Blasphemy, LARPing, mandatory vaccination

Back in the olden days, when Lord of the Rings was new, my brother introduced me to LARP — live action roleplay — which in his case meant Fools And Heroes, a swords-and-sorcery themed game with foam-rubber weapons and vampires dusted with flour[0]. In Fools And Heroes, there is a pantheon of gods. My brother claimed that, in-universe, nobody is an atheist: if someone denies the existence of these gods, the gods literally mark them on the face for their naughtiness.

I didn’t like this.

It wasn’t that this isn’t a very good reason for in-universe characters to believe in these gods (clearly it is), but rather that people aren’t that rational: people frequently deny what should be undeniable, and for any issue (at all) you can almost certainly find someone convinced that the opposite is true. My brother didn’t buy my argument. Still, as it’s a game, I didn’t push it — all games have something unrealistic, it doesn’t matter.

In real life, it does matter.

Vaccination. I’ll take any vaccine offered, to me all modern medicine is basically the closest we can get to superpowers — compare a superhero film where someone is immune to Zombie Plague versus real life immunity to smallpox — yet I knew even before the word COVID was coined there would be people who would reject masks[1] and vaccination and isolation, simply because such things happened in Spanish flu (masks), Typhoid Mary (isolation), smallpox in Sweden 1873-74 and MMR in modern times (vaccination).

Of course, if I can spot that in advance, I assume almost every government is capable of knowing this too. But if the executive is run by people who assume that nobody can possibly believe an untrue thing because of immediate severe consequences, as with the divine punishment in Fools And Heroes, then we may have a problem: failing to plan, as the saying goes, is planning to fail.

(I still don’t get why face masks couldn’t be successfully marketed as “tactical cameo face armour” to reach the loudest anti-mask voices that made it here from America, as this is one of the few situations where a cargo-culted military costume can be useful outside fancy dress parties. This probably means I’ve not understood the interests of non-military types who dress up in military uniforms. #IHaveNoticedMyConfusion).

[0] because it’s self-raising

[1] sometimes it isn’t just rejecting masks for oneself, it can be rejecting other people wearing them, which confuses me even more:

Original post:

Original post timestamp: Thu, 11 Nov 2021 14:32:26 +0000

Tags: biology, history, Politics, Psychology, rationality, wild speculation

Categories: Health, Minds

© Ben Wheatley — Licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International