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.

Day 544 – Misinfo, disinfo

The pandemic has brought with it an equally* horrific wave of misinformation on social media. If there is one plus side to all this, it’s that it’s become more clear who is spreading the misinformation and why they are doing it. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and so you can now identify these people more often and challenge, ignore, pity or ridicule them as you so desire.

The first sort are undoubtedly the most dangerous. They are intelligent enough to know what they are sharing is wrong, but they do it because it suits their agenda and it gives them a sense of power. More often then not, these will be wealthy, white, Christian women in America (or their SA wannabe counterparts) or they will be middle-aged men who have a podcast or radio show on some unknown mid-West radio station like KayEnOhBee or some such. Or maybe they’re a writer for a website with a name like “Freedom News” or “Rebel Dispatch” (they always are).
They are being nefarious in spreading their bullshit, because they know it’s not incorrect and morally wrong, but they do it anyway.

Then there are the ones that don’t analyse stuff, because it suits their chosen narrative. Ivermectin stats, Covid deaths, Vaccine side-effects. They see it being posted by their pseudo-celebrity heroes and they just hit SHARE. If they had the inclination to delve a little deeper and get past their biases, they might understand that it wasn’t actually true, but they don’t want to be bothered with that much effort when there’s a Retweet button to be clicked right there. Just lazy.

And then there are the lowly third group. So utterly thick that you could put them together and make one long plank. They are so deeply unintelligent, so completely down the rabbit hole and so far up the arses of the first lot that they don’t have a clue what’s real and what’s not anymore. They think that the sky is making them sick and that the earth is flat. Easily manipulated and radicalised, they are the foot soldiers of the movement, undyingly paranoid and loyal to causes like ‘5G killed my poodle’ or ‘Space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a Hollywood basement’.

And the stuff they are posting is so easily disprovable. Look at this, shared just two days ago:

Yeah. That looks pretty bad, until you take into account a couple of things. Like the death rate from Covid-19 in the Western Cape, which has been higher than that worldwide figure just about every day for the past couple of months.

Aaand, it’s disproven. That really wasn’t so hard, was it?

But how can that be? Is the figure above incorrect? No. The figure above is from (as you can see in the bottom corner) 8th March 2020. Before the pandemic really got started. You can’t apply that to now. Things change. That’s like making a calculation of how many people have died from planes crashing into buildings in New York, but choosing to look at it on September 10th 2001.

World War 2 wasn’t so bad: only 68 people were killed… (in the first two days).

Because Covid-19 comes in waves and hits various countries at various times, the daily death rate also varies, but the daily average since March 2020 is well in excess of that TB figure at the top of the chart.

[Can we agree to just ignore the outlier?]

And while I’d certainly rather that it didn’t, I can see how an extra 10,000 deaths each day might affect the world economy.

And the guy who shared the table about ‘crashing the world’s economy’?
I would have popped him in the middle lot I described above, but then to make what is basically a hundred-fold mistake on the widely publicised death statistics seems more than lazy, it seems criminally stupid or entirely deliberate.
So… you decide.

* not really

How things work

A great letter in today’s Cape Times from John Walmsley of the Nuclear Institute rebuffing the concerns of opponents to nuclear power in the wake of the troubles at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan.

I’m trying to get hold of the full text, but there was one thing which I found particularly pertinent, especially while the fracking debate continues on this post.

This quote from the letter:

The anti-nuclear lobby will make alarming public pronouncements that will be quietly trashed by professional health organisations in the technical literature.

Brilliant. Because isn’t this the problem? It was the problem with MMR, where the experts repeatedly stated that there was no link to autism, but the anti-vax groups preyed on the public’s fear and exacerbated the effect of Andrew Wakefield’s lies.

And it still exists with the anti-fracking parties spreading fear through emotionally-laden misinformation to advance their cause.
It closes minds and it means that the real information – the important, factual information – is hidden from the general public. Which, of course, is the aim of these people.

In some ways, analogies can be drawn to the issue that troubles me around the media and their inaccuracies: namely that they can shout about a subject  on the front page – however inaccurate their claims may be – often igniting a bitter, yet worthless debate based on nonsense, but then get away with publishing a tiny correction at the bottom of page 19 two weeks later.