Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

My mom shared a link to a video of a doctor refuting the "Plandemic" video,

She knows I've been following the reactions to the video interview of Dr. Judy Mikovits. 

So we have a doctor in disagreement with another doctor/researcher/statistician. Whatever. At this point, take a number. Every medical person--whether they know how to work a bandaid or have five degrees--with an online platform seems to have noticed that "Plandemic" got about a million or more views the first day and they are going to get some of that web traffic joy.
As typical, the doctor establishes his medical credentials. That makes sense. Throughout the video he uses some of his own experience with patients to prove aspects of the video wrong. I'm always wary when someone allows their experience as a proof, but denies another's experience as a proof. That discrepency pops up in the refuting video. 

At one point in the video, the doctor refers to the clip of the two doctors from California and calls them knuckleheads because as urgent care doctors, their claim to be pressured to put Covid on the death certificates was laughable since they wouldn't be have volumes of people dying at their clinic. It's always pretty classy when one expert calls two other different experts knuckleheads. Is the medical profession full of doctors who are basically chimps baring teeth and genitals for dominance? 

You know, the classic "Believe the experts, but not those experts" or its amended version "It doesn't matter if she has some degrees; she's not an expert in X because you can't be an expert in everything so she shouldn't be talking about it and even though I'm not an expert in what she's talking about, I have the expertise to know she shouldn't be talking about it." If this was a SyFy show, it would something like Pandemic 2020: Mega-Expert, or Five-Degreed Expert, or Expertaconda, or Illogical Call To Authority. Monsters, however you look at it.
So anyway, that seems like a solid proof, right, that those two knuckleheads were lying because they aren't filling out death certificates? Homerun! 

Except that clip was edited for the film; it was part of a much longer video. And if I remember correctly, the two "knuckleheads" were referring to friends who worked in an ER and were explaining what was happening there. They, as urgent care doctors, weren't claiming to be filling out vast emporiums of death certificates. They were relaying the experiences of friends. 

I say "if I remember correctly" because the video of the two California doctors has been pulled down repeatedly as well because it didn't goosestep with the WHO. I don't know where you can see it now. 

At some point, towards the end, around the time the refuting doctor promises to make more videos and talk about three times as long as the original "Plandemic" video, the doctor encourages viewers to "go do their own research." I would tell him to do the same, particularly before participating in the name-calling of other actual medical professionals, but the very point of all of this is that he can't because our Silicon Valley Overlords pulled down the California doctors video

"Hey, that video is all lies. Here's my credentials. Here's a few experiential stories to back up what I'm saying. Those guys in the video are idiots. But you know, go do your own research."
"I would, but that video is no longer accessible." 

"Oh. Well, take my expert word for it. They're knuckleneads." 

There's your little catch, all of these people telling you to go do research. Good luck. The material is melting away faster than a coronavirus under UV light.

The thing about fisking a short video clip is that the video is edited. Remember, Mikovits sat down and did an interview. She did not cut, choose or splice in footage, select the music, or produce it. So using editing factors of the video to discredit the person being interviewed is seriously disingenuous if you don't acknowledge editing and potential missing context. If you're going to try to sum up and discredit a person based on an edited interview, you are as bad as the edits.

Google, which is more intrusive that a facehugger from the Aliens franchise, serves up articles on my phone that it thinks I'd be interested in reading. This is based on anything I search or read while logged into Chrome. It's usually hilariously bad, since I search on a lot of topics as a writer. Any meandering makes Google think I want to read about a random celebrity or makeup tips. Which I don't. 

What's interesting is that in writing posts and searching online, Google is pretty aware I have been talking about the "Plandemic" interview with Dr. Judy Mikovits. What is it serving up to me? 

A massive slate of articles telling me why it's just nutter conspiracy theory and only for idiots. I mean, today has been a solid flood of videos and web articles of people going all out trashing and refuting everything about that 28 minute video, and particularly, Mikovits herself. And, of course, they're doing deep intellectual think-piece dives with titles such as Why Are Rubes So Easily Duped and so forth, with just the right amount of wink-wink mockery as to why people were so gullible, and fanciful explanations as to why it had over a million views in such a short time. The assumption is that their readers obviously wouldn't fall for it because they were smart. 

You know how it is. The media thinks they are Dian Fossey observing a bunch of hapless apes down below in some fly-over region trailer park. Their great, weighty brains are ensconced far above the writhing idiocy below, their ink-stained fingers weary as they try to yet again save civilization with their Highly Educated Neurons. They imagine we are like newborn chicks, eagerly waiting to be fed and lectured from above. 

One of those articles was on Forbes. I saved a PDF of it because at this point, I'm becoming far more interested in the speech controls than the pandemic itself, and I know how these things disappear over time

Right out of the gate we have a title that should set off alarm bells or, if you're like me, make you snicker. Do they even realize how awful the title is and what it says about the writer and assumed reader? We haven't even gotten into the content, and you should already have a sense of the thing. The fact that someone thought they had to even put this article out there is a big reveal that it's become less about providing news, facts, and information, but more about how to think. 

Let's choke our way through the incredibly patronizing opening paragraph: 

"This article is not the one you should give your friend or relative or coworker who shared the video." 

Wow. You know, it doesn't sound like the people who can't think for themselves are the "Plandemic" viewers, but the target audience of this article. 

"Duh-uh, Tara, what should I do?"

"You should push back. It's very important." 

"OK, uh, how?" 

"I will tell you how to do it. I will tell you how to talk about science to idiots." 

The next few paragraphs continue the saga of the two trains heading towards each other on the track, massive trainewreck inevitable:

I'm going to throw Tara a bone and assume she wrote this in a rush and didn't realize it was awful.

When you read news articles that have something like what you see in the second paragraph, you should immediately realize something's amiss. First off, right at the top, the author is discrediting a person, and not so much what the person said. Later in the post there are a few attempts at addressing issues, but for the most part, it's a hit piece on a person. Secondly, there are tons of assumptions built in. "Appropriately discredited," for example. Was it appropriate, and was she discredited? Who considers her discredited, and who does not believe so? Who did the discrediting? This is followed by a long list of supposedly unsupported statements. Who says they aren't supported? Did this author do research and provide that to the reader?

Watch out for when news writers do this. They start with a built-in assumption, which the reader rushes to agree to themselves because they don't want to be left out of the intended audience of the piece. You can easily, without proof, dismiss a person and what they have to say if you introduce them to a reader by saying "this person has been completely discredited and what she believes in is a long list of nonsense." Ask anyone who was a whistleblower and ever tried to talk. The same thing happens if the powerless dare say something in contradiction to the powerful.

"This article is for those who recognized it as a conspiracy theory. It's a doozy, checking nearly every box in a long list of conspiracy theories and disinformation circulating about the coronavirus. I'm going to tell you that up front, make sure I frame it as false for you. I'm not going to talk about Mikovits' book, the scientists who endorsed it, or that it was vetted by a major publisher. I'm just going to do your thinking for you and let you know it's safe to write her off."

"Wow, Tara, thank you for telling me. Tell me what to do about feeling upset that my smart, thoughtful, and informed friend shared this? Why did she do that?"

I don't know--maybe because she's smart, thoughtful, informed, and doesn't look to Tara to tell her how to think?

I could riff off of that Weekly Reader-level article all day but why even bother. One 28 minute interview is uploaded, and the whole internet explodes with a deluge of videos and articles parroting the same refutations. Why so much so fast? Gosh, maybe it's like I wrote yesterday: volume, repetition, and quantity are techniques to make things seem true. The tsunami removes the grain of sand very effectively. You'll forget about it soon enough.

Believe or do not believe some or all of what's in the "Plandemic" video; it's your choice! I don't care! I have zero eggs in the basket beyond being very interested in information that is outside of the realm of  what the government and talking heads insist you believe. Unless you're the walking dead, you probably have your own interest in reading and considering speculative or "conspiratorial" information. Any throbbing-brained liberal or self-lauded moderate who claims they're above that only need to repeat two words to me: Russian Collusion. 

For crying out loud, at least understand why people are angry about being told what to believe, how to believe it, and what information they are allowed to consume because you cannot form an opinion if the only information you have to inform it is directed towards a preferred opinion! Let us watch and read and make up our own minds. We don't always need the expert class to change our diapers. WE CAN AND ARE FREE TO THINK FOR OURSELVES EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE END RESULT. This is freedom. Stop telling us how to think! Stop refusing to provide the information we want so we can make our own decisions! If it terrifies you that there are people in the country coming to conclusions you don't like, and that they might live based on them, you are in the wrong country. 

If all of these eggheads were so smart, they would remember how very real the Streisand effect is. When you draw attention to something you don't want people to be aware of by trying to restrict access, that's all they want to see. 

Media and Silicon Valley: Do you understand that people on the left and right alike don't trust you, the gatekeepers of information? Your restrictions, your pull-downs, your elaborate (and false) fact-checking, your step-by-step guides on "how to talk about science" to your "misled" friends--it is falling more and more on deaf ears. Wake up. Or do I need to write a farce article using a page out of Tara's book to help you understand?