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smarter networks through better narratives

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child with measles

Leadership in a networked world is making our networks and communities smarter so they can make better-informed choices.

In early 2020 New Brunswick’s Education Minister, Dominic Cardy, labored very laborious to make his community smarter.

“When Canada’s chief public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, was talking about there being no need to “panic,” and elevating alarms as an alternative in regards to the internet-wacko fringe focusing on Canadians of Chinese descent with racist feedback on social media in late January, just a little identified Progressive Conservative training minister in a small Maritime province was absolutely panicking. Cardy was making ready to pitch his premier’s high aide on the necessity to take drastic motion to cease a killer virus …

Cardy stored on speaking, and over the subsequent few weeks, he and Leger would speak some extra, till the premier’s staffer requested him to place collectively a report on the virus and be ready to current it at a caucus retreat on Feb. 24 …

“The COVID-19 virus will arrive in New Brunswick and may be already present given the unreliability of tests, the weakness of Canada’s public health response to date and the nature of our open society,” Cardy wrote. “This is not a question of if, but when.”

After his presentation the premier requested Cardy what he would do. “Shut everything down,” was his reply.

Cardy, the canary in a COVID coal mine, initially got here below hearth from the New Brunswick Medical Society, for pushing measures some physicians perceived as overly drastic steps.” —National Post 2020-05-08

The Minister is as soon as once more attempting to make his community smarter however is assembly fierce resistance in making vaccination a compulsory requirement to attend college and eliminating exceptions primarily based on ethical or non secular grounds. The preliminary invoice included a bit that invoked the Constitutional Notwithstanding Clause, in order that it couldn’t be challenged in courtroom.

Cardy mentioned the invoice is meant to pre-empt what he calls “an organized, well-financed lobby out there that’s intent on derailing efforts to protect vulnerable children.”

He informed reporters the clause will keep away from “expensive court costs” ensuing from constitution challenges “by folks who’ve got nothing but conspiracies and medieval fantasies to base their arguments upon.”

The invoice would remove the flexibility of fogeys to exempt their kids attending public colleges from vaccinations on non secular, philosophical and different non-medical grounds. —CBC News 2010-11-22

That clause was struck down yesterday —16 June 2020.

Liberal [Party] MLA Chuck Chiasson lays his playing cards on the desk on Bill 11, the vaccination laws: invoice is “attacking the very foundation of our Charter” by eradicating rights and freedoms, he says. “Once the freedom is gone, it’s gone for good.”

Alliance [Party] chief Kris Austin: as a mum or dad myself, I’m hard-pressed to vote for a invoice that will take away parental rights.

[Green Party Leader] David Coon: the results of this invoice will probably be that the youngsters of these misinformed anti-vaxxers will probably be educated at dwelling, by those self same dad and mom. “I can’t speculate” on how they’ll home-school however the aim is defending college students’ well being.

Jacques Poitras, CBC

Many folks arguing towards the Bill are selling training as an alternative. But training doesn’t work. Facts are usually not sufficient. For instance, a compulsory training class in Ontario, Canada — full with movies and well being care professionals to advise — has been ineffective in getting dad and mom to simply accept vaccinations for his or her kids.

‘But because it was launched in 2017, hundreds of moms and dads have dutifully watched the video, collected their “Vaccine Education Certificate” — then continued to duck the pictures.

As one public well being supervisor put it: “We had a zero percent conversion rate.”’ — National Post 2019-03-15

There must be a dominant narrative to counter “folks who’ve got nothing but conspiracies and medieval fantasies to base their arguments upon.” A brand new body is required, not factual counter-arguments. This is how George Lakoff explains it, “1) Repetition strengthens the synapses in neural circuits that individuals use in considering 2) Whoever frames first has a bonus 3) Negating a body prompts and strengthens it.” @GeorgeLakoff.

Debating with anti-vaxxers solely strengthens their place. It’s unbelievable to at the moment see a rise in anti-vaxxers throughout a worldwide pandemic, however that is how the collective human thoughts works

“Most of us are already aware of the direct effect we have on our friends and family; our actions can make them happy or sad, healthy or sick, even rich or poor. But we rarely consider that everything we think, feel, do, or say can spread far beyond the people we know. Conversely, our friends and family serve as conduits for us to be influenced by hundreds or even thousands of other people. In a kind of social chain reaction, we can be deeply affected by events we do not witness that happen to people we do not know. It is as if we can feel the pulse of the social world around us and respond to its persistent rhythms. As part of a social network, we transcend ourselves, for good or ill, and become a part of something much larger. We are connected.” —Connected

We largely go together with the group, for better or worse — “Sorry to break it to you but arguments and facts don’t change people’s minds. It’s been proven neurologically that only relational warmth, not a war of words, can light up our neocortex awakening us to something new.”@danwhitejr

Medical researchers perceive the necessity to counter narratives with narratives. Building a better narrative takes time and human connection.

Lesson 2: don’t convey a reality to a story battle

Experts and well being professionals can arm themselves with white papers, peer reviewed research, and symposia; but when these are our solely weapons, we are going to solely ever get to date. In an period through which specialists are more and more distrusted, the “we know best” mindset is counterproductive.

Those wishing to encourage vaccination have to establish and amplify the tales that emerge from the actual lives and lived experiences of individuals of their communities (to start out, they should hear for them). It isn’t any coincidence that the best local weather advocacy on the earth proper now comes from the improvisations and tales of a 16 12 months outdated lady somewhat than the strategic plans of a generations outdated establishment. —BMJ: New Power versus Old

The worth of not creating a better narrative round vaccination is catastrophe.

“The MMR vaccine immunises towards measles, mumps and rubella … A gradual fall within the uptake of the MMR jab means the UK has now misplaced its measles free standing, simply three years after the virus was eradicated.
Currently, solely 87.2% of youngsters have the second dose of the vaccine.” —Sky News 2019-08-19

child with measles

Child with Measles — Wikimedia Commons


In the long term, society has to constantly work to counter the ‘stupid’, who will at all times be with us.

Law 5: A silly particular person is probably the most harmful sort of particular person.
And its corollary:

A silly particular person is extra harmful than a bandit.
We can do nothing in regards to the silly. The distinction between societies that collapse below the load of their silly residents and people who transcend them are the make-up of the non-stupid. Those progressing despite their silly possess a excessive proportion of individuals performing intelligently, those that counterbalance the silly’s losses by bringing about positive factors for themselves and their fellows.

Declining societies have the identical share of silly folks as profitable ones. But additionally they have excessive percentages of helpless folks and, [Prof. Carlo] Cipolla writes, “an alarming proliferation of the bandits with overtones of stupidity.”

“Such change in the composition of the non-stupid population inevitably strengthens the destructive power of the [stupid] fraction and makes decline a certainty,” Cipolla concludes. “And the country goes to Hell.” —Five Universal Laws of Human Stupidity

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