Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Unfortunate Repercussions of Where This has Gone

As regular readers will know, this page is about technology and occasionally about "life".  File today's post under the "life" column.

Our current situation is an unfortunate one in many ways.  We are approaching another wave in the worst global pandemic in over 100 years, we are experiencing global climate change that threatens massive changes in the weather among other things, and perhaps the worst of them all... the current social climate has allowed a vocal part of the population to weaponize differing opinions into verbal war where opinions can be given the same weight as scientific evidence.

Allow me to present Exhibit A: The photo above is my profile photo on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

All kidding aside, here is an actual recent event.  Recently I saw a Tweet that mentioned a page on the CDC website.  It discusses the idea of quarantine and brings up the idea of what seems to be "camps".  The idea of having these kind of facilities in America seems pretty awful.  Especially considering we helped liberate prisoners from concentration camps in World War II.  You can read the page at this link.    

The link was reported on Twitter where I happened to see it.  I was shocked by the page, but I was also shocked by the date on the page.  Unless it is a mistake, the page is dated July 26, 2020.  I was stunned when I saw the date.  How could something like this be on the CDC website for over a year and no one noticed it?

So... I posted what I thought was a benign comment, "The date of the update is 07-26-2020.  The page is over a year old..."  I thought my comment might create some discussion on how we had all managed to miss the page.

However, that was far from what happened.  Within seconds my comment, which mentioned no politics and no criticism of anyone became fodder for serious hate.  Many accused me of endorsing the page. Others accused me of endorsing the concept on the page.  Basically because I mentioned the date, I was someone who thought the entire thing was a good idea, which was wrong.

Then the serious hatred started, "Why even entertain this guy, his profile picture is of him in a mask.  Conversation isn't going anywhere productive no matter how logical your argument is."

Then it somehow got twisted to the point that I didn't support Trump.

It didn't get any better from there.

I love America and I support free speech.  Unfortunately what this showed me is just how horribly off the rails this whole debate has gone.  The worst public health emergency/disaster in a century has been twisted and politicized to the point where science and public health are ignored and/or ridiculed.  We're to the point that a photo of someone in a mask can incite people to lose their grip on their emotions.  Rather than thinking of ways that we can help and care for each other people are looking for ways to demonize people who they feel have differing points of view.

The amazing thing about this is that I never mentioned my political point of view.  I thought the CDC page was troubling and I was wondering how no one had noticed it before.  But somehow the mob mentality took over. 

I like the concept of "love each other".  That seems to work pretty well, but then we wouldn't have anything to hate and argue about... would we?

The sad part is that good human beings are dying as I type this and, rather than trying to find ways to help each other, people are arguing emotionally about profile  pictures and attempting to discern one's political leanings by analyzing those photos.  And, of course, if for some reason an individual feels that another person has different political leanings, then all they say or do is to be ignored.  Wow!

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