Not sure if you're addressing Willem or myself here:
"I'm not hosting covid misinformation ... Why not start your own board or spend your time on one where you can revel in the knowledge that the pandemic is a conspiracy of big pharma and the new world order"
I'll take it that it was meant for me and reply accordingly:
I understand the need to counter covid misinformation.
I didn't think the article I posted was "misinformation", when I posted it. It's been freely available on Twitter and Facebook for days where I presumed it had passed their fairly rigorous fact-checkers.
I posted it because it was one of the first articles I saw that addressed what is going on in India, a subject that's swamped world media for a few days, often under scary, broadbrush headlines.
As we know from a media analysis p.o.v, the headline is often the only thing that busy people pick up as they walk past newspaper stands or glance at the TV news and has a powerful propaganda function. I was hoping to have a discussion here along media analysis lines. I've been dealing this week with people skimming headlines and getting into distorted 'fear' thinking. This is what I'd call the collateral damage of this pandemic year, the psychological factor.
But I see now that no-one here (aside from dereklane and willem) is interested in discussion about psychological/social side-effects and whether media representations are propotionate or not. These discussions seem to be perceived as venturing too closely to conspiracy and fairy-tales, and those who dare to broach them are encouraged to leave.
I noticed this when Willem's compassionate post about the social effects on ordinary people, a couple of months ago, was met with ugly invective and insults from others on the board: I felt dismayed at the language and disappointed by the lack of broader understanding but kept quiet in a cowardly fashion, as one does when muddy smears are flying about.
With regards to the Indian situation, I wanted to work out whether it was only the weight of infections to blame, or whether there were some systemic problems exacerbating the situation, as we saw in South Africa. Did lack of oxygen arise purely because vast amounts of people required oxygen, or did it partly arise because there's a shocking lack of government delivery to hundreds of district hospitals (apparently 150 of them)? I thought others here might be interested in such a discussion. Clearly not.
Arundathi Roy's excellent article (posted by psingh in this thread) clarifies that yes, indeed, the oxygen shortages are not new but have been ongoing for months and that the Modi government has been negligent in service delivery to hundreds of district hospitals. Let's give The Guardian credit where it's due for running that article. It's filed under "Long Read", though, and buried deeper in the paper, so that many busy people won't see/read it.
"Why not start your own board or spend your time on one where you can revel in the knowledge that the pandemic is a conspiracy of big pharma and the new world order"
The word "revel" imputes a sort of Machiavellian delight at other people's misfortunes. Do I come across as someone who 'revels' in nonsense and fairytales?
The word "conspiracy" is tucked into that sentence, too, with its effect of rendering the accused (Willem/myself?) as "conspiracy nutters" worthy of contempt and a kicking from the rest of the board.
"New world order" is a curious one because I never use that phrase and quite deliberately so, because it's silly.
Aside from all that, respect to you, Dan, for the work you do. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to reply.