What's the best popular account of the WTC collapses?

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Thomas B

Active Member
I highly suspect that Thomas is just trolling Metabunk at this point.
I'm really sorry that I'm leaving that impression. To my mind, the thread has simply shifted from my original question about what you read, to the follow-up question I asked in the OP:
My follow-up question is: in the absence of such an account, how reasonable is it for someone to claim (after years of trying) that they don't understand (the "official" account of) how the collapses happened? (The conspiracy theories are, I would argue, easier to understand, if harder to believe.) Has the absence of a good popular science book about the WTC collapses given room for conspiracy theories to flourish?
Aren't we mainly on topic in that light? (I grant there have been a few detours.) But we seem to be mainly working together to imagine what effect a good book like this might have on conspiracy theorizing.

We don't agree about it, hence the discussion. But I don't see how it's outside the scope of the questions I began with, or how I've somehow redrawn the boundaries of the discussion ("moved the goalposts") or pushed things along just to get a rise out of you (which is how I define "trolling").
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member
If that was your intention, you burried the lead. Jeffrey didn't.
My intention was to provide you with the current best accounts and explanations of the collapses under the assumption that your purported interest in the topic would lead you to at least peruse them, and I did exactly that. It's now apparent that you did not even so much as peruse them before dismissing them as not meeting your ever-evolving standard of how those accounts must be presented.
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
My intention was to provide you with the current best accounts and explanations of the collapses under the assumption that your purported interest in the topic would lead you to at least peruse them, and I did exactly that. Its now apparent that you did not even so much as peruse them before dismissing them as not meeting your ever-evolving standard of how those accounts must be presented.
I think any discussion about what happened to the towers is not going to be literal because the explanations were theoretical. That meme is not properly emphasized. NIST was rigorous... but still NIST used a lot of assumptions and it was not a forensic investigation though it shared attributes of a forensic investigation.

So it is not possible to nail WHAT exactly happened - "the explanation". But it seems that it is possible to nail what caused it to happen - fire out of control. Most of the world accepts this as sufficient.
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member
I think any discussion about what happened to the towers is not going to be literal because the explanations were theoretical. That meme is not properly emphasized. NIST was rigorous... but still NIST used a lot of assumptions and it was not a forensic investigation though it shared attributes of a forensic investigation.

So it is not possible to nail WHAT exactly happened - "the explanation". But it seems that it is possible to nail what caused it to happen - fire out of control. Most of the world accepts this as sufficient.
I think you're the only one in this thread trying to discuss what happened to the towers. That topic has been beaten to death in many other threads by you, me and many others. Thomas asked for a "popular" account of what happened to them, quickly determined (without so much as reading any of the actual accounts of what happened to them) that no account existed that met his criteria for what should be in a "popular" account, and now has shifted to wanting to discuss the question of "Has the absence of a good popular science book about the WTC collapses given room for conspiracy theories to flourish?" which just brings us full circle to his attempt to blame NIST for existence of truthers in his first appearance at Metabunk here.

(I will also note that the claim he made in that thread about having discussed these topics for 10+ years ("Believe me, I've been hanging around forums like this and talking to truthers for longer than that. My views are based on experiences that are probably as rich and varied as yours.") is pretty clear evidence of how disingenuous (i.e., trolling) his behavior and professions of ignorance in this thread are.)
 

Oystein

Senior Member
...But what we can be sure of is that the Great Pyramid is not vulnerable to top-down progressive collapse. ...
I know I am days and pages late on this - I no longer lurk here ^^ BUT I wanted to point out that the pyramids of ancient Egypt surely were NOT entirely invulnerable to collapse, as evidenced by the fact that some of them, especially early ones, DID collapse. Sure, there was no vertical collapse, as that would necessitate some air space for material to fall through. Rather, they just spilled out laterally, like a sand castle, like a rock avalanche. Most famous case the (step) pyramid at Meidum, built (and partially collapsed) some 4,600 years ago.
 

Edward Current

New Member
I'm obviously not going to win you over. What do you see as the best way forward?

Come to terms with the reality that no explanation will satisfy you. This thread has cooked up the idea of a full-length general-audience book comprehensively detailing all three collapses, written by Guy Nordenson, a world-class expert on the structural engineering of tall buildings but not an author or professional sci/eng communicator. The book would be printed/published for an audience that virtually doesn't exist. This just isn't a reasonable scenario; it's a fantasy, really.

To me, this is like people who say "I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but unless someone builds exact physical replicas of the buildings, flies airliners into two of them, and gets all three to collapse in the same manner as the originals, then I will always have questions." In fact a large part of this thread involved asking why no one has made scale models, followed by explanations of why that's unfeasible…and even those explanations about scale and fragility didn't seem to satisfy you.

Finally, ask yourself why these engineering disasters capture your imagination as they do. Is it that you just want to believe in some kind of foul play on some level, for some reason? Because I submit it isn't merely an innocent curiosity in the engineering of the building collapses. If it were, I believe you'd have made a greater effort to read and understand the NIST reports, which really aren't that technical, at least to gloss. It's what I did when I acknowledged that I had a desire to believe in something secret and nefarious, and then decided I didn't want to be associated with incoherent non-theories anymore. The NIST reports may be incomplete and even flawed, but they are the best we have, and most likely the best we will ever have.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Guy Nordenson, a world-class expert on the structural engineering of tall buildings but not an author or professional sci/eng communicator.
I don't mean to nitpick but...
Decade by decade, Nordenson's essays provide the unique viewpoint of the structural engineer and design collaborator, adding context that relates not only to the history of architecture and engineering, but locates these fields in a larger network of cultural relevance. Originally commissioned by publications like The New York Times, Domus, The Harvard Design Magazine, Perspecta, Lotus, Earthquake Spectra, and MoMA's Tall Buildings exhibition catalog, Nordenson's writings investigate a wide range of genres: from technical reports on seismicity, methods and technologies in structural engineering, architectural criticisms, the importance of collaboration in design, to the metaphor of tall buildings, design democracy at Ground Zero, and engineering history and theory. (Amazon)
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member
I'm obviously not going to win you over. What do you see as the best way forward?
Everyone who has conversed with conspiracy theorists knows of the "just asking questions" justification for their idle speculations. With the answer to your original question in this thread long ago established, this thread has become a multiweek accumulation of "just asking questions"-level speculations. Yet the basic materials you need to understand the collapses and the experiences of, and decisions made by, those on the ground and collapse zones have been handed to you on a silver platter in the second post in this thread. There is no need for you to idly speculate about any of it. If you want to move forward, you can review those materials and then, if you'd like, raise an informed and specific claim about them. With every post you make it clear that you either have never reviewed such materials or that you are pretending you never have to troll the forum "just asking questions"-style with idle speculations about matters you would understand had you reviewed such materials.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
If you want to move forward, you can review those materials...
It's interesting how differently we see this. Like I say, I don't think I'm going to convince you that I've been here in good faith all along. I'm asking you how we should proceed if I don't. (If you want to be an optimist, fine: how should we proceed until I do?)
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
I think dismissing everyone who raises a question with a broad brush is unwise and unreasonable. Thomas B doesn't appear to be a troll to me. I have suggested an "graphic" presentation aimed at every-man as a good idea years ago on the 911FF. Most who have been at this for a number of years have even lost interest in detailing alternate initiation scenarios such as the core driven collapse. Most serious researchers feel the CD claims have been adequately refuted. and the ROOSD mechanism for the collapse phase sufficiently demonstrated. Further there can be no "proofs" or 100% certainty of exactly what happened because of the absence of real time date post plane strikes or from the static condition to collapse in 7wtc.

I suspect engineers and building departments understand "tall building" survivability issues better since 9/11. I make this statement without proof. ;-)
 

Thomas B

Active Member
This thread has cooked up the idea of a full-length general-audience book comprehensively detailing all three collapses, written by Guy Nordenson...it's a fantasy, really.
Again, it's strange how differently we see the exact same thing. Yes, this is the dream scenario. Sure, it's not likely. But, yes, this thread cooked it up. To me, that says something very positive about the thread. To you it says we've been wasting our (and your?) time or something. I just don't get it.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
It's interesting how differently we see this. Like I say, I don't think I'm going to convince you that I've been here in good faith all along. I'm asking you how we should proceed if I don't. (If you want to be an optimist, fine: how should we proceed until I do?)
You asked how you should proceed and my answer is you should stop. This is page 11 of a series of repetitve posts that all but about 30 people stopped reading long ago.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
You asked how you should proceed and my answer is you should stop. This is page 11 of a series of repetitve posts that all but about 30 people stopped reading long ago.
Yes, this has been suggested before. And, on several occasions, I have proposed we end it there. Most recently here. Then the thread just continues, including statements/questions directed at me, or made about me. Or just of interest to me. But if this is the last post on this thread, there's no hard feelings on my end.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, this has been suggested before. And, on several occasions, I have proposed we end it there. Most recently here. Then the thread just continues, including statements/questions directed at me, or made about me. Or just of interest to me. But if this is the last post on this thread, there's no hard feelings on my end.
This is what some people have been talking about. You ask a question, the answer doesn't fit what you want, you ignore it. Don't hit reply. Go to private message. Simple.
 

econ41

Senior Member
You ask a question, the answer doesn't fit what you want, you ignore it. Don't hit reply. Go to private message. Simple.
Actually he not only ignores the parts of the answer that offer to move forward BUT he focuses on - nit picks - any bit he can disagree with.

And I tried the private mesage path starting 26 July - aborted 20 Aug.
 

econ41

Senior Member
It's interesting how differently we see this. Like I say, I don't think I'm going to convince you that I've been here in good faith all along. I'm asking you how we should proceed if I don't. (If you want to be an optimist, fine: how should we proceed until I do?)
Actually the more fundamental issue is "How should YOU proceed." And I repeat my recomendations which are:
1) Separate your three primary topics viz (a) "understanding the WTC collapses"; (b) "in layman's language" AND (c) presented in a book or professional paper.

2) I have offered to concurrently meet (a) and (b) in private message discussion OR in a dedicated thread if you prefer and are prepared for one-on-one discussion;

3) Forget, defer, take a rain check on (c) because there is no "book"; AND

4) Look for the more than adequate set of facts which can be "proved" without reference to or reliance on "authorities".

The notional "audience" of lay persons you have in mind will include the diverse range of possible "truthers". Most of the would be truthers will - quite appropriately IMO - resist explanations which rely on "authority" in any form. And specifically anything which attempts to confront them with NIST or to a lesser extent Bazant, Noredensen et al.
 
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