20 months later…

Around 20 months on from mid September 2021 – whose events surely none of us could ever forget – how incredible is it that we are all still here?

Of course, we’ll likely never get over the memories of the cars parked sideways in the middle of the street, the screaming people in the grocery stores (oh God, the old guy wailing in the pickle aisle at Checkers) or the family members shooting each other.

Absolutely awful.

On the more positive side of things, it is always nice to have these sort of screenshots so that we can see who accurately predicted those horrendous times.

And who didn’t.

Still at it.

As Elmo Rusk continues to break Twitter, into an entirely unusable platform, he’s invited back some of the crap that was previously removed from the site. We all know about Trump, but more locally, Piers Corbyn’s cringey singing partner and all around anti-vax wanker, Nick Hudson, has also been granted leave to return.

Twitter has been going downhill for a good long while, but it was still better without the Hudson family’s biggest embarrassment, beardy-weirdy Nick.

But – probably amazed by the success of the nonsense that they have made up and have peddled thus far – those pesky anti-vaxxers are still at it, and they’re getting bolder and more brazen with every given day. We’ve now returned to stuff like depopulation programmes, 5G nanochips (see below), “spike shedding”, graphene oxide and – a particular bugbear to someone that’s been working with [checks notes] viruses for 20+ years – the fact that [checks notes again] viruses don’t actually exist.

And indeed, why would you stop if you are a narcissist with a pathological need for acknowledgement for likes and retweets and all you have to do to get satisfaction is to fabricate some nonsense* and your disciples will feed your needs, lap it up and even demand more.

It’s a sad, sad situation. And it’s getting more and more absurd.

But much as the government really doesn’t want to track you via the “5G chips in your vaccine” or the Covid app on your phone, because you’re actually rather dull and insignificant, if you’re really gullible to believe stuff like this:

… then like Dr Janaway says, you’re probably not really “dangerous” enough to have to be controlled.

More seriously though, the polarisation of society via social media is now very clearly out of control. Maybe that was already the case on January 6th 2022, but I see it each and every day (that I bother to log on). People just don’t think for themselves anymore. And the unscrupulous, batty individuals on whom they are relying for news, information, leadership and opinion are fully taking advantage of that.

It’s not a good thing.

* earlier today it was about “masks being impregnated with bacteria and fungi to cause respiratory illness”, which is a right bummer for those of us who have to wear them each and every day in the lab to protect us from [checks note yet again] er… respiratory illness.

The Gravity Well of Social Media decline

It’s amazing to watch how someone intelligent, well-qualified, erudite and seemingly sensible can be dragged from their lofty perch into the depths of conspiracy theories, wild accusations, dodgy political affiliations and suggestions, and general weirdness. And it’s interesting to see how this decline gathers pace and the theories get more bizarre as the downward spiral progresses.

Like coins whirling around a gravity well. (You’ll know it when you see it.)

Yes, like that. Starting quietly and smoothly, seemingly all under control, but gradually getting faster and faster and more and more frantic before plunging into the big black hole.

It could have started with a little thing: maybe annoyance at CNN for alleged misreporting of any given incident, or perhaps their city council for not fixing a thing that they were supposed to. Before you know it, the US election was stolen and the mayor is a corruption-ridden gangster. And once we’ve done Trump and local politics, there’s Covid lockdowns and mask mandates. And suddenly we’re deep into accusing Hilary Clinton of paedophilia and delving ever deeper into the anti-vaxxer rabbit hole.

In a way, I think I understand the causes. It’s easy to feel powerless and unheard in this modern world. Like you’re the only one telling the truth, but no-one is listening as you scream into the abyss. And then, you find someone who tells you that they agree with you and you discover kinship and you begin to support their ideas too. Then there’s a group and suddenly, there’s strength in numbers, even when all they’re shouting out is complete bullshit.

It’s interesting to note a couple of things about this decline into insanity, though. Firstly, the way the information is shared by these people can often be very subtle. A quiet retweet, the sharing of a post, the mention of a controversial theory: nothing direct, nothing explicit. Almost like they know that they would be ridiculed if they outwardly and openly expressed their feelings or beliefs on the subject. And secondly, the limit of just how far they will go: there’s almost always an invisible line they won’t cross at the far-out nonsense of chemtrails and a flat earth.

Professor Timothy Cookbook is a prime example of both these approaches. But then there is plenty that he’s said and done that is every bit as bad as telling us that 5G is a New World Order plan to depopulate the planet, so we really shouldn’t applaud him for tacitly agreeing that yes, we all live on a big ball.

It’s almost funny to see these individuals spouting statements each one more desperate, more nonsensical and more demonstrably incorrect than the last, but of course there’s a serious side to it as well. Because when less intelligent, well-qualified, erudite and sensible people see educated, popular individuals saying these things, they may well choose to believe them. Well, of course you would, because these people are intelligent, well-qualified, erudite and sensible, so they must know what they’re talking about, right?

“With great power comes great responsibility”, sure. But sadly, with great power also comes great power, and that does seem to be all they actually care about. Because you must also understand that when everything goes to shit with the able assistance of these “thoughtleaders”, they’re not the ones who will suffer. They all have their comfortable lives and their escape plans.

We’re living in an ever more divided world, with viewpoints and opinions instantaneously amplified by social media echo chambers that support our every utterance and immediately decry and attack any dissenting voice. There’s no hope of rational argument or anyone’s mind being changed. Everyone is entrenched and knows their “truth”.

The only difference being that some of it is backed up by facts, and the rest is just a single tweet away from agreeing that the Lizard People and the Rothschilds are running the (flat) planet.

Day 630 – Fighting misinformation


2 years into this nonsense and over a year after we started vaccinating people, and we’re still seeing this sort of thing:

Maybe this person just doesn’t understand, or maybe they just don’t want to understand. Either way, while sharing this, it’s important to note that “the vaxes and boosters” don’t put any spike proteins into our bodies. Nor do they cause our bodies to make any full spike proteins. The small protein fragments made by our cells in response to the mRNA vaccines are enough for the immune system to work its magic and produce antibodies which can target the real thing, should it become necessary.

So, the spike proteins that “the vaxes and boosters are putting into our bodies” don’t get “expelled after a period of time” (and thanks for clarifying what a period of time might mean, though), nor do they collect anywhere, simply because they never existed.

Just imagine if they did, though. What would happen if we keep adding more? Well, proteins are very, very, small, so this would take a while, but I would imagine that we would likely all become just one giant spike protein (but with legs, obviously.) It would be much easier to see who had been vaccinated and who hadn’t – none of this QR code or “passport” silliness – only people who looked like giant spike proteins would be allowed into bars, cinemas and shops.

We’d have to avoid the rain, of course. Important solubility consideration. Safety first.

But maybe the scientific community shot itself in the collective foot with how we went about naming the spike protein, anyway. After all, “spike” sounds so aggressive, nasty and dangerous. If we’d thought about it beforehand (and that would include allowing for this sort of social media lunacy) then surely the “cuddle protein” or the “fluffy protein” would have been a better, more socially acceptable term. It’s very had to imagine anyone being even vaguely concerned with a build-up of cuddles in their ovaries.

Or wherever.

But more seriously, the fact remains that there will always be people out there who can’t understand, can’t accept, or simply won’t believe what we tell them, no matter how simply we put it. I can’t imagine living my life that way – distrusting every single thing that anyone says. But then I can imagine giant spike protein people going to the pub, so maybe the joke’s on me.

There are important concerns and questions for the future of science, of scientific communication and of trust and credibility in our experts here. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any answers right now.

Day 555 – A sudden realisation & How to spot the bad guys

Oh My Deity.

Can you even begin to imagine the SA Moonbats if when we get to Day 666 of all this extraordinary mess?

For the record, we’re back down to Level 1 again in SA as of yesterday morning, with an amazing opportunity right in front of us to stop this thing right in its tracks.

Will we take it? Probably not.

I wrote about a week ago about people spreading misinformation about vaccinations, ivermectin and the like. Someone asked me how to know which bits are true; how can we separate those people from the “good guys”. Fortunately, even if you’re not able to see through the BS because you’re not a scientist and you don’t have the time to trawl through someone’s twitter or Facebook history for clues, then there are still super simple signs you can look out for.

The use of the word “tyranny”, for example.

This is Drama Llama-ism and privilege at it’s finest. You might not like our government much (and I’m with you on that), but honestly, get a grip. You’re not – despite your desperate protestations – living in Nazi Germany.

No, this isn’t “jUsT LiKe LiViNg iN nOrTh KoRea”.
You went to the pub last night and they asked you to sanitise your hands when you went in?
Oooh. How very Pyongyang!

“Tyranny” is a good marker because no-one publicly uses “tyranny” to describe how they are living their daily lives, simply because if they were living their daily lives under any sort of tyranny, they wouldn’t be allowed to say anything publicly.

What else? Well, quotes from George Orwell books are a dead giveaway. Especially the one he never wrote:

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”

not George Orwell.

Or any reference to 1984 (which he did write).

And then there are the links to science stories which have been interpreted by right-wing, conservative news sites (generally) from the US. These will inevitably and unswervingly follow the narrative of “Ivermectin good, vaccine bad” (and yes, that was a deliberately chosen root quote, just for fun), and will be from a website whose title will be something along the lines of RationalPatriot dot com, NationalObserver dot org or MaintainingLiberty dot net.

The scientific paper that they review will exist, but it won’t say the things they say it does. If there’s enough fuss about it, the paper’s author might get in touch on twitter and tell them that they didn’t get it right. This inconvenience will be ignored and the story will not be retracted.

Some mention of Bill and Melinda Gates.

Any link to disclose dot tv.

Use of the word “sheeple”.

And then the obvious stuff like: “the vaccines are killing more than the virus”, “covid isn’t real” and “ivermectin prevents/cures covid” (which isn’t real).

I hope this helps in working out what you can believe and what you can’t.