Presenting the good stuff in Metabunk and Contrail Science in a different way?

Inti

Senior Member.
I think that Mick and the others who have contributed have created a superb resource for rational and critical thinking in Metabunk and Contrailscience. It is also a terrific read. And I like the emphasis on politeness and confronting instances of bunk rather than doing combat with the individual purveyor. I think this is both a more effective way to win people – especially lurkers – over and it’s ethically the right way, too. Some of the less constructive would-be skeptic sites often give an impression that many members simply enjoy kicking intellectual sand in the faces of 9-stone weaklings. Not so here.


I’d like to ask Mick and the other regulars whether you believe it might be useful to provide some of the key arguments in another form alongside (not instead of) the existing sites. I’ll talk about chemtrails as an obvious starting point, but other stuff about CTs might follow.

The existing Metabunk format works well for addressing specific claims, but perhaps it would be useful to have parallel resources in a way that’s more quickly accessible to sceptical researcher and newbies in the debate, as I was in the chemtrails area earlier this year.

I’m thinking about two possible forms of presentation;

First, an outline of the key claims, with a brief statement of the key debunking point in summary, linked to levels of increasing detail and replies to chemtrailers’ objections


Second, a taxonomy of common arguments and their debunkings, rather like the lists of climate deniers’ claims at Skeptical Science

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy


or the index of creationist claims at talk.Origins.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/

I know that there is the left-hand FAQ list at Contrail science, but because it’s evolved over time, I’d say it isn’t really structured according to either the “narrative” of chemtrail debunking or presenting the most basic arguments. in a structured, accessible way.

What do you think? Would it be worth thinking about, and worth the time as a project alongside Metabunk?


I hope I’ve posted this in the best place; please move it if not.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Yes. Unfortunately this is something I think about a lot, but never get around to doing. One of my goals with these sites is to create debunks that are reusable, and to that end I'd focussed on having them findable via google. However there is also a need for them to be findable via some kind of "table of contents", like a taxonomy, or a "top ten list".
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Mick,

How about one Chemtrail debunking Thread that is a topical index that is hot linked with the the full info Threads. Like each of the first 20 posts in the topical index are the top 20 debunking issues. For example the first could be for example the "ice budget" then the "high by-pass engine myth" etc.
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
Echoing what George B said, perhaps there could be a pinned post at the heading of hot topic forums which can be updated with the basic/popular/central debunked claims relevant to the particular forum.
An example: the chemtrail/geoengineering forum would have a pinned post with a list of debunked arguments chemtrail believers post, i.e. the thread regarding contrails persisting, the thread with debunked images of chemtrail planes, the thread regarding soil/sludge/water samples, etc. On the 9/11 forum, the pinned post might have the threads about 'freefall' speed, wtc insurance, 'pull it' and wtc 7...
It might lower occurrences of believers' "okay, so you think you've debunked claim V, but what about W, X, Y and Z?" gish gallops on posts if they can see an indexed list of the top 10/15/20/whatever debunked claims right at the top of a thread.
Not to mention making it easier for myself to send an anti-vaccine Facebook friend to a page that answers all of her questions with one or two clicks.
 

Inti

Senior Member.
Echoing what George B said, perhaps there could be a pinned post at the heading of hot topic forums which can be updated with the basic/popular/central debunked claims relevant to the particular forum.
An example: the chemtrail/geoengineering forum would have a pinned post with a list of debunked arguments chemtrail believers post, i.e. the thread regarding contrails persisting, the thread with debunked images of chemtrail planes, the thread regarding soil/sludge/water samples, etc. On the 9/11 forum, the pinned post might have the threads about 'freefall' speed, wtc insurance, 'pull it' and wtc 7...
It might lower occurrences of believers' "okay, so you think you've debunked claim V, but what about W, X, Y and Z?" gish gallops on posts if they can see an indexed list of the top 10/15/20/whatever debunked claims right at the top of a thread.
Not to mention making it easier for myself to send an anti-vaccine Facebook friend to a page that answers all of her questions with one or two clicks.


Yes that would work as an equivalent of the taxonomy approach. A parallel approach might be a wiki, though with limited editors! Could be a way to spread the load of producing a more structured argument or "beginners start here" outline, which then links down to more detail level explanations.

Maybe a drawback of that is that it draws people away from the successful Metabunk format? But no reason it couldn't link across.
 

Inti

Senior Member.
Yes. Unfortunately this is something I think about a lot, but never get around to doing. One of my goals with these sites is to create debunks that are reusable, and to that end I'd focussed on having them findable via google. However there is also a need for them to be findable via some kind of "table of contents", like a taxonomy, or a "top ten list".
I appreciate the "getting around to it" problem! Maybe if it could be a collaborative effort, where perhaps you might want to provide the framework, but others could contribute, that might help? That's why I had thought about a wiki.

I'd considered starting a blog myself to pull out the key points, but I'm afraid it'd be miore than somewhat parasitic on the much better informed contributions here (albeit with full acknowledgement and linking). However, given your success so far, it's more likely to work if you have oversight, but don't have to do all the editing work.

I'm thinking about the intro-with-links-to more depth here, mainly.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Probably easiest just to pin the most popular debunks. And a table of contents like SH forum has.

and for contrail forum have more subfolders (and shorten the current sub folder titles so more can show on the main forum page). Half the posts (at least) in the contrail forum arent even debunks, its just piloty or geoengineeringy chat stuff. or photos (ex) of planes and contrails, which is fun, but has nothing to do with debunking directly specific bunks.
 
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