Sunday, July 30, 2006

9/11 Poll Results

WARNING: lots of boring and impertinent details in this post. If you haven't had your coffee yet, I'd recommend skipping down to the previous post, which is impertinent but entertaining, and coming back here later.

A huge number of people (okay, 25) responded to my little "poll" about 9/11. The question was, "Where do you stand on 9/11?" Respondents were invited to check all that apply. I was only able to provide 10 possible answers due to Vizu's limitations; I would have preferred 20 or 25 possible answers, but I really liked Vizu's format. (If you didn't take the poll while it was on my blog, you can still take it here.)

The results include plenty of both "liberal" and "conservative" and "independent" voters; I know this because I have been loosely tracking their originating sites. Okay, so it's not entirely scientific. But you'll see some pretty clear-cut conclusions if you take a close look and take it apart.

First and foremost, I was glad to find out that only 16% of respondents said that the poll itself was "perfectly framed to register all possible opinion ranges." This demonstrates a natural awareness that the 9/11 issue cannot easily be broken down into the discrete categories I laid out. At first, that may sound like a cruel trick to play on people, but that wasn't the intention, as you will see.

My second favorite conclusion is that only 4% (one person) believed that all questions about 9/11 were settled long ago. That's encouraging. So, while not everyone necessarily agrees with me when I believe that 9/11 was an inside job, at least there is the generally held admission that we don't know all the answers.

Interestingly enough, the very same person who said that all 9/11 questions were settled long ago, did not say that he or she knew everything there was to know about 9/11. I know this because literally nobody said that they knew everything there is to know about 9/11, as I will discuss later. That proves conclusively that that one person is a self-contradicting moron. How can you say that all questions about 9/11 have been answered, when you fully admit that not even you know all the answers? How can you possibly verify that? How can you be such a parrot, a sheep, a lemming? Your convictions are absurd on their face, and they defy all logic. You just proved to us all beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't even believe your own self-deluded doublethink. People are welcome to disagree, but don't just talk for the sake of it, or you're liable to get schooled by a tinfoil hatter. Get the hell off the Internet before you stub your thumb on the "any" key. Just go. Grab your pills, get the bottle of Jack out from behind the couch, flip on the Fox News, and just be as happy as a pig in shit for all eternity, okay? Whatever blows your skirt up, you know?

Don't worry, I detected no further stupidity than in that one respondent. Amazing how a silly little poll can really work this blogger into a self-righteous tizzy. Deep breaths. Deep. Breaths. Ten, nine, still mad, eight, seven, not so bad, six, five, four, feeling calmer, three, calmer, two, one. Okay, I'm cool now. No worries. Moving on.

It seems almost everybody agreed that some-to-all of the facts about 9/11 were withheld by those who are truly in-the-know, but not necessarily because of a dastardly plan to deceive the public. 32% believed the cover-up was motivated, at least in part, by security concerns. 32% believed that incompetence had something to do with the reasons behind any possible cover-up.

At this point I need to admit that some of these questions were muddled with qualifiers, so that some of the answers had to be judgment calls. I intentionally chose the possible responses based on what I perceived to be the Zeitgeist, rather than based on a more rational method. However, it is highly worth noting that 20% of respondents said they believe that some details were withheld to protect guilty parties, and a whopping 40% of respondents believe that most of the guilty parties are Americans, hands down.

At this point, you're probably thinking that that 40% number seems pretty high. Your skepticism is worthy of acknowledgment, for two reasons. One, only 25 people responded, which brings a large margin of error; and two, I could have easily targeted this poll to people whose opinions I already know. To the first charge, you're right. Small sample. Nothing I can do about it. However, that 40% number happens to be about on par with the national polls Zogby has been doing. To the second charge, I can honestly say I have been spending a lot of time baiting "conservatives" and avowed neocons alike into visiting my blog. This was to counterbalance the inevitable alliances of common interest and values that one naturally accumulates in the blogosphere over time. What I saw was a lot of "conservative" bloggers visiting my site (verified via Site Meter) during the same time points at which the poll numbers changed. Enough of them came over here to satisfy my desire for a modicum of balance.

Only 8% (2 people) believe that no commercial airliners struck any buildings. This may sound crazy at first, even to a 9/11 researcher, but their answers were probably based on the ongoing dogged analysis of possible television footage doctoring that some allege is responsible for some kind of near-universal delusion. Their contention may or may not include some reference to the idea that people can actually be brainwashed into believing that their own eyes deceive them, and that television is a more reliable means of interacting with one's exterior existence. There is real evidence for this phenomenon, but I myself am not at all ready to delve into the frustrating world of TV fakery detection and the wild and woolly world of the Jungian collective unconscious and memes and whatnot. I just don't have that kind of time right now. Therefore, I was not one of the two people who checked off that box. All I'm saying is listen.

Finally, there were the three self-assessment questions, which can be summed up into one question: How much do you think you know about 9/11? As I said before, nobody was arrogant enough to claim that they know everything there is to know about the subject. That's a relief. Nobody fell for that one. I don't need to explain, then, just how complex this topic is. To my amazement, only 40% of respondents felt that they know more about 9/11 than the average joe. I really respect that kind of honesty. That figure makes sense, too, since it's not so far off from 50%, which, by definition, is average. So if you checked off that box, you probably really do know more about 9/11 than the average joe.

Also to my amazement, 20% of respondents admitted that they know little about 9/11. That's a huge thing to admit, even to oneself. It's extremely important that we exercise that kind of humility at all times; it's one of the basic preconditions for learning and discovery. I myself could learn a lot from this category of humble poll respondents.

So to recap:

"All of the official story is accurate. All questions about 9/11 were settled a long time ago." 4%

"All of the official story is accurate, but some details were withheld for security reasons." 32%

"Most of the official story is accurate, but some details were withheld to spare the INCOMPETENT." 32%

"Most of the official story is accurate, but some details were withheld to spare the GUILTY." 20%

"Very little of the official story is accurate, and most of the guilty parties are Americans." 40%

"None of the official story is accurate. Commercial airliners did not strike any buildings." 8%

"I feel I know everything there is to know about 9/11." 0%

"I feel I know more about 9/11 than the average joe." 40%

"I feel I know little about 9/11." 20%

"This poll is perfectly framed to register all possible opinion ranges." 16%

So. There you go. I hope you learned something. I sure learned some things. I like experiments. Now how about something a little more lighthearted? Enjoy the new poll.