Friday, April 20, 2007

Off topic

The Imus shark attacks, passivity, etc.

  • Per Kaus:
    Shark attack story : 9/11 = Imus story : VT shooting

  • There's been some commentary that the VT shooting was exacerbated by American's passive attitude. John Derbyshire was been beating this drum, in his apparent quest to brecome the go-to person for blaming calamties on social trends he doesn't like influencing the victims' behavior (The thing everyone seems afraid to mention about the Holocaust was that the gas chambers were only closed for three minutes, which should have been long enough for a reasonably fit person to hold his breath. But I suppose I'm thinking about a time when physical fitness was a priority, and that time has long passed... Hey, why is everyone calling me a jerk?), and then playing the victim himself when he is criticized.
    John Podhoretz has a good rejoinder to this notion.

    But let's assume there really is a right way to react to a madman walking into your classroom and shooting people. It seems that the students did not know this way. And that's fine with me.

    They might not have known how to respond to that situation because it is exeedingly rare. I want engineering students worrying about how to build usefile engines that don't run on fossil fuels or contribute to the greenhouse effect, rather than learning how to respond to violence.

    Derb and his travellers can call it the death of self-reliance. I call it specialization. And when I was in college, my campus was safe enough that I had time to learn that specialization yields great economic gains.


JohnMcG said...

Line of the day from The Onion:

Added Snyder, "We here at public radio couldn't be more pleased with ourselves."

twiffer said...

i've seen people say how, after the passengers on flight 93 rushed their hijackers, how could anyone not try the same in any situation? and i have the say, the parallels are obviously not there. in that case, it was a group of people who a) couldn't wait for police, as they were on a plane, b) couldn't hope to escape or play dead in the hopes the hijackers would pass them by and c) were rushing people with knives and box cutters, not guns. i think this last bit is particularly important, as one instinctively feels one has a better chance, unarmed, against a blade then against a bullet.

Schadenfreude said...

Also off-topic.

Well, they do say consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.