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Happy Birthday, Daniel-san!

Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 4,046
We all chipped in and got you a global catastrophe.

Is it too big?

I feel like we might have gone too big.
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Comments

  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 18
    A global catastrophe?! For lil'old me?! Aw, you guys! You really shouldn't have!

    Thanks anyway.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 18
    It has been estimated that, today, Quebec should hit peak Covid cases.


    Coïncidence? I think not!
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    Happy birthday, Dan! How old are you?
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    All the people at these “Fire Fauci! Covid-19 is a hoax!” protests seem to be white people. Hmmm....
  • matthewmatthew Posts: 310
    Yeah. I got into a pointless argument with one of my idiot former co-workers (the health food store) yesterday and spent a few hours researching this detestable grifter named "Dr. Shiva".

    Mostly, I was reminded of how little I could stand 97% of my former co-workers. Not only were they mostly shitheel awful human beings, they were also shockingly ignorant and/or stupid.

    These are the sorts of comfortable suburban petite bourgeoisie who have been sold the idea that they live in a meritocracy but would probably be face-down in a gutter somewhere or dead already if they had to rely on their own talents or brains. These are the sorts of vacuous twits on the socially liberal but mostly 'apolitical' (mostly out of ignorance) for whom this crypto-Social Darwinist nonsense appeals. All you have to do is eat well, exercise, dose yourself in exotic foods and vitamin supplements, make daily superfood smoothies in $350 Vitamix and your godly immune system will make you invulnerable to all illnesses until you die at 120 from living too long.



  • matthewmatthew Posts: 310
    The exchange returned me right back to where I was when I was working at the Unhealthy Tree almost a decade ago.

    For some reason, I always remember that joke acronym I came up with: SCAMO (Scientific Consensus As Mere Opinion). Well, this guy was making an appeal to that precise sentiment. Without stating exactly what he was referring to but hinting that it was about fringe theories re:coronavirus, he wrote a big post on FB basically saying, 'Hey, everything is subjective and all opinions are equally valid and so we should respect each other when they voice their views.'

    I responded saying...actually, maybe I will just copy/paste what I wrote:

    You are right that hatred is a waste of energy but I do not see what is gained by claiming - falsely - that everything is subjective or that every argument can be reduced to "opinion" with an oppositional position that is equally valid 'because feelings'.

    There is a gulf of difference between healthy skepticism supported by self-education (marked by rigorous self-examination, review, and dissection of one's own arguments and assumptions - this is crucial) and reactionary distrust of authority that leads to an abandonment of all reason in favour of anything that satisfies one's own confirmation bias.

    The widespread embrace of the latter has been encouraged by bad actors seeking to manipulate those rendered gullible by their otherwise legitimate mistrust or wariness of the establishment, media, experts, etc. This has only accelerated as society has increasingly moved online, opening themselves to the willful distortions of strangers, grifters, snake oil salesmen, and, perhaps most importantly, agents of the very same establishment figures they are hoping to circumvent, disguised as anonymous or independent sources, and not held to any degree of scrutiny or accountability.

    We don't have to pretend that everyone's opinion is equally valid. People are free to believe whatever they want and while everyone shares that freedom, this is where the 'equality' ends. Many people are simply ignorant, dishonest, and/or intellectually lazy. These people are inclined to satisfy their own biases and feelings before anything else. Contrary to what they often claim, they are not philosophically "open" independent thinkers, they are rigidly close-minded and willing to accept only what mirrors their own feelings and assumptions back to them.

    The people who actually do research or actually know what they are talking about never seem to boast to have "done the research". This is partly because of the confidence (sometimes arrogance) that comes with being well-informed, but also because it is often unnecessary due to the fact that they are willing to offer up their claims to challenge.
    In my experience, the ones who claim loudly to have "done their own research" are the ones running on emotion, are intellectually dishonest, and have sought only what confirms their bias or validates their feelings. These people are close-minded, combative and refuse scrutiny or debate (often screeching "DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!" before angrily retreating from an exchange for which they were ill-prepared).

    Anyway, your post above is concerning the COVID-19 crisis, we don't have the luxury of entertaining everyone's superstitions, paranoid fantasies and pseudoscience as equally valid to that of medical professionals. People are dying because of what other people think they "know".
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 19
    Well said, Matt! But you do know that it's useless, right? You can't reason people out of things they weren't reasoned into in the first place. Believe me, I know! I have done the research!
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 4,046
    The Hungarians we know have a large subset of COVID Is a Scam conspiracy theorists.

    It's maddening.
  • matthewmatthew Posts: 310
    He responded with a characteristically dumb guy slipperiness where he thanked me for my response, conceded I was right about a few things, took a couple of stabs at sarcasm to show that he still disagreed with me about everything, and worked up just enough courage to say that my argument that this watered-down subjectivity allowed people to abandon all reason in favour of anything that satisfied their confirmation bias was "inaccurate" because people on the other side of the debate have their own experts who are no less legitimate.

    He claimed that this "Dr. Shiva" was a solid source that was equal or superior to anything on the Big Pharma side. Oh, did I forget to mention that this health food fitness bro was like every other idiot I worked with and was an anti-vaxxer? Yeah, that's where this was always going. But I have no interest whatsoever in debating vaccines with these idiots. I am only interested in tearing down the scaffolding they are using to erect defensive barriers meant to normalize/equalize or legitimize their pseudoscience.

    After I spent an hour or two reading up on "Dr. Shiva" (his twitter, his wiki, a dozen or so articles about him, his website, but mostly his recent interviews on far-right media accounts on YouTube) I learned that he is not an MD but a bioengineer, never did medical school or anything resembling the schooling or training of the people he criticizes and is using his peripheral knowledge of medicine and title of "Doctor" to lend an air of legitimacy to what is really ginned up Alternative Medicine talking points about how the human body stands outside of nature and would be essentially indestructible if not for the corrupting effects of modernity (bad food, bad water, electricity, not enough nature or expensive exotic and ingredients in our pantries, etc). He is an anti-vaxxer and believes that this is all a Deep State plot.

    My second response:


    Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai is a perfect example of a bad faith actor consciously exploiting people's ignorance and gullibility in order to secure political power and exercise his political aims which are unrelated to the current health crisis.

    Dr. Ayyandurai is not some neutral arbiter of medical advice, he is a far-right nationalist politician running for office under the wing of Donald Trump. I am sure he is a capable engineer, but this does not lend credence to his hysterical, manipulative, politically partisan rhetoric and New World Order "globalist" conspiracy theory.

    Ayyandurai does not voice his appeals in sober scientific terms, he goes on INFOWARS and lets Alex Jones introduce him with a preamble about the "globalists" and the "worldwide medical tyranny" before launching into his own appeal to the emotions of far-right evangelical Christians with some gobbledygook about 'the forces of evil and darkness' and a crazy-wall presentation about the nefarious links between various members of the globalist "cabal" who have "orchestrated" all of this etc.

    It matters not whether or not he truly believes this or he is doing this cynically because it's an easy way of clawing his way to greater power, what matters is that what he is saying to this audience has little to no foundation in science. His focus is on making appeals to anti-intellectualism, anti-Big Government, anti-Big Pharma, anti-modernity, etc.

    This is why he goes on the paleoconservative (stridently anti-secular, anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, pro-NRA, pro-Trump) National Empowerment Television and drops all sorts of globalist dog whistles about Dr. Fauci being "connected to Elton John and Hollywood" (you know, normal science-based arguments you'd expect from a doctor) and claiming he is "embedded in the Deep State" (which is what cranks now call "the Illuminati").

    His singular focus on tearing down his political opponents by association makes your umbrage about "devaluing the other side" by comparing them to "snake oil salesman" all the more ironic.

    First, I never defended any particular position, so I am unsure why you would assume I was referring to anyone in particular. I was making a broad statement about how not every opinion is of equal quality or substance and suggesting that diluting science to the point of meaninglessness "You have my facts, you have your facts", is not the same thing encouraging dissenting views or elevating contrary opinions in order to ensure better science. Dr. Ayyandurai is making his appeals specifically to people who want to end the debate and sweep away everything that they do not want to hear. Second, his own relations to far-right nationalists and racists such as Stephen Bannon, Trump, Alex Jones, far-right "moral majority" outlets such as the Heritage Foundation, suggests that he is just as embedded in the establishment as any of his targets.

    Ayyandurai is serving the Trump Administration with a specialized hit on someone who has now become a liability for Trump's approval ratings moving towards the November election. If he simply disagreed with Fauci on vaccines or social distancing or the immune system, he would limit himself to the science, rather than front-loading his appeals with this NWO conspiracy twaddle. He's a political ax swinging at a political tree.

    Trump's numbers are - against all odds - actually starting to crumble and all of a sudden Republican challenger for the Massachusetts Senate Shiva Ayyandurai comes out of the shadows again and starts hammering on how everything Fauci is saying it is propaganda being done for the benefit of Bill Gates and the globalist cabal that wants to microchip us all as QAnon crackpots (who also happen to be former Republican Senate candidates) who themselves retweet Ayyandurai are retweeted by Trump. It's almost as if this isn't about science at all.

    Trump and the Republican wing of the capitalist establishment that he fronts for are worried that he has finally met a crisis that he cannot bully or insult his way out of. Appeals to globalist "Deep State" conspiracy theory or conflict with China could be his only methods of evading responsibility for his disastrous incompetence and lack of leadership that is claiming thousands of lives.

    In the past few weeks, we have watched Trump supporters such as Ayyandurai erect a Covid-19 Truth Movement (much like the 9/11 Truth conspiracy movement) to defend Trump. In this alternate reality, none of this is really happening and all of the social distancing stuff is globalist plot to destroy the economy and stop Trump from being re-elected (and thus end his mission to drain the swamp (or to secretly the cabal of globalist pedophiles that run the world, according to QAnon imbeciles). This is the end result of decades of people gravitating to sources that confirm their biases and construct a reality for themselves based on their own personal preferences.

    By the way, I don't know if it is Ayyandurai's anti-vax and pro-preventative vitamin position that appeals to you, but be warned: the world envisioned by people such as "Dr Shiva" and the Christian nationalist far-right he supports is very different from yours.



  • matthewmatthew Posts: 310
    I sincerely doubt that that last but will resonate as it never seemed to resonate with any of the other flakes I worked with, but I am still horrified by the thought that these idiots are generally considered members of the 'left' (broadly) simply because they hold some social views which are common in liberal democracies (don't want gays to be hanged in the town square, are sorta okay with abortion (though a good deal aren't), are anti-firearm, claim to love nature, etc.) and like to post photos of Sun Salutations on their Instagrams.

    You'd think a well-off Jewish guy from the suburbs living the urban modern life in a major metropolitan city in Canada trying to start up a bourgeois hipster food joint would have nothing in common with reactionary far-right QAnon fundamentalist MAGA chuds who detest show up at every demonstration with their rifles, but here we are. These people have no idea who they are getting into bed with, but also don't really care to know.
  • matthewmatthew Posts: 310
    This guy once asked me why I was studying history. "You actually find history interesting?" I wanted to answer, "Probably not as much as you are interested in your own abs, but yeah pretty interesting."

  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    I try really hard the majority of the time not to be a horrible person. When I see the footage of the people at these anti-stay-at-home rallies, somewhere not all that far in the back of my mind, I find myself hoping they all get the virus.

    I don’t want to be the kind of person who wishes bad things to happen to anyone, but it’s an involuntary reaction. I’m not choosing to think it, and as soon as I become aware of it, I try to chase the thought away. It makes me feel like a jerk.

  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 19
    Wishing bad things happening to dumb people doesn't make one a bad person. Thoughts don't matter. It's what one does that matters. Sure, actually going on a shooting rampage and killing a bunch of dumb assholes would make one a bad person, but I'm quite certain there's no harm in fantasizing about it.

    If one can go to hell for impure thoughts, then I'm fucked. Fortunately, I'm also quite certain that there's no hell, no heaven, no immortal souls.

    So come on, Covid! I'm rooting for you!

  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    Well, no... Chances are these idiots will infect other less gullible people. That's one of the reasons why I fantasize about bitch slapping them. I wouldn't do it for realz, I mean, I don't want to catch the damn bug!
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 19
    The Hungarians we know have a large subset of COVID Is a Scam conspiracy theorists.

    It's maddening.
    Could that be Orban's influence? Hungary is basically a tinpot dictatorship now, and its government has been peddling all kinds of conspiracy theories for years.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 19
    Jeff, you guys finally got a mutt! Cool! I'm sure Simon's gonna love him.
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    I wouldn't do it for realz, I mean, I don't want to catch the damn bug!
    And a lot of them are carrying weapons. Never a good idea to bring a bitch slap to a gunfight.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 19
    One annoying thing about news media: reasonable people acting reasonably ain't news. For better or worse, a shitload of dems risked catching the bug to vote in Wisconsin... But that is less interesting to the news than some paid idiots trying to kill everyone on behalf of billionaires.

    I remember going to a huge pro-environment march last year. It was one of the largest marches in recent memory. But it was the same day some bigoted fuckface in New Zealand killed 51 muslims. So the march wasn't much in the news 'cause all the space was taken up by said fuckface's murderous exploits.

    President Shit-fer-brains has the same effect on the news media: his relentless bullshit is always on, 24/7. "Me, me, look at me", he's like a fire consuming all the oxygen in a room. And the news media play along: people who hate his guts watch him, people who support him watch him, so he's good ratings.
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    I refuse to watch the Trump show. I’m almost always at my mom’s when it comes on. We usually opt for reruns of NCIS: Los Angeles.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 20
    The Western Canadian Select (what a wonderful name, eh?), that is, the price of Albertan crude oil produced from tar sands, went below zero yesterday. That means that producers are paying buyers to store their oil.

    I gotta tell you, I'm schadening mein freude pretty hard over here!
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 2,767
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN!!!!
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 2,767
    Every story about the cratering of oil and gas prices makes me so sad that we have the wrong leadership to just let the whole fucking thing die.

    We wouldn't even have to smother it in it's sleep. Just sign the DNR on fossil fuels and redirect all of the subsidies to renewable.

    (deep sigh)
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 4,046
    Evan, that is EXACTLY how I feel about the folks at those rallies: involuntarily wishing they get sick and die, then feeling bad about it when my better angels kick back in.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 20
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN!!!!
    Thanks man.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 20
    A letter in the New England Journal of Medicine about the difficulties of obtaining medical protection equipment:
    In Pursuit of PPE
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    edited April 20
    Seen on the internets this morning:
    Oh wow, China's government is corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent! What must it be like, to have such a government! I'm certainly not going to vote for Xi in November now!
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 5,764
    This one made me chortle:
    894568910ccb131fa98a013c3ef39e8a3a401f7d77f8b6bae02183cea4bcef16.jpg
    410 x 652 - 125K
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    Gov. Brian Kemp is an idiot. Some businesses can reopen as long as they practice social distancing. Y’know, businesses where that’s easy to do like hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors.
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    I just read about it again. Gov. Kemp isn’t concerned about social distancing.

    I don’t want people in Georgia to get sick. I don’t want people in Georgia to get sick. I don’t want people in Georgia to get sick.
  • moetownmoetown Posts: 2,307
    Hopefully, most people in Georgia don’t want to get sick either.
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