Monday, December 14, 2015

We’ve never been safer, or more scared

One wonders what our new Syrian friends, having fled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s barrel bombs and endured untold miseries en route to their new home, will make of Canadians’ approach to risk management. One wonders, for example, what they will make of the various school boards who have deemed it imprudent to have any of their students take organized trips to Europe — you know, that place many hundreds of Syrians have perished trying to get to — because of the threat of terrorism. And one wonders, for example, what they will make of a Toronto school’s decision to ban the game of tag, according to a CTV report, because “students received scrapes, bruises and sprains as a result of the game, and at least one child suffered a fractured leg.”

Some might reasonably wonder why a people so blessedly safe from the world’s real and present dangers would spend their lives inventing and worrying about ridiculous ones. And many would probably realize, as surely even the people behind these policies must at some level, that these decisions are statistical and intellectual abominations.

The greatest part about Toronto’s St. Luke Catholic School banning tag is that having made the decision, according to CTV, “the school (then) contacted Toronto Public Health, requesting a representative attend … to advise teachers about active but not dangerous physical activity.” What this representative should tell the school is that by the standard of “danger” they are trying to mitigate, there is no advice to be offered.  (more...)

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