I find the concept of sheeple interesting.

Because people who use that word are a little bit like alternative lifestylers, who see themselves as free thinkers without acknowledging they too are following a particular trend.

When it comes to vaccines/covid, to call everyone following the safety measures 'sheeple' implies that those who are against the rules came to that conclusion themselves without any influence from anyone else. ...

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But we know this isn't the case because anti-vaxxers regularly post articles and videos from doctors and scientists that supposedly prove their way of seeing things.

If they are not sheeple themselves, and are drawing conclusions from some autocentric free will, how can there be any 'proof' from scientists? Did they just 'know' the answers before the science 'proved' it? If so, their beliefs cannot be scientific. They would be admitting to drawing conclusions before there was any evidence.

If the term 'Sheeple' must be used, the covid-sceptics and anti-vaxxers are just sheeple from a smaller herd.

If you say the term 'sheeple' means 'those who follow the rules without question', then that might apply to some people but is mostly untrue.

In my experience it is those who are the most informed who follow the rules. It is not an unquestioning following of the rules, but keeping up with the 'best' way to tackle things (right or wrong).

It's those who aren't interested, who don't read the news, who display the most sheep-like behaviour. They unquestioningly ignore everything and just carry on regardless.

So again, it is the sceptics who display the most sheep-like behaviour.

@lydiaconwell If I understand it right, "sheeple" don't question the rules, and so the whole herd will pressure each other into running off a cliff. It's not how much you draw conclusions from people outside yourself that makes you sheeple. It's how little research you do, just trusting whatever random sheep appears on your feed saying that continuing on towards the cliff is just the way things are.

@cy But in terms of covid-sceptics, 'sheeple' is applied to anyone following the rules regardless of how well informed they might be because it's used as an insult to persuade people to blindly follow the sceptics' cause.

But from my experience people who follow the rules do question them and regularly read up on things (whether media inform people well or not) so it's not simply sheep-like behaviour. And they don't always follow the rules.

@lydiaconwell Some of them do hurl around "sheeple" like candy, but I don't like to make harsh generalizations like that. Covid-skeptics are still just trying to do the right thing, even if they're wrong.

@cy From what I've seen with sceptics, it's a bit like the flat earth stuff. I think there is a deep distrust for authority that manifests as a complete rejection of science.

I can't talk for all sceptics but certainly there is that among the sceptics. And I've noticed a lot of emotional troubles also, mental health issues.

I know the worst of the bunch get shared on social media, but deliberately coughing on people in a supermarket isn't acceptable behaviour at any time.

@cy I don't have all the answers (I know, hard to believe) but I find the mistrust interesting. Because if a person is rejecting an obvious 'truth' (as with the flat Earthers) just because it's popular or the 'accepted' view, then what is making them reject it?

@lydiaconwell I think they're not rejecting it just because it's popular or accepted. They're rejecting it because they want stimulating lives full of camradery and adventure, and we deny them that, making them more vulnerable to swindlers lying to them that they have what they need.

But I don't really know.

@lydiaconwell probably just decrying lack of thought in life choices

@lydiaconwell an interesting tweet I saw the other day was giving useful and, probably, correct information about vaccines etc. One of the replies just made me sit there for about 5 minutes thinking “I want to reply to them, but I don’t know how to communicate with this person”. Part of the tweet was about mandatory vaccinations (which I’m not totally in favour of), the reply amounted to “well if the authorities want us to do it, then we really resist”

@TinBee @lydiaconwell the implication being that everything the government wants us to do must be bad. Which is truly bizarre. I don’t think they always have everyone’s best interest in mind but, on the whole, they are there to look after their citizens. The government, via the laws and police, don’t want us to go on a murder spree... we’ll, I’m not having that. If the government don’t want us to do that then it must be a good thing for us to be doing so we should all do it.

@TinBee Yes, I think governments work mostly in self-interest and in the interest of the wealthy, but that doesn't mean everything they do is wrong. There are still pressures for governments to at least pretend to care about the greater good, and some things are for the benefit of the greater good.

I think with sceptics is a sense of reclaiming dignity by forming a contrary opinion. I can't speak for all science-sceptics but I have noticed with a lot of them there is a sense of humiliation ...

@TinBee ... I've noticed this from real life as well as seeing people talk on videos. Many have emotional troubles and probably don't feel as valued as they would like to feel. This could be they are not as successful as they'd like to be or they've had a failed relationship, etc.

It does seem to be some of least successful - who might feel the least valued - who are drawn into scepticism because it gives them a privileged knowledge and position. They know, but most people are blind ...

@TinBee ... You could say that's the reason people join certain religious sects.

As I say, I don't know everyone's reason for science scepticism, but I've noticed this theme. I wonder how many feel like failures in life.

@lydiaconwell @TinBee It's not like those people have any reason to buy into the system that forces them to be worthless losers. I'll convince an antivaxxer to get vaccinated the day that I figure out how to give them any reason to consider me their ally and friend. That's what we don't have anymore, is a way to find out who to trust. Go figure, fake news runs rampant.

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