BassmanBiff t1_iyezslj wrote

Attention is limited, but also fragile. It comes from whatever people are passionate about, and shutting that down just makes people disengage, it doesn't get them fired up about something else -- least of all the thing that was important to whoever shut them down. So it's not a decision about "we have 10 attention, where do we put it," it's about "what generates more attention for us to use in the first place."

It's obviously selfish for people to disengage just because their feelings are hurt, but it's also just how people work whether we like it or not. I think it's important to acknowledge that, stoke whatever passions people have around this topic in general, and then encourage that passion to go further by redirecting it where it can do the most good.

Just policing which topics people get to feel passionate about, telling them to shut up and do better when they choose the wrong ones, doesn't really make anyone active for our preferred cause even if it's objectively more important. It does make us feel good to shout people down, though, by feeling like we're more aware than they are. I think it's very easy to convince ourselves that we're fighting the good fight when we're really just stoking our own ego.


BassmanBiff t1_iyewssd wrote

I was talking about ones we already have.

I'm under no illusion that those will fix anything, or that they're perfectly designed to target large and small companies equally, or that they're somehow more important than addressing our own problems. I'm saying that we can and should do both at once, and whichever front people choose to yell about, they should be encouraged so that we can redirect that energy instead of simply stamping it out whenever people choose the "wrong" issue.


BassmanBiff t1_iye5zxh wrote

It's not either/or. Totally agreed that the best way to fix this is to fix it at home first, and we are trying to do that. But that goes both ways; we can use people yelling about China as leverage to encourage change at home, too.

I think it's self-defeating to only mention either of these problems when we're trying to call somebody a hypocrite for caring about the other one. It just shuts people down, it doesn't encourage them to actually do more. We should encourage people to shout about this stuff so we can redirect it, not simply shut it down because it feels righteous to call out "virtue signaling."


BassmanBiff t1_iye4o3n wrote

Totally agreed that fixing problems at home is probably the best way to start trying to fix problems abroad, but I also don't think they're mutually exclusive. Let's absolutely fix the problems here, but calling it out elsewhere doesn't stop us from doing that.

If anything I think it helps to use China as a mirror to say "Look, we hate this when they do it, so why the fuck are we?"


BassmanBiff t1_iye2fh5 wrote

We should absolutely try to fix it here, but calling it out everywhere is important and doesn't stop us from working on it at home. Import restrictions and slightly better consumer info are about all we can do about China, and while that's obviously not going to fix the problem, it still helps to do it.


BassmanBiff t1_iwp54s3 wrote

The problem is that a lot of the stuff it does give you is straight up wrong, and you have no way to know which parts that is. It's just formatted such that it looks convincing.