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The Coronavirus Infodemic: Conspiracy theories are a coping mechanism

Never underestimate our capacity for foolishness:

“People are drawn to conspiracies because they promise to satisfy certain psychological motives that are important to people,” Dr. Douglas said. Chief among them: command of the facts, autonomy over one’s well-being and a sense of control.

If the truth does not fill those needs, we humans have an incredible capacity to invent stories that will, even when some part of us knows they are false. A recent study found that people are significantly likelier to share false coronavirus information than they are to believe it.

You don't have to be a full-fledged, New World Order-fearing nut-job to fit into this category. We're all susceptible to this piper if we're not careful. It's tempting to create monsters where they don't (necessarily) exist, because monsters can be slain. But a natural world that is inherently dangerous and uncertain, that can create a virus so small it's invisible to the naked eye yet kills tens of thousands, is simply terrifying:

Social media muddle

I'm one of those retirees who spends a significant amount of time online, and not just here at BlueNC. I read a number of national and other newspapers and I visit both Facebook and Twitter several times every day. In the past week, I've also tried out WeMe and WT.social. I've been looking for a place to call home, but I'm kind of at the end of my rope. Here's where things stand.

Surveillance nation: Asheville PD's monitoring of advocacy groups

So much for being the most progressive city in NC:

Asheville Police Department Chief Tammy Hooper authorized the monitoring of Black Lives Matter and Showing Up for Racial Justice in response to what she said were threats to officers after the shooting of Jai "Jerry" Williams by a white police sergeant.

The groups' organizers said they are unaware of any threats made by their members to harm police. Their groups work to raise awareness about racism and get more equitable treatment for minorities, they said. City Council members appear to have been briefed on the operation sometime after March 2018, according to statements from the elected officials and police. APD revealed the operation to the Citizen Times in May after questioning.

You know what? Between that shooting and the brutal beating of a black man for jaywalking, it is blatantly obvious any sort of monitoring or surveillance that needs to be carried out should be directed at the Police Department itself, not those citizens trying to stop such fascist behavior. And as far as this rationalization:

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