“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet is complaining because Romeo’s name is meaningless. If the rose had any other name it would still be the same rose. So with Romeo; he would still be the same beautiful young man even if he had a different name.
Not so fast. In 1957, in his novel, 1984, George Orwell coined the phrase Doublespeak. Doublespeak is a use of language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the conventional meaning of words. The ministry of propaganda, for example, is called the ministry of truth. It is important to note that the term public relations was originally propaganda. The world of advertising, which now includes public relations, most political discourse, and what looks like news, is propaganda.
Propaganda is communication primarily used to influence an audience to further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be selectively presenting facts in order to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language in order to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.
The challenge comes when propaganda, advertising, and doublespeak styles are applied to alleged scientific terms. Confirmed COVID cases, for example, confirmed COVID deaths, what exactly is a pandemic?, contagious, what is a vaccine? what is infectious?, safe distance, the effectiveness of masks, and many other common terms. Those in the business of propaganda understand that the average listener, viewer, and reporter does not take the time to check the definitions for these common terms. Behind the stage, the author changes a definition, as has been done with many of the terms above, and continues to use the term in a conventional manner, knowing that Henny Penny will believe the sky is falling, which was the intent of The Definition Flip. Do this with key terms, all connected to the same theme, and upside down suddenly is right-side up. Nothing adds up. People are confused, unable to think or act straight which, in our mass-media-hypnotized global-political arena, is the goal. Keep the masses confused (and frightened) and just about anything can be accomplished.
Hans Christian Andersen’s, "The Emperor's New Clothes" comes to mind. Two tailors are so skilled at propaganda and doublespeak, realizing the vanity of the Emperor, that they convince him and his court to delude and colluded themselves into believing that the Emperor is dressed in the finest garments, when in fact he was naked. Until an innocent boy, not blinded by dogma, breaks the spell by stating the obvious.
With this propaganda definition-flip in mind, I transcribed the dialogue between Thomas Cowan and Andy Kaufman, who like the boy, “took the opportunity to shake the viral paradigm down to its roots.” If this is a kind of a war being waged on a scientific front, Tom notes, we need to be scientifically prepared. “That’s really the goal, to present our view of the science.”
I invite you to print this discussion and discover for yourself if the Emperor is naked or not.