yesterday I saw a plan for a group that wants to create earthquake proof sleeping beds. one part of me said, “wow, clever idea.” while the other part of me asked, “is the cost enough to justify the risk of an event actually happening to someone?” what a bigger market might be is mobile panic rooms for the super wealthy that are bulletproof and secure.
the next blub was about a father taking an ad out in the super bowl for ineffective or defective guard rails, and how he wants the new one to help save lives. I felt sorry for the man’s loss, yet, I thought about how many miles of guardrails there is on the roads and how many lives a year they probably save.
can we make better earthquake beds and guardrails? absolutely. life is dynamic and ever-changing. the bigger question is with a limited amount of time and resources, what do we allocate them to. in some respects it is like the security/military/tech game today. you can build systems and ways to protect that can minimize your risk, but there is no 100% foolproof or guaranteed thing – except that each of us will one day die.
in discussing working with a few institution and spaces to make some prototypes come to life, I was amazed not with the idea of “how can we help you?” but rather a climate of, “we have to work out our liability issues with a student in the space.” a part of me was actually surprised at the amount and weight of effort put into the “what can go wrong” idea versus, “what can go, and probably will go right?”
it is a way of thinking. will there be accidents in life? yes. will people do stupid things? yes. will people come up with ways to use the machines in a way the designers and engineers didn’t intend? yes. will parts break down and wear out? yes. will things go exactly as they are planned out in the paper and the project flowcharts? no…I have never seen it. I sat from a strange perspective looking at the people talking who wanted to know all that was going to happen, for a project that no one knows exactly what will happen, and what will change. to me, this is a part of the issue with innovation and invention in the united states. while there is a lot of people willing to try, there Is a much larger group sitting there with no ideas waiting to copy them, and an even larger group worried about liabilities.
what caused this imbalance? too many accidents? too many machines breaking? too many people trying to win the Darwin award? then it dawned on me that it was the glut of lawyers we have in the united states who are just as much a part of the system to compete and stay alive and/or make a load of money to buy more “stuff” for themselves and have a client or two get a gigantic settlement.
when I hear the shift between the relationship of teachers, doctors, and police officers from when I was a kid today, to what goes on today, there is simply one factor that has creates so much paperwork, rules and regulations, that many of the people I know want or have gotten out of those professions. it is not because they don’t want to help people learn, help people heal, or protect and serve the society. it is because there are too many rules, people are acting the fool with some idea that common law is all about the one person – common sense is a societal dinosaur.
then I remember doing research on the cost of crime to the economy and have googled a few articles to get an idea of how expensive crime is broken down with the first two being violent crimes, the second two for white collar or economic crimes (particularly in the digital age) and the last was me wondering about the cost to society of litigation and payouts from various lawsuits.
white collar crime:
lawsuit litigation cost to society:
when you look at the overall pot of funds that is included in these three sets. it is a bit staggering to imagine. it is almost if not more than we spend on military and weapons per year.
but the bigger question, particularly in relation to a project we are on board with now with inner fitness and the idea of people changing themselves…is what is the cost of NOT taking care of yourself, mind, heart, conscious, body and soul.
“I am too busy” won’t cut it much longer in a world where obligations simply will be smokescreens to priorities. there will never be “perfect” humans, so why do we think as humans everything else must be perfect towards and for us 100% of the time.
that isn’t reality. (but you see professional sports taking the “sport” and human element out of the game more and more. perhaps it is a way to make more time for advertising?)
interesting data and reading. if anyone has better data, please forward the links. I don’t desire or wish calamity or a bad event to happen to anyone, particularly earthquakes – they suck. but the reality is as a society, what are we going to spend our time and resources on, that make economic sense? “why?” are we allowing a cancer of sorts to grow inside a decent system for the living?