- This topic has 25 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 week, 5 days ago by Soothmoother.
May 1, 2021 at 23:01 #70666Tatyana
as an off-topic appered in the latest blog and it was found irrelevant, can I please copy the comment here, in the Forum section? Just in hope @soothermother sees the reply?
“John Goss used to post here up to the moment he was banned, as well as another contributor Paul Barbara. As long as I’m aware it was due to their virus atitude.
John never returned to commenting on this place. He is here
as to Paul Barbara – they mentioned they met Mr. Murray outside the Old Bailey during the Assange hearings, and he knew nothing about the banning.
I understand the virus is one of the hottest topics, but I belive people can’t be banned from political blogs due to their opinion on health issues?
Happy Easter, by the way!”May 2, 2021 at 00:00 #70670Clark
Indeed, as best I know the moderators are unwilling to permit literally lethal fallacy, “advice” and conspiracy theory to propagate via this site. As a former moderator here, I understand and strongly approve. I found moderating very demanding emotionally, and that was long before the pandemic. Knowing that more people will fall ill and die depending upon your moderation decisions must be utterly draining.
I bumped into Paul Barbara about a month ago in Parliament Square, at a Kill the Bill demonstration. He had a placard with a whole load of covid conspiracy theory. I tried talking to him, but it was in one ear and out the other.
The trouble when someone has accepted a conspiracy theory is that it becomes impossible to reason with them.May 2, 2021 at 00:11 #70671Clark
– “people can’t be banned from political blogs due to their opinion on health issues?”
This blog is Craig’s private property; under Craig’s authority, any comment can be deleted and anyone can be banned for anything.
Craig has published his guidelines, but the moderators are the people who actually wield the power, and they, like all of us, have to act in accordance with their conscience. In their position, if Craig were to insist “you must permit covid disinformation”, I would have to refuse, thus forcing Craig to either accept that or lock me out of the moderation interface.May 2, 2021 at 00:45 #70674Tatyana
I do not enter other monasteries with my own charter … I am a guest hereб so I obey the rules. It’s just that in my opinion these rules are, eerr questionableMay 2, 2021 at 01:35 #70676Clark
All rules are questionable. It is the nature of rules; in our infinitely variable universe, there will always be some exceptions to any rule.
The pandemic is an example; the moderation rules for commenters do not preclude covid disinformation. But then the pandemic came, and as a moderator, with your finger on the button, you have to make a decision – “unless I delete this, more people will die”.May 2, 2021 at 07:58 #70679SA
Tatyana and Clark
Those that have been banned are those who have blatantly and consistently tried to push extreme views quoting many suspicious websites and being pan-conspiracy theory advocates. Paul was a vehement anti-vacxer. There are still some covid deniers and skeptics who still freely comment, I could name one or two. So the ban is not total.
Each website has its rules and of course the website owner has a legal duty also as we know from Craig’s trial that commenters’ comments may also break the law potentially.May 2, 2021 at 08:01 #70680Tatyana
Thanks Clark, moderators cleared the situation there in the thread, no questions from me now.
By the way, we discuss the vaccination process on other russian website. I visited the topic and was extremely dissapointed with the level of ignorance of the people in the discussion. That’s something outstanding!
I tried to explain in simple words and illustrative comparisons, how Sputnik-V works. People just don’t listen and make no effort to understand. They stubbornly keep to their points.
Also, some are rather rude in keeping to their views! I was advised to return back to my housekeeping affairs as they don’t want opinions from silly housewives 🙂
Can you imagine that? So said a person who knows no difference in RNA and Immunoglobulines, and asks why is it that PCR test don’t show antibodies 🙂May 2, 2021 at 10:09 #70684Soothmoother
Well thanks Tatyana, I’ve had a few posts removed over the years and haven’t ever found out why. I realise that Mr. Murray owns this blog and therefore can remove anything he wants, so that’s fair enough.
However, the many Skripal threads I’ve seen contained much conspiracy theorising.
One persons conspiracy is another ones truth.
Was a bit annoyed as I don’t post much, send £5/month to Mr. Murray, previously sent £50 to his legal fund and bought Murder in Samarkand.
Maybe there should be a warning not to send money if you are a conspiracy theorist!May 2, 2021 at 10:34 #70685Clark
– “Can you imagine that?”
Yep; that’s conspiracy theory! People think they’ve found “hidden knowledge” and they get very arrogant and condescending.
– – – – – – –
People often think they’re banned when they aren’t – come to think of it, that’s probably another effect of conspiracy theory; they get convinced that their ‘Truth’ is being suppressed. The truth gets obscured all the time, obviously, but that’s no excuse for seizing upon bullshit conclusions and berating anyone who questions them. But I’m digressing. People sometimes think they’re banned when they’re not. As far as I know, Paul was merely asked to stop posting comments that assumed overarching conspiracy; I didn’t see him told that he was banned. But when I met him he seemed to think that his comments were being blocked by the blog software. Node made a similar mistake at squonk.tk.
And sometimes a moderator clicks a wrong button and someone gets banned by mistake. On one occasion Craig himself got locked out!May 2, 2021 at 10:39 #70686Clark
Soothmoother – “One persons conspiracy is another ones truth”
I disagree. “Conspiracy theory” has a recognisable structure; it’s a self-reinforcing set of errors of thinking. It’s not the propositions and assertions that make something conspiracy theory; it’s the method of argument.May 2, 2021 at 11:36 #70688ET
For giggles this morning I took a look at Mr.Goss’ site again.
“At a mechanistic level, the concept of immunity to COVID-19 via antibody induction, as per COVID-19 vaccination, is medical nonsense. Airborne viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 enter the body via the airways and lungs, where antibody concentrations are too low to prevent infection. Vaccine-induced antibodies primarily circulate in the bloodstream, while concentrations on the mucous membranes of lungs and airways is low. Given that COVID-19 primarily spreads and causes disease by infecting these mucous membranes, vaccines miss the immunological mark.”
Very little blood flow to my lungs eh? I will check later to find my gills because I have to have gas exchange going on somewhere. This paragraph is such utter garbage I couldn’t but mention it. Mr.Goss, please go and pick up and read an O-Level basic biology book and read the chapter on lungs/lung function/gaseous exchange and whilst there read the chapter on cardiovascular system. As you say Tatyana, “People just don’t listen and make no effort to understand.” You couldn’t make this comedy up.May 2, 2021 at 11:42 #70689Tatyana
Truth has a fact as a base, a conspiracy theory has a belief as a base.May 2, 2021 at 11:50 #70690Tatyana
Soothmoother, anything said on the Skripal case is a conspiracy theory, including the British Government’s story. We are given too few true facts to explain what has happened.May 2, 2021 at 12:45 #70695Soothmoother
It feels like I’m in the Murray blog snug!
For clarification, I’m not a denier of anything. I’d say I’m a narrative sceptic, particularly when counter narratives are routinely dismissed. That’s what drove me to find this blog.
There are currently many extremely well qualified professionals being de-platformed and not allowed to be heard. Doesn’t that make you suspicious?
Maybe Dr. Alan McManus and John Goss are crackpots, but you need to listen first and decide after.
I’ve subscribed to many websites and blogs and eventually unsubscribed once I got a feel for what was going on, but stuck with this one. However, I started as a supporter of the SNP, but now you won’t find me voting for any of the established parties or the Alba party.May 2, 2021 at 13:07 #70697ET
The problem Soothmoother is that when an argument begins with such statements utterly devoid of basic reasoning or understanding of basic human physiology it’s impossible to take the rest of the argument seriously. The paragraph I quoted above is such utter balderdash a 14 year old biology student would mince it in seconds.May 2, 2021 at 13:49 #70699SA
If John Goss remembered that flu vaccines are effective against the respiratory flu virus he wouldn’t gave made that blunder. That is also not to mention IgA antibodies, but that is a bit more advanced.May 2, 2021 at 13:54 #70700Clark
Soothmoother – “There are currently many extremely well qualified professionals being de-platformed and not allowed to be heard.”
It’s a bit more complicated than that.
The context is that conspiracy theory from diverse sources has soared, I’d say since the 9/11 attacks. Social media algorithms have promoted it merely because it makes good click bait. Some of the major ones have also been promoted by the mainstream corporate media, “Russian election hacking” and Westminster’s Skripal narrative being prime examples, but the really big one has been three decades of intensive climate change denial.
Against this backdrop the global emergency of the pandemic exploded. The only tool we had to reduce its severity were social restrictions. But the climate change denial techniques were deployed again; the small minority of contrarian experts were promoted, specifically to discredit “lockdown”. Just as with climate change denial, they were promoted directly to the public, bypassing the scientific literature where such positions routinely receive technical scrutiny.
You describe these experts as “deplatformed”, but had you actually heard of any of them before the pandemic? I hadn’t. They can still publish in the scientific literature just as they always did, and if anything they’ve been getting more coverage from the so-called MSM – Sunetra Gupta has been on the BBC, Mike Yeadon was promoted by the Telegraph’s James Delingpole, yet they weren’t public figures before the pandemic.
Certainly, the Big Tech platforms such as Goggle, YouToob, Twit-ter and Arsebook all went into panic mode and started restricting contrarian content – but those platforms’ moderator-to-audience ratios are tiny compared with a site like this, their audiences number from millions to billions, but their moderators number only hundreds to thousands, so around a million to one compared with thousands to one sites like this. Those platforms just don’t have the resources to moderate manually, so they deploy algorithms instead. So of course it’s looked very heavy handed, especially as it’s such a contrast to their earlier free-for-all.
And there’s also big money behind covid denial – 55 Tufton St for instance.
DeSmog – UK Covid DeniersMay 2, 2021 at 14:24 #70702Clark
– “Maybe Dr. Alan McManus and John Goss are crackpots, but you need to listen first and decide after.”
The trouble with that is that there wouldn’t be enough time in a thousand lifetimes. John Goss is just some random bloke near Birmingham; there are literally billions of people whose opinions about covid are as (in)valid as his.
But the whole concept of “expert opinion versus expert opinion” is one that has been promoted by the corporate “MSM” – (I don’t like calling it the MSM ‘cos it seems defeatist – I’d rather it was deposed from being mainstream).
Science is about evidence rather than expert opinion. The scientific community is really quite large, so it’s always possible to find an “expert” with a contrary opinion, and journalists are even trained to seek them out, and place them head-to-head against the prevailing scientific view – it’s called “journalistic balance”. It creates a false impression of equivalence, giving undue weight to the contrarian position. And I do recognise that when it comes to foreign policy and war, the opposite seems to be the case and the anti-war argument gets marginalised, but foreign policy is very different from science – replication and full publication of methods versus “evidence” from spooks and shady deals made in cabinet chambers.May 2, 2021 at 15:26 #70703Tatyana
Mr. Goss is such a sweet and kind person, and I owe him for his kind care, that I do not find the strength to criticize him for his wrong views. I prefer to believe that he is doing this out of sincere delusion and good intentions.
I am sure that my presence on this blog creates a lot of reasons to ban me. Which makes my admiration for Mr. Murray and the moderating team all the more. As annoyed as they might be, I’m not forbidden to speak out nonetheless.
I also feel ashamed that I had to cancel my subscription. Before Covid, I spent my personal earnings on my own needs, but now I fully invest in the family budget. Unfortunately my husband does not speak English, has no interest in international affairs, and is generally suspicious of my presence here. He says sarcastically that I’m wasting my time with “some Lagavulen dude” sorry.
But I intend to renew subscriptions and donations as soon as finances allow.
Mr. Murray has repeatedly said that he doesn’t set up any payment walls for visitors to this blog – everyone is equal in the right to read and speak, regardless of finances.May 2, 2021 at 16:02 #70704Clark
John Goss is very polite and articulate. He supports a lot of good causes and has genuine interest in the people of Russia.
I got very annoyed with him on the 9/11 thread because he kept saying that I couldn’t do simple Newtonian physics while evading all engagement with me in simple Newtonian physics. Seems he’s moved on to medical science, God help us!
Tatyana – “I am sure that my presence on this blog creates a lot of reasons to ban me”
I’ve never thought that. You engage with arguments rather than attacking the commenter, you’re polite, you don’t post racism, you accept points and follow up arguments instead of running away. You seem like a perfectly good commenter to me 🙂
It seems that during this pandemic your government is being about as supportive as the UK’s – ie. not very! Best wishes to you in this difficult time.May 2, 2021 at 16:10 #70705Clark
– “Mr. Murray has repeatedly said that he doesn’t set up any payment walls for visitors to this blog – everyone is equal in the right to read and speak, regardless of finances.”
Indeed. Craig didn’t want to start asking for donations at all. For many years, when he had other income, there were no donation requests nor payment facilities. The whole blog team worked gratis.May 2, 2021 at 16:40 #70707Tatyana
Thank you, Clark 🙂
I perceive this site as educational resource, so I behave as well-mannered intelligent people behave in universities. Mostly.
Well, often enough.
To be honest, my government has made something that’s help to my family – some small payments for children, fines for overdue utility bills were banned, the price for some basic food has been frozen.
But in general, of course, everything slowed down, so we have to tie the belt tighter.May 2, 2021 at 21:13 #70718Soothmoother
I’d never heard of Dr, Fauci, Dr Ferguson or any of the numerous experts on both sides before the pandemic. I’m well aware of confirmation bias and how it affects peoples willingness to believe personally held beliefs.
I’m not aligned to the left or right.
In my opinion our institutions have failed us and I have no trust in them.
I’m actually an Avionics Engineer and a very good one. I have fixed many seemingly impossible problems over my career. I put this down to having an open mind, willingness to question things and ask potentially stupid questions and to admit and learn from my mistakes. I’m quite willing to entertain the views of most people.
I detest the use of mass labels for anyone whose views don’t suit or are just seeking answers – conspiracy theorist, anti-vaxxer, any -ist or -ism and Normies or Sheeple from the opposite side. None of that is helpful.
I have continued to work throughout the lockdown, have never felt unsafe and have decided not to take a vaccine. I am one of the few at my work or among my friends who haven’t taken it.
Finally Clark, thank you for your polite reasoned arguments / opinions. Although I’m quite a strong person normally, I’m a bit fragile as I lost my wife to breast cancer over two years ago. I miss her so much and I’m currently a bit angry at the world. Also, I agree with you about Tatyana. She’s one of my favourite posters on this blog.May 2, 2021 at 22:36 #70719Clark
Soothmoother, I agree, and I do try to discipline myself to describe arguments as conspiracy theory or otherwise, rather than labelling people – an application of Craig’s “play the ball, not the man; engage with arguments rather than with commenters” rule.
But I’m only human and certain styles of argument get very frustrating. A case in point arises as I attempt to compose this… those I shouldn’t call conspiracy theorists simply don’t accept refutation; they just go quiet when any of their points are disproved, and then raise them again, usually on a different thread and when I’m not there to counter them.
As an engineer you surely understand this point. Fault-finding in a system is aided by elimination. We may have favoured the proposition that the springle sprocket was causing the problem, but we replaced it with a known good one and the fault persisted. So we agree to reject that proposition and move on. We don’t sidle off quietly so we can suggest the sprocket proposition to a different team just because it’s our pet theory and we might convince them, and certainly not because our sprocket supplier is Bill Gates who’s rich and powerful, and also incidentally supplied our test instruments which might therefore be rigged to give misleading results :/ But these are standard argument procedures in conspiracy theory, and objecting gets you accused of being “brainwashed by the MSM”, mindlessly “supporting the official story”, or worse, being a secret agent for Bill Gates!
My words can’t help with your loss, but I’m sorry. Thank you for reasoned discussion too.May 2, 2021 at 22:37 #70720Tatyana
Very sad to know about your wife. I’m very sorry.
In our life we don’t have many close people and every loss is very painful. The feeling of helplessness is devastating. You have every right to be angry with the world. I sincerely sympathize with you and regret that you have to go through this.May 2, 2021 at 23:53 #70727Soothmoother
Cheers to you both.
Back to work tomorrow.