• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Being ridiculed as a hypocrite for trying to make a small change

 
Posts: 317
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
32
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What is the name for the syndrome whereby if someone says they are doing something to try and make a small difference, they are immediately lambasted by others pointing out that they are not perfect?  Example:

Person A observes that people waiting outside school are leaving their engines idling thus causing pollution.

Person B says it was a warm day they probably wanted to use the air con

Person C supports person A by saying really?  It was 17 degrees C!

Person D says persons A and C have far too much time on their hands and will moan about anything, and they no doubt have central heating and cars themselves so are contributing to the problem.

Person C THINKS they probably have their central heating set far lower than person D but decides not to get into a slanging match.  Actually I did point out my central heating was probably set lower, and then left the group without pointing out I also don't have a tumble dryer and think about every journey I make in my car to see if I can use it more efficiently, etc, etc.

A childcare facility recently announced they were stopping the use of glitter because of the problem of microplastic pollution.  The likes of person D promptly leapt on the report. sneering that the workers and parents no doubt drive  by car to the facility so therefore... what?  They don't actually explain the point they are making.  They're "just saying" and pouring scorn on someone else's small attempts to make things better, because it makes them feel less guilty about their own shortcomings.

But is there a name for it?
 
master steward
Posts: 9066
Location: Pacific Northwest
3394
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think there is, or at least the variety that people us in polics:

Person A: "so and so politician hugged a woman without consent"
Person B: "yeah, but what about so and so who ______ "

I believe it's call "Whatabotism"

....AH-HA! I do believe I found the term!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument, which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would often be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.

 
pollinator
Posts: 2224
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
155
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I believe Paul posted recently about recycling. How what we need is 90% of people doing it imperfectly, rather than aiming for perfection.
 
Hester Winterbourne
Posts: 317
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
32
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Cox wrote:I believe Paul posted recently about recycling. How what we need is 90% of people doing it imperfectly, rather than aiming for perfection.



Or indeed in permaculture, people getting on and working with what they've been given rather than fretting about everything having to be completely free of any lurking toxins from the get-go.

But yeah - Whataboutism!  I love it!
 
master steward
Posts: 4321
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1320
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

In my own life, people are super-interested in belittling me, alleging hypocrisy.. For example, they will make fun of me if they see me wearing shoes.... When they wear shoes all day long every day....

The easiest way to deal with it has been to change my language. For example, these days, I say that "I live habitually barefoot". That leaves room for me to wear shoes sometimes.

I tell people that "I intend" to do things rather than "I am going to". My intention is always honest at the moment that I speak it. If things change later on, then I changed my priorities, i'm not being a hypocrite.

Instead of practicing "No Electronics Sunday", I practice "Minimize Electronics Sunday". Then people can't call me a hypocrite if I answer their phone call on Sunday.

I guess it's easiest for me to live in the messy middle, and proclaim that's exactly where I live. Then zealots can't point out my hypocrisy, because I'm not trying to be perfect, merely to be better than I used to be.

 
pollinator
Posts: 8304
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
643
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have another threat about hedging. I guess hedging is a way to avoid conflict.

There seems to be a lot of one-upmanship where greenness is concerned. I've had people who go at me about some item they think is being wasted at my demolition projects. Why don't I save the lath?  Why are we driving over the little plants? I give them the opportunity to have those things for free and see if they can find a way to make it pay. That usually does it.

One lady saw fit to point out that there were several little bits of plastic in my 40 yard container. She puts every bit of plastic no matter how microscopic, into her plastic recycling.

So I gave her a few numbers. I've recycled somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 tons of building materials. During this process a small amount of stuff was wasted, but without my efforts, all of that stuff would have been wasted. So I think I'm the lesser evil. I told her to contact me after she reaches 10,000 tons.

Joseph has produced tons and tons of organically grown vegetables. But he has probably messed up a few times and didn't do things exactly the way that someone who has grown a few vegetables, would like it done.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
master steward
Posts: 4321
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1320
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dale Hodgins wrote:Joseph has produced tons and tons of organically grown vegetables. But he has probably messed up a few times and didn't do things exactly the way that someone who has grown a few vegetables, would like it done.



Oh my heck yes! Permaculturalists tend to be very critical of me for tilling my fields. The criticism typically comes from someone that is growing something like one parsley plant in a plastic pot, and they spent $30 for materials, seed, and potting mix imported from China. And they have never harvested the parsley, nor made a meal with it.
 
gardener
Posts: 634
Location: Soutwest Ohio
127
rabbit tiny house books food preservation cooking homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My experiences with this were extremely toxic. Very early on before I learned much about permaculture, I was part of a homesteading forum. I would get so excited about when my family would move away from something and start towards a slightly better path. The incident that stood out to me most was when we started transitioning away from soda and pre-packaged foods. Everyone's taste buds were still trained to have things be hypersweet, so we were using a lot of sugar as we slowly weened ourselves off of it rather than trying to cold-turkey.

Another few people on the forum heard how much sugar we went through each month and proceeded to lambast me, more or less implying that I shouldn't bother if I was just going to use that much sugar anyway and giving the impression that if I wasn't all or nothing, I wasn't even trying. I found myself extremely discouraged and doubting if I should even bother continuing to try. Thankfully I don't put a lot of self-worth in the words of others or I might have given up then. As it was I was depressed about it for a long while.

Whatever name it has, I think it is a dangerous viewpoint. Encourage others with ways to further improve rather than trying to nitpick how they aren't doing it all right. If someone gives up plastic bags, but isn't turning off the air conditioner, at least they are taking steps. I'd much rather see everyone taking small steps forward than to discourage them and have them give up altogether. I have to watch that I don't fall prey to it as well. The idea that someone else could be doing it better. We tend to think that if something feels easy for us, it should feel easy for everyone. We nitpick over the small stuff and forget the big picture. Anyway, I am rambling. Point is, if anyone out there is feeling discouraged because someone else says you need to be doing more then know that they are missing the forest for the trees. You have to take the steps you are ready for. That's the only way to move forward. Don't let the nay-saying of others determine your path for you. Grow at your own pace.
 
pioneer
Posts: 952
Location: 4b
152
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I feel like a lesser version of Joseph and Dale. I don't do as much as either of them,  but I have grown and planted hundreds of perennial plants from cuttings and seeds,  grown hundreds of pounds of food,  made hundreds of gallons of biochar, and a number of other things I'm pretty proud of.  I still have people that harass me because i haven't finished some project or other I've started.  Meanwhile,  they come home every day,  eat delivery pizza for dinner and watch 5 hours of TV before bed.  It's like finding some fault with me makes them better than I am when I never wanted it to be a contest in the first place.  I'm just happily doing my own thing and not bothering anyone.
 
pollinator
Posts: 581
Location: Southern Oregon
92
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most of the reasons why my behaviors don't mesh with my beliefs is due to medical and/or mental health issues. It's almost always choosing the lesser of two evils for me. My favorite solution is to not mention things to others that might provoke that response. I don't advocate from a permaculture standpoint for some of the solutions that work for me with these other issues, but if asked from the medical and/or mental health issue, I will share the things that have worked for me. Over time, I'm trying to find more permaculture solutions for some of my issues, but that can't be my only concern. I need to do, what I need to do to be okay. Such is life.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8304
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
643
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The person who never tries, will not fall short in their efforts. So someone watching from the sidelines is able to maintain a perfect record.

Lately, I've listened to a chorus of people, telling me that my efforts in the Philippines will fall flat. Because they have never considered the path I have chosen, mine must be absolutely nuts.

They asked me about what sort of experience I have, running a plantation, when they already know the answer.

I had zero experience when I decided to buy a beachcomb boat and pull logs. I had zero experience when I made the decision to make my living salvaging old buildings.

I do have experience researching things, and then taking action. I don't have a perfect record, because I'm in the game, not on the sidelines.
 
pollinator
Posts: 394
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
88
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fail fast, and fail often.

I've jumped around lots in careers and other life choices, but some things have always been constants for me. Never quit making music. Never pass up an opportunity to watch a sunset. Stop what you're doing and listen to your kid tell you a joke. Walk around outdoors and just look at stuff. Be curious. Ans if you find a way that changing a detail changes a system, pursue it for all you're worth.

As far as doing something new or different that might be a little outside your comfort zone, or challenges some conventional wisdom about the "way things are normally done," we need more of this. Not less. Do it.

I just got notified yesterday that our fledgling biochar enterprise has been awarded a grant to do a pilot project involving a constructed wetland on a dairy farm. This is a big deal and could lead to a wider appreciation of how we could clean up our degraded waterways and sequester carbon at the same time. How freaking cool is that? And if someone wants to sit on the sidelines with their arms crossed and bitch at me over some small detail, I've got nothing for them except to ask what they're doing that's equal or better.
 
Michael Cox
pollinator
Posts: 2224
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
155
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Neal Stephenson, "Diamond Age"
"You know, when I was a young man, hypocrisy was deemed the worst of vices," Finkle-McGraw said. "It was all because of moral relativism. You see, in that sort of a climate, you are not allowed to criticise others--after all, if there is no absolute right and wrong, then what grounds is there for criticism?"

...

"Now, this led to a good deal of general frustration, for people are naturally censorious and love nothing better than to criticise others' shortcomings. And so it was that they seized on hypocrisy and elevated it from a ubiquitous peccadillo into the monarch of all vices. For, you see, even if there is no right and wrong, you can find grounds to criticise another person by contrasting what he has espoused with what he has actually done. In this case, you are not making any judgment whatsoever as to the correctness of his views or the morality of his behaviour--you are merely pointing out that he has said one thing and done another. Virtually all political discourse in the days of my youth was devoted to the ferreting out of hypocrisy.

...

"We take a somewhat different view of hypocrisy," Finkle-McGraw continued. "In the late-twentieth-century Weltanschauung, a hypocrite was someone who espoused high moral views as part of a planned campaign of deception--he never held these beliefs sincerely and routinely violated them in privacy. Of course, most hypocrites are not like that. Most of the time it's a spirit-is-willing, flesh-is-weak sort of thing."

"That we occasionally violate our own stated moral code," Major Napier said, working it through, "does not imply that we are insincere in espousing that code." "Of course not," Finkle-McGraw said. "It's perfectly obvious, really. No one ever said that it was easy to hew to a strict code of conduct. Really, the difficulties involved--the missteps we make along the way--are what make it interesting. The internal, and eternal, struggle, between our base impulses and the rigorous demands of our own moral system is quintessentially human. It is how we conduct ourselves in that struggle that determines how we may in time be judged by a higher power." All three men were quiet for a few moments, chewing mouthfuls of beer or smoke, pondering the matter.

 
pollinator
Posts: 3250
696
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Get into management, then you quickly realize that people often just want to be heard. It does not matter what they are saying, although generally it is negative in nature...they just want to be heard.

My proven method was to listen...yes listen, and not get defensive. Oh I ignored them, but I listened, and that was what they really wanted.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 3250
696
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When a person proposes to do anything, for every positive comment, there will be 19 negative ones. And while there is some merit and sorting out the sound statements from the silly ones, I have just found that it is better to just do what you think you should do, because someone will have a complaint against it.

That is why I seldom chat about "what I plan to do?" Why discuss it? I am a doer, and doing is what I do.

A great example of this is my "BONGTN"...that is my "bridge over nothing, going to nowhere." I did not discuss the design details, I knew what I had, knew what I had for tools to work with, knew what it had to do, and built the silly thing then posted the results on here.

Sadly, to show my stupidity, I get suckered into a lengthy defensive debate on wood rot and longevity? Really? Just say it looks nice and move on, if it is not on your farm, do not worry about how long it will last.

This was not the case in that bridge debate, I was silly on that one, but sometimes I will get into a lengthy defense not so much that I will convince my detractor, but because others reading it might understand why I did something a certain way. But as a doer, that is how I encourage others to do things on their own farm.
 
pollinator
Posts: 210
Location: Utah
50
cat forest garden fungi foraging food preservation bee medical herbs writing greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The little things (like aiming for what you want to hit) are often overlooked. "If you aim for your foot, you can't be blamed for not hitting the stars." For the most part, people aim for their foot because otherwise they could be held responsible for missing.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8304
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
643
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Phil mentioned failing fast. I think it's important to do that, to realize early that it's time to pull the plug.

There's another thread where there's a discussion about sunk cost or the sunk cost fallacy. It's basically throwing good money after bad, or continuing with a lost cause because you've already invested so much.

It's much better to take it on the chin and accept that some things don't work out. Imagine that you decide to plant black walnut but after a few years you realize that your ground is just too boggy and they struggle along. You could wait another hundred years in the hope of it working out fine, but probably better to harvest a few walking sticks and try something different. The much greater failure would be to continue down a dead-end path.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 669
Location: Ontario, Canada
129
homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dale Hodgins wrote:
I had zero experience when I decided to buy a beachcomb boat and pull logs.



I didn't know that about you.  Now I know where I've seen you before.  I used to be a big fan!

 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8304
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
643
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Timothy Markus wrote:

Dale Hodgins wrote:
I had zero experience when I decided to buy a beachcomb boat and pull logs.



I didn't know that about you.  Now I know where I've seen you before.  I used to be a big fan!



My boat was the exact same model that Relic used, but instead of the big 400 turbo charged engine, mine had a little BMW engine from a small car. Instead of being water cooled, it had a huge radiator from a truck with a giant fan. This was great because whenever I got wet, I could sit in the stream of that fan. At one point I had to go into the frigid water with a knife to cut rope away from the propeller. 10 minutes later I was nice and warm.

I did my beachcombing long after the good peeler logs were being barged. I was mostly gathering up pulp that was worth $23 per cubic meter. But there was lots of it. I never once met another Beachcomber on the water, so none of the high drama that we saw in the 1970s TV show.

The boat was so underpowered that I always had to check the direction of tide before taking off to the mill with a couple hundred logs. I was basically just guiding the load. But it was heavy, so it was easy to rip logs off of the beach. The old guy I bought it off showed me how to pull logs and he was terrible at it. Remembering back to the TV show, I wrapped my rope in a manner that allowed the log to spin like a wheel, and they almost always hit the water on the first pull. I would pull a bunch of them, and then hammer dogs into them. Eric would attach the dog and invariably pull it out when he tried to pull the log. I'm not sure how a guy that dumb got so old. The rope came flying in his direction during his first demonstration. The first thing I did was had a really strong cage put on the back of the boat. Several times a rope as big as my arm slapped that cage instead of me.
 
Timothy Markus
master pollinator
Posts: 669
Location: Ontario, Canada
129
homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dale, I don't know how anyone who knows you even a little, could doubt your ability to do anything.  You're like the Red Green of Canada.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8304
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
643
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Timothy Markus wrote:Dale, I don't know how anyone who knows you even a little, could doubt your ability to do anything.  You're like the Red Green of Canada.



Red, is like the Dale of Toronto. He has Toronto, and I consider the rest of the country mine. Many of his props came from a place in Hamilton called mr. Used. My brother wrote the jingle for mr. Used. He bought some of the stuff, but much of it was just borrowed and then brought back to mr. Used. Very green of mr. Green.

I'm not sure what arrangement they had but I'm guessing that if he blew it up, it couldn't be returned.
..........
I had to go back and look at the title to see what we're talking about.

The Red Green character was a man doing his own thing and inventing his own things. Other people and local officialdom of Port Asbestos, would ridicule his efforts. I think that's why the show has gone all over the world, because Red Green does his own thing in his own way and isn't too concerned if everybody thinks he's nuts. I can't believe I brought it around like that to make my ramblings fit this thread so well.
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 9066
Location: Pacific Northwest
3394
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Timothy Markus wrote:Dale, I don't know how anyone who knows you even a little, could doubt your ability to do anything.  You're like the Red Green of Canada.



Another title for Dale! Now he's not only the MacGyver of Permies, he's the Red Green of Canada.


source of his meme
where Dale got his MacGyver Title
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8304
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
643
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been called worse things, thank you Nicole.

My friend is a lawyer who has put in many pro bono hours helping environmental groups and helping to set up new Parkland. Instead of accepting that this is his gift to the community, some people insist that it is some backhanded way of advertising. The only people this introduces him to, are other people who want him to do stuff for free. It doesn't help him at all in his day-to-day work on property deals and immigration stuff. They see a guy doing good things and they look for something to not like about it.

One guy went so far as to say that he had been disbarred, and that this was just something he was doing to fill the time. Completely untrue. He made the time, in a fairly busy schedule.
 
gardener
Posts: 610
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
131
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are names for people like that and the way they complain, but I understood we had to be nice in the Cider Press so I shall go no further....
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!