Qualities of a pseudo-activist
First of all, you must ensure you have enough to eat and be able to look at other things in life with full stomach. But claim you care for and are really fighting for the poorest of the poor who struggle to make their ends meet. Till such time a concrete answer to the scientific debate emerges, these people are banished to remain hungry and malnourished and even die. Should you be bothered? You shouldn’t if you aspire to become a pseudo-activist.
Be exceptionally anti-rational
Make sure you not only you don’t believe in anything rational or proven with sufficient evidence but also do anything to create doubt in the minds of the
- already much confused general public who hardly (bother to) understand scientific studies;
- media looking for sensational issues;
- politicians looking for their next lever to project their pro-people face; and
- the poor regulators who have the responsibility of the policy making process
to dissuade them from thinking rationally. Remember, your task is to make sure they are confused and don’t take rational decisions in the end.
In today’s world, policies are not necessarily made entirely on scientific evidence and data. Public perception has a huge influence on the policy making process and on the politicians. They won’t think about doing anything that might be perceived against majority public sentiment.
Demonstrate (questionable) common-sense
Be willing to accept without any rationale anything and everything that is posted on the internet. Believe in cleverly-crafted statistics and outrageous correlations, pie charts or graphs that appear to be ostensibly-credible but actually dubious in true sense. Be also strong to resist any counter-views; don’t be afraid of people with common sense laughing at your logic. For example, be ready to instantly believe red meat and bacon causes cancer and you will die right at that moment of taking a bite of your favorite hamburger; GMOs and agrochemicals (pesticides) cause, even if used with proper scientific precautions and techniques, gravely diseases including erectile dysfunctions and growing pulses causes Parkinson’s disease.
Spread (ostensible) infectious altruism
Be very active on social media and in sharing whatever you see on Facebook posts and/or tweets without even spending a split second thinking whether there could be any tiny speck of truth or rationale behind those. Be sure to pick pictures and topics and phrase your comment in such a way that people will be instantly emotionally compelled to share, forward or like the posts if not they will feel guilty. This breed of so-called activists spread fear, misinformation, myths and half-truths that infect and corrupt the already-confused public and influence their perspectives.
Just hold on to the beliefs that seem to make sense (only) to you. Don’t hesitate to believe in everything that could simply be an opinion but NOT a scientifically-proven fact. Have strong conviction in your so-called beliefs. Then go ahead with all guns blazing to preach and propagate your pseudoscience, framed-facts, fears, claims, emotionally-loaded statements, prejudices etc.
Be vocal & visible
Don’t hesitate to start raising your voice against any organization. Bigger the opponent – a company or an organization, greater will be your visibility. At the same time, be sure to paint those who don’t buy into your ideology are anti-human and anti-social. And never ever realize that there could be many other different perspectives or evidences on any of these beliefs. E.g. Coffee can cause serious nail cancer or Parkinson disease will wipe out the area where pulse crops are grown.
When it comes to supporting new and innovative technologies, be very choosy and most importantly, without any logic. For example, a farmer can use equipments and tractor on his land to save labor costs but cannot use hybrid seeds or a seed with herbicide-tolerant trait. Equipments like seeders or harvesters can save people from doing laborious painful and back-breaking work on the field by bending down for long hours. But you may oppose these too by claiming the mere entry of these machines into the fields can cause infertility or psychological disorders in humans.
You may use current and most technologically advanced models of computers, watches etc; use latest models of expensive laptop or iPhone to type your so-called educational articles and expert commentaries while traveling in the most technologically-advanced limousine or private jet. But when it comes to agriculture, you need to be calling for ill-founded policies that eventually make farming technologically-backward, be deprived of smart choices and push it back centuries to traditional farming without any useful productivity-improving technologies. Say a blanket “No” to any useful and proven technology when it comes to the in food industry and your objective is to strongly dissuade people from using them or countries from allowing them.
Be sure to evoke “guilty” feeling in people
Project your perspectives on anything in such a way that the opposite of that makes people feel really guilty even without a reason or logic. For example, everybody misses something from their childhood and just kindle those desires and people will fall victims to your tactics. E.g. you may claim Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) trains actually made people willing to take long-commuting at the cost of their families or relationships. Everyone has lovable memories of their childhoods and obviously loves to spend time with their families and thus without thinking about the reality, they will start feeling at least to some extent guilty of spending time on trains commuting. Your task is to ask for “a blanket ban on MRT system” itself.
Similarly, compare it with the good-old days of having manual labour on the fields where people actually toiled under hot sun but now most of these jobs are done by machines. Claim without any evidence that bread made from wheat that is harvested by a combine tastes crappy than a hand-harvested wheat but care a damn about occupational health & safety issues.
Don’t hesitate to blatantly accuse anyone of anything without even thinking about the reason or cause. Start with blaming El-Nino for having a flat-tyre or Pluto’s gravitational force for the problems with your digestive systems. So is the logic of blaming scientists and companies working on several technologies including GM for all the bad things happening in today’s world.
Know your liabilities
Know your liabilities and tasks. Your task is to make an outrageous claim that’s all. Don’t ever waste time in thinking about the logic behind it. For example, a recent newspaper report mentioned about a study that analysed the correlation between Parkinson’s diseases to growing pulse crops in a region in Australia. This is enough! Bulls eye! Your task is over. You seeded the seeds of doubt in the minds of people. Now the burden of proof rests with the scientists and the industry stakeholders concerned. You may move on to other sensational issues!
Be (stinking) expensive
Charge a prohibitively-exorbitant fee for a speech or lecture. Say, twenty or thirty thousand dollars per appearance at the minimum. We are conditioned to positively correlate expensive items with better quality and thus you can gain their awe and trust. The more you charge, people perceive you as out-of-the world and your popularity zooms past the roof. Oh! by the way, you may get swamped by awards too.
Be outrageously-creative sans logic
Be an expert in making inconceivable, out-of-the world but sensational cocktails of issues. For example, nuclear fission with prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease; mothers becoming addicted to smoking because of eating burgers made of GMO ingredients; Arial spraying of chemicals alters the earth’s rotation and cause volcanic eruptions. The list could be endless. It is up to you to creatively invent different scenarios just out of the blue without any logic and spread them on social media. The rest will become history.
Become a self-appointed expert
Though you might have studied chemistry, you can easily call yourself an expert in archaeology and speak about how dinosaurs used to have sex. So is the case for most of the anti-science activists where they have no knowledge at all on how stuff works. Now a days, several celebrities including award winning movie stars too do the same as anchors of the talk shows where they think they might have the expertise to comment on or criticize every damn thing in the world.
Project your “nature-loving” narcissistic side
Sprinkle words including natural, green, organic, dynamic, biological, ecological, sustainable, verified, tested, traditional, etc in your speeches/writings. While several of them are truly science-based and are done with real intent of saving the world, using them to support your argument in your speeches will definitely influence (at least confuse) the audience. Remember a common man will have difficulty in understanding these phrases and also cannot understand the intrinsic differences between these concepts. Hence, use it to your advantage to boost your image as an advocate for re-establishing “green, utopian, good-old” methods of agriculture.
Be obsessed ONLY on the problems
Accuse and throw mud on everyone who is at least trying to come out with a solution for a problem. Rather, without even thinking about possible solutions, start spreading your own creative dooms-day predictions by blowing up the problems as if these are absolutely insolvable. Just forget the need to not leave any stone unturned to resolve some of the world’s most pressing problems such as hunger, poverty and malnutrition.
If you studiously do all the above, congratulations!
You became the next savior of the world fighting a great science-apocalypse; the lone warrior standing tall against a mammoth clandestine network of people with common sense.
Disclaimer: Views are personal.