Many of my students would like to take notes on what I tell them, and memorize it all. I tell them that math isn't like that. The idea is to prove to yourself that things make sense.
Sometimes I talk about how growing up with a lawyer for a dad made arguing (usually amicable) one of our family sports, and how that helped me be good at math, because I question everything. Other times I suggest that it's a good idea to question authority. I tell them not to believe me, because I make mistakes. "How do you know that's true?" I ask.
Today I'm asking that about what happened on 9/11. I don't know what happened. I've watched the videos Nilo de Roock linked to a few days ago. I've followed some links he sent me, and read about the 3rd tower that's seldom mentioned and about Paul Wellstone's death.
On Friday a public health advocate was being interviewed on KPFA (podcast). She talked about how the government said the air nearby was fine just days later, when they couldn't yet know, and how people with cancers from the air pollutants are not getting help. She said she wasn't a 'conspiracy theorist', and that she's not the kind of person to suggest people lose all hope and feel powerless. I worry about the phrase 'conspiracy theorist'. Is anyone who doubts the official story a 'conspiracy theorist'? Why? I'm trying to be logical about this. I don't want to lose hope, but I sure want to try to figure out what's true.
Here's a television news archive, from a more mainstream source. The videos I watched from the first link above talked about how there was no reason for the buildings in the background to look so nondescript. It was a sunny day, and it makes no sense for there to be so little detail in the videos. (The hypothesis is that much of the news footage was faked.) Is that true? You may not see the details from the first videos in the official news archives, but you can make the comparisons they suggest, between 9/11 scenes of the Manhattan skyline and other videos of the same skyline.
Of course, those videos don't answer my dozens of questions. The biggest being, if the media was helping to show us a lie, that would put at least dozens of people (but more likely hundreds) in on some sort of conspiracy. How could that many secrets be kept?
What we do know is that about 3000 people died that day, and the world changed. It's a tragedy however it happened. And it's important to me to try to understand what really happened.