Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

A CONSPIRACY
We were determined not to write about Covid-19 but discovered a few items of 'News' which made us change our minds
David Icke

Youtuber, David Icke claims that a coronavirus vaccine, when there is one, will contain 'nanotechnology microchips' that would in theory allow humans to be controlled.

As self-diagnosis tests go, this might qualify as the most simplistic. Claimed in a false chain email purporting to be sent by NHS staff, the theory that being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds without any discomfort confirms that you're not infected with Covid-19.

Prof Chandra-Wickramasinghe
One Coronavirus conspiracy is a classic 'aliens did it' theory. According to Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, Covid-19 arrived on earth via a fireball from space that burnt up in China last October.

According to the internet, 5G phone towers are, in fact, the cause of Coronavirus.

Another conspiracy theory, possibly conjured up by optimistic
party-goers, recently came up with the idea that cocaine protects against Covid-19.

Next up in the series of substances that are claimed to stop the effects of
cow urine
Covid-19 is drinking cow urine. In Hinduism cows are considered sacred, with some followers of the religion believing their urine holds medicinal properties.

How about Covid-19 as a Marketing Scheme By Hand Sanitiser Companies?
Sanitiser
With hand washing a key element in Coronavirus prevention, hand sanitisers have seen a meteoric rise as the most sought after item in modern history. As such, the internet has deduced that Covid-19 is in fact a marketing scheme devised by anti-bac gel companies to increase sales.

The QAnon movement followed the lead of Trump in downplaying the threat of the virus and calling it a hoax. They believed the virus was a deep state plot
Qanon
to damage the president’s chance at re-election. The QAnon community said those who warned about the pandemic threat were trying to detract from U.S. domestic politics, stop Trump rallies and remove all the economic gains they contended had occurred during the Trump presidency.

Perhaps Covid-19 really does turn people potty! We think there should be research to see if the virus is transmitted by wild rabbits kept as pets. Well, why not !?

Dangerous Rabbit

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Comment from Andrew
In relation to your latest blog. We live in an age of disinformation and the other side is always wrong. 

Perhaps the route cause is nothing more sinister than social media and media companies vying for our attention so they can earn advertising revenue - in the pursuit of our attention they develop algorithms which monitor our every action, learn what keeps our attention for longer or drives our engagement. An unintended consequence of this process is that the algorithms drive conflict, outrage and conspiracy theories (to name but a few) as these keep our attention much longer than normal regular news, fair debate and discussion.

Of course, not me? I couldn’t fall for such simple tactics... although perhaps we overestimate the abilities of our brains to compete with modern computing mixed with a modern understanding of psychology. We didn’t stand a chance, however the social media genie is out of the bottle - it isn’t going back in.

What we need to do now is recognise this, educate ourselves and change our behaviours. Perhaps in time society might implement some controls, but I’m not holding my breath.

Further reading or watching;
An initiative setup by some ex-social media engineers & employees.

https://www.humanetech.com/