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What price human life?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Kronos, 25 Apr 2013.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I guess two nukes just wasn't enough. :p People are weird. Really weird.
     
  2. erratum1

    erratum1 New Member

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    I saw the building collapse on the news a few times isn't that enough?

    There's only so much you can report about a building collapse.

    If you want wall to wall pakistan news go live in ****ing Pakistan, America are powerful allies, in a war what's Pakistan going to bring to the party, and after scouring the world for Osama it turns out he was chilling in Pakistan with his woman....like they didn't know.

    Useless.
     
  3. G0UDG

    G0UDG helping others costs nothing

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    The events in Gaza IE: The Genocide commited every day by the Israeli IOF gets hardly any media attention despite the killing of innocent Palestinians and the taking of their basic human rights and land, yet if something happens elsewhere ie: the U.S it gets reported this needs to change to raise awareness of the atrocities being commited in other countries
     
  4. Bufo802

    Bufo802 Member

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    Unrelated to the news but directly answering the question, it's quite interesting when doing risk assessments in different industries the different amounts that it be justified to spend to save one life.

    It varies a lot based on people's perception of (and how scared they are/ambivalent to) the event so traffic accident reduction is a few hundred thousand pounds while railways it's ~£5 million per fatality prevented - I think the industry average is around £2 million which is pretty similar to the costs involved to deal with a death (including emergency services, downtime etc.).

    Of course that is in the UK, I imagine in many countries it's a lot lower.
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2013
  5. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    Well it may depend where you watch/read your news but the factory collapse got a lot of coverage, though perhaps that was partly because of the Primark connection.

    More generally there will be more coverage of an incident that happens closer to home, either gerographically or culturally. Furthermore the degree to which an incident is out of the ordinary also affects things. A policeman gettign shot here willl be a big story, if it happens in Iraq it wouldn't get coovered unless the body-count is very high. It probably wouldn't get covered in the UK if it happended in the USA either unless there is a connection to here.



    As for the Tsunami Cheerers, I didn't hear of this at the time but seems rather appalling. However if the person lived through WW2 and was directly affected by Japanses actions, I wouldn't want to judge their emotions.
     
  6. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    I am certain most of us would like to see a change here but until these topics can be discussed without people labeling those who raise them as being anti-Semites, National Socialists, and holocaust deniers, it will never happen. Unfortunately I do not see this happen in any foreseeable future.

    The name callings and the preconceived core of beliefs of those raising these issues poisons the well and deters others from attempting discussion, that's pretty much it I think.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2013
  7. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Continuing on the off topic a bit, "risk management" is very much the name of the game in explosives safety. It'd be impossible to produce, transport, and use any explosive ordnance without accepting some sort of risk. Everything's weighed on potential damages, and likelihood of an accident. Preferrably everyone's just kept nice and far away, but that isn't always feasible. As long as you reduce the exposure time enough the risk can be kept to "negligible" levels. A fun thing to consider for anyone who's wondered how munitions get transported via land in populated areas.
     
  8. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    At the risk of speaking in soundbites, what we hear on the news is often what is considered to be important.

    Before you get the flamethrowers lit, yes, I concede that if you or your friend or relative is the unfortunate individual buried under fifteen thousand tons of concrete debris, then the building collapse in question is likely to be of great importance to you. But unless you are one of that very small group of people? It's not important. No United Nations resolution, economic sanction, covert operation, political debate, peace rally or memorial concert will result from a building collapse in Bangladesh because the people that died were not influential beyond their immediate social circle. There may be local repercussions - protests about building standards, prosecutions, even - but nothing more. On the other hand, the last time foreign terrorists struck on American soil, two wars resulted which affected a great deal of people worldwide. Thus a bombing in America is very important.

    There are additional factors at play. Here in the UK - the original English-speaking nation - we hear a lot of American-centric news simply because they are the other major English-speaking nation. Americans are also very prone to overreaction, which is why very horrible but also very minor things (mass shootings, for example) are imputed to affect large numbers of people (specifically, their second Amendment rights) and are therefore very important.

    Try working out what the potential consequences are for a piece of news before decrying it as important or unimportant. Syrians are dying by the hundreds every week in a civil war, but who outside Syria will be affected? By contrast, North Korea hasn't killed a South Korean since 2010, but who will be affected if they really can't get along? Which of the two is more important to the global community?
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2013
  9. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    Approximately (and on average) on this earth 4 people are born every second, and two people die every second. Life is as cheap as ****ing chips. It really doesn't merit a violin accompaniment. Life is way too over-dramatised, probably because the 'drama' of others is an all-too-easy distraction from the reality of the banality of our own.

    Although I write entirely from assumption, I suspect people in third world conditions care very little for the 'news' because the daily fundamentals of living keep their minds occupied enough, plus they're more aware of how present mortality is and how un-news-worthy it is. First world peeps pretty much have their survival taken care of on a day-to-day basis and inevitably therefore we get bored. Hence the growth of the leisure, entertainment and news industries.

    Do yourself a favour and ignore any news broadcast or publication for a month and see how much easier it is to get on with your own life and not dwell on the way of others (and particularly not in a manner determined by news editors). Boredom sparks creativity; 'news' is just a trivial distraction.
     
  10. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    True. It's also worth noting that:

    (a) media tend to report domestic news over and above foreign news, which is less relevant to their audience (it's harsh but it's true, and reasonable), unless of course...

    (b) they're globally significant - the media only report global news that's politically important. Terrorist bombings are assumed to be possible preludes to wars and disputes, whereas a building collapse or train wreck is not going to have any major repercussions beyond improved safety regulations (hopefully);

    (c) America and the west have a bigger media culture. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I get the impression that American media have more free time and money to expend over single incidents than the media in developing countries.

    Time, because comparatively little happens in America (a few people dying prematurely is unnatural, whereas the Palestinian press are probably sick of writing about it); and money, obviously, because it's America rather than somewhere like Bangladesh, where they don't have the money or resources to do hour-long CGI-padded documentary analyses of how a bombing happened.

    For the record, I regret all of these facts, and have noticed and been annoyed by the bias as well, but I think these are the main reasons for it.
     
  11. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Intentional double post! Because editing would ruin that beautiful first post of mine. Also this is like a completely different thing anyway.

    Yes to the first, I've tried that and found myself much happier day-to-day. But no to the second: news isn't just a trivial distraction. In fact it's not trivial at all - the things on the news matter tremendously to some people, and a factory accident killing several people is awful, and important, if only to a hundred people or so. The problem is that it's not relevant to many other people; if you don't work in a factory, know anybody who does, or live in the area, it's literally useless for you to know that it happened.

    We watch the news (or we originally watched the news) because something life-changing might happen. Things like the Iraq war and the recession affect our lives directly, if not always very obviously, and it is worth knowing that they're happening. But because the news has a set time slot (or a constant time slot in the case of 24-hour channels), and because not much of importance happens day-to-day, they report trivial local news at greater and greater length to fill the space, and people who tuned in to catch important news get sucked into preoccupation over things that really shouldn't matter to them.

    There are also some stories, however, that seem boring and irrelevant but actually tell us a lot about the area/country/world we live in and are useful because they inform our worldview. Political scandals, official inquiries, white collar crime investigations and the like don't directly affect me, but they clue me up on what kind of country I'm a part of and what to expect if and when I have to navigate it. The BNP don't directly matter to me at all, for instance, but imagine how distressing it would be to meet a BNP supporter if you'd never heard of them or heard about their exploits on the news...
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2013
  12. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    BBC radio 4 on the morning of the bombings actually did report that more deaths had occurred elsewhere that day in singular events. They also said that the Boston bombings were perhaps more unusual because the likelihood of it being a "terrorist attack" and the lack of information about the event. I.e. it was perplexing that there was no claim of responsibility adding to the mystery.

    The events afterwards just compounded all this. Shootings, dead police, car jacking, bomb throwing and military style lockdown of a busy city.

    Also, there has been a feature on the Bangladeshi building incident on every news report I've seen today and yesterday now I think of it. There was also discussions about the moral implications of the western world benefitting from labour that accepts these low health and safety standards.

    Though I think the general sentiments expressed are correct in this thread.

    I'd also add that events like the Bangladeshi one have happened in the western world. Mistakes are how we learn. Take for example, the piper alpha incident in the north sea. Our reaction changed the oil & gas industry forever. It is unfortunate, but change will only be made by those people involved in and responsible for the legislation governing them. We can't force them to change either.
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2013

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