deird1: Anya looking stern (Anya glasses)
[personal profile] deird1
The Context
A kid was killed by an alligator at Disney World. The pond he was wading in had a sign saying "no swimming".

The Argument
The parents were at fault because
a) It's Florida, alligators are everywhere, and everyone should know this.
b) There was a "no swimming" sign, which should have clued them in that alligators were likely to be in the area.

The Rebuttal
a) I am Australian. I live in a very dangerous region of the world, where we don't put on gumboots without checking for spiders. We expect to find snakes, dingoes, sharks, and crocodiles in most outdoor settings.
I would not have expected there to be alligators in this pond.
Yes, I'm aware that Florida has alligators, but Queensland has crocodiles, and I still expect hotels to be crocodile-free. Crocodiles can't generally get over fences. Alligators can. I didn't know this.

b) If I see a sign that says "Danger: Crocodiles! No swimming!", I expect there to be crocodiles around, and that I shouldn't go swimming. If I see a sign that simply says "no swimming", sans explanation or exclamation marks, I assume it's roughly equivalent to "keep off the grass" - ie: the maintenance crew are trying to stop you from trashing the area. I certainly wouldn't expect wading to be dangerous.

People who keep making this argument? You kinda suck.

Date: 2016-06-22 07:50 am (UTC)
zeborah: Zebra standing in the middle of the road (urban)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
I've been to Orlando and saw no alligators, so they can't be EVERYWHERE. Nor did anyone warn me about them beforehand, or ask me if I saw any after, or anything. How is one meant to educate oneself about a danger one doesn't realise is a danger? You can't google a negative.

Also I once hosted someone from New York on a visit to my country, and I warned her it could get cold that time of year so bring layers. She (judging by our latitude and therefore assuming I meant "breezy") brought one thin cardigan and so (upon the warm nor'wester swinging around to a southerly straight from the Antarctic with no intervening landmass or warm sea currents like you get in the Northern Hemisphere) we had to go shopping. I may have privately rolled my eyes a little because I did warn her - but I also recognised that actually, she had no way of knowing that the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are that different, and no way of knowing what temperature range I actually meant when I said "cold".

Just like non-Florida folk have no way of knowing what "alligators are everywhere" actually means. One per square metre? One per square kilometer? Everywhere in rural areas? Everywhere in cities? Are there as many alligators as cars (and if someone's child gets hit by a car are the parents at fault because they should have educated themselves about how many cars are on the road, or do we recognise that parents already spend every waking moment trying to keep their children safe and happy and if an accident happens they're devastated enough without having literally the entire world debating whether it was their fault)? People make assumptions and think they understand risks and turn out to be wrong ALL THE TIME and mostly this doesn't kill them.

And yet none of anything I've just written makes a blind bit of difference. Screw who's "at fault". Why are people so fixated on casting blame? What is so important about doing that? Their child just died.

Their child. Just. Died.

It is sad. There's no "but". It's just sad. Full stop.


deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

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