Foxtails growing in my neighbor's yard.

Connecting the thoughts

Foxtails

Close up of the seed with its hook and feathers.

I picked a foxtail seed off of our outside dog bed this morning. If you don’t know, foxtails are a kind of grass. They are dangerous for dogs.

Foxtails travel. Moving relentlessly forward, never back, they can migrate from inside your dog’s nose to its brain. They can dig through skin or be inhaled into — and then perforate — a lung.

Web MD

Ezra Klein’s column: I don’t want it to be true, but the medium really is the message.

Before I went out to the porch, I had read Mr. Klein’s column while. It was about media, television, cable and social. It has a lot of insight. I am not going to try and summarize it because I can’t do it justice. I felt a bit proud of myself that he, who has done research and is a good bit younger seemed to have had a few of the same thoughts that I expressed in recent posts about twitter and how the algorithm changes how we communicate. But there’s a lot more to the piece than that. When I saw the foxtail I was reminded of the column.

Hungry. That was the word that hooked me. That’s how my brain felt to me, too. Hungry. Needy. Itchy. Once it wanted information. But then it was distraction. And then, with social media, validation. A drumbeat of: You exist. You are seen.

Ezra Klein, New York Times Columnist

The foxtail seemed like a metaphor for media. It works its way into us, into our brains, changing how we react and what we expect.

Polio

Community spread of polio? In the 21st century? In the United States of America? …Wow!…Why?

The community spread was found by testing waste water. The counties where it was found have low levels of vaccination.

So, why is Monkey Pox getting all of the headlines?

My theory is that Monkey Pox is better click bait. It’s sexy, exotic and can be presented as controversial: it came from Africa, it showed up initially in gay men, which makes it exciting for those who want to blame and cast aspersions, but also, to be fair, for the self-righteous sort of woke folk. It’s reputed to be painful, but not exceptionally dangerous, and it doesn’t spread incognito.

Polio, on the other hand, isn’t sexy. It’s an unexciting relic of the past that maims and kills. 70% of cases exhibit no symptoms so it can spread far and fast without being noticed.

In the Wikipedia article they say that Polio was declared eradicated from the Americas in 1994. The last confirmed case was in Peru in 1991. In 2015 it was known to be in community transmission in only two countries: Afganistan and Pakistan. They had a problem eradicating it there because people wouldn’t take the vaccine. Now it’s back in the USA, spreading in areas with low vaccination rates.

Why, in a theoretically first world, scientifically savvy country is it re-emerging?

Alex Jones

The news was full of him this week, with quotes like “Mr. Jones, you must tell the truth. This is not your show.”

Having never listened to the man, I don’t know if he is an anti-vaxxer, but even if he isn’t there are people of his ilk who are, and have been pounding away to make us all less safe, often just to get clicks.

The thing is: these people have grown up in a world where polio was essentially not a risk. Because of the vaccination. They felt like they can blather on, consequence free, because other people took care of the risk for them. Free clicks. But clearly they aren’t really free: we now have a population susceptible to a disease that maims and kills.

If, instead of denying the efficacy of vaccination, these platforms had promoted it many lives would have been saved. A May 16th article in Axios cited a study that estimated that 316,000 covid deaths between January of 2021 and April of 2022 could have been prevented if the people had been vaccinated.

These people have blood on their hands and it is getting thicker.

Understand

The word of the day is understand. What if we all took a few moments when information comes our way and tried to understand it? Could it help us move out of crazy town? Maybe save a few lives?

2 thoughts on “Connecting the thoughts”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s