Friday, January 16, 2009

Riding the wave of seasonal stupidity

It is almost impossible not to love writers like Malcolm Knox. Tackling the hysterical media bias of three near simultaneous shark attacks in Australia recently with an article formula based on two parts searing humor and two parts serious thought.

Read, be amused, become informed:

Full Story

On Tuesday a rampant great white shark, rows of teeth bared and bloody, lunged out of the front page of The Manly Daily. In case readers weren't already running, the headline shouted: "Coming to a beach near you?"

The annual shark hysteria always devolves into the debate between the head - someone saying that you're more likely to get hit by a car on your way to the beach - and the guts - an unfortunate surfer in hospital letting the teeth marks speak for themselves. By playing the impossible game of measuring probabilities and evidence against the bottomless pit of basic human fear, the hysteria is a distraction from the main issue affecting beaches in summer: the seasonally adjusted spike in stupidity

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