No Virtue in Virtue Signaling

One of my pet peeves is virtue signaling. You know, the need or obligation to undertake certain actions or refrain from undertaking certain actions to be accepted. That is silliness personified. What’s worse is that hurts people. Particularly people at the lower end of socioeconomic ladder. Let’s take a look a look at an example:

A city where energy production is completely wind or solar or other similar such sources. This appeals to virtue signalers because it shows their ‘green’ credentials and is basically a universal consensus nowadays. I’m not so convinced.

What is the downside you ask?

Well, in my case, trying to build a city in India, any premium I pay over other electricity sources results in fewer people that I can move in. Given the poor housing conditions for many people, this is really a life or death choice. It’s easy for some hipster doofus in the West to make that choice, but look the people in the face in some third world country and tell them no because you would rather virtue signal than look at alternatives to ‘green’ energy or self-driving cars or whatever the latest virtue signaling fad is.

The good or rather great news is that costs for solar and wind have dropped dramatically in recent years so that they are getting more cost competitive with fossil fuels. There are still other reasons to consider hesitating on ‘green’ energy sources, but it is a more compelling case than it used to be. You should select, ‘green’ energy or anything else for your city on its own merits and not because you are trying to virtue signal your goodness. Virtue signaling will inherently lead to poor quality outcomes for the builders of new smart cities and any potential residents.

Don’t worry about me. I go where the data leads me.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s