Don’t Use Corona to Signal

People are bad at responding to abstract threats. This makes sense if you look at our evolutionary history, when people warmed us about abstract threats, they were probably lying and so the best strategy is to only react in the way the community wants you to, not the way a rational person would react to the (probably not real) threat. Thus, there was a lot of irrationality during the cold war. People believed in a non-trivial chance of dying in a nuclear holocaust, but they didn’t behave as if it was a real threat. The main concern is “how does this make me look to others.” If everyone else were building bomb shelters, you would have done so to, to signal that you are a smart, capable person. If no one is, you aren’t going to, because in your subconscious mind, you don’t really believe it. And you’re concerned it might signal a lack of loyalty, as you aren’t helping anyone else. This also explains why you aren’t signing up for cryonics and why it triggers such hostility from normalf@gs when people do. Logically of course helping yourself isn’t any less altruistic than helping no one at all. But normies aren’t too logical.

I feel like people are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to signal how tough and brave they are, by claiming they aren’t scared of it. In their subconscious mind, they don’t really believe it is real. It reminds me of an old quote I can’t find, something like “how do you know that China exists? For most of you, the answer is ‘I read about it in a book.'”

But it is indeed real, and the 2% reported death rate is massively greater than the death rate of the common flu. And even if you survive, you don’t want that two weeks of misery. Moral of the story: don’t go to Asia. Buy face masks.[ed – actually, they don’t work that well, so don’t.] Whatever non-perishable foodstuffs you already eat, stock up on them. Worst Best case you’ll consume them gradually anyway.

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