[lit-ideas] Re: True Desperation

  • From: Teemu Pyyluoma <teme17@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 14:59:55 -0700 (PDT)

Yes, underground shelters are not exactly the best
idea in a flood, but what I had I mind was more of a
public shelter as a general concept: a designated site
with a store of basic necessities like fresh water. It
just seems a basic precation with uses in many types
of emergencies with minimal costs.

What I was thinking about at the time, was how we err
on the side of spectacular when it comes to safety and
security. Consider a man driving to a natural park
worrying about being attacked by a bear, chances of
which are minimal compared to him having a road

David Savory once argued, if I recall correctly, that
this is explained by studies that show that people in
general are very bad with propabilities. Personally, I
believe it has more to do with personal safety, the
feeling of it, being absolute when all we have is
relative safety. 

And we want the government to guarantee our safety,
our absolute safety with finite resources. And
furthermore, the really scary things tend to be
unlikely (propably part of the reason they are so
scary is that they are uncommon.) Without good leaders
that play down the fears of the public, this in a
democracy leads to preference of highly visible
responses to highly unlikely threats.

Which is how you end with multi-billion data mining
systems that most likely won't work, and even if they
do occasionally work will not be useful, and certainly
not cost effective. And no stores of water, medicine,
blankets and all the other boring stuff.

Helsinki, Finland

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