Sunday, June 18, 2006

You're Not Safe

[Thanks for the photo shoot Rory and Topher. Oh and Jaime, thanks for being a good sport last Friday.]

Several academics, including the economist Christopher Garbacz, have pondered the seat belt paradox. The following comes from Garbacz's paper on New Zealand's seat belt law:

"It appears that the favorable effect [of seatbelts] on automobile occupants may be offset partially, or in some models perhaps completely, by deaths among cyclists and pedestrians that may be caused by more dangerous driving by drivers who feel safer."

In John Adams' book Risk, he suggests accidents would decrease if a sharp spike were installed in every steering wheel.

I've long been infatuated with the paradox of safety. The rush of an audience watching as my ensemble and I perform an improvised musical. The thrill of spending two years on a tropical island. The excitement of the next Big Thing. Those things only happen when the risk of failure is palpable.

I'm a normal guy -- maybe even a little boring. Maybe even a little risk averse. Which is why I need that spike, not the seatbelt. Without it, I'll just go crashing into life willy nilly.

NOTE TO READERS: No more new stuff till Saturday. In the meantime, read the good stuff:
Start Touching
If I Were A Robot
We All Need A Guru
I'm Wrapped In Goodness
Looking Down

2 comments:

Tim Rice said...

Fascinating comments about seatbelts and side effects. By the way, I really like the photo you included with the post.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »