Rather than enforce the impossible, recommend the reasonable

Visit the prototype at WorldOfFactsGame.com

"Rather than enforce the impossible, recommend the reasonable"

The title of this blog post comes from a comment on the Facebook thread attached to the previous blog post. Make sure you read the first part and, even better, visit the Facebook page to get the full context.

Sticking to the same topic of COVID-19, this statement echoes what Sweden decided to do. When looking at their cases/death numbers, we can see that the country didn't do that bad even if they chose to recommend reasonable actions rather than impose them. However, they are worse than their neighbors, are now considering stricter regulations...

On the other hand, our societies are complicated... and there are things that, if left to everybody to decide for themselves, can create harm. We can think of simple examples like having no speed limits. Sure, Germany does it on some parts of their highway, but generally speaking, we know we have to "force" people to drive a certain way. But then, what about more complicated things like vaccines? With all the misinformation and fear mongering going around, it seems that if we just let people choose freely, we would be back to a world where children catch measles again...

Speed limits are easy to explain; vaccines and their pros and cons are much more complicated. And in that case, just recommending the reasonable doesn't work as we lose the herd immunity effect if we don't get enough people to be reasonable. I.E. vaccines are an example where, even if reasonable people all do the right thing, the positive effects wouldn't be as strong if not "forced" on the overall population.

Visit the prototype at WorldOfFactsGame.com

How does this relate to the World of Facts approach?

The principle of 'recommending the reasonable rather than enforcing the impossible' touches on so many aspects tied directly, and indirectly, to facts. We all live in a shared world where whatever is true is true, regardless of people's opinions. At the same time, it is true that not everyone agrees on what is true. Therefore, we need to take into account both what is OBJECTIVE and SUBJECTIVE when trying to come up with policy making decisions. 

Sticking to just what the facts isn't enough. We need to look at how the population as a whole reacts to certain facts and continue to try to spread such facts, without losing sight of the fact that there is competition. Sadly, this competition is often faster and more appealing. It takes much less time to create a flashy YouTube videos trying to scare people into not getting vaccines than it takes to explain decades of complicated research and development that yielded vaccines with imperfect results and imperfect safety. In other words, nuanced views that weight the pros and cons of an approach are less catchy and more difficult to make than a black-and-white simplistic interpretation of the same situation.

How can we improve the situation?

Visit the prototype at WorldOfFactsGame.com