Photo by Daria Sannikova from Pexels
COVID-19, or the virus that causes it, SARS-CoV-2
is dominating the News
Facebook posts and discussions today:
My friend Sabina Nore posted this (among several posts I shared):
We are witnessing what Stanley Milgram has already shown in his experiment on obedience to authority.
Examining the justifications provided by the Nazis at the Nuremberg War Criminal trials, he didn't believe that they just executed orders, so he basically did a study to show that they were lying. He wanted to show that a conscientious person wouldn't commit atrocities just because they are told to do so by an authority.
Unfortunately, he proved the opposite. (Oops.)
He has scientifically proven that people are sheep who will do almost anything as long as someone seen as an authority tells them to do so.
Justifications for atrocities are then easily found, as long as the authority wills it so.
Exceptions are extremely rare.
It was a poignant observation that sort of fits with a post of mine where I quoted Thoreau:
The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailors, constables, possee comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others--as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and officeholders--serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the Devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.*
*From "Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau.
Harlan Ellison, a brillant SF writer I valued very much, used Thoreau's quote from
"Civil Disobedience" to begin his story
"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman
The story is a satirical look at a dystopian future in which time is strictly regulated and everyone must do everything according to an extremely precise time schedule. In this future, being late is not merely an inconvenience, but a crime. The crime carries a hefty penalty in that a proportionate amount of time is "revoked" from one's life. The ultimate consequence is to run out of time and be "turned off". This is done by the Master Timekeeper, or "Ticktockman", who utilizes a device called a "cardioplate" to stop a person's heart once his time has run out. .................Wikipedia
He had become a personality, something they had filtered out of the system many decades ago. But there it was, and there he was, a very definitely imposing personality. In certain circles--middle-class circles--it was thought disgusting. Vulgar ostentation. Anarchistic. Shameful.
In others, there was only sniggering, those strata where thought is subjugated to form and ritual, niceties, proprieties. But down below, ah, down below, where the people always needed their saints and sinners, their bread and circuses, their heroes and villains, he was considered a Bolivar; a Napoleon; a Robin Hood; a Dick Bong (Ace of Aces); a Jesus; a Jomo Kenyatta.
And at the top--where, like socially attuned Shipwreck Kellys, every tremor and vibration threatens to dislodge the wealthy, powerful and titled from their flagpoles--he was considered a menace; a heretic; a rebel; a disgrace; a peril. He was known down the line, to the very heartmeat core, but the important reactions were high above and far below. At the very top, at the very bottom.
So his file was turned over, along with his time-card and his cardioplate, to the office of the Ticktockman.
One of my posts on Facebook today:
YES, I AM IN A NASTY MOOD (so shoot me):
Since I don't get out much lately, having been in self-imposed quarantine since middle of March, I spend much more time on line, perusing social websites, blockchain sites, You Tube, newspaper readers comments etc. The conclusion I came to from all this exposure is, that it saddens and also frightens me that a large percentage of them (in my estimate over 90% - present company excluded) are certifiable idiots. But the worse of it is yet to come: they procreate!
The other thing is: they are, at least in so called "democratic" systems, eligible voters! .... and also, save for a few restrictions, eligible to stand for office and being voted in by said majority!
So is it any wonder what we experiencing now?
This here was shared on Facebook quite often, also by myself:
The Hong Kong flu (also known as 1968 flu pandemic) was a flu pandemic whose outbreak in 1968 and 1969 killed an estimated one million people all over the world. It was caused by an H3N2 strain of the influenza A virus, descended from H2N2 through antigenic shift, a genetic process in which genes from multiple subtypes reassorted to form a new virus.
This meme was re-posted by my friend Sabina, with this text:
True story! Check it.
Love & freedom or fear & caution?
What do you choose?
I then replied to her:
you have been fact-checked by REUTERS - and your post is true!!!!!
True claim: Woodstock took place in the middle of a pandemic
Social media users have been sharing an image online that claims the popular music festival Woodstock, which took place in August 1969, happened in the middle of a pandemic. This claim is correct.
I commented further: this was my first year in Canada - I would have wanted to go, but had just then started my job with Canadian Pacific so could not go without losing my job.
I never even thought of it being a pandemic - went right over my head - I do remember SARS 2003 though, we were handed a photocopied paper at work telling us to wash our hands. That was the extend of it! So come to think of it, Swine Flu later on in 2009 (that year I traveled extensively also), I should have died 3 times over already! ....... maybe I did die, and what is happening right now are just the flashes in my brain or a quantum shift into a alternate universe where the definitions of stupidity are turned upside down ...... I then attached a link to the story by Harlan Ellison I shared above.
MORE ABOUT WOODSTOCK 69:
Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic
MY THOUGHT ABOUT VACCINATIONS
It is not responsible to say that we cannot go back to "normality" until there is a vaccine!
To develop a safe vaccine takes years of clinical trials!
Here is a video by
Austrian Biologist Clemens Arvay
One of the sources mentioned in the notes of this video is the following:
Jiang S. (2020),
Don´t rush to deploy COVID-19 vaccines and drugs without sufficient safety guarantees
in: Nature, 16.03.2020
Around the world, I am seeing efforts to support ‘quick-fix’ programmes aimed at developing vaccines and therapeutics against COVID-19. Groups in the United States and China are already planning to test vaccines in healthy human volunteers. Make no mistake, it’s essential that we work as hard and fast as possible to develop drugs and vaccines that are widely available across the world. But it is important not to cut corners.
Of interest to my Canadian, but also my American Friends - but be forewarned, this is a very detailed research paper that, if you followed the links and citations, would likely keep you occupied for weeks:
OCLA Report 2020-1: Criticism of Government Response to COVID-19 in Canada
there is a link on that page where you can download the full report.
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