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  #101  
Old 03.06.2021, 14:29
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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What a cavalier attitude with this seriously horrifying stuff. IMHO...of course.

Well, I guess to each their own. It's just funny in the EF context.
I don't like the idea of making pathogens more risky than what they already are for the sake of research. But, it's not in my hands to change that. That's why there's some existential dread not so different to the one nuclear weapons cause.

Maybe the risk is not in losing freedom for laws about masks or vaccines, but freedom is lost by research gone wrong.
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  #102  
Old 03.06.2021, 17:56
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

Apropos fake news, it is actually quite interesting watching the techniques being used. When I was studying it several years ago as part of a possible tool to help flag dodgy news the technique that I was watching was republishing with "added value". E.g. a newspaper article would appear in e.g. the Frankfuter Allgemeine, that original article was often correct in all metrics we could verify, then the same article would appear translated to e.g. English or Hungarian but the translation would have minor modifications, either adding information that was false or removing information, thereby making the article biased.


Note that by and large traditional broadsheets are better at providing factually correct data (i.e. articles where the assertions are in fact backed by appropriate sources) this is not always the case. E.g. take this article from the Guardian in 2001:


https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...onesia.comment


This was printed shortly after, and largely based on a thoroughly researched academic article which in turn was based on documents released under the freedom of information act, including e.g. communications by the British ambassador to Indonesia at the time of the conflict. Those communications explicitly included the British ambassador writing that he was horrified by the slaughter happening in Indonesia and also included an analysis of the time giving the reason for NOT intervening - namely the probability that if Britain intervened, China was likely to intervene as well, thereby escalating the conflict. The article from the Guardian however ignores those details, does and calls it "Our bloody coup in Indonesia". It seems highly implausible that the author of the article was not aware of the reasons why Britain did not get involved; the data was readily available and even a tiny bit of due diligence would have turned it up. So there is no easy safe space where all data is "true". And no, I am not picking on the Guardian in particular.



The good news is that taking 5 minutes for most newspaper articles to look for sources and a bit of intelligence, looking not just at direct reference but expanding the search to gather context, is typically enough to separate the chaff from the wheat. We do live in an objective reality, so even though the world is complicated there is often enough data to cross-check assertions. It helps to separate facts from opinion, of course, as facts are in the objective reality and can usually be cross-checked whereas opinion is, well, just opinion. There is a Russian paper called "Arguments and Facts" - unfortunately it was little more than a voice for the government, but the idea of separating facts from reasoning is helpful if you are interested in analyzing disinformation. In fact, if you want to study 21C fake news, probably the most relevant starting point is studying Dezinformatsia (Soviet active measures), which works by promoting extremes of opinion and weakening the centre of an opponent.


The bad news is that (a) most people don't have 5 minutes per newspaper article to sanity check them. Even those passionate about fact checkingtypically pick on average one or two articles per day and research them thoroughly. (b) Pulishing corrections doesn't work well enough. If an article is published with false data, then a corrective is published, even people who read both the article and the correction typically only remember the original article. I forget the exact number but it is something like 70% to 30%. This any tooling to combat fake news cannot just fact check and publish corrections. Fact checking is useful but some more pro-active approach is needed.


The approach we were looking at in London about 4 years ago was looking at echo chambers. Algorithms such as those used by Facebook easily end up putting people with the same opinion in the same space. Opinion here is a vector in a high dimensional space. Now, the line of the vector represents the subject and the direction of the vector represents the opinion on that subject (I simplify). The basic idea was that instead of putting people with the same opinion together, put together people with similar interests, which naturally includes opposite opinions and so encourages healthy debate. Have gun owners and anti-gunners together, for example. Have cyclists and cycle-hating drivers together, so that the drivers can express what they find annoying about cyclists and vice versa. Having that exchange lets people understand the other side and sometimes make minor adjustments accordingly. Sadly the project died when two of the founders got money eyes. Working on disinformation doesn't stop on account of that though. There is no silver bullet but there are tools such as newsguard that can help by checking transparency and historical accuracy of sources (again, use with caution, there is no silver bullet). https://www.newsguardtech.com/
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  #103  
Old 03.06.2021, 18:04
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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Uhm, conspiracy is quite insulting to those who brought up the possibility of having a lab "leak" pandemic. And they are not nutters.
I never said they were. Not all leak proponents are nutters, but a fair few are.
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  #104  
Old 03.06.2021, 18:07
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

You guys are freaking out over a flu without even realising we all live in very close proximity to some of the worlds deadliest biological "weapons". Now we cant really call them "weapons" as they are banned, but the development of these weapons has been going on for a very long time. If one of those escapes
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  #105  
Old 03.06.2021, 18:11
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

We had a couple in our Restaurant who will not be take an inoculation because, they belive that the medi has been created using Gene Manipulation!!!!

This led to many arguments, with 'facts' that they couldn't back up.

I ended up telling them to Buggeroff, but in a polite way

Enjoy the evening y'all


GREG
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  #106  
Old 03.06.2021, 19:43
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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I never said they were. Not all leak proponents are nutters, but a fair few are.
Yeah, but I didn't quote the nutters here.

I think some people believe "genetically engineered" equals "lab leak". Not.
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  #107  
Old 03.06.2021, 19:53
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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You guys are freaking out over a flu
I think it has been established that it isn't flu for well over a year. Please do try to keep up.
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  #108  
Old 03.06.2021, 19:56
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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We had a couple in our Restaurant who will not be take an inoculation because, they belive that the medi has been created using Gene Manipulation!!!!

This led to many arguments, with 'facts' that they couldn't back up.

I ended up telling them to Buggeroff, but in a polite way

Enjoy the evening y'all


GREG
Actually they are slightly correct - mRNA is transcribed from an artificially created piece of DNA which is effectively a gene.

But since the process can't run in reverse (gene from mRNA), that fact is completely irrelevant to the safety of the vaccine.
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  #109  
Old 03.06.2021, 21:27
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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Apropos fake news, it is actually quite interesting watching the techniques being used. When I was studying it several years ago as part of a possible tool to help flag dodgy news the technique that I was watching was republishing with "added value". E.g. a newspaper article would appear in e.g. the Frankfuter Allgemeine, that original article was often correct in all metrics we could verify, the...
You are building on the unchallenged assumption that there is such a thing as an absolutely angle to every new story, and that all other stories covering the topic depart from that truth and are that their degree of inaccuracy can be measured relative to the original article.

IMHO that doesn't work outside of maybe special cases.

Bias starts off with which stories the media chose to cover. You don't need to twist or manufacture stories but merely by virtue of what you consider to be newsworthy and what you prefer to ignore you can create a totally different picture of a situation. And if you do that for several years you create a bias. The reader believes for example that certain groups are aggressors and that other groups are innocent victims. And then when things escalate your readers already feel they are experts on the topic and are quick to condemn the side you have set them up to condemn.

And you didn't have to tell one lie.

This is why you shouldn't just be considering both sides to every story but also the stories that the other side is not reporting on.
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  #110  
Old 04.06.2021, 07:37
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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On behalf of EF community, I apologize to those who were mentioning the possibility way back and catching major flak. That would be me, too.

I think what made me sceptical was early journalism on WHO's political interest linked to China and all the effort of China and WHO to brush any links under the carpet. Letting whistleblowers die.

I think should WHO held China accountable right away, we could have had the SARS outcome. Not Covid-19 outcome. I can be wrong, of course, it's just an opinion. (non-peer reviewed).

I would like to see the entire WHO completely changed. I wonder if Switzerland has any power to investigate this, considering that WHO resides in Geneva. The EU also reacted wrongly, telling countries to leave the countries' borders permeable and not be selfish, at the beginning, share the infection solidarily. But we pointed that out early here. They lost a lot of credit and it shows, I think, now. The current CH attitude towards the EU, I assume, is linked. It is not just fmop or business protection linked.
The fact that China stopped people from Wuhan travelling to other parts of the country yet still allowed them to travel to the rest of the world seemed a bit sus.
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  #111  
Old 04.06.2021, 08:50
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

This might be worth reading on the topic of the lab origin of the virus . It takes a detailed approach. Although much of what is said is not new, it’s well put together and puts things in context

https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-...-box-at-wuhan/
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  #112  
Old 04.06.2021, 08:50
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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What about laboratories sponsored by people who want to cause harm?

If China can do it, how can we be sure that given enough time, a country like Iran or North Korea can't do something similar?

There was a time that only very powerful countries like the USA could build atomic bombs. These days there are quite a few somewhat poor countries who have the capability or are close.
I'm puzzled, you exclude one sentence of my post and go where with it?
I would consider Wuhan an accident should it turn out, the virus escaped their laboratory. An accident nobody wants to stand up for. Like "I crossed a red light and hit a pedestrian, do I have to pay the fine?" But much bigger.

However, what about laboratories sponsored by people who want to cause harm? You believe those don't exist yet?
I'm trying to understand: Was that a good thing that powerful countries (btw. do you think China, Russia et al. are not powerful?) were able to build the atomic bomb? If so, to think a country which builds and uses such a new weapon is a "good country" boggles my mind.

Also interesting in your post: The opposite of powerful is poor.

I was rereading your post trying to figure out how mine got you there and what you were trying to say. I realize you probably do the same with mine now. Guess in the pub it would be 'let's get an other beer and you explain that to me' but it's 8.45h in the morning, so .....
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  #113  
Old 04.06.2021, 09:04
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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I would consider Wuhan an accident should it turn out, the virus escaped their laboratory. An accident nobody wants to stand up for. Like "I crossed a red light and hit a pedestrian, do I have to pay the fine?" But much bigger.
The worst would be that Trump would have been right all the time
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  #114  
Old 04.06.2021, 09:09
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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The fact that China stopped people from Wuhan travelling to other parts of the country yet still allowed them to travel to the rest of the world seemed a bit sus.
More likely just inept; look at the mishmash of rules in the UK with a traffic light system that often doesn't match the formal foreign office advice, and that's after about a year of planning.

And also a question of control - China can implement internal controls very easily with their extremely managed society; putting controls on international movement is more difficult even for them (and more visible).
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Old 04.06.2021, 09:15
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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This might be worth reading on the topic of the lab origin of the virus . It takes a detailed approach. Although much of what is said is not new, it’s well put together and puts things in context

https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-...-box-at-wuhan/
I posted this on the "coronavirus" thread two/three weeks ago. It seemed to be too complicated and long for anyone to read. But I also thought it was well put together and insightful.
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  #116  
Old 04.06.2021, 09:41
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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The worst would be that Trump would have been right all the time
Yeah, on the other hand, from the article amogles linked:
<<Because, by a strange twist in the story, her work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)>> one could say "no wonder he knew more"?!

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I posted this on the "coronavirus" thread two/three weeks ago. It seemed to be too complicated and long for anyone to read. But I also thought it was well put together and insightful.
Not complicated but long, true, I'm still at it.

Good link, thanks amogles, sorry I missed it back the Giraffe.
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  #117  
Old 04.06.2021, 10:01
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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Yeah, on the other hand, from the article amogles linked:
<<Because, by a strange twist in the story, her work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)>> one could say "no wonder he knew more"?!


Not complicated but long, true, I'm still at it.

Good link, thanks amogles, sorry I missed it back the Giraffe.
Basically what I've quoted when I "upped" the thread, only in much detail....it's funny people don't actually read what is posted here yet they comment.
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  #118  
Old 04.06.2021, 10:26
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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The worst would be that Trump would have been right all the time
Why worse? He was, most probably. People will learn.
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  #119  
Old 04.06.2021, 10:54
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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Why worse? He was, most probably. People will learn.
As in Trump might have been one side of Nicolas Wade's imagined conversation:
<<One can imagine the behind-the-scenes conversation in which the Chinese government says, “If this research was so dangerous, why did you fund it, and on our territory too?” To which the US side might reply, “Looks like it was you who let it escape. But do we really need to have this discussion in public?”>>
Then true to Trump's mo he kept hinting at it?

However, would he turn out being right, it would proof his incapability as a politician and in leader even more as he was not willing to protect "his people".

Basically I can only repeat my opinion that it's never good to ignore/dismiss anything people, who one generally regards as stupid, say. Which is why I never use the ignore feature here. Even a blind hen ....

I guess one day we'll know what caused this pandemic but it's too bad they don't work together efficiently in order to prevent what ever happened in future, which should be the only goal here.
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  #120  
Old 04.06.2021, 11:06
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Re: Conspiracy beliefs on the rise...

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Basically what I've quoted when I "upped" the thread, only in much detail....it's funny people don't actually read what is posted here yet they comment.
I actually by mistake felt amogles uped the thread with post 87.

No, I didn't read your endless quote. I normally don't as they are not an opinion by the poster (which could at least trigger a new perspective to follow up) but copies from sources I can't check out myself (in this case due to paywall). Therefore I would have to take your word for it, that the quote was not manipulated. Not my mo.
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