Thoughts

Says one thing, does another

People don’t like being told what to do

Created on
Day
27/100
Reading Time
5 mins
Word Count
890 approx.

Global issues like pollution, global warming, privacy, free speech and gun rights, so we have heard. We all know we can do something about it, don’t we? People tends to think they’ll pick The Lesser Evil when there’s an option. But we always choose to act against our own will. In this post, I try to talk about how we contradict ourselves.

We pretend we care for the environment. We try to buy fewer takeaways and want to stop using disposable single-use forks, spoons, or straws. No plastic bags, bring a recycling bag instead. Bring your own cup when buying coffee. Less plastic products, choose reusables when we can. Yeah, we know. The truth is we rarely seen people bring their own lunch boxes, tableware or cups when ordering food or drinks.

Too much friction. You gotta bring those with you and wash them afterwards. Inconvenience. We care for the ocean, sea turtles, and dolphins. Of course we do. By doing nothing?

Many years ago, I tried to ask one of my colleagues to print less and save some paper. The other day, she printed a whole stack of A4 paper and got it printed wrong. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, asking people and tell them what not to do. I learnt my lessons the hard way years ago. Most people won’t listen. I don’t even want to try.

People don’t like being told what to do.

Recently, heat warnings were issued in places all over the world. It’s June, the Summer Solstice has just arrived. The Observatory recorded 34.4°C degrees on 28 June in my area. Pretty much every household turned on their air-conditioning under this hot weather. A fire from high-voltage cables in Yuen Long triggered outages due to high electricity consumption. I’ve read the news, something similar happened in Japan. Yes, it’s very hot. But less CO2 emission, remember? Let’s turn off the air-con and use an electric fan to save some energy. We care about global warming, don’t we?

Only after we suffer, then maybe we’ll learn.

People use decentralized social networks and FLOSS. They care about Open Source, privacy and security. From browsers, OS, VPNs, DNS, Tor, to end-to-end text message encryption. Going through every setting possible to prevent themselves from being tracked. People went through all the troubles, to buy an Android phone and have it deGoogled. Some people have put tremendous effort to share their knowledge. They care about user rights, non-tech people, their family and friends. They’re very learned person, and have my utmost respect.

The way I see it, the core motivation is to preserve one’s privacy. Staying away from Big Techs. Protect ourselves from mass surveillance / monitoring. They clearly are the “bad guys”. You’re so woke. After 300+ hours of research and hard work to set up your own instances / laptops / phones, and yet you got yourselves defeated. Instant subscribed to Disney+ for watching Obi-Wan Kenobi. Paying with your credit card and filling in the blanks willingly and knowingly to one of the Big Techs. “You pay for their services, then you’ll be safe from them.” Is this statement true? I’ve no idea. Maybe I am the only one who sees the contradiction.

Some people have written literally essays to share knowledge/techniques about online privacy. Others are being skeptical regarding the topic. They don’t pay much attention to either their rights or having awareness of the concept. But once they learn why privacy matters, they’ll be haunted by the very idea. It will never go away. Just like Inception.

We all care about free speech and saving democracy. But living in a metropolis is just too expensive. We’re too busy to live a live. No time. We gotta put everything else aside but to think of ourselves first. Ain’t no nothing wrong of wanting to live better, right?

On gun rights, let’s put it simply. Guns are always wrong. “We need a gun to protect ourselves from people who have a gun.” Absolutely no civilian should be allowed to have their hands on any kind of guns, or firearms. You’ve no “rights”, because it’s wrong. End of story. Maybe to vote for a new President, or move to another country for that to happen, I guess?

It seems to me we did very little on matters like mentioned above. We’ll always want to pick The Lesser Evil. I think we probably have forgotten those concerns when it comes to a personal level. Sometimes, we double-dealing on topics like such makes us feel better. We want to make ourselves look more moral and live our lives with values.

In reality, we might find ourselves doing the exact opposite.

So, what is the point?

Does all the talking about climate change, privacy and saving democracy means nothing but fuckery?

People have raised the alarm, and asked for attention. They’re the brave ones. I’ve learnt, never to ask anyone to do anything. You’re not Gandhi nor Confucius. At the very least, establish awareness amongst people you know. Spread the word. Suggest to people, then let them decide. Don’t argue. That’s all we can do for now.

If you’re still with me, pardon my poorly written English. My thought process is a bit chaotic. I’m trying to cover topics beyond my knowledge and ability. Apparently out of my league. 😅 Perhaps, I might want to edit this post later. But the core message I want to convey won’t change.

That’s it.

This is #Day27 of #100DaysToOffload.

Footnotes

  1. The Lesser Evil, a short story from the book The Last Wish written by Andrzej Sapkowski. The story is completely irrelevant, but the title fits here perfectly. ↩︎
  2. The Weather of June 2022 via Hong Kong Observatory. ↩︎