Day 630 – Fighting misinformation

Sigh.

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 620 – Myths

Just wandering back through the anals of twitter (misspelling entirely deliberate), and came across this gem from 23 May this year:

I checked back to the 23 May on a handy graph supplied by google and found this:

Look what happened just afterwards. Tweet did not age well.

Officially, there were about 30,000 Covid deaths in South Africa in the “mythical” third wave, although the excess deaths figure, which many professionals believe to be far more accurate for this sort of thing, suggests nearer 3 times that number.

Surprisingly, the same account (which ticks all the usual boxes: pro-gun, pro-Trump, anti-vax, “the media have been bought off”, “there’s graphene in the jab”, “the earth is flat”, “Fauci is the devil”, “Nuremberg trial 2022”, “Ivermectin is the answer”) is now choosing not to believe that there is a fourth wave on the way. Talk about doubling down on a losing position.

That said, in one way – obviously – I actually wish that he was right.

But of course, sadly, he’s wrong again.
I do hope that his [checks notes] 84 followers will hold him accountable for his repeated mistakes.

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

Day 531 – Morning musings

Oh my Deity. Not another disjointed post about a plethora of things that probably don’t deserve a post of their own, but I still want to share?

Yep. Here goes.

I did a bit of a Twitter spring clean this morning. [link to My Twitter here]


Mainly just cutting out a few individuals who don’t use the platform anymore (who could blame them?) and inviting a few others into my circle (careful now).

I am very aware of the dangers of turning Twitter into just one big happy echo chamber, and so I maintain a small (but oh, so vocal) followage of accounts whose views don’t agree with mine. I don’t often necessarily interact with these accounts, because they’re not going to be swayed by my sense, knowledge and rational thought, neither I by their… er… “ideas”, but I do read what they think (and yes, I do often weep and shake my head when I do so). But I do think it’s important to not feel completely comfortable with everything you read on social media, and this choice is one I’ve made to ensure that I try to keep myself at least somewhat honest.

Maybe I follow you on Twitter and you’ve just realised why. Hi.

And talking of Twitter…

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Best (and most criminally underrated) tweet I’ve ever made?

If you get it, you get it. It’s never funny if you have to explain it.
And they do have many health benefits, apparently. So fully deserving of the recognition.

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Then chainsaws are back in our neighbourhood. This is the 6th(?) day in the last 10. Sure, one of the reasons we moved here was because of the beautiful leafy surrounds, and occasional tree surgery is to be expected as a by-product of that benefit, but this seems to have been going on for an awfully long time now and I’m growing slightly worried as to what’s going to be left once they do eventually finish…

(…and yes, also growing slightly irritated about the constant noise).

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I’m prepared to fight anyone who feels that this is not the best version of this song.

Lol. The drummer looks just a young Dave Grohl.

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Cape Town dam levels are currently at 101.8%. So moist.
Still, please don’t waste water. It might not rain next year. You never know.

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It looks like I’m going to be stuck with these effing Covid symptoms for a while yet. Weeks, Months? Who knows? My doctor certainly doesn’t, and I can’t really blame her.

I’m trying to just get on with things, but inside, I’m thoroughly pissed off at the total incompetence of the SA Government, because of whose shitty prevaricating and complete ineptitude when it came to securing vaccines, so many people have died and so many more (including me) are facing months of ongoing health problems.

On the plus side, after several (or more) tests and examinations yesterday, it seems that my heart is doing well despite the best efforts of the virus (although it’s still beating rather too fast), and thus I’m unlikely to be keeling over from any cardiac issues any time soon. I’m still awaiting a few results, but I’m not expecting anything nasty, and now at least I do have a diagnosis and something of a plan for the next while.

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Tomorrow appears to be the first day of summer. Not anything official like the first day(s) of Spring, but the first nice warm day after what seems to have been an exceptionally long winter.

I’m ready. Bring it on.
Note the wind speed in mph because my computer currently seems to think that I’m somewhere where I’m not.
But there are advantages in being virtually overseas…

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Lastly, I’ve been watching the first series of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

BBC Two - Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, Series 1, Episode 1

Yes, I know that for you UK people, I’m way behind the curve. But I’m here now and although I’m only a couple of episodes in, I’m really enjoying it. It’s so beautifully gentle, easy-going and fun, and yet so deeply honest.
Really good stuff. 10/10 would recommend.