ET (and SA, for I saw your comment before it was lost), you’re making a mistake. Steph has literally called me all sorts of names (I listed them earlier) because, it seems, Steph interprets criticism as insult – which is very common these days, and explains much of what is wrong in our deteriorating world; criticism has become taboo, and all “views” have to be accorded equal “respect” – I personally have even heard child sacrifice defended on the grounds of “respecting” other cultures. As best as I remember I have not called Steph any names; the closest I have come was months ago when I called her opinions “ill informed”.
What I have done, which you have apparently misinterpreted as “attacking the person”, is that I’ve pointed out what appears to me to be a manipulative emotional dynamic of praising the personal qualities of public spokespeople who play down the severity of the pandemic, and maligning me. I did so precisely because of its potential to manipulate, both those of us commenting, and other readers – “Ooh, nice people say the virus is no problem, whereas nasty people say it is – and I want to be thought of as nice, not nasty”.
Such tactics both act, and are deployed, subconsciously; to Steph I presumably seem like a nasty person, precisely because I stress the severity of the pandemic, and indeed Steph accused me of not caring about human rights; an accusation she has never retracted. My defence, both of myself and of objectivity about the pandemic, is to bring the matter to consciousness
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Further, Steph has scoffed at me for dismissing conspiracy theory as conspiracy theory. I have therefore asked Steph to discuss conspiracy theory with me, but she acts as if she hasn’t read my request. I have asked why she won’t discuss it, and she acted like she hadn’t read that either. This should be a warning sign; there is some reason why Steph wishes to avoid the subject, and Steph hides that reason. From our experience of “commercial confidentiality”, “national security” etc., we should have learned that secrecy is all about maintaining some sort of advantage, nearly always an unfair one. Whether it’s the sources of claims of WMD in Iraq, or vioxx causing heart attacks, secrecy kills.
ET and SA, you don’t get insulted by Steph, but then you’re permitting her to set the agenda. You’re discussing the minutiae of death certification, but that entire field has already been settled by the data. You’re permitting yourselves to be drawn into generating reams of “controversy” where none should exist – covid-19 has killed tens of thousands of people in the UK – the various graphs place that beyond reasonable doubt, but the longer you play by Steph’s rules on Steph’s playing field, the more unreasonable doubt you will help create. And that appears to be precisely what Steph wishes to achieve.