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A Coyote In Sheep’s Clothing: The Greenwashing Of The Sharing Economy

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A story trapped within a story trapped within a story. A few years ago, I successfully crowdfunded the start of a peer-to-peer staffing network that would allow freelance hospitality staff to solicit their expertise directly to clients without being hired by nefarious staffing agencies.

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The research into “new” and “sharing” and “peer-to-peer” economies was fascinating and undoubtedly evolutionary in scope. Although organizations such as Couchsurfing and WWOOF (WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms) kept the grassroots, relatively cost-free foundations of early sharing-economy principles in place, the inevitable was about to happen in the money economy. As the global economy receded in 2008 and subsequent industries collapsed, a global “sharing” economy was born out of its ashes.

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The sharing economy, as it’s come to be known, has been around since before the word economy existed. The word economy literally means the “management” of the “household.” It preceded monetary economies. It preceded financial institutions and debt, as it has come to exist. It could also be said it was the basis for communal solidarity and resilience before monetized economies and scarcity began to empower the individual and disregard the community.

And so in the west we have come full circle, with many emerging companies whose foundations of disintermediation create or strengthen community and offer people an opportunity to make money where they otherwise couldn’t previously. None of these things are inherently bad, but when we don’t question how a new economy works, only that it works, we inevitably fall deeper into a story that we consider ourselves to be escaping.

A Different Business Model

The business model I created attempted to remedy the increasing disparity in the hospitality catering world between staffing agencies and staff. So I imagined a website that could do what the agencies did, independent of administrative personnel and “finders’ fees.” I realized at the same time that simply paying people more to work the same job does not necessarily remedy the acute vapidity or abuse of their work, it just makes it more palatable. As seems to be the case for a large majority of peer-to-peer networks that tend to stylize the sharing economy, the agency middlemen defend their role as facilitators by taking up to 70% of the staff’s wages charged to the client, at least in the case of hospitality staff in Toronto.

That being said, it’s no wonder alternatives are arising. Similar alternatives have popped up for other freelance workers as well, usually in tech and design. Although these models follow similar styles as AirBnB and Uber in creating safe networks and allowing peer reviews, none of the models implement safeguards to ensure safer work environments, higher pay rates, guaranteed pay rates, etc.

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In fact, the models do the opposite of the story of innovation and sharing and disintermediation that they are so quick to espouse. The online models replacing the traditional middlemen instead allow competition to such an extent that the price of one’s work is affected by a “race-to-the-bottom.” (“Because the competition is offering the same service for less, they will probably have more business, so then I should lower my prices too.”) Not to mention the considerable project revisions that can be demanded pro bono just so a user can retain a positive review. These consequences should come as no surprise when longterm, unpaid internships, which often don’t result in paid work, have become the norm in the corporate and non-corporate work world alike.

Today you can hire someone online to micro-manage your week for you, although most people require simple tasks completed. Fiverr is the big one, where people can sign up and hire designers for any variety of micro-projects, starting at $5. As if this outsourcing of work isn’t enough, there has to be Fourerr, which is a laughable, albeit sad declaration of the race to the bottom. And don’t forget, most of these peer-to-peer job networks take a 20% commission.

Larger project-based online job networks like Guru and UpWork so opaquely try to represent themselves as the cutting edge of next generation work (so says their pretentious names). But that’s just it. These platforms are exactly that — an evolution of the same system that came before it, just more efficient. But it does absolutely nothing for the world when a more efficient model is presented, especially when it’s based on grandfathered principles. What good does it do to make a runaway train more efficient? What it does do is dress the emperor in new clothes. But the ugly truth is that he’s still naked.

Of course, things are never so black and white. Share-washing is a term coined to describe the greenwashing of the sharing economy.

Somehow a person who decides to become a short-term landlord is suddenly helping the world by renting their spare room to complete strangers. It doesn’t mean they suddenly contribute something revolutionary to the world. What it does mean is that they are being convinced that is the case.

Somehow they are not a capitalist, not a slumlord, not exacerbating an economy in protracted collapse, but rather the angels and creators of a more beautiful world. Marketing also convinces them of this with redemptive, but equally vague catch phrases such as “open source,” “gift economics,” and my personal favourite, “collaborative consumption.” Still, things are not so black and white. Many organizations and networks have bred a more beautiful world without the necessity of monetized interactions. Let’s contrast the angels and demons.

Couchsurfing is a great example of a grassroots, community-building introduction to a peer-to-peer sharing economy. Essentially, it is a social network, much like Facebook, that allows users to register, build a profile, and engage with people from all over the world to either host travellers in their homes or to solicit hosts for a couch to sleep on. The organization charges a fee to register as a verified member, enhancing security, but other than that, it is not only free to use, but policies demand that no money is exchanged for the use of one’s couch. It is free, yes, but there is a sort of unspoken responsibility among couchsurfers that they at least offer to buy or cook the host dinner and share stories, skills, and ideas.

Those who might flip this around and see their responsibility as an obligation perhaps don’t understand the generosity and otherwise unnecessary need to offer a stranger a place to sleep for the night, because as you might be able to glimpse, it can be much more than that. I’ve been a member for a long time and it is an amazing way not only to meet new people, but new cultures, in a way that removes one from the cultural concept of strangers, and brings them together in an inter-cultural space that demands something of them, and not their wallets.

Often when I explained to my parents or friends that I would be staying on a stranger’s couch or hosting someone in the same way, their fears would be curled up around their curiosity, demanding that their worldviews on the dangers of strangers be somehow accommodated. They never were. But for their ilk a slightly similar website emerged that not only brought the idea out of alternative lifestyles, but monetized it. AirBnB has become a household name. The website allows people to rent out spare rooms and whole apartments to strangers. For those who can’t afford to stay in hotels, and those who desire income, AirBnB is a perfect match. While this new platform certainly undercuts the revenue of local hotels, AirBnB provides work and money for people who otherwise might not have any. Much in the vein of couchsurfing, AirBnB hosts and guests often have an opportunity to bridge cultural valleys, learning and interacting in ways that eclipse the capacities of museums, cultural centres, and day tours to educate.

The AirBnB model has had incredible success spreading wealth that was once consolidated in the hands of corporations and agencies and allowing it to funnel into the hands of the average citizen. While this, coupled with the capacity to create inter-cultural dialogues and bridges, is amazing, there is certainly a side to this coin that most people don’t want to acknowledge. In allowing people to utilize their homes and rental units, they don’t just allow them to increase their income, but by default turns them into landlords. It also encourages people to obtain more properties as a means for extra, and often easy, money. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to own property in 21st century North America without a lifelong mortgage, “innovation” sings the song that now everyone can become a landlord. This model has kept unemployed people from becoming homeless and employed people a little bit more financially secure, but only at the cost of their tenants. AirBnB hosts have become the proletariat Marriott, the friendly, average Joe version of Donald Trump. By monetizing the model that couchsurfing started, AirBnB has not solved the increasingly dangerous rent problem in North America, it has exacerbated it tenfold by saying “why risk permanent tenancy when you too could be a landlord?” It is simply an extension of the capitalist model in the face of its own collapse.

Uber is a similar example. Take a profession that requires multiple licenses, shady intermediaries, often negative public opinion, and offer a somewhat de-regulated, cheaper version of the same thing, and suddenly you have a brand new industry worth tens of billions of dollars. An industry which anyone can make money at, as long as they have a nice car and a driver’s license. It is likely that here too, many, many people who might have otherwise gone unemployed now have full-time jobs as drivers. But the reason Uber has become so popular is not because it offers people jobs, or that the public is discouraged with the conventional model of taxis, but because it offers a cheaper service. This alone is why most people use Uber, which is 20% cheaper than taxi cabs on average.

While it varies from city to city and country to country, Uber drivers can often make more money than taxi drivers, when they don’t have to pay for insurance or licensing fees. But while tons of people now have jobs they otherwise wouldn’t, the price of the service is going down, along with all drivers’ income — simply as a direct relation to the amount of competition that now exists. The peer-to-peer economy claims to remove the middlemen, previously agencies and government regulation, and to create new jobs. The flip side of the coin is that it postpones the shrinking of local and global economies because, simply, the prices of these services are cheaper. It is essentially the 21st century version of free trade — that rosy sounding economic style that promised to “develop” all countries to a rich, work-free standard of living, but instead has brought the global economy to its knees, making rich people in rich countries richer, and anyone else not already poor left with the promise of lifelong drudgery.

 The ethos of capitalism as it has come to exist in the modern world is to make more people, so they can buy more things, at cheaper prices, so that inevitably there will be money left over for the next transaction. The peer-to-peer economy is not a socially just revolution of microeconomics and disintermediation — it is the natural consequence of the global capitalist economy trying, in its death throws, to prop itself up and shy away, as efficiently as possible, from its last gasps. And look how it is championed by the liberal and progressive among us.

Leave your dog with a stranger. Rent a car or bicycle from a neighbour. Lend or borrow money (with interest) from a peer investor. Buy used clothing from a friend instead of a second-hand shop. Rent sporting goods from a peer instead of a store. Rent your parking space for the days you don’t use it. This kind of peer-to-peer economics certainly reduces waste and makes local economies much more efficient than they previously were, but what also seems inevitable, is that the praise and proponents of the new economics actually encourages people to monetize, at least potentially, every thing that they own and every service they can offer. A person’s objects no longer exist primarily in relation to ownership or want, but that everything has a resale price attached. The consequences are endless, and unnerving.

The “sharing” economy is so often offered up in quotations because it is obvious that sharing something does not and never did mean putting a price tag on sharing. The bright side is that there are social networks and organizations whose word is bond and offer up platforms and meeting spaces where things not only don’t have to be monetized — what a concept! — but aren’t monetized. Couchsurfing, online barter and “freecycling” networks, tool-lending libraries, seed libraries, book libraries, and carpooling are all great and sometimes timeless examples of how we can start to tell stories that might include money in some fashion, but not as the foundation through which the interaction unfolds.

The culture of innovation for entrepreneurs today has become a caricature, with very few stones left unturned in order to find a way to justify monetizing a new idea. Young people dressing up in their blazers and v-neck t-shirts, paying money to attend “salons” and “unconferences” and get certified as a life coach at 30 (the irony!), so they can then charge for their own salons and certification programs. Don’t get me wrong — everyone needs to make money, pay rent or a mortgage, and so on. But saying that is what everyone needs is also saying that it has always been this way, which is one of the hallmarks of the story of western civilization. If you convince someone that it has always been this way, then how could it ever be otherwise?

So in the face of western culture rotting from its core comes the rush to create new technologies and bandaids masquerading as solutions. Still, people need narrative. And so with the share-washing of business, otherwise known as business innovation, is it really any surprise that conferences and salons always begin with some organizer pitching a story — something relatable, something hopeful, something that hinges on a world much unlike their own? But the guests in the audience, even with their inspiration lit, conscious of it or not, are there to build something they can sell to others, and without even knowing they are being sold the same. old. story.

A story trapped within a story, that is ironically enough, trying to tell a different story.

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Florida Education Minister Urges Schools To Drop Mask Mandates

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said schools should make mask-wearing voluntary in the 2021-2022 school year, stating that they should simply be optional.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is one narrative being pushed hard, while the other is being heavily ridiculed and labelled as "dangerous" by mainstream media and government?

Before you begin...

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What Happened: Earlier this week, Florida’s education commissioner directed all schools to drop mask mandates for the next school year because, according to him, they are not necessary and can simply be an optional measure for students and parents. According to him, mask policies “do not impact the spread of the virus” and they “may impede instruction” for some students. The decision is not up to him, however, as each individual district will ultimately decide whether or not they want to impose mask mandes for next school year.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently convened a round table on public health. At that discussion, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Dr. Jay Bhattacharya stated that “masks have not only been not effective but have been harmful.”

The video of this discussion was removed from YouTube, and then ridiculed hard by mainstream media. This has been a big problem throughout this pandemic. We have big tech “fact-checkers” going around the internet censoring and removing any kind of narrative that does not fit within the framework or narrative that government health authorities are telling us. If things were so obvious, why would they need to censor world renowned experts?  It’s been a common theme, and Bhattacharya is one of many who have been subjected to this type of treatment.

He’s one of the three initiators of The Great Barrington Declaration. The other two are  Dr. Sunetra Gupta, PhD Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist. You can watch an interesting discussion with all three of them here if interested.

Bhattacharya responded to the criticism in a recent piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stating the following:

I attended a public-policy roundtable hosted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last month. The point was to discuss the state’s Covid policies in the months ahead. That 600,000 Americans have died with Covid-19 is evidence that the lockdowns over the past year, including significant restrictions on the lives of children, haven’t worked. Florida reopened in May and declined to shut down again. Yet age-adjusted mortality is lower in Florida than in locked-down California, and Florida’s public schools are almost all open, while California’s aren’t.

My fellow panelists—Sunetra Gupta of Oxford, Martin Kulldorff of Harvard and Scott Atlas of Stanford—and I discussed a variety of topics. One was the wisdom of requiring children to wear masks. The press asked questions, and a video of the event was posted on YouTube by local media, including Tampa’s WTSP.

But last week YouTube removed a recording of this routine policy discussion from its website. The company claimed my fellow panel members and I were trafficking in misinformation. The company said it removed the video “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Yet the panelists are all experts, and all spoke against requiring children to wear masks. I can’t speak for my counterparts, but my reasoning was a cost-benefit analysis. The benefits of masking children are small to none; the costs are much higher.

The scientific evidence is clear.

He then goes on to cite site some science.

Kari Stefansson, senior author of a study  study from Iceland conducted early in the epidemic when masking was uncommon showing that incidents of covid in children is far less than adults, stated that children are “less likely to get infected than adults and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults.”

According to Bhattacharya, “many studies in the scientific literature reach a similar conclusion: Even unmasked children pose less of a risk for disease spread than adults.”

For example, Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute wrote letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

You can read more about this specific story here, as he has quit his research due to the harassment he received for simply presenting data.

Why This Is Important: So, there are the points made above, and then there are papers outlining the supposed dangers and ineffectiveness of masks. Many have been published in peer-reviewed scientific/medical journals prior to covid, and during covid.

For example, one paper titled “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis” concludes:

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

I’ve written about a study published in the New England Medical Journal by Harvard doctors that outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection in a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

The papers cited above are a few of many, there are a plethora of them available within the scientific literature.

YES, there are also studies that claim and explain why they believe masks are an effective tool to mitigate the virus, and we know that organizations like the Centres For Disease Control (CDC) deem them to be extremely effective and necessary.  The point is, why are those who point out, explain, and provide evidence and reason for the idea that masks are not effective being heavily censored, vilified, and ridiculed? What’s going on here? Why is proper debate and discussion being completely shut down and why are those who are creating awareness about these issues labelled as “dangerous anti-maskers.” This, in my opinion is quite frankly, insane and completely anti-scientific.

Perhaps I can offer an explanation, it’s because any type of information, data or evidence, no matter how credible, that opposes the measures and narrative of government and big media threatens various business/agendas in these powerful circles. It begs the question, does government and government affiliated health/business really look out for what’s best for its citizens? The covid pandemic has definitely served as a catalyst for more people to ask that question who wouldn’t have prior to the pandemic.

This is just my opinion, but in presenting it I put our platform, Collective Evolution, at risk being punished in various ways for simply sharing it.

The Takeaway: At the end of the day, it’s not about who is right or wrong, the fact that simple discussion and pieces of evidence that change the narrative, or threaten it, is being shut down, censored and completely ridiculed is quite concerning. The mainstream media continues to fail to have appropriate conversations surrounding all things covid while forcing their narrative on the public. This in turn has created a great divide among the citizenry when really, we should all be coming together and respecting everybody’s decision to act as they please.

When things are not so cut and dry, it’s questionable whether or not we should really give governments the ability to control our lives in the manner they have done with this pandemic.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –

 Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open. Taken from his published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.”

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Ontario, Canada To Impose Stricter Measures: Lockdown & Stay At Home Orders Are Not Working

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ontario (Canada) government is set to impose even more restrictions and enforcement on the citizenry despite already being in lockdown and stay at home order mode. The announcement will be made this afternoon.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do governments continue to ignore the vast amount of research and data that's been published showing lockdowns and other restrictions do nothing to stop the spread of covid, and are probably doing more harm than covid?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What Happened: Ontario, Canada is and has been well into a province wide lockdown and stay at home order. Most businesses, if not already permanently closed from going out of business, have been reduced to curb side pick-ups only, while essential stores, like grocery stores, have remained open. This has been ongoing, on and off, as all of you know for more than one year now.

This afternoon, the government is set to announce even more restrictions.

According to CTV News Toronto,

Sources tell CTV News Toronto and CP24 the latest data, which is expected to be released on Friday, shows that based on Ontario’s current trends there could be between 12,000 to 18,000 new daily infections by the end of May, with up to 1,800 patients in intensive care. The measures under consideration include shutting down construction to just critical infrastructure projects and placing limits on non-essential manufacturing and warehousing. Additional restrictions on religious services are also being considered by cabinet.

Ontario is also considering more enforcement with regards to fines for those who disobey rules, and perhaps shutting down curb side pick-ups of some non-essential retailers.

Cases, however, are still accelerating exponentially. A lot of “fear-mongering” and concern is being raised by government public health officials, doctors and scientists. On the other hand, you have a number of doctors and scientists who are not as concerned, explaining that the number of cases, and rising case numbers are not as big of a threat as it’s being made to be, especially given the fact that infection can provide an immunity that is stronger than the supposed immunity a vaccine can provide. They have also been pointing out that we are dealing with a virus that has a very low mortality rate, 99.95 percent and higher for people under the age of 70, to be exact.

Many in the field have been creating awareness around the catastrophic impacts of lockdowns, providing data showing that lockdown measures around the globe may have already killed more people than covid itself, and will have lasting impacts for years to come while they affect most aspects of humanity. Furthermore, they’ve also presented a wealth of data showing that lockdowns are not effective at all at stopping the spread of the virus, that they are, essentially, useless.

This is quite confusing, if lockdowns and restrictions do nothing to curb the spread, why is government, especially the Ontario government, acting like they are effective and necessary tools? Why do they also completely ignore the idea that lockdowns may be completely ineffective and more harmful? This is a discussion that has not at all been had within the mainstream, and renowned experts in the field who are presenting this data have been completely ignored, censored and in many cases ridiculed.

Another point that’s being used to justify restriction measures is the fact that hospitals in Ontario are at capacity, and ICUs are full. This has always been a concern in many countries, especially in Ontario, Canada. For example, in 2017 more than 50 percent of hospitals in Ontario were above 100 percent capacity. There are examples all over the world for the past decade. That being said, is covid adding to this, or is it simply something we’ve always seen in hospitals? Is the only difference big media coverage?

Why This Is Important: Sure, many people might agree with lockdowns and other mandates. It’s hard to hear, however, the Ontario government constantly blaming portions of the population for the fact that they are not being effective, without ever considering, as again something that’s been shown time and time again in several countries, that lockdowns are simply not effective in stopping the spread. If this is the case, it renders lockdowns useless and paints a bad picture for government, which would be the fact that they’ve done nothing but put people in harm’s way.

In the case of covid, it’s quite clear that people of all backgrounds and professions are split. You even have world renowned experts in the field split on these issues, with many opposing and supporting measures. This as a result has many people confused, and it begs the question, should government really have the authority to put mandates into place that restrict our movement, rights and freedoms? Is this really about the virus, or about the benefits that big tech, health and government will reap and have been reaping from this pandemic? When measures go against the will of so many people, should government not be allowed to mandate such measures and instead, present their science and make recommendations to people, leaving them the choice to act in ways they see fit? Are we living in an age where government and big tech are doing the thinking for us, telling us what is and isn’t and trying to control our lives more and more every single year? How do we stop this? Why do we continue to comply? One thing is certain, covid has been a great catalyst for more and more people to really question what type of world we are currently living in.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Renowned Professors Explain The Harms of Lockdowns & The Dangers of Censorship

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Two Ontario doctors recently hosted a video conference with three renowned infectious disease experts explaining the danger and harms of lockdowns and the censorship of information that we've witnessed during this pandemic.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does the mainstream fail to have conversations about "controversial" topics?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What Happened:  President and Co-Founder of Your Ontario Doctors and frontline physician Dr. Kulvinder Kaur recently sat down with Dr. Richard Schabas, MD, Former Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, Canada, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, Epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, PhD Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist. Bhattacharya, Gupta and Kulldorff were the initiators behind The Great Barrington Declaration.

In the video below they discuss the harms of lockdown and the dangerous of censorship, as well as a path forward. Throughout this pandemic, numerous studies have found that lockdowns have been quite ineffective at stopping the spread of covid. You can access some of those studies and read more about it here for more examples and an in depth discussion. I also recently published an article about two renowned Swedish scientists/epidemiologists who have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid. You can read more about that here.

Obviously, as you probably already know, there is information on both sides of the coin when it comes to all things covid. What doesn’t bode well, however, is the fact that one side is being completely unacknowledged, ignored, and censored within the mainstream. Some experts have not been given a voice, and discussion has been completely shut down. When certain information, data/evidence or opinion goes “against the grain” and gains some sort of “virality” it then seems to be heavily ridiculed within the mainstream and labelled a “conspiracy theory.” It seems mainstream media along with government health authorities don’t even want to entertain the idea of having a discussion with experts who oppose their narrative. They simply continue to push forth their viewpoints and perspective as the ultimate truth.

This type of censorship, and the entire pandemic has truly served as a catalyst for ‘ordinary’ citizens, doctors and scientists to really question what type of world we are currently living in as well as the intentions of government and ‘big health.’ This is a very encouraging thing to see, but what’s more important is that everyday people who disagree with each other really need to start empathizing with each other.

I decided to share the video below because, whether you agree or disagree is not important. What’s important is that everybody in the field gets to share their perspective, openly and freely without being subjected to censorship. What’s happening during this pandemic is quite unfair, immoral, unethical and harmful, which is why it’s so important to share discussions like this.

The Takeaway: Society must have controversial conversations in a meaningful way. We are not getting anywhere by taking authoritarian actions that harm the well being of general society and our ability to stay connected as communities. Mainstream culture is expecting everyone to side with the idea that fringe ‘conspiracy theories’ are undermining truth in society, yet mainstream culture does not want to take responsibility for its role in this phenomenon via censorship and corporate favoritism.

At the end of the day, it’s quite clear that things with regards to the pandemic are not as clear as mainstream media is making them out to be. Lockdowns and other “authoritarian” measures taken by governments, although supported by many people are also heavily opposed by many people. When this is the case and things aren’t as black and white has they are being made out to be, should the government simply not make recommendations and let the people decide for themselves? Should we really give them the authority to put into place such mandates that they have when there are such enormous consequences as a result and when it’s not even clear if they (the mandates) are effective?

People want to thrive, they are tired of being constantly handed the short end of the stick as the rich get richer. It does not take long to look with open eyes and see that government is not working to serve people as much as we’d like to think.

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