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Risk and fear: liberty and protection
by Sylvia
Sunday Mar 24th, 2013 12:07 PM
Life is risky. Safety has a price. We lobby for what price we want to pay. ... Will you ask yourself what are you afraid of what liberty will you give up for protection? What does make you feel safe?
I read Wolf - http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/13539/1/13539.pdf for ideas about how to analyze risk. I'd like to have some help in refining these thoughts. Sylvia

Risk and fear: liberty and protection

Home owners are worried about property values and business want to attract investment to increase the tax base. Retirement income doesn't seem secure. Students graduate with large debt. Fear and its partner anxiety are helpful hard-wired survival tools. It's easy to engage them. New disorder in Santa Cruz has moved us past our tipping point. Gangs, shootings, needles, camps, crazies, incivility, Sand Hook, murders … .

Now groups are using words and marches and meetings to create an us against them environment.

Life is risky. Safety has a price. We lobby for what price we want to pay.

It's easy to focus on one piece of the problem, to spend huge sums to mitigate tiny risks. Advocacy can make people feel that risks are much higher, or lower, than in fact they are.

Or we can comfort ourselves with a politics of gesture, pass laws with many exceptions and no related regulations.

Each of us is afraid of some risks, but less so of others. We turn our fear to blame and now to outrage – we mutter “immoral”. And think that more restrictions will reduce our fear, provide a predictable structure we can count on. If we just root out bad behavior and control uncertainty we will feel better.

Can we make a distinction between reduction in crime, and reduction in the fear of crime? Can we give sufficient attention to cause, hazard, probability, fear, blame and shame?

Will you ask yourself what are you afraid of what liberty will you give up for protection? What does make you feel safe?