Goodbye, Naomi Wolf


Naomi Wolf first appeared on my radar with the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Gore, where she was, incomprehensibly, a presidential advisor. She has just been kicked off Twitter. In case you were wondering why…

OH NO — CANCEL CULTURE!!1!.

Comments

  1. blf says

    (Reconstructed cross-post from poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and] Political Madness All the Time thread.)

    Notoriously unhinged delusional conspiracy theorist Naomi Wolf banned from Twitter for spreading vaccine myths:

    […] Naomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after using it to spread myths about the pandemic, vaccines and lockdown.

    Wolf […] holds staunch anti-vaccine views. Last month she told a US congressional committee that vaccine passports would re-create a situation that is very familiar to me as a student of history. This has been the start of many, many genocides.

    We interrupt this diatribe to point out Wolf is not an accurate historian, not only in this case, but in many cases. A recent example is her book Outrages, which had “[a]n error in a central tenet of the book — a misunderstanding of the legal term ‘death recorded’, which Wolf had taken to mean that the convict had been executed but which in fact means that the convict was pardoned or the sentence was commuted — was identified in a 2019 BBC radio interview with broadcaster and author Matthew Sweet. He cited a website for the Old Bailey Criminal Court, the same site which Wolf had referred to as one of her sources earlier in the interview. Reviewers have described other errors of scholarship in the work” (Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge, my added emboldening). The error was so serious the book was pulled from publication. Wolf is not scholar, is not a historian, but is a frothing-at-the-mouth spittle-flying wobbly-eyed conspiracy loon.

    As the pandemic continued, the author variously claimed that vaccines were a software platform that can receive uploads […]

    In her most recent post, she argued that vaccinated people’s urine / feces(sic) needed to be separated from general sewage supplies / waterways until its impact on unvaccinated people via drinking water was established.

    Her suspension was widely applauded on the social media platform. One tweet read: “Thanks, @Twitter, for finally suspending Naomi Wolf for spreading harmful and floridly delusional anti-vax disinformation.” Others observed: “Never forget. Naomi Wolf’s suspension could not have come any sooner.” Another said: “Congratulations to naomi wolf who is i think the first person to be banned from here for being too stupid.”

    The award-winning author Steve Silberman, who is a historian of autism, said: “I’ve been reading vile anti-vaccine propaganda for 20 years, and Wolf’s claims were as out-there and delusional as I’ve ever seen.”

    […] Twitter has said the suspension is permanent and no appeal will be allowed.

    In other unsubstantiated claims, Wolf has said the US military was importing Ebola from Africa with the intention of spreading it at home, and that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden might be a government plant.

    She doesn’t seem to have an entry at the Encyclopædia of American Loons, but there is a long rundown of her bellowings at Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge. Also see the 2014 Vox article, The insane conspiracy theories of Naomi Wolf.

  2. raven says

    SOME US HOSPITALS MARK FIRST TIME BEING COVID-FREE. OTHERS STILL SEE SURGE OF PATIENTS
    Updated: Jun 6, 2021 7:40 AM
    Posted By: By Christina Maxouris, CNN

    More than 22,400 Americans are hospitalized with Covid-19 nationwide, according to data from the Department of Health & Human Services. That’s more than an 83% decrease from the country’s peak in early January, when more than 136,000 Americans were hospitalized with the virus.

    But with uneven vaccination rates across the US, some hospitals are still struggling amid recent upticks in Covid-19 patients — almost all of whom are unvaccinated — and worry about another surge fueled by summer gatherings.

    Some hospitals still see surge of patients
    “If you’re here sick with Covid, you’ve not been vaccinated,” he said. “We’ve had one person who had been vaccinated that I can think of off the top of my head.”

    It’s a pattern other hospitals have noted, too. In Alabama, Magadia said close to 95% of patients hospitalized because of Covid-19 since vaccinations began have been unvaccinated.
    “It’s really a compelling point that vaccines work,” Magadia said.

    In central Oregon, Dr. Jeff Absalon, the chief physician executive for the St. Charles Health System, said they are still “in the middle of a surge of Covid patients.”
    Roughly 98% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients since March have been unvaccinated.

    “We have spent a few weeks near our highest point recently,” he said. “We’re still in the thick of the pandemic.”

    Naomi Wolf is a Plague Rat, a member of the Friends of Covid-19 virus fan club.

    Here in Realityland, the Covid-19 pandemic is winding down with hospitalized patients in the USA down 83% from a few months ago.
    The vast majority of people infected now are antivaxxers (or at least unvaccinated).
    In Alabama it is 95%.
    In Oregon it is 98%.
    In the USA as a whole, 99% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients are unvaccinated.
    The only reason we still have 22,000 patients hospitalized, 10% of whom will die, and the reason the pandemic is continuing is…the antivaxxers like Naomi Wolf.

    Over 99% Hospitalized 2021 COVID Patients Unvaccinatedhttps://www.webmd.com › … › News

    May 13, 2021 — A new study found that more than 99% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 during the first four months of 2021 weren’t fully vaccinated.

  3. says

    Every time I hear something like this, I’m glad I’ve declined to wade through the cesspool that is social media.

  4. blf says

    Ridana@2, “[S]he thinks Belfast was peaceful in the ’70s?”

    Yes. And that it isn’t now due to 5G: It was amazing to go to Belfast, which does not have 5G, and feel the earth, air, sky, human experience, feel the way it did in the 1970s. Calm, still, peaceful, restful, natural (transcribed by hand). Belfast at the time (April 2020) did have 5G, being one of the earliest locations in the UK to have 5G installed (starting the previous year).

    A frothing-at-the-mouth spittle-flying wobbly-eyed conspiracy loon.

  5. dianne says

    I’m fond of the conspiracy theory that vaccines contain nanoparticles that allow you to travel back in time. My daughter point out that if they did, that would be an advertising point. Though I suppose it could be a weeping angels one way trip situation, which would be less than ideal.

  6. says

    The only reason we still have 22,000 patients hospitalized, 10% of whom will die, and the reason the pandemic is continuing is…the antivaxxers like Naomi Wolf.

    Their idiocy wouldn’t flourish without a fertile feeding ground.

  7. blf says

    dianne@6, That’s it! Lets get a Weeping Angel to send Naomi Wolf far into the distant past, where (e.g.) Belfast really doesn’t have 5G and so is calm, etc — say about 66m years ago, when all there would be is the occasional volcano, some dinosaurs, and no pesky fact-checkers.

  8. dianne says

    blf@8: 1970 wouldn’t be far enough? She could see for herself how peaceful it was. OTOH, 66 million years ago she definitely wouldn’t have to worry about contrails.

  9. lotharloo says

    I am afraid to ask but what the hell is she talking about with the cloud tweet?

  10. dianne says

    lotharloo@10: I think it may be a “chemtrails” thing, but don’t really know for sure.

  11. says

    The irony about all the 5G panic is that much of the frequency range used for it is the same range of frequencies used in earlier generation cell phones. The whole point of 5G is that it uses a wider range of frequencies to increase bandwidth, while continuing to use existing cell phone frequencies. The base technology is still the same cell phone concept in use for decades.

  12. blf says

    lotharloo@10, No idea, but two guesses: She’s a chemtrail kook; and (more likely than or) her head is inserted so far up her arse she has a very distorted occasional view of the sky.

    dianne@9, Perhaps a compromise on 1970 BCE (1970 CE is too close to the present, she could do real damage!)? Not too sure, but I think that would still be Iron Age in that locale, and there seems to have been a hill fort possibly then. So perhaps clean breathable smoke in the air from the hearth fires, and being a fort, an occasional calming raid, but certainly no contrails or vaccines, albeit the fact-checkers probably have great big axes and a very low tolerance for dangerous nonsense that could get them killed.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    When trapped in the same room with conspiracy theorists, I feel a sense of revulsion bordering on nausea. I hypothesize CTs are shedding particles called “stupidinos” which threaten to sicken our entire culture. Twitter should investigate.

  14. jrkrideau says

    10 lotharloo
    what the hell is she talking about with the cloud tweet

    Well she is clearly crazy but if you watch a jet contrail long enough it will start dispersing. Given a very vivid imagination and bad eyesight, I suppose you could think it was becoming a cloud.

  15. Reginald Selkirk says

    if you watch a jet contrail long enough it will start dispersing

    That depends on weather conditions – temperature, humidity, wind – at the altitude of the contrail. A contrail could dissipate or grow. There might be conditions where the contrail seeds formation of a cloud in metastable conditions. There is nothing exotic or conspiratorial about this to someone who understands supersaturation and nucleation.

  16. mandrake says

    dianne@9: This is so elementary as to be childish. Everyone knows 66 million years ago there were no high-flying jet aircraft (or piston-powered for that matter) to leave any contrails. That’s just silly. But we do know that the hypersonic-drive propulsion system used by early alien reconnaissance spacecraft would have left a visible chemtrail in the carbon dioxide-rich sky that would have been clearly visible to the naked eye.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Stupidinos are sometimes absorbed by narrativium, creating an unstable isotope of conspirativium.
    If you have enough stupidinos, you may get a runaway chain reaction….like, at a particular escalator in 2015.
    Continued exposure to the particles will kill off neurons or cause mutations (like Eric Trump).

  18. says

    “may you find peace in the clouds”. Not likely. With her big head already there, there really isn’t much room left for peace.

  19. Matt Cramp says

    My favourite Naomi Wolf memory will always be the time she got into an argument with Australia’s chief election expert about whether or not the newly-formed ‘national cabinet’, consisting entirely of elected representatives, was an anti-constitutional subversion of democracy. Wolf was on the ‘pro’ side. She is not Australian, and has no ties or special knowledge of Australia.

  20. says

    @#6, dianne:

    She not only made that claim, but claimed specifically that Apple had access to that technology several years ago. Because nothing says “realistic-sounding theory” like the idea that Apple would have access to time travel and yet would not change, e.g., the insufficient one-year non-compete agreement Microsoft signed when given access to the Mac source code back in the early 80s, letting Jean-Louis Gassee poach OS developers to form Be and then try to blackmail Apple into buying him out to get them back, giving Google’s CEO a demo of the prerelease iPhone so he could use that knowledge to change Android from an unexpandable camera OS into a smartphone OS, or Steve Jobs trying to treat cancer with naturopathy until it was too late. Because it’s totally plausible that an organization with time travel would not use that to fix its many glaring historical errors in judgement.

  21. says

    mandrake @ #18:

    Everyone knows 66 million years ago there were no high-flying jet aircraft (or piston-powered for that matter) to leave any contrails. But we do know that the hypersonic-drive propulsion system used by early alien reconnaissance spacecraft would have left a visible chemtrail in the carbon dioxide-rich sky that would have been clearly visible to the naked eye.

    Where do Xenu’s DC-8s fit in here?

  22. Peter Bollwerk says

    Maybe also worth noting that she used “Dr” as part of her name, when she wasn’t a medical doctor. She has a PhD in philosophy. Seems intentionally misleading.

  23. blf says

    mandrake@18, “Everyone knows 66 million years ago […] the hypersonic-drive propulsion system used by early alien reconnaissance spacecraft would have left a visible chemtrail in the carbon dioxide-rich sky that would have been clearly visible to the naked eye.”

    The mildly deranged penguin claims, from personal observation, that at that time, on Earth, such LAUGH propulsion (Large Alien Ufo Global Hypersonic) was ancient tech and rarely used. Ignoring Tardis and similar, by that time, transmats and similar were in common use — so no need for flying about in the atmosphere — albeit “Scotty” didn’t always respond fast enough to prevent the landing party from becoming dinosaur munchies.

  24. R. L. Foster says

    It is perfectly appropriate for Wolf to use the academic title ‘Dr.’ However, one has to wonder how many of her followers knows that it is for a PhD in English? That’s a fine degree, I am no by means critical of that. (My brother-in-law has a PhD in English. But I certainly don’t go to him for medical advice.) But when she espouses these wacky, pseudo-scientific views on the mRNA vaccines and the uninformed see that Dr. in front of her name they may be gulled into thinking she knows what she’s talking about. She clearly does not.

  25. blf says

    Her massively mistaken 2019 book Outrages (see @1) is based on her doctoral thesis (2015). The thesis, however, was embargoed until this year (2021), and when finally released, had nine pages of corrections. From Naomi Wolf’s Dissertation — Public at Last:

    Tim Hitchcock, professor of digital history at the University of Sussex, whose digital archive the Old Bailey Online contained the records misunderstood by Wolf, said the episode represented a “failure of supervision and examining.” He suggested that the unnamed examiners may have had backgrounds in English literature rather than legal history.

    “It shows that the British doctoral examining system is not as transparent or rigorous as it should be compared with other countries,” Hitchcock told Times Higher Education. “At some level, a doctorate should require a public examination, but that is not really the case here — I’m not sure UK higher education has got this one right.”

    Hitchcock said he was surprised to see the mistakes framed as “minor” corrections. “This looks like tinkering when what was clearly needed was a rethink of how the argument plays out — if your major data source is ill used in this way, the whole argument needs to be rethought,” he said.

    Problems about relying solely on his archive — where descriptions of crimes are often only eight words long — were well-known by historians, who would generally cross-check cases with more extensive parliamentary records, Hitchcock explained.

  26. garnetstar says

    Just goes to show that living in delusion, fantasy, and total detachment from reality, is not confined to those who aren’t “smart”, rich, and educated. A cautionary tale for the rest of us.

    I’ve always wondered, if the company of vaccinated people are so dangerous to the unvaxxed, why not just get vaccinated? Then you won’t be susceptible to their evil shedding, if that’s what you’re so worried about.

    timgueguen @12, I’ve always wondered about that, too. Not only did no one fret about 4G, 3G, etc., no one frets about WiFi, just about the same frequency range, or even radio and broadcast TV, not that much different from the low-frequency microwave region of phones and WiFi. Every single form of wireless communication is in those wavelength regions. In fact, everyone on earth who was born after the wide adoption of radio has lived in a constant bath of this radiation since conception.

    But, as you say, the panic over 5G, when all the former G’s were just fine, is really unusually crazy.

  27. garnetstar says

    blf @29, I’m not surprised. I recently learned of the quality (/s) of Sam Harris’ PhD thesis, and I knew many uneducated chemistry PhDs. So, we see that that degree is, in fact, not a guarantee of anything.

  28. blf says

    garnetstar@30, I have (admittedly slightly vague) memories of people saying goofy things about WiFi.

    And not-as-vague memories of assertions about the horrible things amateur radio (ham radio) antennas did. And CB. And amateur 2 metre-band handhelds. And microwave ovens.

    My favourite (which I know I’ve told before, sorry for the repeat), is from a long time ago, in Silicon Valley. The company I was summer interning at was installing a satellite comms dish (one of the big ones, easily visible). They almost immediately starting getting complaints, TV reception failing, phones not working, etc. The funny thing? The electronics had not yet even been installed! It wasn’t on, and there was nothing to turn on — it was just the dish, cables, and mostly-empty racks.

  29. says

    @#30, garnetstar, and #32, blf:

    Yes, there were people who claimed that WiFi made them sick. I recall reading of a hilarious study in which scientists made a decoy box with an LED on the outside and no other internals, pretended it was a WiFi base station, left an actual base station in a concealed location, and had people who made the claim that WiFi made them ill sit in the room and report when they had symptoms. In each case, the actual base station was left in the same state throughout the test, or turned on/off halfway through without relation to the light on the box. As you might predict, the subjects uniformly claimed to develop symptoms — primarily headaches and nausea, as I recall — when the placebo box LED was on, and to claim alleviation of symptoms when it turned off.

    And I know for sure that there was at least one case of somebody suing a local government for installing WiFi in schools and “exposing children to cancer-causing rays”, because I later actually lived in the town where it happened for a while and met the person who sued.

  30. garnetstar says

    @32 and 33, now I remember that! So, I had to look the frequencies up, and it turns out that WiFi is in the radio-wave region, just like blf’s ham radios and CBs and large, non-functional satellite dish! Those all are not even low-frequency microwaves, like phones are. Radio waves have been bombarding us all since, what, the 1920’s or before? So, the fear of WiFi is extra funny.

    But, don’t tell Naomi Wolf!

  31. dianne says

    Vicar @23: Good point. She’s effectively arguing that Apple isn’t actually a greedy or even self-preserving company.

  32. chrislawson says

    @35–

    Radio waves have been bombarding us since the Big Bang. Another significant milestone was the coalescence of the sun.

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