People are stupid–volume 667. Reverse image search is your friend.

Normally I’d post this kind of meme analysis on Facebook… I have a much wider audience there and that’s where this came from, but what with my current 30 day ban, I can’t do that. If I remember, I’ll link to this post on there when I’m paroled from Facebook jail.

People are sharing this bullshit credulously:

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Make no mistake, UK prime minister Boris Johnson is a twat, but that’s not Ghislaine Maxwell. The innuendo here is baseless. That’s his ex wife. No need for further analysis. Think before you share shit credulously.

Also just by the way… You Q-Anon folks are idiots.

Edit: The text around the original share is even worse. It’s this shit, and this is why I do not hesitate to call anyone passing it on credulously an idiot. I don’t know if it will stay up, but the original post is here.

DAY 1 MONDAY … NOVEMBER 29TH, 2021
Ghislaine Maxwell , daughter of Robert Maxwell a Mossad Agent, eventually became the partner of Jeffrey Epstein. Both walk on water in the upper stratosphere of Elite Social Circles using Jeffrey’s private island as lure for getaway. I suppose everybody that’s anybody earns an invite to travel by Lolitta Express to a carefully planned layout which featured an Egyptian style Temple at it’s apex, the hilltop. The religion is Satanism. The currrency is children. Leaked video from camera’s set on numerous levels underneath the Temple make certain the Island’s decor was more than simply a favorite motif. Pedophilia & flesh & blood sacrifice of innocence, seem a rite of passage to insider world power, and a means of control simultaneously. ….. A bit of trivia – – – Question: ‘Who else owns a private island a few miles away from Epstein’s Island’ ???? … Answer : Joe Biden

Mind you, ‘idiot’ is a somewhat generous label here.

Belief. What a strange and dangerous thing it is.

All I ever need is the truth, but I all ever want is affection.
Masquerade as Jesus Christ, and suffer the crucifixion.

Songwriters: Brown / Adams / Hussey / Hinkler
Belief, lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Mgb Ltd., Universal Music Mgb Songs

Belief fascinates me. But unlike Mr Hussey’s naïve words suggest in one of my favourite songs referenced above, in the real world our beliefs tend to affect other people rather than ourselves. We make decisions that affect the lives of others, some of us even imposing our views on other people, views based on things we assume to be true, our beliefs, but belief is very often neither based on evidence nor truth, even when it comes to people who claim to care about evidence.

I just saw this meme shared by someone, unironically used to justify his belief in religion.

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I find that ironic, of course, because it makes more sense to use that analogy when referring to religion itself, which most people believe in because of indoctrination. But it isn’t really a good analogy at all. It’s one of those statements that seem profound but lacks substance when one think about it. One could also use use it to justify the belief that we are living in a simulation… (Just by the way – I disagree with them completely. We do not live in a simulation.)

For fuck’s sake… so many people believe that we do live in a simulation, or upon hearing of the idea, they feel that the arguments in favour of it are compelling; so many don’t see it for what it is – an unfalsifiable claim that pretends to be profound while in reality is nothing more than seeing the world through the lens of our current technology and its limitations. In 100 years or so, the simulation idea will make as much sense as us now imagining the universe in terms of the industrial revolution, or using technology like X-Rays or Gamma Rays to explain everything. I’m thinking of the old comics… it made sense that the Hulk turned into a monster because of gamma radiation, and Spider-Man gained his powers from a “radioactive” spider, because at the time, radiation represented the lay person’s understanding of science and its limitations, just like computers and simulations represent our limitations right now. Eventually though, scifi will move on, hopefully to something less stupid than the fear-mongering “we are living in a simulation” nonsense.

And yet, once we have made up our minds that we believe in something, we treat that thing as fact, as our reality. A while back I wrote about my fascination with those who believe in the Nibiru cataclysm conspiracy theory (a subset of an “End Times” conspiracy theory)… I’d joined a group of believers on Facebook and tried in vain to explain to them that everything they believed was nonsense, but in the end they threw me out of their group. Actually it’s worse than that one example alone. If you search for all my posts with that tag you’ll see that before they kicked me out, they called me a troll and a scumbag, among other things, rather than face the prospect that maybe we’re not living in “End Times”. That’s the other thing about belief, you see… You believe what you want to believe. People who believe we are living in “End Times” want that desperately to be true. And the same applies to other beliefs but I’ll get back to that.

Beliefs become dangerous when people with authority get to impose it on others, and one of the best examples of this is the so-called Satanic Panic of the 1980’s. There, people were in some case locked up in prison for imaginary crimes committed against their children, because of the religious zeal of others and the power of suggestion. There are few people more dangerous than rogue therapists and psychologists with religiously driven motivations who get to impose their views on the suggestive minds of children. They get to do major damage, not only to the suggestive children themselves, but also to the parents if their authority allows them to have a punitive influence on those parents, such as the case with the Satanic Panic example, but not limited to that.

Imagine someone with authority taking an interest in the welfare of a child, someone who prides himself or herself on an evidence-driven approach, yet who believes in religion and has some kind of fear of online paedophiles, much like the Q-Anon conspiracists but on the surface more based on legitimate fear of strangers… who lets that belief drive his decisions, even in the case of a non-religious child. You can’t have it both ways – the truth is, if you believe in religion, you cannot claim to follow evidence. It doesn’t work like that. Imagine someone like that imposing his own baffling technophobia on a child and barring that child from using the internet, despite the skills one obtain online are arguably more useful than anything they teach in school. This is only one hypothetical example but there are surely plenty of ways that someone with religious convictions and misplaced good intentions with authority can harm a child.

I can’t help wondering though… Knowing that certain fears are in truth a manifestation of the desires of those who believe them, why do people want to believe those things? I can understand if you want to believe in Jesus – you’ve perhaps bought the lie that we are born in sin and shame and you need this god to be saved (from this same god’s punishment, never mind the irony). But why would you want to believe we are living in “End Times”? Why would you want to believe in some kind of “leftist Satanic” organisation of evil online paedophiles? Why?

Going back to the Satanic Panic example, there are many essays and articles online linking it to current conspiracy theories such as Q-Anon. I wouldn’t have made that connection myself, but I have personally seen the harm that religiously motivated people with authority and influence can do to children, which is more in line with the way the Satanic Panic originally worked. The fact is, belief, and faith itself – which is nothing more than belief despite zero supporting evidence, is at last being recognized to be the harmful thing it truly is. Not universally, but that recognition is out there, and our society is becoming more secular, little by little. A world without religion, without faith, and also thus without conspiracy theories, would be a far safer place than the one in which we live now.

The hilariously sad reality for conspiracy theorists

The conspiracy is only useful if it remains in the virtual world online. You have to stay in your bubble. As soon as you act on the conspiracy in the real world, you bring real world consequences onto yourself.

And that’s when things get amusing.

The thing about conspiracies is, they include vast cover-ups and situations that are impossible to exist in the real world. If you act on your conspiracy in the real world, you will face real world consequences like time in prison. The conspiracy goes on. But you don’t. Other people will continue to believe in the conspiracy because, much like religious dogma, it remains static. It can’t change, so if you act in a way that exposes it to be untrue, other believers must declare that you are a false flag, and continue to believe as they did. So you’re a paid actor, a shill to make them look bad.

Examples:

  1. The “Pizzagate” guy who shot up a pizza place because he was looking for a secret basement which Hillary Clinton used to smuggle children in a child sex trafficking ring, which of course didn’t exist…
  2. The QAnon shaman, who is now in prison too.

In the case of the latter, he featured prominently in the raid on the US Capitol building. He, in his colourful outfit with his assumption that Trump would protect him from any wrongdoing, was one of the most devout believers in the conspiracy, but his act was his undoing.

Embed from Getty Images

From the article:

“Very staged like he was bought,” one Instagram user commented. “Never saw someone like him just walk into the chambers with a cop there and ask if he could go up there for a picture and no fight back from the cops. Cop just said don’t damage anything. Very weird to me. A lot of staged photo opps for this cat.”

So he’s a paid actor now, a “false flag”… That is the fate of the proudest conspiracists.


But there’s a bigger picture here, one related to dogmatic belief on a wider scale… e.g. Christianity. Religious belief is very similar to conspiracy theories, in that it must remain static. The extremist Christians are waiting for Jesus to come back, waiting for the apocalypse and rapture that can never come. Never mind that the things they believe in are not real… let’s play their game for a moment. Imagine that Jesus was real and did come back. You know what would happen? Not one Christian would believe it. The state of waiting for him is not one that can change. Just like QAnon/pizzagate… the subject of belief is not real. The belief cannot change, even if real world events were to prove it false (or even true!).

Excuse me for smirking.

Ooh… I’m terrified of this random covidiot guy

So I happened to look at the Facebook messenger requests on my phone and came across this gem:

Screenshot_20201012-152609

Right. Because I’m a shill for big… ahem… reality. Or something. I don’t even remember when I did whatever it was that I did to piss this guy off. But a quick search on Facebook reveals he is a covidiot.

This turns up as the top result when I search for him:

Some people still confuse this for science.

PART TWO: THE DEVIOUS TRICK ~ J. Rappaport

“Now I’m going to go over the vital information again, but this time I’m going to show you how…

The vaccine companies can use the fatal flaw in their protocol design to…

Actually win approval of their COVID vaccine.

Stick with me. This is big.

Only 150 people are needed to make the major clinical trials of a COVID vaccine look like a success.

Out of 30,000 volunteers in a trial, researchers are waiting for 150 people to “come down with COVID-19.” MILD cases. They assume this will happen because they believe the coronavirus is everywhere, and it’ll infect their volunteers.

Of course, their definition of a mild case of COVID-19 is meaningless. Cough plus fever, and a positive PCR test. The test spits out false positives like a rigged slot machine, and the visible symptoms could result from flu, polluted air, or too many candy bars.

Nevertheless, the researchers are waiting for a total of 150 people to “catch a mild case of COVID.” When that number is reached, everything stops.

Now comes the big moment. How many of those 150 COVID cases occurred in the group that received the vaccine, and how many in the group that received the placebo shot of salt water?

Let’s say only 50 COVID cases occurred in the vaccine group, and 100 in the placebo group. The researchers pop champagne corks. They say, “Look, the vaccine is 50% effective at preventing COVID, and that’s all we need to win authorization from the FDA.”

BUT suppose 70 cases occurred in the vaccine group and 80 in the placebo group? No good. No good at all. No way to call the vaccine effective.

Now comes the “reshaping of the data.”

HERE WE GO.

The researchers say, “Wait. Thirty of the COVID cases in the vaccine group were REALLY just adverse reactions to the vaccine. They weren’t cases of COVID. You see, the vaccine can cause symptoms that are indistinguishable from mild COVID. Cough, fever, chills. ACTUALLY, there were only 40 cases of COVID in the vaccine group. Half as many as in the placebo group. The vaccine IS 50% effective. We don’t really need to wait until we have a total of 150 COVID cases. We’re good. We’re golden. We can get authorization from the FDA right now to shoot up everybody in America!”

Vaccine manufacturers HAVE KNOWN ALL ALONG that they could pull this trick.

Why leave things to chance?

Why risk a few hundred billion dollars of profit on a random distribution of mild COVID cases among the volunteers in their clinical trials?

There is yet a further devious twist. The New York Times article I just analyzed torpedoed the vaccine manufacturers for designing their trial protocols to prevent MILD cases of COVID. Why?

Because no one needs a vaccine that can do that. Mild cases are not a problem or a threat. They cure themselves quickly. No vaccine is necessary in the first place.

BUT the definition of a mild COVID case is EXACTLY what the vaccine manufacturers needed. It enabled them to hatch a plan, to make sure they didn’t fail.

They could pawn off a MILD case of COVID on a vaccine reaction. They could fake that without causing ripples. The FDA would say, “The vaccine reactions aren’t serious. All right, no problem. We’ll approve this vaccine for emergency use.”

However…If the manufacturers designed their clinical trial protocol to prevent serious cases of COVID, they would be waiting to see 150 cases of really sick people to occur. That might never happen.

If it did happen, and the manufacturers had to pull their devious switcheroo trick and blame the vaccine for some of these SERIOUS cases…

They would have to tell the FDA that their vaccine was causing life-threatening pneumonia; and the FDA, under a lot of scrutiny these days, would find it very difficult to overlook that.

FDA: “We can’t approve this vaccine. It could cause a few million cases of dire pneumonia…”

The vaccine companies didn’t make a titanic stupid mistake in their protocol design. In gearing the protocol to prevent MILD COVID cases, they did what they did on purpose. It allows them to “reshape their data” and win FDA approval for their vaccine.

These companies have no intention of failing, starting over, and spending a year recruiting 30,000 new volunteers. They want success and money now. They want to win the race.

And they could win, if the truth isn’t known and shared widely.”

I’m not really sure what he’s trying to say… some dastardly plot to force vaccines on everybody? God forbid we all become immune to the novel coronavirus. I don’t even remember when I interacted with him online – maybe I shared his nonsense to mock it? Who knows? If you go ahead and look at his profile, it is chockablock with mad conspiracy theories, not to mention his photos all feature that same totally-not-a-crazy-person crackerjack smile from ear to screwball ear.

Anyway, it was a nice breath of fresh air from all the hot girls who message me who totally aren’t really Nigerian scammers who forgot to clean out their photos and sometimes their original names.

Full disclosure: I have great fun mocking people who threaten me to my face, so don’t get too excited about threatening me online. The thing is, if you’re going to hit somebody (for example), you hit them. You don’t say, “I’m going to hit you”. If someone is going to hurt me I won’t know until I wake up with a concussion or don’t wake up at all… Anyone who threatens me with words… only has words. Words are cheap. I have some too and I’m willing to play keyboard warrior too for a few minutes, although it really is no comparison to laughing in some loon’s face.

And by the way, any (threat or hate) messages that get into my inbox unsolicited are considered worth sharing with the whole world. (Unless you’re a friend or even a stranger who asks for advice, unsolicited, regarding your addiction. I do get those too and I never share them with anybody. If you’re asking for help, your messages are 100% confidential and they stay between us.)


Readers… do you too get your inboxes blown up with loon balloons? Or is it just me?

The bizarre user interface changes made by Facebook when you are banned

At first, when I “violated Facebook Community Standards”, I was concerned, not least of all because I’d done nothing wrong. I was concerned because the bans seem to be progressive… First violation 24 hours, then 3 days, then a week, then after that 30 days every time. Once, after 30 days being banned, I posted a screenshot to show why, and was immediately banned for another 30 days. So my concern was that the bans would progress until a total and permanent account ban. But that doesn’t seem to happen. Instead, I’m seeing more of my friends getting banned too, more often.

Not so amusing is that the most punished users are feminists and other activists. You get banned if you respond to online bullies. You get banned for calling out the people who are truly malicious and hateful. Those who should be banned seem to have found ways around it and to actively use the system in their favour. Especially odd is that the system is harsh on anyone who criticizes men. But you can target women and minorities without reserve, as long as you stick to standard right wing arguments and passive aggressively hide your rhetoric behind religious sentiments or “just ask questions”. But today’s post is not about that. It’s about the amusing experience of us Facebook ghosts, users whose accounts are temporarily restricted but who still lurk in the Facebook shadows, silently laughing at memes and saving them to collections to flood our friends’ walls with after the 30 days are up. (And then forgetting to do so.)

It seems that the Facebook team has made a somewhat odd decision… They’re aware that the bans are punitive and frustrating, but they are also aware that chasing their users away is probably not a good idea. So what they do is subtly change the user experience for users who are banned from posting or commenting.

The change is quite a simple one: Present the restricted user with more suggested posts. Maybe “more” is the wrong word here… I don’t recall seeing any such posts when I’m not restricted. Regardless, the idea seems to be to keep the restricted users entertained.

Sadly the algorithms that determine what content is interesting to us seem to be a work very much in progress. The 2nd last time I was banned, I saw tons of “Crazy Russian Hacker” videos, which feature a wealthy Russian man, who lives in the US, buying and testing all kinds of cool gadgets. He’s actually highly entertaining, funny, and a great host. So that suggestion was a hit with me.

On my last ban, the suggested content was something else. In fact, it was such a poor match with my interests, I don’t even remember what it was. So that was a miss.

And this time, I get this:

image

Yup. Tons of links to articles and videos featuring UFOs and “aliens”. All nonsense of course. Badly made home CGI and blurred videos and outright bullshit. This one seems to be along the lines of… Someone found a steel ball and doesn’t know what it is, therefore aliens. Because what else could it possibly be? Also, why aliens would be dropping large agricultural float valves is anybody’s guess…

I’ll admit this last one was more interesting than most. At least commenters pointed out what the balls are. But since I clicked on the link, I’ve probably mucked up the algorithms even more and indicated an interest in these things…


Update: My ban was lifted. I disagreed with the decision, and this time it got reversed. That was the most bizarre ban yet though… for a comment that agreed with the view that men should use contraceptive pills.

This denial culture is getting a little silly now

So I made a little joke on Facebook earlier and it went like this…

image

It was a reference to a status I saw earlier, a status where someone asserted, quite seriously, that the testing for coronavirus is causing the disease, apparently because Donald Trump said something to that effect and she believed him. I don’t even know if that’s the right quote, because I interpret his statement differently, but maybe innuendo is all his supporters need and he knows just what to say to lead them to those conclusions.

Anyway, the status hung around for most of the day, and then quite suddenly, with another from recently that also mocked conspiracy theories, it got picked up by a believer.

This:

image

Here’s a closeup of the image RaSun attached:

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Um, I hope I don’t have to explain why just about any 3 digit number will result in equally “meaningful” results… I replied with this:

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I don’t really have much to add – just sharing this for a laugh. It amazes me that somebody not only sees this meaning that isn’t there, but that he calls me and everybody else who agrees with me (surely most people on the planet) stupid because we don’t believe the outright nonsense that he believes. Not sure what he thinks is significant about 322, but I don’t really care to find out.

Update…

Then I shared this:

17-06-2020 9-18-06 PM

And now I see he wrote his own status, this:

17-06-2020 9-19-01 PM

The guy seems really upset so I’m going to back off now. I do wonder how it is that he manages to cherry pick the wacky conspiracies but fails to see when there might be real conspiracies, that don’t support his narrative.

Urgh. Pandemic deniers are doubling down on the stupid

You’ll have to excuse the excessive quantity but not necessarily quality of blog posts from me lately. I’m going slightly mad, cooped up here at home. I wrote three or four posts over the weekend and only published two of them, because I try to keep some semblance of quality here. Oh well…

Still A Facebook ghost, I lurk and read the shit on my wall. Amazed. Let me show you two posts that showed up right now:

Retardation

That one isn’t in my friends list but was screen grabbed by a friend.

As annoying as that one is, I find this one even worse:

EarLoopMaskBullshit

Shared by a friend who is also an atheist and critical thinker, it doesn’t look like she exercised her critical thinking so well to me. That label is highly implausible. I mean, it is obvious bullshit. Why would you make masks with a label informing everyone not to use them? For fuck’s sake, think, people!

I wear a mask not to protect myself, but in the hope that, should I become infected and not know it, as long as I don’t sneeze or cough really hard, it should be effective enough at protecting the people around me. It should prevent droplets containing the virus being released by me. That’s why I wear a mask… It’s not all about me.

If we all take reasonable precautions, maybe we can slow the spread of the virus. So far we do seem to be doing a good job of keeping the rate of mortality down. I’m no expert, but I’m going to go with whatever seems best.

Some comic relief: I have a nutcase in my friends list and here’s a link to his profile

Loony fucking tunes, this guy:

Loon

The link in the first line points to his Facebook profile. Not sure what’s going on because I see we have 696 mutual friends and I never noticed him before. Maybe the poor guy had a breakdown or something, but everything he posts is baffling. Multiple conspiracy theories, coronavirus denial, and so on…

Wow, this pandemic sure brings out the stupid

I’m on a a Facebook ban again, because I posted a Jesus fucking Christ image to a certain group, and apparently that counts as nudity and sexual activity. But mind you… a loving Christian posting there claiming that immigrants are dirty and that’s why they get sick, and homosexuals are sinful and should thus die… does not count as hate speech. Go figure.

Anyway, this was one of the last statuses I posted before the ban:

image

But what I’m really interested in highlighting is these two responses from Cyn Carpenter and RaSun Heli Soter.

image

Ignore Nico… He’s being sarcastic and does agree with me.

  • A “family of physicians”. Woot woot! Are they born with liddle widdle stethoscopes? Maybe their first words are “take two aspirin and call me in the morning”?
  • “Do some research.”  What, on YouTube I suppose?
  • “Read an insert.” Um, I always read the inserts. I’m not sure why this anti-vaxxer thinks that inserts printed by the pharmaceutical companies would reveal their deep dark secrets.

Seriously?

Here’s the thing: I have one actual doctor among my friends, that I know of. Maybe one or two others lurking there somewhere, as I vaguely remember a post by a doctor from some time back. And one pharmacist. I almost forgot about him. Heck, I don’t ask everybody what they do for a living, but I do have some smart friends because smart people write things worth reading. Getting back to the doc, we’re not exactly close or anything, but she has better things to do than point out that my posts about vaccines are correct. Which they are. Also I follow the science. The real science.

You need to understand, if you are anti-vaccine, you are anti-science. Mainstream doctors are not on your side. The scientific consensus, the evidence, is against you. As pointed out in the last few paragraphs of my last post, if your view contradicts the consensus, if it goes against the evidence-based position, your view is wrong. No appeal to authority, not even a fucking “family of physicians” changes that.

Furthermore, the whole anti-vaccine movement was started by Andrew Wakefield, disgraced doctor whose paper committed fraud and was retracted. The man is hailed as a hero by the anti-vaccine movement, but that’s just among suckers who fall for that same trope mentioned in my last post: Lone wolf, maverick hero has the answer, but is being suppressed by Big Whatever. Except your hero is a crook who got caught and the anti-vaccine movement is all bullshit. All he can do now is give speeches and write anti-vax books because he isn’t allowed to practice medicine.

If you want a window into not only science based medicine but also a brilliant surgeon who writes why the quacks are wrong in great detail, look no further than the Respectful Insolence blog. That blog is written by Dr David Gorski under the pseudonym, Orac. But I am going to go against the advice I normally give people reading articles anywhere else, and suggest you go ahead and read the comments there. Orac’s target audience is not your average lay person like me. Most of his readers are also doctors and scientists. So I’m gonna go ahead and trust him and the science rather than a bunch of unnamed made up quacks in some whackadoodle “family of physicians”.

For fuck’s sake people: If the evidence goes against you, it means you are wrong. Not the evidence. This is not difficult to understand.


Also I’m posting this as a reminder to myself to unfriend that other guy who commented but doesn’t know how to use commas. Can’t unfriend while on a ban.