Friday, May 8, 2020

Another Anna Rant

Our walk, yesterday morning, was beautiful. Eoin and I and our doggies walked along the cliff on the north side of the island, overlooking the ocean. The air was fragrant and warm. When I got home, I did some weeding in the courtyard, planted my tomatoes and watered the herbs and fruit bushes. I also had a short nap in the sunshine.
The tedious part of the day was weeding the cracks in the courtyard. The courtyard is about three hundred square meters. And every two feet in both directions, there is a two-inch gap between the paving stones. There’s ‘a mile’ of cracks and they’re full of weeds.
But I stopped and asked myself: “Why do I feel compelled to constantly work on something? Why not take some leisure time?” So, I got the deckchair cushions out, got a Diet Coke and a New Yorker, and sat for a bit in the sun to read.
Then I went to Rollo Park with Anna and our dogs where we met Gunther and two other women who joined us. When Gunther mentioned that he was not visiting his brother out of fear of infecting him. Well … that sent Anna off. She started talking about Robert Kennedy and the conspiracy of vaccines. After about fifteen minutes of screed, I stood up and walked away, and as soon as I stood up, the other two women stood up and walked away. 
I rejoined Anna and Gunther soon after the women left feeling a little guilty about abandoning her, and Anna was joking about driving everyone away. 
I stand by what I said before. I don’t care what she believes, but I wish she’s just shut the f**k up! She’s like an obnoxious religious proselytizer. She has a very authoritarian tone; she speaks as one who is all knowing. I’m just going to wander away every time she goes on a rant. 
When I got home, I went to Google to see what I could learn about conspiracy theorists. In a February 2020 issue of Physics World, I encountered an article by Robert P. Creese. Here are some quotations from it:
Conspiracy theories thrive in societies with a large gap between the governing and the governed classes. Such conditions allow some of the governed to reject the advice of experts as out of touch with “the people”, and to create a “populist epistemology” associated with an oppositional culture.
Populists tend to reject science and its methods as a source of directives. Instead, such people prefer to embrace “emotional honesty, intuition and truths of the heart over dry factual veracity and scientific evidence, testing and credentialing.
Modern anti-science conspiracies are multiple and spread by the Internet; they are energized by the ability to self-select information.
They spring from the attempt by non-experts to make sense of often overwhelming and contradictory information based on personal values, available evidence, whom one trusts, and experience.
And speaking of conspiracy theorists: In the news today, are articles from Quebec about arrests made in connection with a series of cell phone tower fires. Police believe the fires will be traced back to people holding conspiracy theories about 5G technology.
False narratives around 5G — the fifth-generation technology standard for cellphone companies — and COVID-19 have been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, leading to attacks on towers across Europe. Bloody Hell.
The best antidote to these idiots, is gardening and reading and napping in the sunshine. The next four days are expected to be sunny and very warm. We’re expecting temperatures around 25°! SO, today I’m going to play music whist I work, using my computer so that I can avoid the news and any DJ talk about the virus.

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