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This topic is for all general discussion regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. There are of course numerous other related topics for discussing specific aspects of this pandemic in more detail. And there are other parts of this forum for more 'off-topic' discussions.

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On 12/6/2021 at 2:12 PM, webtrekker said:

3D-printed suicide pods are now legal in Switzerland

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A 3D-printed capsule is set to “revolutionize” assisted suicide. It may be legally operated in Switzerland. This is according to an expert opinion obtained by Exit International – the organization that developed the “Sarco” machine – and was first reported by Swiss Info.

In 2020, around 1300 people died in Switzerland through euthanasia. They were cared for by the two largest euthanasia organizations in the country: Exit (no connection to Exit International) and Dignitas. The current common method is the ingestion of liquid sodium pentobarbital. After taking the drug, the person falls asleep within two to five minutes before slipping into a deep coma and dying soon after.

The “Sarco” capsule

The capsule called “Sarco” offers a different approach to a peaceful death, without the need for prescription substances.

It is a 3D printed capsule that can be activated from inside by the person who wants to die. The machine can be taken to any place to die. This can be in an idyllic outdoor setting or, for example, in the rooms of an euthanasia organization.

Philip Nitschke, Founder of the Australian registered company Exit International

The capsule is mounted on a device that floods the interior with nitrogen and very quickly reduces the oxygen content from 21 to one percent.

The person feels a little disoriented and may also feel slightly euphoric before losing consciousness. The whole process takes about 30 seconds. Death occurs from hypoxia and hypocapnia, a lack of oxygen and carbon dioxide, respectively. “There is no panic, no feeling of suffocation,” Nitschke added.

 

Open question: There's a piece of famous fiction, so famous that I can't remember it, that predicted suicide pods on every street corner. What was the title?

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On 5/16/2020 at 6:36 PM, motleyhoo said:

90% of the population is walking around with their faces hidden behind masks, and jumping like they just got snake bitten if you get too close to them,

 

Yep. Very recently, I was out for a walk and 2 people were walking towards me wearing masks. I wasn't wearing a mask. They crossed the road while still at least 50 feet away. One of them shouted "Selfish" at me but took the mask down to do it 😂 before crossing back once they were the same distance away from me again. We were the only people out at that time that I could see and it was in the open air.  I don't recognise most people anymore and that's not a reference to face coverings. I just can't comprehend the collective mindset in place.

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17 minutes ago, Ziggy Sawdust said:

 

Yes Fluke....me....An absolute stinker.

Started at the weekend.

Last one was this time last year.

 

Reading this has made me wonder about something pertaining to those who have spent the past nearly 2 years masked and very likely jabbed.

 

These people wouldn't have been freely mixing with others to bolster their own immune systems defences and may have also taken an experimental mRNA 'vaccine' which may compromise their immune systems further, and then possibly will then go on to pick something up which before would have only been mildly irritating to their body and that could go on to make them very seriously ill indeed and/or kill them. 

 

If these people then need medical treatment for these usually ordinary/everyday ailments, that will likely return a positive Covid test and should they go on to succumb to what they have, they will be a part of the official government statistics of those who have died from 'the pandemic' which could lead to more draconian measures such as further lockdowns and god forbid, vaccine mandates and the like. 

 

So we have an enfeebled population who could become ill from being masked whereby they are not mixing in a natural way with others, so they're not bolstering up their immune system through herd immunity to all kinds of things, not just whatever this is purporting to be. Face masks which have a deleterious effect on nasal passageways, lung function and the like which also lower immune system response. To top it all off, the variants might be just a reaction to the jabs themselves and the wearing of masks. 

 

Everyday usual complaints then like the common cold could become life and death events for those who went along with the narrative and took the shots and wore the masks. This will be skewed by the mainstream media and this could very likely never end. People would be in a pandemic mindset forever although whatever this is, is actually endemic and totally treatable.

Edited by JJ73
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11 minutes ago, wingwang said:

 

Is that Klaus Schwab in the bottom right-hand corner?!

MMMM suspiciously similar in appearance and is still looking for his/her/it white fluffy cat.

Edited by bobb
added /it to conform with transpersonism rules
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A reminder of the Official Influenza Management during a time when health outcomes were far more precarious.

 

(Yeah I know all our first-world  "pandemic" responses were but a modern version of this until they were all simultaneously thrown out - for some strange reason ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

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15 minutes ago, sickofallthebollocks said:

is she smelling her fingers?

Fish, blood and bullshit does have a distinctive smell.

How you too can get your own 'Jacinda' portrait

 

 

 

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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc surprised PM Jacinda Ardern with a framed oil painting of her.

 

 

Fancy being immortalised in an oil painting by a Vietnamese artist like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?

Well, thanks to online art services connecting Hanoi's talented "reproduction" artists with rich Westerners, it can be done for as little as $180.

At the Apec summit in Vietnam, the country's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc prompted laughter from Ardern when he presented her with a personal portrait done in oil paint.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/98789161/how-you-too-can-get-your-own-jacinda-portrait

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4 minutes ago, skitzorat said:

How you too can get your own 'Jacinda' portrait

 

 

 

1510363606344.jpg.3a6eeabeb3b7273bd5bfc3985bdd384e.jpg

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc surprised PM Jacinda Ardern with a framed oil painting of her.

 

 

Fancy being immortalised in an oil painting by a Vietnamese artist like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?

Well, thanks to online art services connecting Hanoi's talented "reproduction" artists with rich Westerners, it can be done for as little as $180.

At the Apec summit in Vietnam, the country's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc prompted laughter from Ardern when he presented her with a personal portrait done in oil paint.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/98789161/how-you-too-can-get-your-own-jacinda-portrait

  Fuck?   - She could eat an apple through a letterbox that cunt.

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1 hour ago, sickofallthebollocks said:

  Fuck?   - She could eat an apple through a letterbox that cunt.

Oh the observational wit, it doth bring a tear to thy eye.👍

Edited by bobb
added 'thy' instead of 'my' for more poetic kudos
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5 hours ago, skitzorat said:

Well this is pretty terrifying...it's one full-on hit piece.. they must be aware they're loosing the narrative to issue such an all encompassing article like this. Pure Soviet.

Sorry, I wouldn't normal copy/paste the entirety of an article like this, but LOOK at what they're presenting to the Kiwi public... the inserts, the language, the vailed threats - UGH>

 

 

'It's a hellscape': The age of misinformation is here - can government close the rabbit hole?

 

 

Misinformation can kill, and almost two years since Covid-19 hit our shores it’s a national security issue with no easy solution. How is it impacting how we treat each other, and society at large? Michelle Duff reports.

 

Remember laughing at the United States? Even a year ago, it seemed implausible that people in Aotearoa would seriously believe the world is controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles running a global sex-trafficking ring.

 

Yet in government documents grappling with how to contain the infodemic, this outlandish theory from far-right conspiracy group QAnon was cited as among the misinformation that poses a significant threat to our way of life.

 

“Anti-mask and anti-lockdown narratives, often couched in broad human rights and basic freedoms terms (and often grounded in narratives linked to the US constitution) [have] found fertile ground amongst followers of a few influencers, political parties and some church congregations,” a Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet briefing reads.

 

READ MORE:

Is it time we regulated against misinformation on Facebook?
Coronavirus: 'Dangerous' Covid-19 conspiracy theories on the rise

 

It goes on to outline how so far, the country’s relatively high level of trust in the state and the media has largely inoculated the public from widespread belief of false or misleading information. We aren’t yet in the same post-truth environment as the United States, the United Kingdom or even Australia.

But that was pre-Auckland lockdown. Now, says Sanjana Hattotuwa, , of the University of Auckland Te Pūnaha Matatini’s The Disinformation Project, we are there.

 

“I can’t stress this enough. The social fabric of New Zealand is being tested and threatened daily, in ways that are historically unprecedented,” Hattotuwa says.

“You have here, and for the first time with this voracity and increasing violence, an issue that has been brewing in other parts of the world. It is here, and it is a hellscape.”

 

Why people are susceptible to vaccination misinformation

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Covid-19 conspiracy theories and mis- and disinformation have increased exponentially since August 17, when Auckland went into level 4 lockdown. The Government identified it as a national security threat before this, with NZSIS Director-General Rebecca Kitteridge using a speech in June to raise the radicalising power of disinformation and its increasing potential for offline violence.

 

By now, everyone knows someone who has fallen down the rabbit hole. No-one seems immune. Journalist and former Franklin County News editor Rex Warwood was spreading anti-Covid misinformation on his Facebook page shortly before dying from the illness last week.

 

The vast majority of us are vaccinated, trust what Dr Ashley Bloomfield is telling us, and don’t think Covid is a hoax or the vaccine is making us magnetic. Many of the vaccine-hesitant do not believe in vast conspiracy theories.

 

But, once ensconced in the disinformation ecosystem of closed Facebook groups or shadow social media apps like Telegram, where sense and fact-checking is almost non-existent, reality as we know it can cease to exist. Vaccine mandates, the traffic light system, and opening of the vaccination to young children, have fuelled and accelerated anger.

 

The rage is often vitriolic, misogynistic, and racist. It’s rooted in intolerance, but also distrust and fear and a sense of righteousness, which makes addressing it complex.

In research by the Classification Office earlier this year, more than half of respondents said government was best placed to deal with this. But Stuff can reveal the main question it has been grappling with for the past several months is: how?

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A serious threat to national security

Documents viewed by Stuff  (yes national security documents are given to the media freely now it would seem) show the Government is treating the risks posed by the infodemic to both individuals and society as a “significant national security issue”. That’s in relation to the danger of radicalisation and extremism leading to terrorist attacks, but also the health and safety of people in general and the way we relate to each other and live our lives.

 

Yet in trying to address it, the Government is in a difficult place. It is aware any attempts to counter disinformation could feed into conspiracy narratives of state control. This is challenging. Unlike child sexual exploitation or terrorist extremist content, misinformation often existed in a grey area where it was legal (but could still cause untold harm.)

 

It is also worrying on a personal and societal level, it says.

“This confusion over what is true could not only lead individuals to make misinformed choices in their own lives, it can also have significant issues for national security,” it states.

 

This includes the politicisation of scientific facts to undermine the Covid-19 response, creating and amplifying social divisions, challenging national values, and inciting violence.

 

Racist, Treaty of Waitangi-based and gendered narratives (?LOL!?) were of real concern, it said. “Online spaces are being systemically weaponised against women leaders, with politically motivated gendered stereotypes and personal attacks posing a serious threat to women’s equal political participation.”

 

It has pulled together a group of 11 government agencies including the DPMC, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, the Department of Internal Affairs, CERT NZ and the police to work on a strategic plan to address disinformation and its harms.

It will report to a group of ministers. But in the briefing documents, there’s little detail on policies that might go towards stemming the infodemic. The Department of Internal Affairs media content regulation review is discussed.

 

Long-term moves could include building resistance to disinformation and critical thinking teaching into the school curriculum, to prevent later radicalisation.

But any move had to be considered within the context of whether it would make matters worse. It was better to work with other independent groups more widely to tackle misinformation, rather than have it come from a single government entity, the documents state.

 

In a way, this is logical. As Dylan Reeve wrote in The Spinoff, a comment by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, where she said the Government was the “single source of truth”, has since been used by various groups to allege mind control.

But The Workshop’s Jess Berentson-Shaw says the Government is being too risk-averse. “It’s great they are proposing a strategy and framework. Less great is the focus on civil society to do the work.

 

“That’s very much the job, I think, of people in government. They are there to create robust systems for our wellbeing, and one of them is building societies and communities that are resistant to false information.”

 

If the pandemic hadn’t revealed this, it would have been something else, she says. “It could be some other large-scale collective challenge, climate change for example, that pushed us into this really difficult space.

 

“There’s been a slow uptake in understanding how people in government develop and deliver information, and that’s a critical skill that’s missing. They need good public education that’s not just this neutral presentation of facts,(what the fuck?!) and any shift from that approach is seen as risky now.”

 

Research shows trust in government increases when people see themselves as part of it. “They should be concerned about how we rebuild some trust, and don’t let any slip.”

 

In a statement, DPMC national security group deputy chief executive Tony Lynch said the strategy for mis- and disinformation would be developed next year. Teams within DPMC and the Ministry of Health were actively monitoring disinformation now, along with CERT NZ and Te Pūnaha Matatini, which was informing Covid-19 messaging.

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Overlapping misinformation from a few sources

CERT NZ is the government agency responsible for receiving and collating reports of mis- and disinformation related to Covid-19. It has received more than 1500 reports this year, including pamphlets, posters, letters, videos, websites, emails and social media.

 

In an analysis produced in August of the 860 reports made in the first half of the year, obtained by Stuff under the Official Information Act, it found more than 80 per cent of the misinformation produced in New Zealand came from the same related sources.

 

Voices for Freedom, failed political party Advance NZ and an organisation called The Real News were identified as the main proponents of false information, and were linked through individuals associated with them and the content and themes they pushed.

Thirteen themes were identified, which rose and subsided over time, often in alignment with what is being circulated internationally.

 

Suspicion of the Covid-19 vaccine remained the most prominent. The items with the most reports were flyers from Voices for Freedom, of which millions have been distributed around New Zealand, with titles like: “Covid Vaccine Facts Reference List; Are You Fed Up With Covid Yet?,” and, “What’s All The Fuss About Masks?”

 

Events like the beginning of Covid-19 vaccination, the Auckland lockdown, and the travel bubble with Australia brought with them new waves of misinformation.

 

This relatively small number of people responsible for spreading falsehoods is similar to patterns identified overseas. In a recent report from the Center for Countering Digital Harm, 12 individuals in the United States were identified as responsible for 65 per cent of all online anti-vaccine content.

 

But trying to shut down these groups is like spraying weeds. Voices For Freedom, kicked off Facebook, encouraged followers to join them on Telegram. In this unregulated space, more than 158,000 New Zealanders are soaking up what’s served to them daily and nightly.

 
 

Hattotuwa says even if the number of Covid disinformation consumers and spreaders is relatively small, it will infiltrate the way mainstream New Zealand thinks and acts.

“It is definitely going to impact the way of life here. How you treat each other, how you see each other, how we talk to each other online or how you treat someone with a divergent opinion or background.

 

“It will move, and it might have already moved, from a Covid-19 problem to striking at the heart of the democratic process, and impacting elections.The level of hostility and violence, of openly instigating harm against journalists, politicians, experts talking about the vaccine, this is all new.”

 

He says the Government has been slow to act, and needs to move to improve social cohesion and limit polarisation now. The proposals in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mosque terror attacks contain a blueprint for how to do this.

 

“The applicable laws, frameworks and processes of dealing with all-of-government problems are not fit for purpose, and in a way this is moving faster and with more veracity and complexity than the Government probably can handle,” he says.

 

“It’s a challenge that’s so complicated because in a country like Aotearoa, misinformation feeds off historical inequities, gendered discrimination, and communal grievances, and new things like Covid-19 threads into that like a garment.”

 

But anarchy is not destiny, he says. “What happens henceforth will be determined by how we deal with people who don’t want to be vaccinated, how we deal with the planned protests, aggression, tension, and anxiety. It’s already having an impact, and whether it expands and entrenches remains to be seen.”

 

There are still some protective factors. Auckland University of Technology senior lecturer and co-director of its centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) Dr Merja Myllylahti says trust in the news media is generally higher in New Zealand than abroad. This is still relatively low, with less than half of New Zealanders (48 per cent) trusting the news media. The most recent JMAD survey found it had dropped by five percentage points since 2020, and is expected to erode further. This should be a concern for everyone, she says.

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“It’s verified information, it has proper sources which are normally named, it’s professionally produced, it’s been checked. Key news values are accuracy and transparency – we know where claims come from.

 

“How do people participate in processes if they’re misinformed? If they have wrong information about party politics, if it’s biased and not factual, of course it has a massive impact on democracy. It doesn’t help them to act as citizens in a society.”

 

People in the survey said they did want accurate information. “They have enough opinions, they just want facts and data they can trust,” Myllylahti said.

An opportunity for change

Society works because people accept rules and regulations, that those at the top know what they are doing and are generally telling the truth and acting in our best interests. This is part of the “social contract” that organises our lives.

Beijing Normal University conspiracy theory researcher, New Zealander M R X Dentith, says this is one of the things conspiracy theories threaten. Incidents like the anti-lockdown traffic protests are a group of people going out of their way to disrupt an agreed way of life because they believe it's inherently wrong or corrupt. “If you don’t believe there are a trusted set of people doing the mahi at the top of society, and you start doubting the experts, then you start doubting other rules.”

 

Dentith doesn’t think tendencies to believe in these ideas are new, simply that we can now see it on a larger scale. And it’s clear certain places, for example faith-based community Destiny Church, become hubs for bad ideas and information.

“It might be the case that this has always been a feature of our society, but it’s curious we tolerated this before the pandemic. Maybe we need to look at how society is structured to allow these communities to exist.”

 

Dentith thinks that on the whole, New Zealand has done a much better job than other countries in maintaining trust, particularly in the pandemic’s early days. “It was the best health communication response anywhere in the Western world, and there was a much lesser chance for disinformation to enter the public discourse. That's the kind of thing we need.”

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300469809/its-a-hellscape-the-age-of-misinformation-is-here--can-government-close-the-rabbit-hole

 

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Absolutely horrific. They actually love to lie.

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6 minutes ago, Golden Retriever said:

 

If they don't get the results they want, then it's deleted by "the ministry of truth"

 

 

 

 

Not to bother - they'll just "make up" another poll and the Ministry will print it in other publication... on the front page, even.

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