November 07, 2004

Outrage Fatigue

I haven't posted in a long time, have I? I've been really caught up in research, and I'll talk a little about that shortly. But first, a brief and contained rant:

For a while one of Ed's recent posts here was the fourth Google hit for the phrase "depressed about the election," which I thought was great. It's five days later and I'm not getting any less depressed or angry about it. Despite stories like Bush getting over four thousand votes in an Ohio precinct with six hundred voters, I think chances are he legitimately won the election. And it disturbs me. If I thought that people were only voting for him based on some sense that he would make America safer, or improve the economy, I would at least have some sense of where they were coming from even while (strongly) disagreeing. Unfortunately it seems like a sizable percentage of voters were voting based on some misguided sense of "values" that to me seem antithetical not only to reason but to the religion they claim to adhere to. There's plenty of other news to disturb me lately, like a Wisconsin school district that has voted to require the teaching of creationism. But I'm sure you've encountered all these stories elsewhere on the "internets," so I'll cut myself off here and work on a fun and informative physics post.

Posted by Matt at November 7, 2004 04:27 PM

Here's a random thought inspired by the entry's title:

I'm relatively rare among people I know in that I don't feel angry about the election. I feel some combination of depressed, despondent, and disappointed, but I can't muster up all that outrage. (I was more angry this summer, when I got really fed up with inanities like Zell Miller's convention speech.) On balance, I tend to think that disappointment is a healthier reaction for the country as a whole (since, to paraphrase Yoda, anger leads to hate and hates leads to even greater polarization), though I kind of wish that I personally felt more angry and less despondent. "Outrage fatigue" seems like a good--if unintended!--way to get anger out of one's system, but I can scarcely imagine depression fatigue!

It would be interesting to see if anyone has done studies on the health effects of elections...

Posted by: Ed at November 7, 2004 08:22 PM
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