Authoritative Ignorance

H/T Simon Clarke:

This seems a reasonable response to a very minor issue. Others aren’t so happy. In a statement Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell said:

“Just because the police cannot tackle the problem, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Given that the Met is unable to provide a deterrent, I hope the Mayor will look at other options to prevent children in London breathing second hand smoke in cars.”

Frankly, I must admit that the above statement hurts my brain and my mind. If I consider my brain as a calculating machine and a store of images, experiences, emotions and experiences, then my brain rebels against the calculations of O’Connell that, in its simplest form, the slightest exposure to SHS in cars damages children. The rest of his statement depends entirely upon that supposition: “THE SLIGHTEST EXPOSURE OF CHILDREN TO TOBACCO SMOKE IN CARS HARMS THEM”

It is hard to describe how utterly stupid such a statement is. That is why it not only hurts my brain, but also my mind. My mind controls by brain. My mind considers ethics, whereas my brain has no such concept. My mind uses my brain.

Reverse O’Connell’s statement:

“Children in London breathing second hand smoke in cars”. So what? What is the level of exposure and what damage, if any, does momentary exposure do? What time-scale is involved in the damage/exposure incidence? The ethics problem is a mind problem. Why is this arse-hole promoting lies and evil? Note that the use of the word ‘arse-hole’ is entirely justified ethically since it perfectly describes, in the vernacular, an arse-hole – that is, a person who emits shit.

It follows that there is no problem for the police to tackle, since there is no harm to children from smoking in cars. Again, it is not about law, it is about ethics. Perhaps the mayor of London should look at the ethics of the proposer and ban the arse-hole.

What is more important, perhaps, is the fact that arse-holes like O’Connell have invaded the ‘Conservative London Assembly’. But perhaps there is a direct connection between politically involved people and arse-hole-ness. Perhaps their brains and minds are disconnected.

That idea needs more research.




5 Responses to “Authoritative Ignorance”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    The experts will use terms like ‘no risk free level of exposure’; but, does that actually imply being harmful?

    Low levels of risk are not always harmful.

    In fact, low levels of risk are seldom harmful or dangerous.

    A statement like ‘no safe level of exposure’ is valid only if it can be shown that there actually is ‘no safe level of exposure’.

    There are very few substances for which that is true.

    It also must be shown that there are no people/kids that have been exposed to any level of exposure and survived without harm.

    Reasonable people will notice that there are millions of people that were exposed to SHS in cars when they were young and have survived to old age with very little or no harmful effects.

    Seems the police are just showing common sense.

    • junican Says:

      I think that you are absolutely right, Gary. In effect, TC is using verbal trickery. You could say that there is always a risk of being knocked down when you cross a road, and you would be right, even at pedestrian crossings. Thus, you could truly say that there is no safe way to cross a road. Whatever you do, there is a risk. But, you might say, what if there is no traffic in sight? Well, you might faint and fall over unconscious. Before you recover, you might be squashed flat by a bus. Thus, the statement ‘there is no safe level’ is ALWAYS correct.

      • Rose Says:

        There is no official safe level of eating potatoes either.

        After reams and reams of information about death and poisoning of both humans and animals, it simply adds.

        4. EVALUATION

        The Committee considered that, despite the long history of human consumption of plants containing glycoalkaloids, the available epidemiological and experimental data from human and laboratory animal studies did not permit the determination of a safe level of intake.

        The Committee recognized that the development of empirical data to support such a level would require considerable effort.

        Nevertheless, it felt that the large body of experience with the
        consumption of potatoes, frequently on a daily basis, indicated that normal glycoalkaloid levels (20-100 mg/kg) found in properly grown and handled tubers were not of concern.

  2. beobrigitte Says:

    In a statement Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell said:

    “I hope the Mayor will look at other options to prevent children in London breathing second hand smoke in cars.”

    This is hilarious!!!
    London, a town of >8million people; expensive as hell when it comes to having to live there (I believe child poverty is greatest in London); congested traffic so that the exhausts spitting diesel fumes are in child buggy height; teenager shootings and killings (looks like the gun law doesn’t work); …
    and all this O’Connell worries about is the non-existent “danger” of passive smoking????

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