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I think people, eager to avoid disappointment, incorporate the probability of meaningful individual action into their (partially unconscious) decisions about how much to freak the geek out. If you told people that “an inevitable astronomic event renders the surface of the earth uninhabitable except for New York City and you and tons of other people have to move there,” I bet you’d get a lot of similar stuff: “Well, could be gnarly, but we’ll probably adapt, I mean, we’ll do our best, and could be cool if we can X, Y, Z.”

I think this is a minor part of it, maybe!

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