Neither do I, just in case you thought i am boasting.
Individualism makes us all believe, that each of us should decide for themselves about themselves. Unless you are a kid, and even there, it strongly depends on how radical individualist a parent is. This leads to a crushing conclusion, that you (at least should) know what is best for you.
That, of course, is bullshit. Let me explain. Who in the world knows enough to make a complicated decision about themselves? Everyone. We all have some information, we all can make decisions. Are the decision best? Certainly not. That is without a doubt, but could someone make a better decision? Consistently, of course, not by random choice in one specific example. The answer is: “Most likely”.
Let’s assume you wish to selfishly optimize your own well being. A common case, if you don’t lie to yourself. You hold all the information, at least seemingly. Your decision will always be influenced by your emotions, by your addictions, by your current feelings and by the outer pressures that are out of your hands. Of course, if you have any idea about me, then you know I preach that emotions (and more importantly feelings) have little place in deciding anything. If one wants to decide well, that is. If you do not share this idea, I urge you to tell me why. Just as I will tell you.
Emotions and feelings are fleeting, you wake up tomorrow to find out you made the wrong decision. If you give them up to decide rationally (with some deep emotions in consideration, of course…) you make a better decision. And even though you regret it the next day, or are not happy about it when you make it, it is significantly more likely to be the right decision in the long term. All you need is the ability to take a step back. If you can reason about your emotions, see which are important and should be considered and which are not, you have it.
This method also gives you a great sense of consistency. There can never be a situation, where you could say, I could have decided otherwise, everything would be different. If you decide based on the objective reality (let me stress one last time, that strong, long term emotions are a part of that reality), you always make the best decision you can.
That is not, sadly, the best decision overall. Or not every time. Only one who knows all the actors will know how to increase the benefit of each of them, and of all together. No need for explaining Game Theory for this conclusion. You never know what others will do. You can expect, estimate, but all is influenced by emotion, by the fact that people do not share all information.
“So, an uninterested observer, should know better than me?” I hear you ask. Well, yeah, if you think on it. It needs to be a long term, or very thorough observer, but yeah. That is why, close friends which are unafraid to tell you the truth, give the best counsel. Because they see you. Even if they are not uninterested, the advice they give is essential. There is a psychological concept, called Johari window, that divides things about oneself into 4 parts based on what we know about ourselves and what others know about ourselves. A friend can give you a glimpse of what is unknown to you. You can add what is unknown to them, and there, you decide with the most information you can.
“But uninterested observer does not have that information hidden to public!” You might add. Sure. They don’t. But do you have more information, about all people relevant to the given decision? Sometimes yes, then you likely know what is best. Often though, you don’t.
Then there are non-personal decisions. Like the vaccine. I am reluctant to even mention it, but that is a great example of people not knowing what is best. With science this happens more and more and it is a major (side?) effect of individualism and information overload.
The ultimate decider, in the great scheme of things, would be an computer program, that would have enough data to estimate all 3 maybe even all 4 quadrants of the Johari window mentioned earlier, for all humans. This is already pretty much in existence, but that information is not used to decide in your favor, but rather in favor of the Big Tech.
That is not a positive note at the end. Let me hit you with another, more philosophical. Is the best for YOU, the best that you should strive for? Does that lead to a good outcome, if everyone does that? Will the outcome be stable? Think on it, with or without emotion.