Sunday, February 12, 2023

We take a lot of things for granted

Do you buy medicines over the net? Do you know where they come from, or have the facilities to know what they really are? In Liberia: "When drugs come in illegally they usually find their way to “bucket boys” sellers who peddle medicine from bins in the streets."

I have no way to know what's inside the concrete of a building. In Wisconsin we don't get strong earthquakes: Turkey is another matter "For years, experts warned that many new buildings in Turkey were unsafe due to endemic corruption and government policies." "The BBC examined three new buildings, turned to rubble, to find out what they reveal about building safety." Except, if you read the article, it says nothing about the actual construction--and the reporters were in a position to look at the rubble to count rebar. The tenants who died there weren't. "But the BBC has not been able to verify the construction standards used in this block."

We've an expectation (diminishing, unfortunately) that criminals will be sought and mostly caught and punished. Aside from the connected, that's still mostly the case, though there are plenty of high and low profile counterexamples where criminals go free and the guiltless are punished. But try living in other parts of the world.

And we expect electricity to always be there, or be back soon, and gas to be there, and the stores to have consistent stocks, and the bus to run on time--enough that we get annoyed when it isn't.

We expect most strangers of our tribe to be polite, even friendly.

And we expect that the malicious and pointless destructions of war will never hit our town, our block, our house.

I know plenty of people who think our situation is our natural state, with no sense that gratitude is owed to God or man.


Korora said...

J. R. R. Tolkien really rips into the sense of entitlement with the "AkallabĂȘth", the story of the rise and fall of NĂșmenor.

Grim said...

"We've an expectation (diminishing, unfortunately) that criminals will be sought and mostly caught and punished."

That expectation is not warranted, by the way.

The only crime that is 'cleared' at a majority rate is murder, which is just a little over half. 'Cleared' in this context means that an arrest was made, not that a conviction was obtained (although jury trials have become so rare that most arrests do lead to plea bargains).

The rates are pretty pathetic for nonviolent crime. Even some of the violent ones people mostly get away with, most of the time.

james said...

It makes sense. With a little attention to detail (like comings and goings), a burglary seems like a fairly safe bet. With so many uncleared murders, estimates for motives might be a little sketchy.