How Safe Are We? Our Blindness To Systemic Dangers

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

How do we explain our obsession with relatively low risk dangers and our collective blindness to manufactured/marketed scourges that kill tens of thousands of people annually?

If you've bought a new vehicle recently, you may have noticed some "safety features" that strike many as Nanny State over-reach. You can't change radio stations, for example, if the vehicle is in reverse. Who knows who or what you'll run over in reverse if you were allowed to change radio stations while in reverse gear?

How many injuries can be traced to people changing radio stations while in reverse?

A friend recently told us that the California Legislature is considering a law that makes it legal for parents to let their children walk to school unattended.

Perhaps this is "fake news," but it's certainly plausible, given that leaving any child unattended is now viewed as not just irresponsible but criminal.

How the Free-Range Kids Movement Is Helping Parents Embrace Their Libertarian Side

The mainstream "news" is chockful of worried-looking news anchors announcing another e coli outbreak or recall of a consumer product, many of which now sport absurd warnings, including scary-sounding ones such as "This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer."

This is scary until you realize it's on practically every consumer product in the state of California, which mandates the warning.

The narrowness of this obsession with safety comes into focus if we ask: how can a society so obsessed with safety have spawned an opioid addiction crisis that kills tens of thousands of people and ruins the lives of millions of Americans?

How safe are we when products that addict millions and kill thousands are readily available via prescription within our healthcare system?

While addictive illegal drugs have long been targeted with extremely harsh criminal penalties, how is it that the legal drug industry and the officially sanctioned and regulated healthcare industry created the vast destruction of the opioid crisis without anyone tasked with "safety" noticing?

How do we explain our obsession with relatively low risk dangers and our collective blindness to manufactured/marketed scourges that kill tens of thousands of people annually? (Tobacco and alcohol come to mind.) Then there's the well-documented impact of rising wealth and income inequality on public health--for example, The Health Effects of Income Inequality: Averages and Disparities.

Several dynamics come to mind: the immense profitability of products such as tobacco and synthetic opioids, and the profitability of fear-inspiring content in terms of attracting eyeballs to media and social media engagement. Fear gets our attention and is thus a powerful marketing tool.

In other words, there are built-in incentives in our system to profit from dangerous products, and influence government regulators to overlook the dangers.

I also wonder if our narrow obsession with low-risk safety (warnings on everything, etc.) reflects a subconscious awareness of rising systemic insecurity, which we counter by regulating what can be easily regulated in terms of manufactured consumer products. This gives us a sense of control in a world in which our ability to control systemic risks is decaying.

Adding regulations aimed at increasing safety/reducing risk also gives elected officials an opportunity to say "we're doing something useful here to protect you."

It's well established that our innate ability to assess risk is limited; we tend to exaggerate some kinds of risk (being attacked by sharks while swimming, etc.) and under-estimating other kinds of risk (eating junk food, getting addicted to prescription painkillers, etc.)

As a result, a single tragic accident caused by someone changing radio stations while in reverse gear can trigger a new law/regulation ("we should make it impossible to change radio stations while in reverse, as this will preclude any more of these preventable tragedies"), we don't recognize the systemic tragedy of the loss of positive social roles that fuels much of the despair and pain that we treat with addictive prescription painkillers.

There is a terrible irony at work: We live in a system in which an opioid-addicted individual whose life has been devastated by an entirely preventable systemic scourge can put his/her car in reverse with less likelihood of injuring others, if the vehicle is new enough to have all the mandated safety features--and we pat ourselves on the back for our obsession with preventing injury.

Assessing risk and improving safety are complex issues, but we clearly have a political-social-economic system that is blind to systemic dangers that could be prevented, were we to widen our narrow obsession with safety to include them.

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Stuck on Zero serotonindumptruck Fri, 05/11/2018 - 15:51 Permalink

Vaccines are damaging and destroying hundreds of thousands of our precious kids. Autism spectrum disorder is one of the greatest plagues to hit humanity and no-one says a thing. Gardasil is destroying tens of thousands of lives. Pesticides are turning an entire generation of kids into strangely sexed people. Any comment? No. There are profits to be made.

In reply to by serotonindumptruck

MK ULTRA Alpha Stuck on Zero Fri, 05/11/2018 - 17:22 Permalink

It's worse than that, 55 million are on mind damaging poison right now. A good estimate of the population of those who have brain damage is around 70 million.

The FDA is a revolving door for profit at the expense of people's lives.

The only way to be free of the hijacked federal government is to divide the nation into to five countries or more. We want our freedom and we do not want to be a part of this horror story anymore.

Don't take pills, you don't need it. Our nation was convinced science is the answer for everything. There is fake meal ticket science across the board. This system of shame can not be trusted.

Babies? Over a million are on mind damaging poison and that number grows. It's sick and we can't stop it until this country is divided up.

Immigration? we're being over run with people from a global population rate of nearly 8 billion. We can't take more people and hold on to our traditions and our way of life. We must escape the elite control of our nation by dividing it up. Either peacefully or other.

Tax cut? it was a $2000 joke which will be eaten up by gas price increases. But the 600 billionaires, half are Jewish got the lions share of the tax cut because their cut and the cut for their businesses will end up in their pockets as the middle class still slides into hell.

This country must be divided up for freedom. Look at the federal government in all this FBI and CIA crap, looks like they aren't going to obey the constitution or bill of rights, that's the law and 17 intelligence agencies and their 200,000 contractors are not following the law. All we get is constant wars and if we say anything the Jew media will pound dissenters to death or the police state will kill us. It's time to end this nightmare.

Edit note; where is the infrastructure build? we're throwing away our future for more wars, which no one voted for, but the neocon(Zionist) traitors in and out of government are forcing our nation to throw away it's last dime, it's future for more wars for Israel which the majority of Americans do not want.


In reply to by Stuck on Zero

Ink Pusher Fri, 05/11/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

Title photo tells the whole tale.

Ass in the air awaiting a good hard dry fucking with head buried firmly in the sands of denial and fear.

* Don't expect a courtesy reach around hand-job either, eh !

Conax Fri, 05/11/2018 - 14:57 Permalink

The last couple days we've been treated to these office chicks, head in sand, lovely butt in the air.. I'm getting old and in all my travels I was never presented with such a golden opportunity.

Just unlucky, I guess. Or maybe I walked the wrong beaches.

Radical Marijuana Fri, 05/11/2018 - 15:49 Permalink

"... there are built-in incentives in our system to profit from dangerous products, and influence government regulators to overlook the dangers."

Profit from Junk Food

& Profit from Disease.

Those are aspects of the vicious feedback spirals of the funding of the political processes which result in runaway privatization of the profits, along with even worse socialization of the losses. There are NO good grounds to expect those systems to change in any ways other than driving themselves through series of psychotic breakdowns, as crazy collapses into chaos.

The most important manifestation of the feedback loops of the funding of politics were that almost all successful politicians became the banksters' puppets, while the schools and mass media brainwashed enough of the masses of muppets to vote for those puppets. The resulting systems PRIVATIZED PUBLIC "MONEY" SUPPLIES.

Profit from Junk Food

& Profit from Disease.

Those systems are criminally insane. However, there is practically no genuine opposition, but only controlled "opposition,"  due to there being practically nobody who is able and willing to get out of the mental boxes of thinking and communicating using the languages and philosophies which were made and maintained by the biggest bullies, which became the banksters.

Everything Civilization does operates through fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems, which are enabled by about exponentially advancing technologies to become about exponentially more fraudulent. While authors like Charles Hugh Smith provide some superficially correct analyses of those issues, those kinds of authors always collapse back to bogus "solutions"  which are still based on the same old-fashioned false fundamental dichotomies and related impossible ideals.

"Our Blindness To Systemic Dangers" resulted from the ways that natural selection pressures drove the development of artificial selection systems to become as dishonest as possible. Since Civilization was directed to develop by its murder systems, which backed up its money systems, and since those murder systems were most successful by becoming as deceitful and treacherous as possible, the money systems backed by those murder systems became as fraudulent as possible, while yet, that almost absolute fraudulence of governments enforcing the abilities of private banks to create the public "money" out of nothing as debts directed everything else, through those flows of money, from that absolutely fraudulent source, dominating everything that Civilization did, through systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which still never stopped those lies from still being false.

The only theoretically valid resolutions of those problems would require those genuine solutions to be consistent with the surrounding natural selection systems, as thus consistent with the ways that human beings and civilizations operate as nested toroidal vortices engaged in entropic pumping of environmental energy flows.

However, since the actually existing monetary and taxation systems achieve symbolic robberies through enforcing frauds, in ways which relentlessly and ruthlessly privatize profits, while socializing losses, the majority of people have been conditioned to not understand that, because they do not want to understand that. Hence, the most successful politicians continue to be the best available professional hypocrites, who never admit and address that the PUBLIC "MONEY" SOURCE HAS BEEN ALMOST TOTALLY PRIVATIZED.

The language of public "safety"  was developed by professional liars and immaculate hypocrites. There is almost no genuine opposition to the central core of excessively triumphant organized crimes, because of the degree to which almost everyone approaches those issues of public "safety"  in ways which almost totally take for granted the DUALITIES of false fundamental dichotomies and the related impossible ideals, which are the ways of thinking and communicating that facilitate professional hypocrites to continue to achieve symbolic robberies through enforcing frauds, despite that those are becoming about exponentially more fraudulent.

The underlying issues are that there must be some death control systems, because natural selection pressures are infinitely bigger than human beings. However, because that is the case, those natural selection pressures developed through the history of warfare to make and maintain Globalized Neolithic Civilization which is more and more manifesting runaway criminal insanities, due to the long history of excessively successful control of that Civilization through being able to enforce frauds, thereby becoming about exponentially more fraudulent, which is spinning more and more out of any human control.

Profit from Junk Food

& Profit from Disease.

Those systems torture many people to death. However, the only genuinely better resolutions of that situation would require better death control systems, which is something pretty well NONE of the various layers of controlled "opposition"  to the established systems are able and willing to publicly discuss, since doing so in any better ways would require series of intellectual scientific revolutions and profound paradigm shifts regarding the public perception of the death control systems, while the actually existing death control systems have become as deceitful as possible, since the most successful murder systems maximized maliciousness, which then resulted in money being measurement backed by murder, in ways which are publicly presented with the most deliberate ignorance and absurdly backward misunderstanding which is humanly possible.

Of course, the "nanny state,"  run by professional hypocrites, is more and more manifesting grossly disproportional and irrational risk assessments, since the greatest real risks to the largest number of people are the ways that the ruling classes are becoming increasingly psychotic psychopaths, who have made and maintained systems such as those which

Profit from Junk Food

& Profit from Disease.


Economics Considered Fri, 05/11/2018 - 15:51 Permalink

How about the inincessant mindless drive to outlaw firearms while we turn loose daily hundreds of sociopaths who have carried a gun or knife while committing a crime - with ZERO jail time or only months?  How about the THOUSANDS of drunk driving deaths because we refuse to do home detention during 'drinking hour's ??

Cloud9.5 Economics Considered Fri, 05/11/2018 - 17:33 Permalink

I wrote this in response to a deacon in my church who asserted that no one needed an AR-15.

Why Christians need AR-15’s

And what Jesus had to say about it.

This is why I have come to the conviction that Jesus has told Christians to arm themselves.  During the Lord’s Supper after Judas had left, and just after Jesus had warned Peter of his coming denial, Jesus told his remaining disciples that they should secure swords.  He told his disciples, if necessary, they should sell their own clothes to purchase these weapons. 

“Then said he unto them, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his bag: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one”.  Luke 22:36

This passage tells the followers of Christ to get a back pack of essentials, secure portable wealth, and purchase the standard infantry weapon of the time.  This is a peculiar order coming from the Prince of Peace.  Why would he place such and unusual command on his disciples?  The simple answer is that Jesus knew all of what was coming for his followers after his crucifixion, and he was telling them to prepare for it.

For a window through which to look at what has come and is coming, simply read Luke 21: 8-28.

At the time of Christ, the standard infantry weapon of the Roman Army was the Gladius.  The Gladius was a short sword. Was the standard issue Roman Army short sword available to the Disciples of Christ? Probably not, but decent copies were available, and two were presented to Christ for his inspection.  He approved the two swords presented to him.

Today the standard infantry weapon is the M-4, a variant of the M-16 used in Vietnam.  It is a shorter more compact weapon.  The M-4 is a fully automatic machinegun.  Is the M-4 available for purchase to the average citizen?  Generally not, but semiautomatic variants are available to the public in the form of the AR-15.  So, just as in the time of Jesus, a variant of the standard infantry weapon is available for purchase to the general public.

Has Jesus ordered all Christians to buy the standard infantry weapon of the day?   Looking at Luke 22: 38, I would say no.   When presented with two swords, Jesus said: “It is enough”.   There were eleven disciples present when Jesus issued his command for his followers to arm themselves.  Two out of the eleven did.  Two out of eleven was roughly 18% of the disciples present.

Today according to Wikipedia, seventy five percent of the American population claims to be Christian.  The same source states that sixty two percent claim to be church members.  According to Worldodometers the current American population as of this writing is 326,438,802.  Sixty two percent of that population is 202,392,057.  Eighteen percent of those who attend church represent a force of 36,430,570.

Do thirty six million Christians need to go out and purchase an AR-15 in order to comply with Christ’s command?  Once again, I would say probably not.   Every popular rifle in circulation today is a variant of a standard infantry weapon issued at some point in time.  The lever actions, the bolt actions, and the semi autos available today were all at one point standard military issue to the American Army.    The weapons in our gun safes and in our closets are more than adequate to meet our need to comply with the Lord’s command to arm ourselves.  By the same measure, those of us who have armed ourselves with AR-15 variants should understand that the AR-15 is in compliance with the Lord’s command because it is a variant of the standard military issue of our time.

How do our Lord’s predictions in Luke 21: 8-28 resonate with our current condition?   Simply look at the headlines in the media.   The horrors predicted by our Lord are unfolding in the world around us.   Secular sources to include our own Homeland Security and the CDC have warned the general population to prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse.…

The reason for this warning lies in this assumption:  If you are prepared for a world filled with starving people who are so desperate that they will turn to cannibalism, you are prepared for any disaster that might confront you.  While most will view this warning as hyperbole, it should be remembered that Homeland Security has purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition to deal with precisely this eventuality.…

THE EMP THREAT From the 2017 EMP Commission Report: “The United States…faces a present and continuing existential threat from naturally occurring and manmade electromagnetic pulse…on…national infrastructures. A nationwide blackout…could plausibly last a year or longer…A long-term outage owing to EMP could disable most critical supply chains, leaving the U.S. population living in conditions similar to centuries past, prior to the advent of electric power…. An extended blackout today could result in the death of a large fraction of the American people through the effects of societal collapse, disease, and starvation.”                                                                            

I believe it is imperative that if we wish to be the remnant that we follow the command of Christ and arm ourselves.                       Darrell E. Cloud 5/11/2018

In reply to by Economics Considered

scubapro Fri, 05/11/2018 - 16:07 Permalink


dont forget about sugar.   subsidized by the fed govt, pollutes FL water systems, is added to almost all foods in the US, is addictive, causes type 2 diabetes which is a chronic condition requiring medical supplies for years on end.   sugar today is tobacco of the 1960s, everyon admits its bad for you but everyone still consumes.  

Consuelo Fri, 05/11/2018 - 16:12 Permalink

- Go in to have your arthritic knee looked at

- Get asked how you are feeling (answer: 'Fine')

- Get a 5-minute marketing spiel on how certain mood-elevators (read: SSRI) can make you feel better.

Happens all the time.   At first I was somewhat taken aback, until my experience was confirmed with others who had similar experiences.   And it's age-neutral - across nearly every bracket...

HenryHall Fri, 05/11/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

>> A friend recently told us that the California Legislature is considering a law that makes it legal for parents to let their children walk to school unattended.

FFS ZH, it's been legal since time immemorial!