Beyond Beyond the Fringe category archive
Snopes has round-up from the Associated Press of right-wing conspiracy theories that are going coronaviral.
We are a society of stupid.
At Psychology Today Blogs, two interesting posts explore the hoarding of toilet paper, which has no respiratory application unless you happen to run out of Kleenex and don’t have a hanky handy, during a respiratory disease pandemic. I commend them both to your attention (warning: my summaries are gross over-simplifications; that’s the nature of summaries).
Judy Scheel suggests that it’s about trying to maintain an illusion of control in the face of something beyond individuals’ control.
Matt Johnson explores the relationship between personality types and hoarding behavior.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Laura Otis offers a theory to account for the impulse to hoard toilet paper in the face of a respiratory disease pandemic. I think she may have a piece of the puzzle.
Here’s a bit:
For people who rely on disposable paper to clean themselves, lacking toilet paper threatens their humanity. It challenges the illusory human-animal boundary, and the artificial line between culture and nature. Loss of toilet paper points toward the dissolution of ALL boundaries, the apocalypse Bill Murray described in Ghostbusters as “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”
I’ve linked to several other articles also attempting to explain this phenomenon (you can find them with the search over there ——-> on the sidebar), because, frankly, the irrational stupidity (stupid irrationality?) of it leaves me gaga.
In related news, I had to visit my local drug store today and the TP shelves are still empty.
A report at Boston.com attempts to explain persons’ frantic purchases of toilet paper in a time of coronavirus. A snippet:
“When faced with an uncertain situation, people feel better if they can eliminate one risk,” Dr. Jay Zagorsky, a senior lecturer with BU’s Questrom School of Business, said in an email to Boston.com. “Bulk buying toilet paper eliminates the small risk of running out if quarantined. People might not be able to eliminate the risk of catching coronavirus but they can eliminate the risk of running out of toilet paper, which makes most people feel they have some control in this very uncertain situation.”
This morning’s local rag has a long story about local stores’ inability to keep up with the runs on “bathroom tissue.” I witnessed this first-hand when I went to our usual supermarket at the behest of the cats, who demanded sustenance, and can attest that the “bathroom tissue” aisle was bare.
Late last week, one of our acquaintances who lives on the other side of town told us that his local store was out of toilet paper (we have not been shopping in the interim, so I don’t know about our own nearby stores), but apparently runs on TP are not uncommon in anxious times.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Michele Baddeley reports bare shelves in the “loo paper” sections of stores in Sydney, Australia, and tries to figure out why fear of coronavirus, a respiratory disease, would a spark runs on TP, decidedly not a respiratory product (except maybe when you can’t find a hanky).
(Missplet wrod correxted.)
At Psychology Today Blogs, Guy P. Harrison explores the continued fascination with unidentified flying objects and the desire of many to turn them into alien space craft. A nugget:
Unidentified means unidentified. Many people have seen weird things in the sky that they cannot make sense of. But this is to be expected considering how crowded it can be up there with clouds, aircraft, balloons, flares, satellites, meteors, planets, stars. The first mistake with these a number of these sightings occurs when people can’t resist jumping to extraordinary and unwarranted explanations. I can’t tell what that is—so it must be an extraterrestrial spaceship. This is a fundamental failure of critical thinking that is easily prevented by remembering that ignorance is not evidence.
My own theory is that any civilization smart enough to circumvent the laws of physics and achieve interstellar flight is also smart enough to avoid our kind like the plague we are.
*With apologies to Pink Floyd.
Sam marvels at the creepy insanity of Q-Anon and its dupes, symps, and fellow travelers.
This is weirdly disturbing and disturbingly weird. SeattlePI reports:
New research in biomechanics suggests that young people are developing hornlike spikes at the back of their skulls – bone spurs caused by the forward tilt of the head, which shifts weight from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head, causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and ligaments. The weight transfer that causes the buildup can be compared to the way the skin thickens into a callus as a response to pressure or abrasion.
The result is a hook or hornlike feature jutting out from the skull, just above the neck.
X-rays at the link.