"Human intuition is bad at dealing with exponential growth but it’s very good at one thing: not looking weird in front of your peers. It’s so good at this, in fact, that the desire to not look weird will override most incentives."

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@neauoire seems a bit weird...

"Journalists would rather miss out on the biggest story of the decade than stick their neck out with an alarmist article. Traders would rather miss out on billions of dollars of profits. People would rather get sick than be weird."

Most news is nonstop alarmist crap over nothing.

@cancel I'm not sure if clickbait or alarmist is the same, but in this case, it seems to show an example where a failure to extrapolate had the threat under-reported.

Wheat and chessboard problem.

@neauoire hmm.

isn't the advice a bit weird? if it turns out to be a global pandemic that causes civilization to stop functioning, how is a few days of supplies going to help? unlike a localized natural disaster, nobody is going to come to save you.

@neauoire if you're pretty sure that a global pandemic is coming and it will cause civilization to collapse, better advice would be to flee populated areas immediately and try to establish a farm or something. i could also be misunderstanding the article?

@cancel But yeah, if you're a blogger living in the city and you're certain that a global pandemic is at the door. A few days of supplies is not going to cut it.

@cancel I think the article is more interesting on the aspect of reading the signs, than of responding accordingly.

@neauoire @cancel the element that intrigues me is the idea that group panic waxes and wanes. No one wants to be the odd person out so everyone's opinion shifts at the same time, regardless of the actual information coming in

@neauoire @cancel I'm pretty convinced something bad is coming. Perhaps not civilization ending but certainly life altering. The irony is that where I'm at materially the only way to prepare for that is to devote more effort to the system that's leading towards the end, in order to acquire money to buy supplies/land/etc

@neauoire @cancel the question becomes do you prepare collectively or prepare for self-sufficiency

@dualhammers @neauoire @cancel I don't expect A Big Bad Thing.

There will continue to be a series of ignored alarms across narratively unrelated areas: disease, war, water shortages, natural disasters, punishment of outgroups, and eventually confidence in the ability to maintain the system we're using will be undermined by something "bad enough". What that leads to seems likely to be unexpected. Systems really don't want to change though, but it seems like we have "a while".

@cancel yeah, it's a bit underwhelming if you're certain that a pandemic--

@neauoire @cancel he mentioned he could get 1 month of dry goods to ride it out pretty cheaply.

I think the point is there is little cost to preparing for a few weeks of disruption in your normal life, vs not preparing at all and waiting for it to be an emergency.

and pandemic’s in the strict sense is fairly common, 2016 the flu was at pandemic levels.

@peregrine @neauoire @cancel this. It's unlikely that covid-19 will cause the complete breakdown of global civilization. But it now seems likely that over the course of the next year a majority of humanity will be exposed to SARS-CoV-2, about 2-10% of those exposed will get severely ill, and about 1/1000 of the severely ill will die (more like 5% of those over 60). If prepping can help one stay in the uninfected category then it's clearly worth taking a bit of a gamble on. Even just two weeks of bedridden pneumonia is pretty awful, if you're a lucky patient and get to stay home.


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