a believed justified truth". Using such a definition, just believing a truth doesn't make it knowledge, the justification for the belief is necessary too. I'd proffer that a similar standard should be apply to "explanations".
Understood and agreed as "philosophic background" >> Those are not the issues in contention here.
Randomly emitting the correct answer is not an explanation, it's possibly nothing more than a coincidence.
Again - agreed but also not the issue in contention.

For something correct to be explanatory, it surely ought to be grounded in supportable deductions from supportable premises - which requires some actual insights into the field under discussion,
Your words but exactly the point I have made several times in recent discussion. Restated in my language "proof" of an assertion of fact - which you describe as "...supportable deductions from supportable premises" I have called "reasoned argument" working from relevant basic principles AKA "premises".

And, yes, the ability of the explainer requires sufficient "actual insights into the field under discussion". None of that should be contentious.

BUT the contention arises when the person with the accepted level of status and qualifications is wrong. Where "wrong" can be demonstrated by the same processes of "...supportable deductions from supportable premises" My contention is that the correct outcome is determined by the "..supportable deductions from supportable premises" and that outcome is NOT overturned when the "expert" making the "wrong" claim is of higher status or qualification. Or, restated in my usual terminology - IF a PhD in the subject makes a wrong claim the claim is wrong. It is not, by magic, made "right" because the person making the claim has a PhD.
i.e. "expertise" or perhaps "qualifications" that would demonstrate proven expertise.
... and create a higher probability that the "expert" is more likely correct than the "non-expert"... << Also not a point in contention. The contention is which aspect rules when the "expert" is provably wrong by processes of "...supportable deductions from supportable premises". And, in the context of discussions in this thread my "opponent" stubbornly declines to take the path of "...supportable deductions from supportable premises" and insists that the expert wins. Even when the expert is provably wrong.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
my "opponent"... insists that the expert wins. Even when the expert is provably wrong.
My view would be more accurately represented as: the expert wins (in public) when unopposed by other experts. We rely on experts (with public qualifications) to correct each other (publicly) when they are wrong. We cannot use our private intuitions or those of private citizens in internet forums to correct authorities like Bazant. Since Bazant is not (to my knowledge) challenged by experts other than ones who "speak out" on behalf of 9/11 Truth, laypeople like me are sort of stuck with Bazant's model as the "received view" and "accepted wisdom". It is his model of the collapses that must make sense to us if we are to understand them. If he is wrong, and no experts publicly say so, we're sort of lost.
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
@Thomas B

My view would be more accurately represented as: the expert wins (in public) when unopposed by other experts.
There have been more than enough qualified experts who have explained the collapses without need for CD. It is not their obligation to you or anyone to debate and directly refute anyone or any so called (misinformed} expert. The only "place" one may see this is on internet forums which hardly matter the the professional community.

We rely on experts (with public qualifications) to correct each other (publicly) when they are wrong.
Not really. If a flawed argument is made... by a professional the are intentionally dishonest, or perhaps simply wrong and haven't done their homework. The collapses were complex and understanding them is not intuitive. Truther experts appear to have a CD / political agenda... ie the false flag. THAT has nothing to do with physics or engineering.
We cannot use our private intuitions or those of private citizens in internet forums to correct authorities like Bazant. Since Bazant is not (to my knowledge) challenged by experts other than ones who "speak out" on behalf of 9/11 Truth, laypeople like me are sort of stuck with Bazant's model as the "received view" and "accepted wisdom".
Byzant presented a theoretical explanation based on physics without respect to the details and visuals of the WTC collapses. IIRC he released his "paper" before we were flooded with videos and time motion studies... published on the www 911 forums. His math/physics are correct but do not apply or describe the WTC collapses.

As I write frequently....
Understanding is informed by accurate observation and the technical background to understand them.

Bazant was not using accurate observations... he reduced the the event to a simple physics lesson.

It his model of the collapses that must make sense to us if we are to understand them. If he is wrong, and no experts publicly say so, we're sort of lost.
He is not wrong. See above. He is correct. He did not use the actual collapse the visual evidence but presented a correct "physics" model and not a mechanics of the actual WTC collapses.

Essentially understanding requires drilling down into the structure...and not treat the collapse as simply mass interactions. NIST used this approach. Other engineers did as well. Drilling down means using observations and reliable assumed data inputs. This is why the behavior of heated steel is mission critical to understanding the collapses. Notice that Bizant did not concern himself with details of data. He is not incorrect... neither is F = ma (Newton) incorrect. F=ma tells us nothing on the macro level.

Cartoon explanations are gross simplifications... and as such they are not accurate and could be characterized as "wrong"... eg pancake collapse. The people who gave is ROOSG added flesh and detail to the collapse of the floors (pancakes). It also explained that columns were no overloaded, buckled or involved in the collapse... essentially bypassed by the collapsing floors. So the pancake cartoon is more "detail" than the Byzant blocks of mass. Both are inaccurate and "misleading" despite having elements of science / accuracy. Why? They IGNORE the observations.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
For wikipedia, to be trusted is more important than to be correct. That's why wikipedia is not a vehicle of scientific enquiry, but a repository of established facts and established science. For a truth to make it onto wikipedia (and stay there), it needs to be first established as at least an alternate theory of merit within its community of experts, or trust won't be extended to it.

If I hear about an alternate theory, I don't want to reason about it myself; I know I don't know enough to not overlook something that is important. What I want is to see if the proponent of the alternate theory knows what they're doing, which typically means to write up a paper in a way that gets other experts to engage with it; and then to see how other experts engage with it. In academia, that involves submitting a letter or a paper to a journal or a conference (or several) and getting it accepted. It means that the author has made an effort to engage with other scientists.

Communication is perhaps the most important aspect of science. Wikipedia's criteria reflect that.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
.....What I want is to see if the proponent of the alternate theory knows what they're doing, which typically means to write up a paper in a way that gets other experts to engage with it; and then to see how other experts engage with it. In academia, that involves submitting a letter or a paper to a journal or a conference (or several) and getting it accepted. It means that the author has made an effort

This approach is sound... publish in credible engineering/science journal (peer reviewed) lends credibility. Truthers faked this with the Nano Thermite published in a pay to publish "non serious" journal which was not held in high repute to say the least. So... this was their attempt to demonstrate that they know the "rules" of academic science. It was a failure.

I believe there are published technical papers about progressive runaway collapse in high rise buildings. The papers do not use the term ROOSD. The traditional steel frame had structural bays in a grid of +/- 25'x +/- 25. A runaway floor collapse would typically therefore be confined to a single bay. Column free office floors introduced the subsequent failure of the columns. the Twin towers and 7WTC had column free office floors. Both designs were structural tube in tube designs.... not traditional grid frames.

Seek and you will find.
 

econ41

Senior Member
For wikipedia, to be trusted is more important than to be correct. That's why wikipedia is not a vehicle of scientific enquiry, but a repository of established facts and established science. For a truth to make it onto wikipedia (and stay there), it needs to be first established as at least an alternate theory of merit within its community of experts, or trust won't be extended to it.
That is a good summary which most members involved in this discussion should agree with. I certainly do. The purpose and philosophy of Wikipedia is established. So are the philosophy and practices of academic/professional publishing.

BUT I was asked to comment on a specific Wikipedia article which I commended overall whilst I identified one issue of concern which I explained. I responded with a professionally correct response to the question I was asked. However the point I identified gave rise to the question "What do you do when the prevailing expert wisdom is wrong?"

The issue I identified is one which has been a source of confusion over many years of 9/11 debate. Stripped of the engineerig details it relates to a single issue of technical fact. Call it factor "A". The weight of prevailing expert opinion including NIST relies on A is FALSE. (And that much is readily demonstrated to be factually correct.) However Professor Bazant has published - formally - peer reviewd - not challenged - an explanatory hypothesis that relies on A is TRUE. Both those opposing views are "in the wild" of the published world of professional expertise and the conflict not formally recognised. The Wikipedia article accepts Bazant's "A is TRUE" as fact.

So the body of professional opinion includes and does not recognise a conflict of ambiguity. It includes BOTH "A is FALSE" and "A is TRUE" factors in argumentation. It won't matter for some persons or in some scenarios. it can be critical in other settings. IF the matter was being discussed in this Group I would affirm the NIST explanation which implicitly accepts A is FALSE and disagree witrh Bazant. I have not presented full arguments because the issue is not central to the topic of this thread.

And the underlying issue "What do we do when the body of expert opinion is wrong?" remains unaddressed. I'm even prepared to back off the assertiveness and re-state it "What do we do when the body of expert opinion is alleged to be wrong?" ;)
 

Thomas B

Active Member
So the body of professional opinion includes and does not recognise a conflict of ambiguity. It includes BOTH "A is FALSE" and "A is TRUE" factors in argumentation.
This is how we lose the argument with truthers. It is simply implausible that, after twenty years, there's a logical contradiction within established "professional opinion" on the WTC collapses. It would, perhaps, be reasonable that some disagreements remain, but if that were the case they would be openly acknowledged. Even the idea that the science might be unsettled to this day seems strange, however. So strange, in fact, that it warrants the truther's suspicions.

To see what I mean, consider a recent popular video by "Mentour Pilot" on the Paris Concorde crash.
Notice how confident and detailed he is (the video runs to almost 40 minutes). He's an expert (a pilot) talking about the results of an official investigation, which arrived at conclusions that are not really in dispute (Wikipedia's "alternative theories" section notwithstanding). At no point does he have to explain something from "first principles" without a solid grounding in the accident report; and at no point, certainly, does he have to contradict "accepted wisdom". He is simply and calmly (with clean, comprehensible visuals) explaining to interested members of the public what is known about the accident. He's not embroiling his viewers in controversy. He's just telling us "the REAL story".

The fact that this sort of public performance of knowledge and expertise doesn't exist for the WTC collapses yet (and remember that the Paris crash is just a little older than 9/11) is a serious embarrassment for us. It's exactly for this reason that AE9/11T's "experts" are persuasive. We can "debunk" them only in the sense of engaging with their ideas and "proving" them wrong, but in the next breath, it seems, we debunk the "official" experts too, and on the same "first principles" that show that the truther's "architects and engineers" don't know what they're talking about. The public is left to wonder whether "the experts" even know how the buildings collapsed.

This is a hugely unsatisfying situation, in my opinion. I don't think this is any fault of Econ's or any other metabunkers. I think this is a serious failure of the engineering profession to, well, know how those buildings collapsed, to be the experts, "the adults in the room," if you will. They should have sorted out the "received view", the "official position", long, long ago, so that we could just illustrate and explain it to people who are in doubt.
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
This is how we lose the argument with truthers. It is simply implausible that, after twenty years, there's a logical contradiction within established "professional opinion" on the WTC collapses. It would, perhaps, be reasonable that some disagreements remain, but if that were the case they would be openly acknowledged. Even the idea that the science might be unsettled to this day seems strange, however. So strange, in fact, that it warrants the truther's suspicions.

To see what I mean, consider a recent popular video by "Mentour Pilot" on the Paris Concorde crash.
Notice how confident and detailed he is (the video runs to almost 40 minutes). He's an expert (a pilot) talking about the results of an official investigation, which arrived at conclusions that are not really in dispute (Wikipedia's "alternative theories" section notwithstanding). At no point does he have to explain something from "first principles" without a solid grounding in the accident report; and at no point, certainly, does he have to contradict "accepted wisdom". He is simply and calmly (with clean, comprehensible visuals) explaining to interested members of the public what is known about the accident. He's not embroiling his viewers in controversy. He's just telling us "the REAL story".

The fact that this sort of public performance of knowledge and expertise doesn't exist for the WTC collapses yet (and remember that the Paris crash is just a little older than 9/11) is a serious embarrassment for us. It's exactly for this reason that AE9/11T's "experts" are persuasive. We can "debunk" them only in the sense of engaging with their ideas and "proving" them wrong, but in the next breath, it seems, we debunk the "official" experts too, and on the same "first principles" that show that the truther's "architects and engineers" don't know what they're talking about. The public is left to wonder whether "the experts" even know how the buildings collapsed.

This is a hugely unsatisfying situation, in my opinion. I don't think this is any fault of Econ's or any other metabunkers. I think this is a serious failure of the engineering profession to, well, know how those buildings collapsed, to be the experts, "the adults in the room," if you will. They should have sorted out the "received view", the "official position", long, long ago, so that we could just illustrate and explain it to people who are in doubt.
My comments are still being held up by mods...

The trust the expert "problem" with respect to the WTC may be due to several things... not in order of importance.
1. Explaining the engineering and the physics requires technical expertise and making the arguments such that laymen can understand. If the formulas and so on are not understandable to layman it sounds like gibberish.
2. The collapses were complex and involved multiple "mechanisms". So while heat does weaken steel, it also expands it... cooling will contract it,
3. thickness of members vary and is a factor on how they respond to the heat
4. There is no precise data about the fires and heat, duration and location.
5. There is no precise data of mechanical damage
6. concrete is also effected by heat.. data is again missing
7. the "situation" was evolving and dynamic... and this was impossible to quantify.
8. the "performance" of the "heat mitigation" measures was variable and unknown...things such as spray on insulation...sprinkler performance
9. The collapse process was in stages with different characteristics dominating each stage which was multi factorial

Essentially as there were some many "variables" (data) there were likely several "models" which would produce the same result. Each of these models would be correct and it may be hard to know which one is the best fit to the real world. So any explanation regardless of the expert was reduced to what I refer to as a carton-like presentation... highly simplified and understandable by layman. This includes... falling pancake collapse, CD, top block destroying bottom block and so on.

There was also a failure to understand that the role that the columns played to support axial loads and the role that "mass disengaged from the structure" play in destroying floors and rendering columns unable to self support.

There was a frequent reference to floor by floor collapse, yet the columns were all 3 story, And this is a "tell" that the collapse process was floor mass and contents not columns failing floor by floor.

There was a failure to explain that the floors were structurally identical top to bottom (except Mech floors) while the columns were stronger every 3 floors from top to bottom.

Explanations require observations... more precise/accurate observations produce more faithful explanations. Explanations require precise and accurate data.. more precise/accurate date produce more faithful explanations.

++++

It is unsatisfying to the layman to see that the experts can't seem to agree on exactly what was happening to cause the building collapse with specificity.
 

econ41

Senior Member
Some good points Jeffrey. These three the most important in my opinion:
1. Explaining the engineering and the physics requires technical expertise and making the arguments such that laymen can understand. If the formulas and so on are not understandable to layman it sounds like gibberish.
<< My personal special focus as you know. BUT it only works if the "layman" is interested in learning and is prepared to read, follow and discuss the steps of explanation. Very few are. (Do you remember "Jango"?)
4. There is no precise data about the fires and heat, duration and location.
<< Which poses a special challenge for many engineering or applied physics specialists. It makes argument in generic qualified (descriptive) form the necessary method. And most engineers are left brain details focused. They are not comfortable arguing without precise numbers and specific structural details.
9. The collapse process was in stages with different characteristics dominating each stage which was multi factorial
<< To adequately explain Twin Towers collapses needs understanding of four distinct stages - each with a different mechanism. Very few persons attempting to provide explanations even recognise the two main stages of "initiation" and "progression". And, consequently, they get confused when they conflate different stages.
 
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