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Do you recycle? I don't even have the option. (Also incentivizing "green" behavior)

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Posts

  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    The thing I find funny about KFM's argument that recycling is too much of an inconvenience is that he's probably spent more time in this thread typing justifications for his position than he would have spent on a year or two of sorting / returning recyclables.

    Just thought it would be worth pointingthat out.

    Quid
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Calixtus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    It's incredible how you can talk about how you aren't contributing to the very same problem you mention in your exact same post. Again and again and again.

    I never said I'm not contributing. The contribution is just negligible, and in my mind, a tiny, diffused benefit is not worth taking on a personal concentrated cost in most cases. Put another way, the impact of my car on pollution is so tiny that it isn't worth it to not have the car I want in exchange for that tiny benefit, but I would support legislation which prevented cars like mine from being made, because now the cost is more wide spread and the benefit is much greater.
    Neither of these are true statements. The personal cost is exactly the same, and the personal benefit infered by that cost is exactly the same in both scenarios.

    Me paying ten bucks for something, and 40 people paying ten bucks for 40 of something, does not "spread the cost".

    It does as a relative matter. In the first scenario, you are comparatively poorer than the other 39 people. And if we are talking about collective action problems, then we are talking about a benefit which can only be fully realized if a lot of people participate, so the idea would be that having all 40 people make the purchase benefits you and society more than just you making the purchase. If it isn't that type of scenario, then it isn't a collective action problem at all, and is not relevant to this discussion.

    Is answer is essentially: well I like keeping up with the joneses and having nice things, and then a bunch of irrelevant crap. We understand collective action problems; you should understand that your cost and contribution to the problem are the same whether you are legally obligated to recycle or not.

    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    On topic, we recently switched to a crystal cat litter, and are producing much less garbage because of it. Is that helpful to the environment or is it worse since the old litter was just clay?

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    kime on
    PA HotS Group
    Battle.net ID: kime#1822
    3DS Friend Code: 3110-5393-4113
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    rockrngerFoufou
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Calixtus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    It's incredible how you can talk about how you aren't contributing to the very same problem you mention in your exact same post. Again and again and again.

    I never said I'm not contributing. The contribution is just negligible, and in my mind, a tiny, diffused benefit is not worth taking on a personal concentrated cost in most cases. Put another way, the impact of my car on pollution is so tiny that it isn't worth it to not have the car I want in exchange for that tiny benefit, but I would support legislation which prevented cars like mine from being made, because now the cost is more wide spread and the benefit is much greater.
    Neither of these are true statements. The personal cost is exactly the same, and the personal benefit infered by that cost is exactly the same in both scenarios.

    Me paying ten bucks for something, and 40 people paying ten bucks for 40 of something, does not "spread the cost".

    It does as a relative matter. In the first scenario, you are comparatively poorer than the other 39 people. And if we are talking about collective action problems, then we are talking about a benefit which can only be fully realized if a lot of people participate, so the idea would be that having all 40 people make the purchase benefits you and society more than just you making the purchase. If it isn't that type of scenario, then it isn't a collective action problem at all, and is not relevant to this discussion.

    Is answer is essentially: well I like keeping up with the joneses and having nice things, and then a bunch of irrelevant crap. We understand collective action problems; you should understand that your cost and contribution to the problem are the same whether you are legally obligated to recycle or not.

    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    On topic, we recently switched to a crystal cat litter, and are producing much less garbage because of it. Is that helpful to the environment or is it worse since the old litter was just clay?

    I think you don't understand what a collective action problem is. A collective action problem is one where the cost to one actor is so great that a single person won't do it, but if many band together they can afford it. And yet, there are many people who recycle even though they are not forced to! As I said before, "solving pollution" is a collective action problem. Your choice to recycle or not is not a collective action problem. The fact that the cost is essentially the same whether you do it by yourself or everyone does it together means it is not a collective action problem. Just because the results would be better if more people did it does not mean that this is a collective action problem.

    Not recycling is only the "rational" choice in your case if you don't care at all about improving things even incrementally. You have plenty of leisure time and money, so it's not like you'd have to quit your job (or cut back on much of anything) to start recycling. You started this thread with "gee I would like to recycle" and everything after that has been an excuse for why it's too hard, culminating in this idea that you are prevented from doing it unless everyone else does too. That is far removed from "I would like to recycle but can't."

    As for your cat litter, I'm sure you can access a wealth of information on the environmental impact of different types using the same box that allows you to post on these forums.

    steam_sig.png
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    recycling is 'irrational' because it usually costs the individual more to recycle than it does to just throw their waste in a hole in the ground, and even a good samaritan's individual contribution is almost certainly not noticeable compared to that.

    The real problem is that most recycling we commonly do in urban environments only mitigates our use of problematic materials (mostly plastics.) Recycling plastic bottles is a good idea if we must use them, but really we shouldn't use plastic bottles (or any other "disposable" plastics) at all.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
    spacekungfuman
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Calixtus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    It's incredible how you can talk about how you aren't contributing to the very same problem you mention in your exact same post. Again and again and again.

    I never said I'm not contributing. The contribution is just negligible, and in my mind, a tiny, diffused benefit is not worth taking on a personal concentrated cost in most cases. Put another way, the impact of my car on pollution is so tiny that it isn't worth it to not have the car I want in exchange for that tiny benefit, but I would support legislation which prevented cars like mine from being made, because now the cost is more wide spread and the benefit is much greater.
    Neither of these are true statements. The personal cost is exactly the same, and the personal benefit infered by that cost is exactly the same in both scenarios.

    Me paying ten bucks for something, and 40 people paying ten bucks for 40 of something, does not "spread the cost".

    It does as a relative matter. In the first scenario, you are comparatively poorer than the other 39 people. And if we are talking about collective action problems, then we are talking about a benefit which can only be fully realized if a lot of people participate, so the idea would be that having all 40 people make the purchase benefits you and society more than just you making the purchase. If it isn't that type of scenario, then it isn't a collective action problem at all, and is not relevant to this discussion.

    Is answer is essentially: well I like keeping up with the joneses and having nice things, and then a bunch of irrelevant crap. We understand collective action problems; you should understand that your cost and contribution to the problem are the same whether you are legally obligated to recycle or not.

    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    On topic, we recently switched to a crystal cat litter, and are producing much less garbage because of it. Is that helpful to the environment or is it worse since the old litter was just clay?

    I think you don't understand what a collective action problem is. A collective action problem is one where the cost to one actor is so great that a single person won't do it, but if many band together they can afford it. And yet, there are many people who recycle even though they are not forced to! As I said before, "solving pollution" is a collective action problem. Your choice to recycle or not is not a collective action problem. The fact that the cost is essentially the same whether you do it by yourself or everyone does it together means it is not a collective action problem. Just because the results would be better if more people did it does not mean that this is a collective action problem.

    Not recycling is only the "rational" choice in your case if you don't care at all about improving things even incrementally. You have plenty of leisure time and money, so it's not like you'd have to quit your job (or cut back on much of anything) to start recycling. You started this thread with "gee I would like to recycle" and everything after that has been an excuse for why it's too hard, culminating in this idea that you are prevented from doing it unless everyone else does too. That is far removed from "I would like to recycle but can't."

    As for your cat litter, I'm sure you can access a wealth of information on the environmental impact of different types using the same box that allows you to post on these forums.

    I refer you back to my earlier post on the problem of individual impact being a separate problem from that of actually lowering carbon emissions or otherwise actually impacting the world. The individual problem is not a collective action problem, but not also is not meaningful IMO. The big issue is a collective action problem though.
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    The cutoff point between "easy" and "hard" varies between people.

    As evidenced in this very thread.

    The only option to make you change seems to be either to bend over backwards to accommodate you or make your current behaviour illegal. At some point, you're going to have to meet the world halfway.

    And if you're wondering if that could apply to the line of work you're in...

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    The cutoff point between "easy" and "hard" varies between people.

    As evidenced in this very thread.

    The only option to make you change seems to be either to bend over backwards to accommodate you or make your current behaviour illegal. At some point, you're going to have to meet the world halfway.

    And if you're wondering if that could apply to the line of work you're in...

    I would hardly call wanting curbside pick up or public drop sites "bending over backwards."

    I don't understand what you are saying about my line of work.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Personally, I definitely would not recycle if I didn't have curbside pickup.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
    Magic Pink
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
    spacekungfumanJulius
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    False dichotomies are the best dichotomies. What if you could do both?

    The power is yours!

    Lh96QHG.png
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    What you said makes sense, and it seems logically sound, intuitive, and reasonable. But that really only hold if you know what everyone else will do and you know that by being selfish, you won't influence them to be selfish as well. And that is not reasonable. Yeah, you can say "the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want," but that will never happen.

    If you have time, I'd encourage you to read part of this rather well-known (in game theory) book, linked here (in particular, section 3.3 are fairly relevant). There are dozens of studies on this exact situation, let me know if you want more. I'm telling you, despite how logical you think your point is, you are wrong. Even looking at this from a completely selfish point of view, you are better off doing the right thing (recycling). You may not see the benefits in the short term, and honestly you may never directly notice it (because it's hard to compare your current life with might-have-beens), but THIS leads you to the optimal solution. For you, and for society as a whole.

    You know it's the right thing to do morally, and science shows it to be the right thing to do for self-interests as well (despite how unintuitive it is). So why not?

    PA HotS Group
    Battle.net ID: kime#1822
    3DS Friend Code: 3110-5393-4113
    Steam profile
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    What you said makes sense, and it seems logically sound, intuitive, and reasonable. But that really only hold if you know what everyone else will do and you know that by being selfish, you won't influence them to be selfish as well. And that is not reasonable. Yeah, you can say "the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want," but that will never happen.

    If you have time, I'd encourage you to read part of this rather well-known (in game theory) book, linked here (in particular, section 3.3 are fairly relevant). There are dozens of studies on this exact situation, let me know if you want more. I'm telling you, despite how logical you think your point is, you are wrong. Even looking at this from a completely selfish point of view, you are better off doing the right thing (recycling). You may not see the benefits in the short term, and honestly you may never directly notice it (because it's hard to compare your current life with might-have-beens), but THIS leads you to the optimal solution. For you, and for society as a whole.

    You know it's the right thing to do morally, and science shows it to be the right thing to do for self-interests as well (despite how unintuitive it is). So why not?

    I thought that experiment was very interesting, but it is limited by its reliance on a population which has perfect information about all its members actions. In the real world, most people will have no way to know if you recycle or not, and you can even talk about recycling being important while not doing it, signaling that you are a collaborator when you are in fact a defector.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    False dichotomies are the best dichotomies. What if you could do both?

    The power is yours!

    I would still only do the latter.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    I live in Michigan so it's not quite the same as everywhere else...our (pop / beer) cans and bottles have a $.10 deposit, so it's always worth taking those back to the store. We also never chucked batteries, CFL lights, or electronics, but my wife's work would periodically collect those for fundraisers.

    I'll admit that if I didn't have curbside pickup, I probably wouldn't bother to recycle most of the things I recycle now. When I was a kid they would drop a big bin off at the local grocery stores on different days, but I haven't seen one of those in a LONG time. I don't know where I would take the stuff now...I think the city has someplace but I haven't been there.

    When my wife and I lived in our apartment, we threw away our cardboard, jars, milk jugs, cans, etc and didn't think much of it. It was really a surprise when we moved into our house how slowly the garbage would fill up and how quickly our recycle bin would get filled. I don't think I could go back to throwing that stuff in the trash again, but I get why someone would never have gotten in the habit of recycling.

    Hell, now my parents (they only have trash pickup) bring their recyclables and add them to our bin. I figure it's doing some good...

    But yeah, I wish someone got on my ass about how I should be recycling back then. It's a good thing we didn't drink bottled water or much canned food, because that would have been really wasteful.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    False dichotomies are the best dichotomies. What if you could do both?

    The power is yours!

    I would still only do the latter.

    Well that's you're choice, but it's not a particularly noble or endearing one. It's not like he goes up to the HOA and says "I think we should get curbside recycling" and they shoot him in the face because he dropped off some cans at Target earlier that week.

    I mean, come on, Feral.

    Lh96QHG.png
    kimeCalixtus
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    I don't understand how we got back here again. I know it's super fun to pretend like SKFM is some insane conservative goose, who exists solely to ruin our perfect liberal utopia, but the superiority thing is so frustratingly stupid. To sum up again, no one in this thread is a perfect environmentalist, nor are they doing everything they could to better society or even their own community. Everyone, everyday, will make some decision to prioritize their own happiness or the collective well being higher. Sometimes you will chose your own happiness. This applies to everyone. Where people draw the line will be different for everyone. Arguing that where you draw the line is so much more awesome then where someone else draws the line is stupid, unhelpful, and amazingly closed minded. Maybe you prioritize the environment over your own happiness slightly more than SKFM. Guess what, there are probably millions of people who prioritize it even more than you. The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important. Even if the sacrifice is something YOU have deemed to be inconsequential.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I don't understand how we got back here again. I know it's super fun to pretend like SKFM is some insane conservative goose, who exists solely to ruin our perfect liberal utopia, but the superiority thing is so frustratingly stupid. To sum up again, no one in this thread is a perfect environmentalist, nor are they doing everything they could to better society or even their own community. Everyone, everyday, will make some decision to prioritize their own happiness or the collective well being higher. Sometimes you will chose your own happiness. This applies to everyone. Where people draw the line will be different for everyone. Arguing that where you draw the line is so much more awesome then where someone else draws the line is stupid, unhelpful, and amazingly closed minded. Maybe you prioritize the environment over your own happiness slightly more than SKFM. Guess what, there are probably millions of people who prioritize it even more than you. The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important. Even if the sacrifice is something YOU have deemed to be inconsequential.

    It's so adorable when people try to defend certain posters against great injustices that never happened.

    No one really dislikes that SKFM doesn't recycle (I mean they do, but that's not what bothers people). It's the lazy, entitled, and inane reasons he used as justifications as to why he doesn't. My glass had a speck in it, there's no curbside pick up, I don't know how to clean my mug at work, the bottle return is full of dirty hobos and what if they looked at me?!?!

    And now the brilliantly formed "Well he can either recycle or push his HOA, there's absolutely no reason he should or could do both, nor would anyone"

    I mean, recycle, don't recycle. I care, but not so much that I'm going to hold it against someone. But the lazy shit that's being pulled in here really bugs the crap out of me.

    Lh96QHG.png
    zagdrobQuid
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Like I don't think that Space is the cause of all the evil in the world. To be clear.


    But come the fuck on, guys.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I don't understand how we got back here again. I know it's super fun to pretend like SKFM is some insane conservative goose, who exists solely to ruin our perfect liberal utopia, but the superiority thing is so frustratingly stupid. To sum up again, no one in this thread is a perfect environmentalist, nor are they doing everything they could to better society or even their own community. Everyone, everyday, will make some decision to prioritize their own happiness or the collective well being higher. Sometimes you will chose your own happiness. This applies to everyone. Where people draw the line will be different for everyone. Arguing that where you draw the line is so much more awesome then where someone else draws the line is stupid, unhelpful, and amazingly closed minded. Maybe you prioritize the environment over your own happiness slightly more than SKFM. Guess what, there are probably millions of people who prioritize it even more than you. The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important. Even if the sacrifice is something YOU have deemed to be inconsequential.

    It's so adorable when people try to defend certain posters against great injustices that never happened.

    No one really dislikes that SKFM doesn't recycle (I mean they do, but that's not what bothers people). It's the lazy, entitled, and inane reasons he used as justifications as to why he doesn't. My glass had a speck in it, there's no curbside pick up, I don't know how to clean my mug at work, the bottle return is full of dirty hobos and what if they looked at me?!?!

    And now the brilliantly formed "Well he can either recycle or push his HOA, there's absolutely no reason he should or could do both, nor would anyone"

    I mean, recycle, don't recycle. I care, but not so much that I'm going to hold it against someone. But the lazy shit that's being pulled in here really bugs the crap out of me.

    The bolded is exactly what I am talking about. YOU have decided that his reasons are lazy, entitled, and inane. Maybe he isn't you. Maybe you aren't the end all be all of deciding what is or is not a good reason to not recycle. I mean there are almost certainly hardcore environmentalists who look at your life and think exactly the same thing. That you aren't doing enough, and that your pathetic reasons for not doing more are laughable. The reality is people are different, and will prioritize things like the environment vs happiness differently. Instead of trying to change their perspectives, we should be changing the calculation. As in, if we made recycling easier then maybe they would stop putting happiness first, because the lost happiness is much less.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that what got him to change was a discussion of reasonable alternatives. SKFM seems very pragmatic (by his own admission), so presented with a solution that meet his priorities he decided to make a change. Had the solution not lived up to his priories I seriously doubt we could have badgered him in to doing anything. Case in point, he still will not be driving his recycling to some remote drop off location despite the several pages of posters informing him how stupid they find that to be.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Jebus, SKFM stated the reason he doesn't use bottle returns at stores is because he could possibly be within close proximity to homeless people. AMan is not exaggerating.

    wpyz0Y5.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
    AManFromEarthzagdrobSo It Goes
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Calixtus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    It's incredible how you can talk about how you aren't contributing to the very same problem you mention in your exact same post. Again and again and again.

    I never said I'm not contributing. The contribution is just negligible, and in my mind, a tiny, diffused benefit is not worth taking on a personal concentrated cost in most cases. Put another way, the impact of my car on pollution is so tiny that it isn't worth it to not have the car I want in exchange for that tiny benefit, but I would support legislation which prevented cars like mine from being made, because now the cost is more wide spread and the benefit is much greater.
    Neither of these are true statements. The personal cost is exactly the same, and the personal benefit infered by that cost is exactly the same in both scenarios.

    Me paying ten bucks for something, and 40 people paying ten bucks for 40 of something, does not "spread the cost".

    It does as a relative matter. In the first scenario, you are comparatively poorer than the other 39 people. And if we are talking about collective action problems, then we are talking about a benefit which can only be fully realized if a lot of people participate, so the idea would be that having all 40 people make the purchase benefits you and society more than just you making the purchase. If it isn't that type of scenario, then it isn't a collective action problem at all, and is not relevant to this discussion.

    Is answer is essentially: well I like keeping up with the joneses and having nice things, and then a bunch of irrelevant crap. We understand collective action problems; you should understand that your cost and contribution to the problem are the same whether you are legally obligated to recycle or not.

    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    On topic, we recently switched to a crystal cat litter, and are producing much less garbage because of it. Is that helpful to the environment or is it worse since the old litter was just clay?

    I think you don't understand what a collective action problem is. A collective action problem is one where the cost to one actor is so great that a single person won't do it, but if many band together they can afford it. And yet, there are many people who recycle even though they are not forced to! As I said before, "solving pollution" is a collective action problem. Your choice to recycle or not is not a collective action problem. The fact that the cost is essentially the same whether you do it by yourself or everyone does it together means it is not a collective action problem. Just because the results would be better if more people did it does not mean that this is a collective action problem.

    Not recycling is only the "rational" choice in your case if you don't care at all about improving things even incrementally. You have plenty of leisure time and money, so it's not like you'd have to quit your job (or cut back on much of anything) to start recycling. You started this thread with "gee I would like to recycle" and everything after that has been an excuse for why it's too hard, culminating in this idea that you are prevented from doing it unless everyone else does too. That is far removed from "I would like to recycle but can't."

    As for your cat litter, I'm sure you can access a wealth of information on the environmental impact of different types using the same box that allows you to post on these forums.

    I refer you back to my earlier post on the problem of individual impact being a separate problem from that of actually lowering carbon emissions or otherwise actually impacting the world. The individual problem is not a collective action problem, but not also is not meaningful IMO. The big issue is a collective action problem though.
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    No, you aren't. You've spent the last few pages defending your stance on doing nothing because you want to keep up with the Joneses' and that doing any recycling would be doing "harm" to yourself.
    Feral wrote: »
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    That'd require effort on space's part. Why do you want to doom him by not spending another five minutes driving his sports car? Have you no shame?
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    What you said makes sense, and it seems logically sound, intuitive, and reasonable. But that really only hold if you know what everyone else will do and you know that by being selfish, you won't influence them to be selfish as well. And that is not reasonable. Yeah, you can say "the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want," but that will never happen.

    If you have time, I'd encourage you to read part of this rather well-known (in game theory) book, linked here (in particular, section 3.3 are fairly relevant). There are dozens of studies on this exact situation, let me know if you want more. I'm telling you, despite how logical you think your point is, you are wrong. Even looking at this from a completely selfish point of view, you are better off doing the right thing (recycling). You may not see the benefits in the short term, and honestly you may never directly notice it (because it's hard to compare your current life with might-have-beens), but THIS leads you to the optimal solution. For you, and for society as a whole.

    You know it's the right thing to do morally, and science shows it to be the right thing to do for self-interests as well (despite how unintuitive it is). So why not?

    I thought that experiment was very interesting, but it is limited by its reliance on a population which has perfect information about all its members actions. In the real world, most people will have no way to know if you recycle or not, and you can even talk about recycling being important while not doing it, signaling that you are a collaborator when you are in fact a defector.

    "Collaborator?" "Defector?" You're not in a spy movie. Why do you care whether people know whether you recycle or not? Who gives a shit?

    Harry Dresden on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I don't understand how we got back here again. I know it's super fun to pretend like SKFM is some insane conservative goose, who exists solely to ruin our perfect liberal utopia, but the superiority thing is so frustratingly stupid. To sum up again, no one in this thread is a perfect environmentalist, nor are they doing everything they could to better society or even their own community. Everyone, everyday, will make some decision to prioritize their own happiness or the collective well being higher. Sometimes you will chose your own happiness. This applies to everyone. Where people draw the line will be different for everyone. Arguing that where you draw the line is so much more awesome then where someone else draws the line is stupid, unhelpful, and amazingly closed minded. Maybe you prioritize the environment over your own happiness slightly more than SKFM. Guess what, there are probably millions of people who prioritize it even more than you. The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important. Even if the sacrifice is something YOU have deemed to be inconsequential.

    It's so adorable when people try to defend certain posters against great injustices that never happened.

    No one really dislikes that SKFM doesn't recycle (I mean they do, but that's not what bothers people). It's the lazy, entitled, and inane reasons he used as justifications as to why he doesn't. My glass had a speck in it, there's no curbside pick up, I don't know how to clean my mug at work, the bottle return is full of dirty hobos and what if they looked at me?!?!

    And now the brilliantly formed "Well he can either recycle or push his HOA, there's absolutely no reason he should or could do both, nor would anyone"

    I mean, recycle, don't recycle. I care, but not so much that I'm going to hold it against someone. But the lazy shit that's being pulled in here really bugs the crap out of me.

    The bolded is exactly what I am talking about. YOU have decided that his reasons are lazy, entitled, and inane. Maybe he isn't you. Maybe you aren't the end all be all of deciding what is or is not a good reason to not recycle. I mean there are almost certainly hardcore environmentalists who look at your life and think exactly the same thing. That you aren't doing enough, and that your pathetic reasons for not doing more are laughable. The reality is people are different, and will prioritize things like the environment vs happiness differently. Instead of trying to change their perspectives, we should be changing the calculation. As in, if we made recycling easier then maybe they would stop putting happiness first, because the lost happiness is much less.

    Dude, whatever.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that what got him to change was a discussion of reasonable alternatives. SKFM seems very pragmatic (by his own admission), so presented with a solution that meet his priorities he decided to make a change. Had the solution not lived up to his priories I seriously doubt we could have badgered him in to doing anything. Case in point, he still will not be driving his recycling to some remote drop off location despite the several pages of posters informing him how stupid they find that to be.

    He'd already considered using one.

    He had not started until people pestered him repeatedly to do so.

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Jebus, SKFM stated the reason he doesn't use bottle returns at stores is because he could possibly be within close proximity to homeless people. AMan is not exaggerating.

    I remember that post, and I agree it is pretty sad reason to not use a bottle return. However, I still do not agree that trying to claim the moral high ground and badger SKFM into using the bottle return anyway is at all a reasonable position to hold. It's unhelpful and closed minded. We are not perfect environmentalists on here. We have all made choices that harm the environment because it was more convenient for us. Case in point, I would never use a bottle return because it takes for fucking ever. I might even entertain the idea of simply throwing away soda cans were my curbside recycling to be removed, and I was unable to locate a close by recycling center. To further our environmental goals we should be pushing to change behaviors by changing legislation, ease of recycling, ect... Not trying to convince people that their priorities are dumb. This doesn't preclude that some people may not have all the information necessary to make a decision. Case in point, SKFM found that there was a reasonable alternative to using disposable coffee cups, and thus became more environmentally friendly. Not because we succeeded in changing his priorities, but because we found a way to change the situation.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that what got him to change was a discussion of reasonable alternatives. SKFM seems very pragmatic (by his own admission), so presented with a solution that meet his priorities he decided to make a change. Had the solution not lived up to his priories I seriously doubt we could have badgered him in to doing anything. Case in point, he still will not be driving his recycling to some remote drop off location despite the several pages of posters informing him how stupid they find that to be.

    SKFM isn't as pragmatic as he thinks.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that what got him to change was a discussion of reasonable alternatives. SKFM seems very pragmatic (by his own admission), so presented with a solution that meet his priorities he decided to make a change. Had the solution not lived up to his priories I seriously doubt we could have badgered him in to doing anything. Case in point, he still will not be driving his recycling to some remote drop off location despite the several pages of posters informing him how stupid they find that to be.

    He'd already considered using one.

    He had not started until people pestered him repeatedly to do so.

    No. I decided to try because someone said that they use shitty paper towels at work to clean their mug and it isn't hard. That lines up with my situation, I tried it, and they were right.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

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  • KryhsKryhs Registered User regular
    I used to help with the recycling program at my school, and I cared a lot, but now I just... don't. It's a heinous and selfish attitude but I really can't be bothered to recycle. I'll be dead before it makes a real impact. Again, I'm well aware it's a shitty attitude, but I just don't have a reason to care.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I know I'm not perfect.

    Damned if I'll let that keep me from calling out someone for not doing something because "Oh no hobos!"

    Harry DresdenAManFromEarth
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that what got him to change was a discussion of reasonable alternatives. SKFM seems very pragmatic (by his own admission), so presented with a solution that meet his priorities he decided to make a change. Had the solution not lived up to his priories I seriously doubt we could have badgered him in to doing anything. Case in point, he still will not be driving his recycling to some remote drop off location despite the several pages of posters informing him how stupid they find that to be.

    He'd already considered using one.

    He had not started until people pestered him repeatedly to do so.

    Do you honestly believe that the way to improve societies environmental impact is to convince people that their priorities are wrong? That their complaints are stupid? So maybe the case of SKFM switching to using reusable mugs is murkier. I am not trying to claim that there is no benefit to educating people on the exact consequences of their actions. Maybe if someone fully understands them, they will prioritize the environment slightly higher. I also agree that it is possible to convince people that their concerns are illogical. Hence I agree that we can convince SKFM that their is a benefit to using reusable mugs (which he had already known), and that his concerns were not valid. Thus we can convince him to change his ways. This doesn't change the fact that if anyone chooses to prioritize themselves over the environment, for any reason that isn't objectively false, it serves no purpose to tell them how stupid they are, and how much better of an environmentalist we are.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    The way to achieve environmental goals is not, and never will be, to badger people into sacrificing their own interests to further something YOU perceive as more important.

    This is literally what got SKFM to start using a reusable coffee mug.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that what got him to change was a discussion of reasonable alternatives. SKFM seems very pragmatic (by his own admission), so presented with a solution that meet his priorities he decided to make a change. Had the solution not lived up to his priories I seriously doubt we could have badgered him in to doing anything. Case in point, he still will not be driving his recycling to some remote drop off location despite the several pages of posters informing him how stupid they find that to be.

    He'd already considered using one.

    He had not started until people pestered him repeatedly to do so.

    No. I decided to try because someone said that they use shitty paper towels at work to clean their mug and it isn't hard. That lines up with my situation, I tried it, and they were right.
    Multiple people told you repeatedly that it is easy.

    Though really common sense should have filled that gap for you.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Anyway- SKFM, there's another reason I recommended Target, besides them generally being cleaner and better kept than, say, Wal-Mart. Target has been pushing a big recycling/eco-friendly thing the past few years, so in addition to recycling plastics, they have bins set up where you can get rid of batteries, glass, metal, old cell phones and other electronics, basically anything recyclable smaller than a counter-top appliance. They should serve as a good one-stop recycling drop-off center for you, if you go once every week or so, depending on how quickly stuff piles up.

    DarkPrimus on
    wpyz0Y5.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Do you honestly believe that the way to improve societies environmental impact is to convince people that their priorities are wrong? That their complaints are stupid?

    Convincing people their priorities are wrong is a great way to do it. And if their reasons are stupid then I have no problem saying their reasons are stupid along with an explanation why.

    And I do not see a single person in this thread touting what great environmentalists they are.

    Quid on
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    What you said makes sense, and it seems logically sound, intuitive, and reasonable. But that really only hold if you know what everyone else will do and you know that by being selfish, you won't influence them to be selfish as well. And that is not reasonable. Yeah, you can say "the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want," but that will never happen.

    If you have time, I'd encourage you to read part of this rather well-known (in game theory) book, linked here (in particular, section 3.3 are fairly relevant). There are dozens of studies on this exact situation, let me know if you want more. I'm telling you, despite how logical you think your point is, you are wrong. Even looking at this from a completely selfish point of view, you are better off doing the right thing (recycling). You may not see the benefits in the short term, and honestly you may never directly notice it (because it's hard to compare your current life with might-have-beens), but THIS leads you to the optimal solution. For you, and for society as a whole.

    You know it's the right thing to do morally, and science shows it to be the right thing to do for self-interests as well (despite how unintuitive it is). So why not?

    I thought that experiment was very interesting, but it is limited by its reliance on a population which has perfect information about all its members actions. In the real world, most people will have no way to know if you recycle or not, and you can even talk about recycling being important while not doing it, signaling that you are a collaborator when you are in fact a defector.

    "Collaborator?" "Defector?" You're not in a spy movie. Why do you care whether people know whether you recycle or not? Who gives a shit?

    This was in direct response to the terminology used in paper I linked about the Prisoner's Dilemma. I was hoping that a scientific approach with evidence of exactly what SKFM is describing would help. It didn't, and his reasoning on why it is not the same is not quite right, but I can't really continue the conversation in depth so oh well.

    But his response here was appropriate for the topic, so nothing really to latch on to here :).


    Unrelated question: Is there a way for me to check when the recycling is picked up at my address? I don't know if this sort of thing is commonly found online or what...

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Portland recently moved to collecting garbage only once every two weeks. This reason for this was primarily to save the city money (sanitation dudes get paid), but they've used it as a way to encourage more recycling/composting.

    Basically every residence now has a solid-recyclables container, a food waste/yard debris container, and a regular old trash. They get picked up on a rotating schedule. It pissed everybody off at first (some people presumably are still pissed), but it's also 1) saved money and 2) forced everybody to sort their waste in a way that makes disposal more efficient/environmentally friendly.

    Toronto did this too. We got Green Bins (organic waste), Blue Bins (recyclables) and Black Bins (garbage).

    Turns out, once you've got a separate organic waste and recyclable waste bin, you barely generate any garbage. My family of 5 went from 2 cans a week to 1 can every 2 weeks.

    Etiowsa
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    False dichotomies are the best dichotomies. What if you could do both?

    The power is yours!

    I would still only do the latter.

    Well that's you're choice, but it's not a particularly noble or endearing one. It's not like he goes up to the HOA and says "I think we should get curbside recycling" and they shoot him in the face because he dropped off some cans at Target earlier that week.

    I mean, come on, Feral.

    I have no idea why you're "come on"ing at me or what your "shoot him in the face" statement is supposed to mean.

    Do you honestly believe that people have a moral responsibility to recycle regardless of the inconvenience, and that failure to do so is justification for social shame?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    Of course I understand that, but the whole point is that my contribution (like each individuals) is negligible. Either lots of people change or not enough people so, but either way it is nearly impossible for my choice to be impactful, because the impact is based on large nbers if people, and the difference between large number and large number -1 is negligible. That's the rub. When examined rationally, your individual choices re: collective action problems are nearly never impactful, so the optimal outcome is always to do what is best for you and hope others do not do the same. You can't say you understand collective action problems unless you understand this.

    You basically just perfectly described the prisoners dilemma. When actually examined rationally, an intelligent player that chooses the non-selfish option will benefit more in the long run than someone who chooses the selfish option. *

    (Here, we could consider that to be something like "in the long run acting selfish destroys the planet and you die early," or "the government is forced to put more restrictions on you than you would have if you voluntarily acted selflessly")

    So despite the fact that its a bit unintuitive, you are incorrect when you describe the "optimal" option as being selfish. That is only optimal if you don't think about it long-term or deeply

    *This is true for multiple players playing for an unknown amount of time, which is what we have here. Just in case anyone wanted to check and was initially confused

    The difference is that this is a large numbers game where the best outcome is dependant on a sufficient number of people altering their behavior, and the number needed to change is so large that the chance if you being the deciding factor is essentially zero. Under a situation like this, the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want. Failing that, the best outcome is still to do what you want to, secure in the knowledge that as long as you are not going to be the deciding factor, you will be better off doing what you want, regardless of if enough people change to achieve the desired outcome.

    All of that said, I am not a fully rational actor and I am interested on helping out, even recognizing that the impact is negligible. I'm just not willing to put myself out too much. I think that most people don't put this much thought into it whether or not to recycle, but the outcome is the same: make it easy and many people will do it. Make it hard, and fewer will.

    What you said makes sense, and it seems logically sound, intuitive, and reasonable. But that really only hold if you know what everyone else will do and you know that by being selfish, you won't influence them to be selfish as well. And that is not reasonable. Yeah, you can say "the optimum outcome is for everyone but you to change and you to do what you want," but that will never happen.

    If you have time, I'd encourage you to read part of this rather well-known (in game theory) book, linked here (in particular, section 3.3 are fairly relevant). There are dozens of studies on this exact situation, let me know if you want more. I'm telling you, despite how logical you think your point is, you are wrong. Even looking at this from a completely selfish point of view, you are better off doing the right thing (recycling). You may not see the benefits in the short term, and honestly you may never directly notice it (because it's hard to compare your current life with might-have-beens), but THIS leads you to the optimal solution. For you, and for society as a whole.

    You know it's the right thing to do morally, and science shows it to be the right thing to do for self-interests as well (despite how unintuitive it is). So why not?

    I thought that experiment was very interesting, but it is limited by its reliance on a population which has perfect information about all its members actions. In the real world, most people will have no way to know if you recycle or not, and you can even talk about recycling being important while not doing it, signaling that you are a collaborator when you are in fact a defector.

    "Collaborator?" "Defector?" You're not in a spy movie. Why do you care whether people know whether you recycle or not? Who gives a shit?

    This was in direct response to the terminology used in paper I linked about the Prisoner's Dilemma. I was hoping that a scientific approach with evidence of exactly what SKFM is describing would help. It didn't, and his reasoning on why it is not the same is not quite right, but I can't really continue the conversation in depth so oh well.

    But his response here was appropriate for the topic, so nothing really to latch on to here :).


    Unrelated question: Is there a way for me to check when the recycling is picked up at my address? I don't know if this sort of thing is commonly found online or what...

    In that case...carry on.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    But I generally see problems like this not on an individual scale, but on a social scale.

    As individuals, it is much much much harder to get people to put effort towards doing a moral good, than it is to convince them to refrain from putting effort towards committing a moral evil. The action of a single individual towards a social good is a tiny drop compared to the movement of an entire community (except when that individual serves to inspire and lead the community).

    On a social level, we should endeavor towards making good deeds as convenient and cheap (or free) as possible.

    This is why I stare blankly when libertarians argue that charity should take the place of tax-paid welfare; it's also why I sigh and roll my eyes when people accuse Al Gore of hypocrisy for taking a plane to his talks.

    If I were SKFM, I wouldn't put my effort towards recycling, I'd put my effort towards convincing my HOA to hire recycling pickup.

    False dichotomies are the best dichotomies. What if you could do both?

    The power is yours!

    I would still only do the latter.

    Well that's you're choice, but it's not a particularly noble or endearing one. It's not like he goes up to the HOA and says "I think we should get curbside recycling" and they shoot him in the face because he dropped off some cans at Target earlier that week.

    I mean, come on, Feral.

    I have no idea why you're "come on"ing at me or what your "shoot him in the face" statement is supposed to mean.

    Do you honestly believe that people have a moral responsibility to recycle regardless of the inconvenience, and that failure to do so is justification for social shame?

    Ugh.

    Because you're acting like one can either "recycle at a drop off point when you go to the store" or "lobby HOA" as if they're mutually exclusive. And that's just dumb.

    I'm not really interested in the rest of this post, as you've just invented positions you now want me to either defend or reject.

    Lh96QHG.png
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