OPINION

Black holes in fragile universes

black-holes-in-fragile-universes

The triumph of untruth and obscurantism is taking place in the midst of a progressive boom in information and technology. There, on social networks and all kinds of “media,” the new waves of obscurantism are being formed, aggravating the coronavirus pandemic.

There, the virus of irrationality is constantly mutating, becoming more contagious; false news quickly modifies its content and spreads four times faster than real news, from one mind to another, infecting and disorganizing the human brain.

Anthony Faucci, US President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said recently that he didn’t think it would have been possible to eradicate smallpox or polio in the US if today’s “false information” were present then. Logic evaporates in the face of the gross baselessness of the multitude of false news that is spread daily, worldwide.

Such as that vaccines produce the coronavirus mutations; that vaccinated people carry eight times the viral load of those who are not vaccinated and that they spread the virus; that there are no deaths from the coronavirus in Africa because there are no vaccinations; that vaccines are being administered without an official European license; that they are produced using embryonic cells; that the blood of vaccinated blood donors is contaminated; that the use of a masks activates the virus; that taking your temperature causes damage to the brain.

Those who are prone to fake news bearers have certain commonalities, according to recent research: they do not trust institutions, they are “informed” daily about the “dangers” of vaccines (and repeated exposure to the same fake story increases its plausibility), they are indifferent to warnings by experts (misinformation distorts the perception of the real danger), they remain attached to what algorithms show them, they are not easily persuaded and they defy public health protocols.

Conspiracy theorists maintain “armies” in their war against vaccines: Shady advertising agencies offer influencers high fees to further spread vaccine skepticism. These are social black holes in specific universes, which suck in and feed on the truth. Efforts to neutralize these frightening gravitational forces have so far proved a Sisyphean task.