January 25th, 2012

erotically codependent

Today

We finished our poster. Thank fuck. I hope I never have to do that again - at least not in the contrived context of education. I'm fine with teamwork in the workplace but that works a whole lot differently. I guess I'm supposed to have learned something from it, but what I learned is that I'm pretty sure I can do a better job of such things on my own than working in a team, and enjoy the whole process more. As it is, I reckon the poster will pass but I doubt it'll pass well.

Meanhwhile, we learned about the psychology of people's response to climate change - about various values and barriers an interventions that fit with a particular theorist's view of what motivates people based in understanding, belonging, trusting and self-enhancing. There was also some stuff about normative social influence and how it works on individuals' psyches. It was more interesting than I've made it sound.

My question was about the intersection between an altruistic value base (which has been strongly correlated with giving a shit about climate change) and the temporal barrier that humans have in which we tend to overestimate the cost of action now, and underestimate the benefits of action later. Particularly with reference to some of the issues that international negotiators deal with - like, reducing emissions usually means reducing growth, which can lead to people suffering, and the altruist doesn't like this. I wanted to know if there was any work done on the way these two concepts relate to each other in terms of deciding between suffering now vs suffering later as part of international negotiations.

Sadly, I think that was too many concepts all at once and I didn't get an answer. Maybe my question was wrong?

Anyway, one thing he talked about was the way people don't believe that their behaviour has any influence on others, and how wrong that is. And it made me wonder about feedback. You see, the other day I estimated my carbon emissions and looked at ways I could reduce them to the required two tonnes/year. I blogged about it, and I spoke to people in class. On my blog, only one person responded. In class, everyone was really interested and said "I will go home and do that." But I have had no feedback to tell me if my saying "Hey this thing is cool" has caused anyone to change their behaviour, or even go have a look. Consequently I don't know if there's any point in doing these things.

And that, above, is exactly what he's talking about when he describes how people talk themselves out of doing things based on the behaviour of others. I got no feedback so I wonder why I'm bothering, so the word doesn't get spread so nothing happens.

But y'see, I was born with a large forehead and a quixotic attitude to brick walls. So I'm gonna keep doing it anyway. More fool me.

Gosh, that was all a bit negative, wasn't it? I'ma go watch me some SamnDean fanservice - it never fails to clear my head.