Free pic by Markus Winkler (source: unsplash)
Keywords: conspiracy, conspiracy theory, anti-vaxxer, anti-vaxxers, COVID-19, pandemic, no-mask, SARS-CoV2, SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, vaccine, vaccines, fake news
Hello pal, welcome back to the place where donuts are the round voluptuous deities of cosmic pleasure, and quantum physics the clumsy magician hired for a flat universal birthday party (the galactic clown being busy looking for its missing nose among all the red giants of the Milky Way)!
What follows, dear reader, is not something taken from science (or any) literature (hence the lack of references), and, of course, I'm neither a psychiatrist, nor a qualified expert on human mind and nature. Heck, I'm a dumb blog for Gnagnamantus Krosfazt's sake, as you know very well!
No, mate, what follows is just my opinion, developed through the years, about the issue in question.
So, again, no science or anything resulting from research and study here, just thoughts (that are quite a milestone for a brainless entity like myself), and personal considerations.
Ok, let's go.
The Conspiracy Theory People (aka CTP), to me, can be divided (but, sadly, not conquered by reason) into five groups which are not mutually exclusive, and with the fourth (subgroup "a") and fifth being pretty contiguous to each other.
Free pic by Wesley Tingey (source: unsplash)
1) There are the CTP who are not necessarily genuine CTP, but just individuals who tend to their agenda. Examples: "Evolution isn't a fact, it's just a theory the Atheists want to feed to your children's minds and that will corrupt them and destroy morality, while Religion has the real explanation, we, the Religion's advocates, guarantee you that" | "Smoking is not dangerous as said by those who are interested in destroying us and our chain of supply, we, the tobacco industry's advocates, can prove it" | "Nah, climate change is not a fact/is not human driven, the coal and oil industry are not a problem, we, who advocate for them, guarantee you that it's just them crooked so-called scientists who are in the pockets of the so-called Green Economy ring etc. etc. who are making things up".
|Sloth in a Ball|
Pic by Eric Kilby; license: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) (source: flickr)
2) Then, there are the CTP who are justlazy, I mean, the Sloth-capital-sin kind of thing. So, instead of facing whatever issue at hand, and making an effort to try and adjust their lifestyle to deal with it, well, these CTP just create their own version of said issue, so that, by riding this alternative, they don't have to do anything at all, their conscience is clean, their mind free. Examples: "Nah, climate change is not a thing/is not human driven, it's just them crooked so-called scientists who are in the pockets of that so-called Green Economy ring etc. etc. who are making things up" | "Face masks are useless, I'm not wearing them, it's just the Government being oppressive"
Free pic by Hello I'm Nik (source: unsplash)
adapted by @sciencemug
3) Next come the CTP who are scared by life as it is, meaning by the fact that humans have control over very few (if any at all) things. So, not being able to bear this reality, they find comfort in other ones, where humans, instead, have control over things. Examples: "The cure for cancer is out there, but Big Pharma is hiding it in order to sell more drugs" | "The pandemic/COVID-19/Sars-Cov-2 virus doesn't exist, it is a lie, THEY just want to keep us under control/Big Pharma just want to make more money by selling vaccines".
|[ B ] Richard Baxter - Narcissus and Echo (2000) - Detail|
Pic by cea +; license: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) (source: flickr)
4a) Here come the CTP who are narcissist. They think they are slier, more intelligent, more original thinkers et similia than the majority of the world's population who, in turn, is basically a mass of sheep/slaves content with its situation, in other words, a multitude of people too brainwashed/stupid/superficial/ignorant/coward/weak/spineless/brainless et similia to peep behind the curtain, and see the True Truth. Examples: "Men didn't land on the Moon, what THEY call evidence are, in fact, fake photos, audios and videos" | "The corrupt scientific community/experts community and the mainstream media are censoring/twisting the news, I/we therefore am/are doing counter-information and provide the correct data and data interpretation that THEY are hiding/burying".
|Figure in the shadow|
Free pic by ammar sabaa (source: unsplash)
|Silver foil hat|
Free pic by Tom Radetzki (source: unsplash)
5) Finally, there are the CTP who are, well, paranoid. Examples: "The Earth is flat, THEY are hiding the truth" | "Elvis is still alive, he's the king of Elves now/he's gone back to his home planet/[watch 'BubbaHo-Tep' for a good one...]" | "Chemtrails are sprayed to poison and mind-control humankind" | "There are microchips/poisonous-DNA altering compouds in the vaccines".
Of course, dear reader, for all of the five types of CTPs, it might possibly work the explanation that their "reality" is the result of the frustration and unsatisfaction about their life, and consequent will/need to fabricate an alternative frame for it, so to unload on that their anger and distress, and explain with that the origins of their hardships.
|Covid Vaccine Alters DNA Forever graffito with "Will it make me an X-Men?" addendum, pole, Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA|
Pic by Cory Doctorow; license: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) (source: flickr)
Now, as for the Anti-Vaxxers (aka AVs) in my opinion, mutatis mutandis, they sure fit in the above described groups.
There are AVs with an agenda, the lazy ones, the scared ones, the narcissistic ones (maybe not so much the self-esteem issues/lonely ones), and the paranoid ones.
Ok, dear reader, just a quick consideration on the scared AVs.
I have to admit that the reason why someone be (in general, and, above all, still, given +8.5 billion doses of vaccines have been administered by now) scared more by vaccines on which the global science community worked on (by the way, "global science community" meaning men and women who don't want to get infected and possibly die, and I bet with families to protect too, not evil greedy soulless automata) than by a brand-new deadly virus (which long-term effects even on the recovered people is unknown, by the way) well, is something that frankly baffles me.
Said that, I understand fear, I really do. But if one has to face his/her own fears, and win them in order to contribute in protecting others (besides him/herself), one, I think, should at the very least try and work really hard to do it, and not peacefully/willingly succumb to them, for instance with the specious excuse of the freedom of choice.
|Protest involving vaccines slogan on a signboard|
Free pic by DJ Paine (source: unsplash)
Finally, AVs also belong, I think, to a subgroup, the 2b, if you want (the 2a being that of the lazies): the selfish. The 2b AVs are those who think that their needs be always more important than those of the community they are part of.
|Selfish me (by @sciencemug)|
And if one doesn't even consider the fact that not taking the actions one has the possibility to take, and that are needed to protect others (besides him/herself), can, and most probably will, harm said others, then, to me, this person is the quintessence of selfishness, besides of a hard lack of foresight. Examples (not limited to the anti-vaccination attitude, but still pandemic related): "I don't abide to the quarantine/social distancing/curfew/lockdown 'cause nobody tells me what to do/it's a limitation of my rights/personal freedom" | "I don't wear a face mask 'cause it's annoying/nobody tells me what to do/it's a violation of my rights/personal freedom/freedom of choice" | "I don't get vaccinated 'cause it's annoying/I have low probability of getting infected-being hospitalized-die/nobody tells me what to do/it's a violation of my rights/personal freedom/freedom of choice".
|Sign with text "Freedom to choose. Informed consent. Bodily integrity. Nuremberg code". Protest against vax mandate in Austria|
Pic by Ivan Radic; license: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) (source: flickr)
A final note, dear reader, has to be dedicated to ignorance, as, for sure, a part of the CTP and AVs is made of ignorant people, and an ignorant person probably has less of the cultural tools that usually help to defend oneself against whoppers, hoaxes and fake news (provided that, ultimately, nobody’s 100% safe from these anyway). But more than the lack of general education (and especially of scientific one), I think that of the CTP and AVs (and, in general, of the Fake News’ Buyers, aka FNBs) be an ignorance which is characterized by smugness and arrogance.
The ignorant CTP, AVs and FNBs are indeed proud to be so. They (maybe, but not necessarily, as a consequence of a chip on their shoulders/an inferiority complex) consider the lack of culture a sign of down-to-earthenss, of being more real and therefore closer to the truth than the (for them) pompous brains with a degree/PhD/whatever academic title-competence who, from the top of their high mountain of accumulated knowledge, have lost sight of how things are for real down to Earth, precisely, where, precisely, the real people, like them CTP, AVs and FNBs, live.
|Ignorance is strenght|
Pic by Jeff Macpherson; license: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) (source: flickr)
And again (chip-on-the-shoulder/inferiority complex scenario considered) this attitude might be related to the fact that a complex, utterly nuanced, ultimately (yet) incomprehensible and uncontrollable reality is something that CTP, AVs and FNBs struggle to deal with and bear. As a consequence, for them it is of relief to accuse of snobbish elitism, of sterile overthinking and of complicating otherwise simple things et similia, whoever bring up the facts that underline the above-mentioned semi-chaotic characteristics of human condition. Now, pal, for sure, there actually are snob intellectuals even detached by everyday life and its people who love their own voices more than anything, and who, by dint of splitting hairs, eventually are able to turn 'em into watermelons. But there are ways to discriminate between those who ride pure dialectics and ideology, and those who base on facts emerging from actual data (and, by the way, usually the latter are more genuinely tolerant than the former).
Ok, now, on top of everything said so far about ignorance, dear reader, let's also remember this: the less one knows, the less one thinks it be hard to know, and the less one thinks there be to know.
|Answers no questions signboard|
Pic is under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license (source: pxhere)
So, let's imagine a person doesn't know (apologies for the 4th "know" in less than thirty words) a single thing about a topic (vaccines or viruses, for instance), that maybe, in addition, belongs to a field of the human knowledge (science, for instance) that is far from his/her background. For that, such person doesn't have a clue of the difficulty, depth and intricacy of said topic. Well, if such person is arrogant (or/and belongs to group 2, see above), then he/she thinks to be able to understand and own that topic not even breaking a sweat, just by a quick round of visits to the "right" URLs. And here you have it, pal: the modus operandi of the ignorant CTP, AVs and FNBs.
Oh, dear reader, of course there are, around, highly educated CTP, AVs and FNBs with degrees/PhDs/academic titles-competences, but I mostly (if not entirely) find them in the groups 1, 4a and 5.
Now, dear reader, all the above said, I would like to make it crystal clear one thing: I like doubt.
|Monkey with doubts|
Free pic by Paolo Nicolello (source: unsplash)
adapted by @sciencemug
More. To me, doubt is a precious ally of both rational thinking and common sense (though I prefer the Italian expression "buon senso"), that probably are two of the most essential assets (even if sometimes in conflict with each other) needed for living a constructive and decent life, as individuals, as a society, and, ultimately, as a species (yours, dear human reader).
But CTP, AVs and FNBs are a paradox, as they doubt others' reality, but have no doubts whatsoever about theirs.
Doubt, indeed, becomes a devastatingly destructive force, to me, in two cases: when its sources are poisoned, that is when they are unreliable or, worst, false (precisely the CTP's, AVs' and FNBs' case), or when it turns from fuel of a healthy intellectual engine, to a bully fire that burns everything, including the very same foundation on which to build (but this last one, I guess, is a subject matter for philosophers).
pal, there you go, this is my two pennies worth about the matter.
Now I gotta go and try to convince PiPs that Bernard is not Elvis in disguise (or that Elvis wasn't Bernard in disguise), and that ESA and NASA are not conspiring to hide to the people that the Earth is, in fact, a Panettone.
good care dude, merry Christmas & happy holidays!