Irrational Fears

February 13, 2009

Pizza

I was going to write a snarky post about that hotel that burned to the ground in Beijing because of errant fireworks, but then the plane crash in Clarence Center happened, which put things into a different perspective.

The perspective is this:  From the crash to the time that it took for delivery of the flight data recorders to Washington, more people died on U.S. highways than died on the plane.

We have this obsession with calamity and great fear of mass death, and we will force changes to the system to reduce that chance of death to almost zero; yet we will still use our cell phones while we drive, and we will drive under the influence, we will drive in bad weather, recklessly, and over the speed limit.

Want another example?  We have spent billions and billions fighting the war on terror to make sure that those terrorists don’t get us, but we won’t change our diets to prevent a much more likely fate:  heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S.

We have irrational fears.  We force the government to spend money in places that do nothing to prolong our lives and ignore the villians most dangerous to us.

And the media plays right along, because calamity sells.

The next time you think about that plane crash, think about your driving habits and that double-cheese pizza you just ate.

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