Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I am getting very tired of listening to the news. Recently it seems that people dying is mostly what it is about. Wars, of course; dramatic accidents; murders; suicides (including those who take other people with them); illness, etc.

It is uncanny. Is that all we are interested in - ways to die?

Why don't we go the whole way - not just picking out plane crashes, but listing the ten people a day who regularly die on the roads in the UK (figures are even higher in France, I believe).

Let's list them all, and the mundane way they were suddenly interrupted. Let's count all the 'uninteresting' people who die of hunger, thirst, poverty and neglect - not just those heroic soliders, or those being horribly tortured. Let's list them all, and be done with it - just like the weather forecast. At that level we would realise how steady the figures are (something insurance firms know - the law of large numbers which level out statistically). Get a perspective.

152,078 people die every day, according to this site of World Vital Events - and, for what it's worth, they reckon 352,764 new people are born every day....aren't they news? That's 245 per minute, with only 106 dying, so the population is growing by 139 per minute, and has been for a long time.

If you prefer something a bit more vivid, look at the counter on this UN site.

So don't tell me about a suicidal politician or terrorist, or a multiple car pile up, or any freak accident that makes us think death is just 'bad luck'. Why not tell us about some positive stuff - intelligence at work; lucky breaks; positive outcomes....

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