↑ comment by jimmy ·
2021-07-07T21:13:56.381Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
You make it sound like I'm not doing anything that's stressful.
I'm not commenting on what fights you pick or how stressful they are, and wouldn't be as presumptuous as to think I know which fights you should be picking.
Let's back up a bit. Your original post asks:
How do you deal emotionally with [people cargo culting COVID-19 defense]? Do you become cynic?
And in a comment further up this chain you say:
I don't see what's so hard about saying: "Please only speak in public transport when necessary to reduce the chance of infecting other people"
This reads more like an expression of frustration about the lack of such messaging, rather than an expression of curiosity about why that message doesn't get pushed by the government.
The answer to your question is that the way I emotionally deal with things like this is to try to notice when I'm getting frustrated and whether getting frustrated is actually going to get me what I want.
I don't see expressions of indignation as a useful tool for improving governance (in this context, at least), so when I think forward about what's it's going to achieve, it kinda kills my motivation to be frustrated at the government. It does require accepting that the government kinda sucks relative to what I would like to see, but they do and I don't see it changing on its own, so it seems worth accepting.
I'd much rather ask "Why" and be curious. When I do, the answer I get is "Oh yeah, it's not actually trivial. Here are the difficulties involved".
To the extent that it's really difficult, it helps explain why the government doesn't "just" do that, which helps to alleviate any sense that the government "shouldn't be fucking up easy things".
To the extent that I realize it's hard for other people but easy (or just achievable) for me, I try to actually go do it and teach others how to do it -- because that's what needs to be done, and apparently there haven't been enough people teaching and doing these things.
To the extent that it seems like it'd actually be easy for other people too and they're still not doing it, then the thread of curiosity has to go deeper and you have to figure out what's causing people to not do things they could and "should" do.
In short, frustration works best as a transient state, and as a sign that something isn't working -- much like tires slipping in a car would be. The way I emotionally handle this kind of thing, to the extent that I handle it well, is by noticing frustrations as signals that what I'm doing isn't working, and redirecting that into curiosity about why things actually are the way they are and how I would like to respond.
That's not true. There are many ways to change government policy without getting directly elected.
"Directly change", not "directly elected". You can certainly influence government policy without getting elected, but I would consider those to be "indirect".
I'm not extroverted and pick different fights then you but it's not like I'm just doing nothing. Given my resources I don't think there's a fight about people speaking in trains that I can effectively fight.
I'm not very extroverted either, so I absolutely get where you're coming from. If that's not a fight you can effectively fight, then it's not a fight you can effectively fight. No pressure from me.
If you're still feeling a conflict between "this should be easy" and "the government isn't doing it", then trying it yourself (or at least figuring out what you'd have to do in order to be effective) might help you figure out why other people aren't doing it effectively either, and that tends to make things emotionally easier.
Maybe it's because you feel like it should be easy for them but not for you?