July 05, 2006

BS Detectors

By Callimachus

One of the undisputed virtues of blogs is their role as bullshit detectors. The Internet can seem like an endless font of wrong information, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, but somewhere out there is a person able to pop one of the balloons of error, and chances are he's got a blog.

Think of the experts in 1970s typewriter technology and fonts who let the air out of Dan Rather during the last election season.

Sometimes a little learning and a little common sense are all you need. That's all it took for one astute blogger to deflate a supposed secret gospel of Jesus based simply on the book blurb.

Sometimes a little more speciality is required. Airminded specializes in British military aviation in the World War I-and-after years. He looks at some popular photos purporting to show German zeppelins in action over London, and finds much to doubt about them.

He's also pretty sure this one is a fake:

german-at-at.jpg

Posted by Callimachus at July 5, 2006 02:41 PM
Comments

AT-AT Walker? Cute.

Posted by: Paul MacPhail at July 5, 2006 04:48 PM

I've got one of an X-wing landing on a carrier (presumably USN). It's pretty well done.

Posted by: rosignol at July 6, 2006 12:45 AM

Ah, here 'tis:

http://www.hellinahandbasket.net/archives/002968.html

Posted by: rosignol at July 6, 2006 12:48 AM

Rosignol,

All I gotta say is: That's what he gets for keeping his S foils in attack position during landing.

:)

Posted by: ElMondoHummus at July 6, 2006 05:45 AM

Didn't you guys see this on the History Channel's "Secret Weapons of Hitler's Germany"?

Volkswagen was ready to roll out an entire AT-AT division before their slave labor camp was carpet bombed by the Allies in 1944.

Of course the Soviets reached the site before us, and the rest is history*

*1979 Soviet invasion of Hoth

Posted by: Rommel at July 6, 2006 07:15 AM

We learned in school that the People's Republic of Hoth joined the USSR of their own free will, there was no "invasion", just a friendly loan of Soviet troops to assist the government root out rebellious counterrevolutionaries supporting a feudal religion called "jedi-ism" or something.

Posted by: vanya at July 6, 2006 07:56 AM

Think of the experts in 1970s typewriter technology and fonts who let the air out of Dan Rather during the last election season.

Who have now gone on to peddle conspiracy theories every bit as batshit insane as the people they made their names denouncing.

Posted by: John-Paul Pagano at July 6, 2006 10:59 AM

Mm.

Are you really so clueless that you don't think there are people on this planet who would like to kill Dick Cheney and/or Don Rumsfeld, even once they are no longer in office?

Criticizing someone's policies is fair game, publishing the location they are likely to be living once they leave office and will no longer have Secret Service bodyguards is most emphatically NOT.

Posted by: rosignol at July 6, 2006 11:01 PM

Rosignol,

Hi. You're an idiot. It's Standard Operating Procedure for large publications like the NYT to publish information on the vacation homes of celebrities, politicians and other public figures. Did you follow the link I provided? The NYT published similar, possibly more detailed, information about the Clintons three years ago. As someone who grew up near Boston, I could probably have started a business giving tours of Kennedy properties in New England based solely on information picked up from local news sources.

Even if this were the first time something like that had been published, do you really believe the NYT is trying to have Cheney and Rumsfeld killed? If so, you are so inured to reality that it's objectively a waste of time writing to you.

Posted by: John-Paul Pagano at July 7, 2006 04:06 PM

Aww, John-Paul, just when I was becoming a fan of your iron-clad logic, you blow it.

Custom means nothing. If it is wrong to publish people*s home or holiday addresses, then it is simply wrong.

No amount of shouting about what is normally exposed will ever make it the correct thing to do.

Publishing home addresses of those who try to do things in public life, [ even while enriching themselves somewhat], is stupid and wrong.

It can only make it easy for someone to do harm in a rage or on impulse that brings pain to all involved, including the taxpayer. TG

Posted by: TonyGuitar at July 9, 2006 09:12 PM

Tonyguitar,

Hi. You're an idiot. It isn't "wrong" for the NYT Travel section to cover politicians' vacation houses. Did you follow the link I provided? Rumsfeld himself authorized the pictures people are complaining about. If it is "wrong" to have taken them, then Rumsfeld is the one to blame.

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