How to Awaken Others to COVID Disinformation by Rousing Their “Highest Aspects of Cognition”
This month, the revolution against COVID-19(84) totalitarianism has been rising up with about a million protestors in Berlin and somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 in Montreal. While these are positive signs, I also am concerned that we are fighting fire with fire. And the tyrants have far more firepower than we can ever muster.
Are we not fighting state collectivism with an anarchistic form of collectivism? Media talk with alternative talk? Even if the majority started denouncing the COVID-19 narrative, such a vocal, unified movement, in itself, would not make what the WHO has done right or wrong. Such activism is focused on social persuasion rather than appealing to reason and conscience.
“Look, it’s been three months, four months, however long it’s been, and I’ve kept quiet,” says Rose Davidson in a viral video. “I’ve been like: You know, we gotta do what we gotta do. Blah, blah, blah…. I kept quiet. I’m not gonna be quiet anymore. Because I don’t want any more months of this. If we all grew some balls and did the right thing this wouldn’t have been happening… I wish I was saying exactly what I’m saying now on March 11.”
I think her words reflect the pent-up frustration many are now expressing. Yet we must be careful how we express it.
“We are a land of talkers;” says Gatto in his book Dumbing Us Down, “we pay talkers the most and admire talkers the most and so our children talk constantly, following the public models of television and schoolteachers.”
Now, if you’ve ever watched a political debate, you know how hard it is to over-talk a politician. And the politicians have the media on their side. Or is it that the media has the politicians on their side? Regardless, is trying to out-talk the mainstream media really going to work?
I think a far better tactic is to get printed reading material in front of eyeballs. This may sound archaic. But that’s the point.
A 2009 study found that reading increases the amount of white matter in the brain, which aids in processing information and decision making. A 2009 study found that students scored 28% better who read their lesson on paper, versus hearing the same lesson on a podcast. An article in Scientific America says that at least a third of our brain is involved in turning letters into meaningful concepts. And the Hechinger Report says “most studies point to better reading comprehension from printed material [instead of on-screen].”
Therefore, instead of giving your masked neighbour a lecture on hypoxia or emailing your uncle a link he probably won’t click, try this instead: Print out on paper an article, flyer or study that cites evidence why masks (por ejemplo) do not reduce primary or secondary infections. You can then hand these black-and-white pages to friends, family and strangers. Simply say: “Can you read this and let me know what you think?”
You could also write a short cover letter and mail printed material to business owners, politicians, celebrities, authors, heads of charities, local hospital administrators, religious leaders, etc. The letter could be short and to the point: “It is no secret that forced masking is hurting retail businesses, society and children. I found this article about how scientists put mask wearing to the test. They conducted seven randomized controlled trials to see if a mask really keeps people safe from infection. Could you read it and let me know what you think?”
The same could be applied to other specific areas of the COVID-19(84) takeover. (Anit-)social-distancing. Fake death rates. The ventilator pandemic. Be specific. It’s a big, confusing mess. Just present one of the poorly fitting puzzle pieces at a time. Keep it focused and to-the-point. You can always send another letter next week.
Remember that scene in The Shawshank Redemption? Andy decides to petition the State Senate for funds to start a library in the prison. “I’ll write a letter a week. They can’t ignore me forever.” Six years and 312 letters later, they finally send him a cheque for $200, boxes of used books and a written request: “Please, stop sending us letters.” To which Andy grins and says: “From now on I’ll write two letters a week, instead of one.”
The fact you took the time to print and post a letter almost ensures the recipient will read it. And even if they trash the first one, will they trash the tenth? Finding anything in our mailbox these days is an event. Ah shucks, since he paid for the ink, paper and postage I can look this over while I eat lunch. Ink and paper are also harder to delete than an email.
Yes, printing out an article and writing a cover letter takes more time than calling someone a “zombie” or Bill Gates “the anit-Christ.” And it’s not as exciting as marching with a crowd down the street with masked police looming over you. But such actions, untempered by constructive appeals to reason and conscience, also risk a civil war.
Written words, on the other hand, calm and focus the mind, preventing people from zoning out or flaring up.
The written word was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s most important weapons of non-violence in the liberation of India. “I started my weekly observance of a day of silence as a means for gaining time to look after my correspondence,” he is quoted as saying in The Autobiography of a Yogi. Each Monday he abstained from talking and devoted the time to writing.
“[Gandhi’s] letters to the editors of South African dailies are a lesson… on how to fight injustice in a country where the laws are loaded against one section of the people, without giving offence to the rulers themselves,” says V.N. Narayanan in Peerless Communicator.
So, yes, I agree with Rose Davidson that we need to speak up. But, we can’t speak louder than the mainstream media. Instead, might we try appealing to people’s humanity through the act of reading on paper?
Reading is one of those acts which separates us from the animal kingdom. Indeed, reading activates the ventrolateral frontal cortex area of the brain, says The University of Oxford, which “is involved in many of the highest aspects of cognition and language, and is only present in humans and other primates.”
Today, we are in dire need of such a peaceful tool that stimulates the “highest aspects of cognition” when confronted with such grave cognitive dissonance.