Coming and Going

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I especially like the below ad for both lampooning overprotective parents and, then, once it gets the attention of the audience, driving home a safety recommendation that lots of people really do need to hear.


It is interesting to me that most people will see the two parts of the commercial as "extreme" positions with regard to safety. I think that this is not the case, however.

While there is a tightrope to walk regarding child safety, the balance isn't between "too much" and "too little" safety, but between allowing children enough freedom to do new things, and limiting the ways they can come to harm until they disappear (due to the child's skill or knowledge) or the child knows the dangers himself and how to avoid them. Hovering over them and attempting to insulate them from all possible harm strikes me as mere risk avoidance.

I see the overprotective parent as focused on ritual rather than actual safety. Such an attitude not only sucks the fun out of everything, but can ultimately breed a degree of contempt for safety as such, especially when the rituals become burdensome or patently ridiculous. Worse, a ritualistic approach to safety can cause people to fail to think conceptually about safety (and thus realize on their own, for example, that texting while driving is foolish), or to make rational assessments of risk.

-- CAV

--- In Other News ---

Somewhat related to the body of this post, Glenn Reynolds notes that the tornado warning system breeds complacency. My dad, a cop in Jackson, Mississippi, had to do his share of tornado sightings when he was on patrol back in the late '70s and explained to me much the same thing: By the time the sirens sounded, it was often too late. I am a little surprised to hear that the problem persists even today, with Doppler radar and other technological improvements to tornado forecasting and monitoring.

If I didn't think he actually believed his own nonsense, I'd say Barack Obama had lots of gall. "We can't simply cut our way to prosperity," he says. So, which government make-work program built this country in the first place, and where the hell does all that money he wants to give away come from? More to the point, what would we be cutting if the opposition weren't playing games? The amount of money confiscated from private citizens. Obama says "cut," but that really means, "steal less from the productive."

Another sports figure has recently expressed admiration for Ayn Rand: major league baseball player Orlando Cabrera. (HT: Shane Atwell)

8 comments:

Narra Gansett said...

After following your link re: Orlando Cabrera, and reading the comment section, I find myself once again floored by how so many people can take away from any reading of Rand, exactly the opposite meaning of what was written...

It is one thing to disagree after achieving a basic understanding of something, but such vehement disagreement without any understanding at all just baffles me.

Gus Van Horn said...

Oh, they understand more than they let on: Just enough to know that she presents a challenge to something or other they choose to believe or want to be true.

What you're seeing is the product of one kind of reaction: to take something she said out of context that allows them to pretend to themselves that what Rand says is beneath their further notice, so they can go on as they were before.

They may be fooling themselves, but anyone who can read and comprehend Rand and doesn't want to be fooled will quickly see otherwise.

Narra Gansett said...

quote: "They may be fooling themselves, but anyone who can read and comprehend Rand and doesn't want to be fooled will quickly see otherwise."

I guess a more accurate observation then would be that it is distressing to see there are so many who do want to be fooled - or are at least OK with it...

Gus Van Horn said...

Indeed.

Stephen Bourque said...

I found the article and the comments to be quite discouraging, but I suppose if the piece can reach even a single mind that is curious enough to wonder, "Who is this Ayn Rand?" and then read her writing for himself, there is some value in that.

On a brighter (though considerably less significant) note, I'd like to let my home-town prejudices prevail for the moment. I'm glad to see that there is another Boston connection to these professional athletes that appreciate Ayn Rand.

Of course, Tim Thomas is the big story lately for being the most significant factor in bringing the Stanley Cup home for the Bruins. However, you may (or may not) recall that Orlando Cabrera was a huge part of the Red Sox World Series championship in 2004, ending 86 years of suffering. The mid-season acquisition of Cabrera to replace the fading Nomar Garciaparra at short was the single event that snapped the Sox out of their malaise. For whatever reason, Cabrera's presence turned the team around. He ended up batting .294 in his 58 regular season games with the Sox, and most importantly, he went 11 for 29 (.379) with 5 RBI in the historic ALCS victory against the Yankees.

Gus Van Horn said...

I did not know about that Boston connection, so thanks for pointing out that interesting fact.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you wrote: "between allowing children enough freedom to do new things, and limiting the ways they can come to harm until they disappear (due to the child's skill or knowledge) or the child knows the dangers himself and how to avoid them."

Whoa on the antecedents, Gus!

Gus Van Horn said...

I'll be more careful with them, next time.