P. Edronkin

The Titanic Syndrome.

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Yesterday, an Air France Concorde was lost with everyone on board. The news struck spectacularly among the public, and in a matter of hours a debate about the safety of that particular model of aeroplane began.

I think that aside from the tragedy, what happens with machines such as this aircraft, or the Titanic, or any other luxurious device is that when they fail, we humans perceive a certain weakness deep in ourselves that explains even the morbid interest that we have in such events, as compared to what goes on accidents that perhaps imply even greater losses.

After all, such machines are our own symbols of perfection and, somehow, optimism in the future, at least for many. On the other hand, some see these machines as proof of our decadence, or with hidden envy for those able to travel on them and henceforth, the discussion begins.

It is not the case that I think that machines are bad; progress is not bad, and living better is fine for - I guess - any normal person, despite our different points of view on what might process mean to each one.

Reality indicates that fatalities happen; accidents are part of our reality, and things like what happened yesterday should not be surprising, yet we see again this "Titanic Syndrome."

We can't turn the clock back, but at least it is possible to do something to avoid new accidents. Hopefully, investigators will find the real cause of the accident and not just an excuse to blame the crew - conveniently dead.

For some people this is taken for granted. They assume that investigators will do their best and find the cause, but perhaps it is a proper time to remind ourselves that we should not take anything for granted.

Investigators might be fine people, but there are many interests at stake here, and while I do not want to appear paranoic, I should say that cover-ups do exist, especially when money is implicated.

I do not want to start disseminating such a theory on this issue, but just to remind you that a small dose of skepticism is in fact a healthy thing and the basis of democracy: if you trust your government, why not let it govern without voting?

For those of us who look at society somewhat aside, or from a distance, so to speak, this should not become an "I told you" kind of excuse just to blame the tragedy on society itself. As I said, accidents do happen, and could happen even to the most isolated person. The issue is to be prepared for the moment when they finally appear, and find their causes so that they may never be repeated again.

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