control and chaos
March 27th, 2008 05:26 pm
You know, I think I know part of the reason that modern myths like cell phones causing fires at gas stations and vaccinations causing autism and are so appealing to people.

It is the allure of the idea that there are just some simple things that we as humans are doing that can easily explain why random Bad Things that happen. It gives us the sense that we have control over the random chaos of this planet, and the feeling that the universe is a thing that we can understand and control.
  post comment | watch
Date:March 28th, 2008 - 01:07 am
Oh, yes.
(Reply) (Thread)
Date:March 28th, 2008 - 01:32 am
Very interesting read. Thank you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
Date:March 28th, 2008 - 03:52 pm
I do think we take vaccinations to an extreme in the US. While I agree they are beneficial, there's no reason to give the insane amount that we do in the short period of time we do. Europeans have a much less extreme vaccination schedule, spreading it out over 3 years, where we do most of ours in 6 months.

And the link between autism and vaccinations may be related to the schedule, and not the vaccinations themselves. The jury is still out.
(Reply) (Thread)
Date:March 31st, 2008 - 05:49 am
I take a more simple attitude. If I wanted to understand/control Random Bad Things, I'd go look up /dev/urandom (or whatever it is; i forget). But... I am too lazy and too forgetful. So I blame it all on supercomputers, which have clearly developed consciousness.

Perhaps I need sleep :-)
(Reply) (Thread)
Date:April 10th, 2008 - 05:10 am

Ancient myths too

This illusion of control is similarly part of the unremitting allure of "faith". Religions stipulate your available control levers and "faith" is available to make these levers appear potent.

(Reply) (Thread)
post comment