Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Lately in the news there has been a lot of discussion about the “right wing” members of the Q. They are portrayed as people who follow “conspiracy theories” mindlessly. There are discussions about how they can be deprogrammed and how this is often hurting their relationships with their significant others, family members, children, etc.
To understand why these people are treated this way we need to look at what the “Q” is. Q is an anonymous entity on social media that drops hints in various forms that Q's followers are supposed to follow in order to learn how our government and the world is really controlled. Some people say these people follow this Q because they are trying to be the one that finally solves the problem and supposedly brings true freedom back to the US. It is similar to playing an online game except they are applying it to the real world instead of to the unliving digital world. And that is where the followers of Q run into trouble. There is a huge difference between Q's followers reacting to these writings and then doing things that are confined to the unliving digital world compared to them trying to force policy, ideas, or law.
So how many of these Q followers are there? Of course there is no way to actually determine that since a survey would be extremely inaccurate because people that believe in conspiracy theories would not answer truthfully to someone surveying them. This small fact does not prevent “scientists” from misusing statistics to grossly exaggerate this situation. A ridiculously obvious example of this is a story written by Sophia Moskalenko, Research Fellow in Social Psychology, Georgia State University for The Conversation. The offending paragraph is:
“In court records of QAnon followers arrested in the wake of the Capitol insurrection, 68% reported they had received mental health diagnoses. The conditions they revealed included post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and Munchausen syndrome by proxy – a psychological disorder that causes one to invent or inflict health problems on a loved one, usually a child, in order to gain attention for themselves. By contrast, 19% of all Americans have a mental health diagnosis.”
This makes it seem like a HUGE majority of Q followers have mental health problems when in fact the only thing this 68% tells us is that of all the Q followers that wound up being arrested reported some kind of mental health diagnosis sometime in their life. There is no mention whether this diagnosis was relevant to their present personality and to what degree it affected their personality? And add to that the fact that the last sentence about the Q followers concerns harming children. This strategic placement inherently leaves that child abuse as a major factor and makes the entirety of Q followers extremely unsavory when in fact there is no indication that that would be true. So the author seems to have managed to not only say the majority of Q followers are little bit off in the head they are also child abusers.
So Moskalenko conflated this 68% of a group that wound up being arrested with the 19% of ALL Americans. What the “scientist” is trying to do is equate the fact that they expect 19% of any group of Americans they pick out to have had a mental health diagnosis and apply that every group. Realizing that Q followers that engage in violent activity are no more a normal group similar to ALL Americans then the non-Q followers that engage in violent activity are similar to ALL Americans. Without knowing how they rate relative to their “proper group”, the non-followers that got arrested, the comparisons are completely invalid. In other words you want to know what percentage of the non-Q followers have had a mental health diagnosis and see if the Q followers are about the same, have fewer mental problems, or more mental problems. The comparison made is only valid this way because there were many people there that were Q followers that did not engage in violence and did not get arrested! This whole thing is called “bias” on the part of the scientist.
Personally I don't see how a scientist could try to equate these two groups, Q followers that got arrested and ALL Americans. You don't try to equate the percentage of ALL Americans that have a criminal conviction record to the percentage of inmates in jail that have a criminal conviction record. Obviously jails hold people such as those waiting for a trial in the proverbial “drunk tank” as well as people that have already been convicted and therefore the percentage of those in the jail with a conviction record will be higher than ALL Americans. Their groups are not anywhere near the same.
It wouldn't surprise me to find that there are a few people that lean to the Left that also look at these clues that Q gives out and tries to find the answer to whatever is bugging them such as voting rights, LGBTQ rights, etc. And this brings us to JSS, a very Left oriented person. You can tell this person leans Left by their profile in Amazon. This person claims a PhD in EE and a better-than-average understanding of QM (quantum mechanics).
This person, JSS, decided to review my book on Amazon and the review started (literally) with “I did not read the book. . .”. Considering that he had not read the book it would seem that his review would probably not be that awfully informed of a review. Based on not reading the book JSS made some really gross misrepresentations of the book due to his lack of knowledge on the subject. Electrical Engineering is not exactly related to climate change and neither is Quantum Mechanics in general related to climate change (in the fact that the climatic models are not built on QM but rather on Parameterized cells which are programmed in non quantum equations and interactions from cell to cell).
JSS's first complaint really was hyperbolicly hypocritical in that in the introduction I state that "we are all aware there has been a bit of paranoia going around the entire planet for the last forty years stoked by people who have not taken all the data into consideration regarding climate change." and JSS was going to ignore any information in my book which did not agree with what JSS's preconceptions were. Thus making him one of “those with a bit of paranoia stoked by people who have not taken all the data into consideration regarding climate change.”
Later in JSS's review he wrote "We have considered ALL plausible explanations" If this is a review by an individual and not a bot or bot farm or organization of some sort then where did the We come from? About the only thing that makes sense here is that JSS is not relying on what JSS understands individually but rather is relying on JSS's belief that some group JSS associates with has all the answers. That presents itself as thinking associated with a cult not someone that truly believes through their own individual effort and gained knowledge what the truth is. Under this method of knowledge it is what others say that determines the truth. And thus the Left facing Q rears its ugly head.
JSS's attitude is not that far removed from the majority of the people that write articles on Global Warming. I am not talking about the scientists that are writing papers because the papers that I have read pretty much stick rather well to the scientific method of only drawing conclusions based on the data they collected. But as always there are some exceptions to the rule and there have been several papers that I believe expounded well beyond an analysis of the data they found. That is of course just one person's opinion. The papers were accepted by the general scientific community and even with the part I consider extraneous the data and the direct conclusions associated with the data look reasonable. And unlike JSS I prefer to still read the papers and learn what I can from the data and their analysis of the data.
As far as the rest of the non-paper writing public the Left suffers from the same problem that the Right does. They take a small single bit of information and fit it into some narrative that they find is appropriate and go ahead and put it into a permanent form for others. And like the Rights they are trying to convince others that what they have heard someone else say will save the world and they will be the hero and they are trying to force policy, ideas, or law in the real world.
JSS's attitude and unbending belief in that whatever he has heard and absorbed must be the truth and refuses to look at the other sides data is extremely prevalent on the subject of global warming within the Lefts populace, which is similar to if not exactly the same condition the Q followers on the right do.
To show how the Left is using the same playbook as the Q followers my next blog post will cover the fallacies that people are still propagating today on the Left that have been debunked, a persistent problem not unlike the persistent fallacies propagated by Flat Earthers and Q followers.