Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Scapegoating again

There's an article on Bicycling Magazine's website, entitled "Cars Kill. Bike Helmets Don’t Change That." It's really about more than that, though. It's about how we assign blame so we don't have to change anything. Read the whole thing for more, but here's a good takeaway paragraph:
Studies show that the simple act of finding someone to blame in an accident makes people less likely to see systemic problems or seek systemic changes. One [study] prompted subjects with news stories about a wide variety of accidents: financial mistakes, plane crashes, industrial disasters. When the story blamed human error, subjects were more intent on punishment and less likely to question the built environment or seek investigation of organizations behind the accident. No matter the accident, blame took the place of prevention.
<idle musing>
As a pedestrian and bicyclist, I know that the odds are that if I get hit, I'm in serious trouble. I've already experienced that once and don't want it to happen again. But, why is it always the victim that is blamed?

And I don't mean just in auto-pedestrian and auto-bicyclist accidents. What about sexual misconduct cases? There's a lot of victim-blaming going on there, too.


Because it's a whole lot easier and cleaner to blame somebody than to face the fact that the system is broken.

But it is! Culture is broken. It's worshiping the wrong gods: Money, sex, and power.

It's the same gods that have always been worshiped, just wearing different clothes now.

Just an
</idle musing>

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