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.
--- 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)