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Cognitive Bias in the Formulation of Theories


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Interesting thought experiment here about cognitive bias in the formulation of explanatory theories.

The good news is that I just ordered Larry Hancock's new book, Tipping Point, from Amazon.

Time to get up to date on some of the new JFKA data... ūü§•

 

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3 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Not sure about cognitive bias but on occasion I think I run into internal cognitive dissonanceūüėá...

And the two phenomena are related.

What Stanford psychologist Leon Festinger originally described as "cognitive dissonance" was the all-too-human tendency to double down on affirming our flawed paradigms when confronted with contrary evidence.

What is interesting about the example in the above video is our tendency to focus on evidence and queries that affirm our paradigms, rather than asking the questions that might refute them.

Have you ever met a person who didn't believe that their paradigms of reality were fundamentally correct?

I haven't, and I spent my entire psychiatric career exploring people's heads. 

I'm as guilty as anyone.

So, I'm looking forward to reading Tipping Point, and learning more about the things I don't know about JFK's assassination, and the questions I've never asked.

I think it was Descartes who said, "To know is to doubt."

 

 

Edited by W. Niederhut
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11 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Interesting thought experiment here about cognitive bias in the formulation of explanatory theories.

The good news is that I just ordered Larry Hancock's new book, Tipping Point, from Amazon.

Time to get up to date on some of the new JFKA data... ūü§•

 

I have just re-read Tipping Point, and think it a very worthwhile read, even if it will disappoint some readers as an incomplete picture of the JFKA. The reason the picture is uncomplete is because the real picture is incomplete.  

We know why the picture is incomplete, and it is not Larry Hancock's fault (unless Hancock is a far larger and more sinister figure than imagined). 

I have a theory that no JFKA theory can proven, but I cannot prove my theory. 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

I have just re-read Tipping Point, and think it a very worthwhile read, even if it will disappoint some readers as an incomplete picture of the JFKA. The reason the picture is uncomplete is because the real picture is incomplete.  

We know why the picture is incomplete, and it is not Larry Hancock's fault (unless Hancock is a far larger and more sinister figure than imagined). 

I have a theory that no JFKA theory can proven, but I cannot prove my theory. 

 

 

That's a little weird Ben.  Larry is a large figure in the search for the Truth.  But there's nothing sinister about him I've ever read.  The Assassination of John Fitzgerald  Kennedy is no longer about a theory.  It is a fact it was not the act of a lone nut but the result of a Conspiracy.  No question.  Done deal regarding Truth and History.  

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I don't think Ben's questioning that Ron. He simply saying no one theory can be proven. I'm making no reference here at all to Larry and Tipping Point. But how  I relate to the broader question.

I've seen a lot of people throw a lot of faith in a one book or one author. Or a lot of dogmatic  insistence on some point that isn't isn't really essential anyway. If there's so much effort put into upholding something that isn't essential, how accurate can it be with something important? And of course, a lot of confirmation bias. A lot more could be done by narrowing focus and really scrutinizing how some of these pet theories came to be.

And as I warned a few years back.The JFKA has come to be cheapened in recent years by a certain bandwagon effect where  the JFKA is just being used as a tool of another confirmation bias, and  subsequently is thrown into the category of just another "conspiracy theory." Some think that's the work of major media conspiracy. But I saw it as  just inevitable.

JMO

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2 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

That's a little weird Ben.  Larry is a large figure in the search for the Truth.  But there's nothing sinister about him I've ever read.  The Assassination of John Fitzgerald  Kennedy is no longer about a theory.  It is a fact it was not the act of a lone nut but the result of a Conspiracy.  No question.  Done deal regarding Truth and History.  

Ron B.

Of course, you are correct. 

I was speaking tongue-in-cheek about Larry Hancock as a powerful, sinister figure.  

I concur, at least three shots were fired at JFK and JBC more rapidly that can be accounted for by a single-shot bolt action rifle. In my book, that is a conspiracy.

Despite the best efforts of shrewd and tireless researchers, the outlines of the JFKA conspiracy are unclear. We have suspects....

 

 

Edited by Benjamin Cole
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Great little video, William. Thanks for sharing. 
 

There are a whole bunch of reasons listed here as to why we can’t see the truth or can only see the POV we have formulated: 

 

 

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Just as an exercise in terminology I think it might be worthwhile to describe what I have and haven't done since I became involved with this subject - the first thing being to take Jim Marr's advice, to wit,  by now we know there was more than one shooter firing a bolt action rifle in something like six seconds.  Which means multiple shooters, which means a conspiracy.  Over, done - move on.

Following that advice I moved on to examine all the potential "villains" that Jim surfaced in Crossfire - plus a few combinations and iterations that he didn't delve into in that book.  After about a decade doing that, working within several "boxes" and stepping out of them to the extent of tossing a couple of draft manuscript scenarios I finished Someone Would Have Talked which examined that "premise".  It was primarily intended for researchers and simply put a lot of people and events into context. Beyond that it examined in some detail the indications that LBJ might have had some limited foreknowledge, and how that might have happened.

Following the release of a host of ARRB documents - and the excellent work of its staff including not only Doug Horne but others - I came back with the 2010 version of SWHT which expanded on some areas but most importantly dug deeply into the hours and weeks following the attack itself, examining what might be best described as a "cover up" as it pertained to the FBI, the CIA and to some extent the DPD (in terms of covering up things they did not want exposed such as knowledge of and connections to Lee Oswald), damage control as it related to Johnson and his national security advisors (which meant aborting conspiracy investigations and selling a single, lone nut image of the attack) and finally historical manipulation as related to the Warren Commission. 

....and yes that's why its a big book

Acting on the premise that everything I had seen pointed to at least some involvement by CIA officers and surrogates I then asked myself how the CIA handled political assassination in the real world (we have considerable examples and actual data on that)  I put that research into NEXUS along with an actual scenario as to how a presidential assassination could have developed inside the Agency.

.....NEXUS is a very focused and much smaller book

Ultimately,  after having access to a lot more research and document data developed by folks like Bill Simpich, David Boylan, Stu Wexler - all of which gave me a much greater ability to examine and test sources I had become familiar with over the years (and having done the Wheaton Leads extensively detailed research) as well as having developed some new and relevant names,  I decided to once again try to be focused and to tell the "story" (or lay out the "scenario" if you prefer) specifically as to the motive, evolution, timing, logistics and details of the attack in Dallas. That resulted in Tipping Point.

To be clear, Tipping Point is not a theory, it is a scenario based in the sources I found to be credible and consistent over almost three decades of work.  It does not encompass nearly all the aspects of the assassination nor explore many of the areas which SWHT does.

.......which is why Tipping Point is a shorter paper/book

At present I'm working with David and getting some advise from Gary Murr in regard to a final research paper on the Red Bird leads - which may offer some confirmation of elements in Tipping Point as well as an expanded scenario as to how Lee Oswald was being manipulated and more specifically set up to look like a radical revolutionary and positioned as to link the assassination to Castro and Cuba.

That's it,  I don't consider that I'm presenting a "theory", what I'm doing is trying to provide solid historical context, identify credible sources, and lay out a scenario that people can evaluate for themselves (and which satisfied me). 

......just to be clear, and certainly not mysterious or sinister ūüėá

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13 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Just as an exercise in terminology I think it might be worthwhile to describe what I have and haven't done since I became involved with this subject - the first thing being to take Jim Marr's advice, to wit,  by now we know there was more than one shooter firing a bolt action rifle in something like six seconds.  Which means multiple shooters, which means a conspiracy.  Over, done - move on.

Following that advice I moved on to examine all the potential "villains" that Jim surfaced in Crossfire - plus a few combinations and iterations that he didn't delve into in that book.  After about a decade doing that, working within several "boxes" and stepping out of them to the extent of tossing a couple of draft manuscript scenarios I finished Someone Would Have Talked which examined that "premise".  It was primarily intended for researchers and simply put a lot of people and events into context. Beyond that it examined in some detail the indications that LBJ might have had some limited foreknowledge, and how that might have happened.

Following the release of a host of ARRB documents - and the excellent work of its staff including not only Doug Horne but others - I came back with the 2010 version of SWHT which expanded on some areas but most importantly dug deeply into the hours and weeks following the attack itself, examining what might be best described as a "cover up" as it pertained to the FBI, the CIA and to some extent the DPD (in terms of covering up things they did not want exposed such as knowledge of and connections to Lee Oswald), damage control as it related to Johnson and his national security advisors (which meant aborting conspiracy investigations and selling a single, lone nut image of the attack) and finally historical manipulation as related to the Warren Commission. 

....and yes that's why its a big book

Acting on the premise that everything I had seen pointed to at least some involvement by CIA officers and surrogates I then asked myself how the CIA handled political assassination in the real world (we have considerable examples and actual data on that)  I put that research into NEXUS along with an actual scenario as to how a presidential assassination could have developed inside the Agency.

.....NEXUS is a very focused and much smaller book

Ultimately,  after having access to a lot more research and document data developed by folks like Bill Simpich, David Boylan, Stu Wexler - all of which gave me a much greater ability to examine and test sources I had become familiar with over the years (and having done the Wheaton Leads extensively detailed research) as well as having developed some new and relevant names,  I decided to once again try to be focused and to tell the "story" (or lay out the "scenario" if you prefer) specifically as to the motive, evolution, timing, logistics and details of the attack in Dallas. That resulted in Tipping Point.

To be clear, Tipping Point is not a theory, it is a scenario based in the sources I found to be credible and consistent over almost three decades of work.  It does not encompass nearly all the aspects of the assassination nor explore many of the areas which SWHT does.

.......which is why Tipping Point is a shorter paper/book

At present I'm working with David and getting some advise from Gary Murr in regard to a final research paper on the Red Bird leads - which may offer some confirmation of elements in Tipping Point as well as an expanded scenario as to how Lee Oswald was being manipulated and more specifically set up to look like a radical revolutionary and positioned as to link the assassination to Castro and Cuba.

That's it,  I don't consider that I'm presenting a "theory", what I'm doing is trying to provide solid historical context, identify credible sources, and lay out a scenario that people can evaluate for themselves (and which satisfied me). 

......just to be clear, and certainly not mysterious or sinister ūüėá

I am eagerly awaiting Red Bird. The connection between LHO and the Miami hit squad needs the sort of reasonable, informed, circumspect, grounded explanation that a Larry Hancock can deliver. 

It sure seems LHO was involved in the JFKA, but at what level? We will just have to wait and see what Red Bird says. 

1. But what about that wallet at the Tippit crime scene? 

2. My contention is that the Walker shooting was a test of LHO, and an intentional miss, and a biography builder. Meaning someone was directing LHO with an intention to later involve LHO in....?  Was it happenstance that somebody in the CIA had plans for LHO, while the CIA-Miami hit squad were doping out their plans? 

3.  It sure looks like either LHO was guilty, or deduced he was the patsy within moments of the shooting. Going home to get his gun, even by taxi. Does this suggest LHO was deeply involved in the JFKA?

4. LHO knew enough that somebody wanted him dead. That suggests involvement in the JFKA too. If LHO was just working his day job, knew nothing Nov. 22, then why murder him? There were no beans for LHO to spill. 

And to re-affirm, I do not suspect Larry Hancock is a powerful and sinister force in America. 

 

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I think the idea was to get Oswald out of the country, and at minimum, make it at least appear he had been flown to Cuba, if not actually getting him there for real.

It would have been very difficult to prevent the desired war with Cuba had that occurred.

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42 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

It sure seems LHO was involved in the JFKA, but at what level? We will just have to wait and see what Red Bird says. 

1. But what about that wallet at the Tippit crime scene? 

 

Benjamin,

That surely wasn't LHO's wallet. I mean, how many wallets does a man carry? And besides, even if that were LHO shooting Tippit, what are the odds  he would accidentally drop his wallet at that particular unfortunate moment?

 

42 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

2. My contention is that the Walker shooting was a test of LHO, and an intentional miss, and a biography builder. Meaning someone was directing LHO with an intention to later involve LHO in....?  Was it happenstance that somebody in the CIA had plans for LHO, while the CIA-Miami hit squad were doping out their plans? 

 

Is there any compelling reason to believe that LHO had anything whatsoever to do with the Walker shooting? (Exclusive of anything Marina said about it, considering how unreliable her testimony was.)

 

42 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

3.  It sure looks like either LHO was guilty, or deduced he was the patsy within moments of the shooting. Going home to get his gun, even by taxi. Does this suggest LHO was deeply involved in the JFKA?

 

If the JFKA were a CIA operation, which I believe it was, then it is highly unlikely that LHO knew anything about the assassination plot beforehand. For the simple reason that he didn't have the "need to know." But given the police car giving a honk at his apartment and his activities at the  theater, it does appear that he was tricked by the CIA into playing a part.

 

42 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

4. LHO knew enough that somebody wanted him dead. That suggests involvement in the JFKA too. If LHO was just working his day job, knew nothing Nov. 22, then why murder him? There were no beans for LHO to spill.

 

Sure there were beans to spill. Oswald was knocked off so he wouldn't reveal that his employer, the CIA, had set him up as patsy for their heinous crime.

 

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