Thursday, July 25, 2013

In case you survive a disaster ...

... prepare a statement, lest you get caught unawares and make some foolish but unfortunately common statement, as in the following case.
At the end of an interview with a survivor of the train wreck in Galicia, after the survivor had described the chaos and panic and described hearing victims and seeing a trapped friend, the interviewer asked her, "How do you feel at having survived?". The survivor would have been justified in decking the journalist, or if she really wanted to respond with banalities, she could have said, "Numb." or "Shocked." or "I don't know what to think." or "It was so recent, there is so much turmoil inside me, I don't know what I feel."

Instead, her response was the all too common, "Thanks be to God! A miracle!"

If you don't have problems with that statement, you have rocks in your head. Now, since she is from a good little culturally Catholic country, we can safely assume she meant "miracle" and not "Miracle". But what was the miracle? That 300+ survived? That 80 people died? That only 80 people died? That 80 people died and she was one of the 300 odd survivors? That her God made the right choice in deciding which people to off and which ones to save? That this was a sign that she is special, and that as a corollary, the victims were not? That the families of the survivors should take consolation that they were simply the necessary collateral damage from the miracle? after all if every one had survived or everyone had died then there would have been no miracle.  

Or perhaps the miracle is that her god tolerates such lack of humility and empathy with the victims.

1 comment:

Ranjeet said...

Perhaps variance is a measure of miraculousness: If the proportion of survivors to potential victims is mu, the Miraculousness = mu*(1-mu)