Cognitive Dissonance question for Rockridge Nation
I posted the following article on Rockridge Nation, the community branch of the Rockridge Institute, the think tank for progressive politics. My goal of the article was to highlight the recent paper in The Journal of 9/11 Studies about acceptance of 9/11 truth to a new audience who is interested in this kind of topic, and challenge Rockridge to explore the topic of 9/11 in their work. Obviously the careful introduction is not necessary for readers of this site; I'm just cross-posting it here in case anybody wishes to comment on the issue over on Rockridge Nation.
With the sixth anniversary of the attacks of the 11th of September coming up tomorrow, I wanted to share an interesting paper I read recently and present a challenge to the Rockridge community and deep-thinkers on staff. It's about the psychological barriers that the concept of 9/11 puts in people's minds and how they react to information that lies outside of their belief systems.
Without mentioning [author George] Lakoff in its bibliography, it is very much in line with the concepts of Framing that Lakoff that Rockridge followers are familiar with.
The main focus in this paper is the notion of cognitive dissonance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance , in which the mind, when confronted with information that goes against one's belief system, it is most likely to completely reject the conflicting information out of hand. (We've seen this over and over when we try to explain some liberal value to a died-in-the-wool conservative.)
Reading this paper is likely to create some cognitive dissonance for you. So I am asking you to try very, very hard to keep an open mind, and attempt to read this paper with the realization that you may be presented with some information that conflicts with your beliefs of the last few years. So while your initial reaction may be to reject what you read out of hand, I ask you to "compartmentalize" what you read if you don't agree with it, because what I am interested in you reading about is the psychology itself, not necessarily the subject matter being discussed. (You may already agree or disagree with the contents, and you may come to change your mind, but that's not my point.)
The topic at hand in the paper is the concept of 9/11 - and the mental state of fear and anger and sadness that even the mere mention of it elicits - and how our minds handle any information that conflicts with our current set of beliefs as we have come to internalize based on what we've seen on TV, heard the President and others speak about, and so forth.
As you may or may not know, there are a large and growing number of scholars and academics, engineers, architects, whistleblowers, victims' families, and lay people who have been documenting great inconsistencies in the media reports and testimonies related to 9/11 which indicate some sort of cover-up, and are calling for a re-investigation of the events of the 11th. They are not outliers... in fact, according to a recent Zogby poll, 51% of Americans want a new Congressional investigation of President Bush' and Vice President Cheney's actions before, during and after the 9/11 attacks. http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1354
(Note: If the above paragraph gave you a negative reaction, this is cognotive dissonance. Fight through it!)
My Question & Challenge for Rockridge and the Rockridge Nation Community:
Print out (it's hard to read on-screen) and read through the entirity of this PDF, http://tinyurl.com/yu3l5q Faulty Towers of Belief: Part I. Demolishing the Iconic Psychological Barriers to 9/11 Truth.
I would like to hear a reasoned analysis of the issue of the framing of 9/11, as presented in this paper, from Rockridge. Naturally, this will not be easy to do because of the barriers of acceptance of discussion of this topic. While it's only a minor challenge for Rockridge to analyze framing of "easy" liberal topics such as Choice, Equal Rights, Health Care, and so on; to analyze a liberal topic that does not have full acceptance of the liberal community is going to be more difficult. But I think Rockridge should talk about and analyze controversial and interesting topics like this anyhow - to paraphrase John F. Kennedy, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.