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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
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Discussion with an Info Wars Advocate
Posted by: Tanoro - Oct 9, 2016 6:45PM

So, I had a fun conversation at lunch. I went to a local steak house where my girlfriend and sister work and spotted some Info Wars bumper stickers at the bar next to where we were sitting down. For a moment, I feared one of the employees was promoting this nonsensical claptrap. This fear was reigned in when a young man wearing an Info Wars t-shirt sat down in the adjacent seat just as I criticized Alex Jones for the screaming nut ball that he is. This turned into a conversation that illustrates why Jones' listeners are in their own reality.

The anonymous Alex Jones advocate started by asking me of my experiences with Alex Jones. I informed him I have seen no small amount of his content and I find him to be one of the most hopelessly unreliable and unprofessional actors in journalism, such that I find myself feeling apologetic to real journalists for attributing that label to him. He wanted examples. It is always easy to start with the most obvious garbage: chemtrails and vaccines. More importantly, it tests the waters so I know what kind of person I am dealing with and to what extent they are competent in the sciences. Are these areas where he is willing to admit that Alex Jones has a deep end or is this person so suckered in by Alex Jones that he has become the entire echo chamber for information?

Like most Alex Jones readers, he concurred by claiming vaccines cause autism (and I got the impression he believed in chemtrails too, though this was never explicitly discussed). We got into the reliability of science, the interactions of governments and corporations with the sciences, and how peer review works. He must have felt outclassed in these areas because, rather than hold his ground there, he started backing into solipsism and making philosophical appeals to absolute truth. I quoted Aron Ra at him, "There is no such thing as absolute truth. ... We don't know everything about anything. We do know, we don't accurately on all points nor accurately in every detail. Honest people admit this. Anyone claiming to know absolute truth is not being honest." He agreed, but then in the very next breath claimed, "I am not who you think I am. I have found TRUTH (emphasis his)." At this point, I told him I must walk away from that kind of self-defeating contradiction. He cordially shook my hand and I went on to my bbq ribs.

I demonstrated humility when I refused his interview because I am not sufficiently competent to answer his science questions for an audience while sitting at a restaurant. On the other hand, he tries to claim anonymous authority, even over the entire scientific community. This is why Alex Jones and his listeners are not taken seriously. Their arrogant adherence to the Dunning-Kruger effect is utter shameful. I left the restaurant debating on whether I should have gotten his name and organized a less spontaneous live stream, but I fear there would be no common ground from which to build a discussion. This guy was fundamentally in another reality.

This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.

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