South African Skeptics

The Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame.

Offline BoogieMonster

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I thought, much in the same vein as our other illustrious long-running threads: We need a place to plonk those conspiracy theories that are not quite as deserving of serious skepticism, as they are sad or facepalm inducing, or funny, or otherwise entertaining in their own inane way. Not least because I've been running into some of these lately.

Exhibit A (as seen in shoutbox): Transvestigations: When self appointed "transvestigators" question the gender of mainstream celebrities or internet personalities. Ostensibly because the Illuminati and "Baphomet worshippers" are trying to hide the fact that almost anyone succesful is actually a transexual. To what end, I have no idea. Targets include Hitler, Marilyn Monroe, Barack Obama, etc ....

Seeing as this seems mostly a youtube phenomena at the moment, here's a search link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=transvestigations  (Be sure to peruse some comment sections... GOLD)


Exhibit B: "Liquid Fuel". There seems to be some concern amongst backyard physicists and engineers that the oil conglomerates have strong-armed the world's car manufacturers into only making engines that run on "liquid fuel", as opposed to "vapor fuel", in an attempt to make them very inefficient so that said oil companies can profit more. This dim-whitted idea seems to spring from the fact that modern cars have fuel injection, so it seems to them that liquid fuel is being poured directly into cylinders instead of it being atomized first. Once again I only became aware of this because of a (very cringeworthy) youtube video, so with apology: Here's one of a backyard engineer finding, to his surprise, that petroleum vapor can in fact power an engine (to the surprise of ... absolutely no one?).

The comments are, once again, facepalm approved.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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My favorite has always been chemtrails... :-)

EDIT: Oh, and while not a conspiracy theory as such, the Mandela Effect.


Offline Spike

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None of the coronavirus conspiracy theories have made it here yet? Gosh, I'm awash in them  :( :o
Beware the pod-people.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Oh do tell.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Mefiante

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None of the coronavirus conspiracy theories have made it here yet? Gosh, I'm awash in them :( :o
OTOH, for as long as anyone can remember, we’ve been in the grip of a full-blown moronavirus epidemic.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Rigil Kent

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... moronavirus epidemic.
Even though the in-your-face symptoms make diagnoses straight-forward, the survival rate remains pretty good. So the outbreak is mostly ignored by authorities.

Or sometimes even counted on.
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline brianvds

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Posted on Facebook today - a very welcome antidote to the panic. And now, for some reason, FB simply won't let me share it:



Abdu Sharkawy
6 March at 04:45
I'm a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I've been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria...there is little I haven't been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.

I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they " probably don't have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know..." and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games...that could be kyboshed too. Can you even
imagine?

I'm scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

But mostly, I'm scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and "fight for yourself above all else" attitude could prove disastrous.

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let's meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.
Our children will thank us for it.

#washurhands #geturflushot #respect #patiencenotpanic


Offline Faerie

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I've lost a couple "friends" (sorry Boogie), due to corona hysteria. No big loss.

I'm actually having huge fun logging onto the worldometer every evening and watching the spread. Awesome, pity its less than a 2% death rate at this stage, I'd have enjoyed a 50%+ death rate far more, would have made the hysteria far more interesting too.


Offline brianvds

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I've lost a couple "friends" (sorry Boogie), due to corona hysteria. No big loss.

I'm actually having huge fun logging onto the worldometer every evening and watching the spread. Awesome, pity its less than a 2% death rate at this stage, I'd have enjoyed a 50%+ death rate far more, would have made the hysteria far more interesting too.


It might mutate into such a monster yet. I have actually seen someone argue that it would be better to leave it to run its course, because the more we delay that process, the more time we are giving it to mutate into something really nasty.


Offline BoogieMonster

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I've lost a couple "friends" (sorry Boogie), due to corona hysteria. No big loss.

Is this your way of saying you're defriending me?

Quote
I'd have enjoyed a 50%+ death rate far more, would have made the hysteria far more interesting too

... some people just want to watch the world burn.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 11:53:24 am by BoogieMonster »
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline BoogieMonster

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I've lost a couple "friends" (sorry Boogie), due to corona hysteria. No big loss.

I'm actually having huge fun logging onto the worldometer every evening and watching the spread. Awesome, pity its less than a 2% death rate at this stage, I'd have enjoyed a 50%+ death rate far more, would have made the hysteria far more interesting too.


It might mutate into such a monster yet. I have actually seen someone argue that it would be better to leave it to run its course, because the more we delay that process, the more time we are giving it to mutate into something really nasty.

Would that be true? I wouldn't expect TIME to be AS a determining factor as much as number of replications. I'd think that containing the spread would necessarily inhibit the number of genetic experiments nature can make with the virus and thus would in fact LIMIT the amount of mutation and adaptation that could take place.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Mefiante

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I understand that the “50%+ death rate” comment was made somewhat in jest.  Still, I think some clarity is probably in order.

The main worry concerning virus mutations is what happens to the virus’ rate of replication in a host population, not so much what mutation might produce in terms of its host mortality rate.  In fact, a virus that is too effective in killing its host is self-limiting in that large reductions in the number of available hosts will reduce the virus’ ability to replicate.

The operant factors that constrain a virus’ replication rate are (1) the ready availability of suitable hosts, and (2) how contagious it is in the context of those available hosts (which contextual contagiousness is itself governed by a multitude of factors).  Mutation doesn’t affect (1) unless the virus evolves an ability to infect other species of host in addition to those it already can.  While this scenario is possible, I’m not aware of any documented cases where this has in fact been observed.

On the other hand, its contagiousness is certainly the easier evolutionary route by which a virus can spread farther and faster.  For example, the virus might evolve an ability to latch onto additional organisms such as domestic animals, common parasites, or insects, using these as carriers that assist the virus’ spread and increase its reach.  Or, the virus might evolve additional transmission pathways, besides direct physical contact and airborne droplets.

The overarching principles are explained in this humorous video.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline brianvds

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I've lost a couple "friends" (sorry Boogie), due to corona hysteria. No big loss.

I'm actually having huge fun logging onto the worldometer every evening and watching the spread. Awesome, pity its less than a 2% death rate at this stage, I'd have enjoyed a 50%+ death rate far more, would have made the hysteria far more interesting too.


It might mutate into such a monster yet. I have actually seen someone argue that it would be better to leave it to run its course, because the more we delay that process, the more time we are giving it to mutate into something really nasty.

Would that be true? I wouldn't expect TIME to be AS a determining factor as much as number of replications. I'd think that containing the spread would necessarily inhibit the number of genetic experiments nature can make with the virus and thus would in fact LIMIT the amount of mutation and adaptation that could take place.

Well, that's also a good point. Perhaps it would make little difference either way: if we don't contain there are more viruses, if we do, there is more time. Perhaps it comes to more or less the same, as far as the virus' ability to mutate is concerned.


Offline Faerie

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Quote


It might mutate into such a monster yet. I have actually seen someone argue that it would be better to leave it to run its course, because the more we delay that process, the more time we are giving it to mutate into something really nasty.

Quote
Would that be true? I wouldn't expect TIME to be AS a determining factor as much as number of replications. I'd think that containing the spread would necessarily inhibit the number of genetic experiments nature can make with the virus and thus would in fact LIMIT the amount of mutation and adaptation that could take place.
Quote
Well, that's also a good point. Perhaps it would make little difference either way: if we don't contain there are more viruses, if we do, there is more time. Perhaps it comes to more or less the same, as far as the virus' ability to mutate is concerned.


I"m not a science boffin, I do recall though somewhere in my education that over sterilizing and not being exposed to normal bugs and stuff actually increase the odds for a virus/invisible gogga to mutate?


Offline brianvds

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Let us not forget that Sylvia Browne foresaw this as long ago as 1981:





Er, just don't read the other prediction on that page. We don't want you to be disappointed now.