It’s confusing. It’s really confusing. Listening to somebody who by default has resisted what you have shared because they don’t believe you know what you are talking about or that they’re automatic response is to be offended by what you’ve said.
Our current Covid pandemic really has me on high alert regarding this. News today is about AstraZenica’s needle causing some blood clotting in a (so far) small percentage of the vaccinated. Nobody wants this, to be sure. But even with some people correlating these two, the EU’s drug regulatory agency has dismissed all worry saying it is safe and effective, that the “benefits in protecting people from Covid-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalization outweigh the possible risks.”
I ask, how could they have possibly tested effectively to rule out any danger in so short a time? How could they be so confident?
I can’t help but picture some red faced Director sitting in a big chair getting frustrated with mere concerned citizens raising skepticism about their choice to allow the drug to be administered en masse. What would I do were I in that seat? I would, firstly, only be in that seat should I know all the right words to ease any concerned citizens minds. I would be using stats that proved my points, not the other stats that didn’t really paint as nice a picture.
As a professional, our job is to take information, study it, build on it, test it, and analyze the results to make sure the users are kept safe with no side effects and unexpected danger, and they can rest assured what they’re using is ‘safe’ by all modern standards.
I guess you would call this responsibility or accountability.
Engineers and Scientists, when a professional, are held accountable for that which they stamp / sign-off on because they are the ones, if anybody, that can ensure it is safe to use. Not red faced Directors or CEOs. They are just trying to sell their products of make you believe in them and the company or organization they represent. As we’ve seen many times over, red faced Directors spreading misinformation, who skirt the blame saying they were just saying what they had been told was truth.
A habit that seeps into all of our lives is that when we believe in something, we may embellish our own beliefs and feelings about the product, and diminish the shortcomings of the product. This so often comes out in heated arguments.
Sure, when we’re dealing with subjective things, something like a smartphone and comparing how quick they take photographs, it’s less dire than something like lets say a firearm and how frequently it jams. With one, you can handle a few failures and still be ok with it. And in the end, it’s really a subjective opinion on the matter, every user should have a unique opinion. On the other with the firearm, it could be fatal.
The internet is a great place for this. I can write this article and publish it, and then not respond to any questions or comments it may get and that’s that. After all, this is my subjective opinion. This essay has not undergone rigorous testing or been reviewed by a panel of my peers. It is not objective, it is not 10mL or red or 15m long.
This dismissal of someone’s worries to amplify another’s beliefs may be an effective tactic in negotiations, dare I even say effective in propaganda? Subjective matters like this and the debates they undergo make it possible for the world to adopt new beliefs, practices, habits, and ethics really. But objective matters like how clear cut logging effects the environment or how safe the road is to drive on absolutely should not be up for debate, especially when those debating have no accountability.
I recently went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. This is how I was raised, and have all of my teeth still to thank for it. Even me, a mere non-doctor, know that x-ray scans come with a dosage of radiation that isn’t healthy, so one would think that the Doctor would have at least heard of this before. However, when I raised my objection to getting so many scans of my teeth, the Doctor explained that it’s necessary to see the true image of my teeth and jaw and make sure that they know what they’re dealing with.
This is a professional who I have, of my own free will, chosen to go see to get a tooth cleaning from who has thought it in my best interest to subject me to radiation, and has managed to argue their beliefs enough to make me agree to more.
Yet the effects of radiation aren’t going away, though they do take years to accumulate. I cannot hold this single Doctor accountable for any side effects of radiation I may have when I’m 60 years old.
To me, it would make more sense that every time I was subjected to something like this, I would be able to hold the person accountable to the dangers they are putting me in. Perhaps I should carry a waiver form around with me all the time, that I get these Doctors to sign that states if anything in the future happens to me that is a side effect, they will be held accountable for it. Imagine that, Coca Cola selling soft drinks full of sugar are held accountable for the sky rocketing deaths due to diabetes worldwide!
Every day the cart was loaded and strapped down, the horse was harnessed and it began to pull it’s way into market.
Every day at the Johnson’s place, the Old Man muttered under his breath at the Johnsons for having such a muddy road in front of their house as he slopped his way through the bog and out the other side. From Spring to Autumn, every year, the same thing.
“All the rest of the road is good, but the Johnson’s is just horrible. You never see them out here helping anybody either!”
At the start, the road just looked wet. Every day the ruts got deeper and deeper. Every day the Old Man’s muttering turned more foul. Every day his wheels sunk deeper, the mud grew higher.
One day, the Old Man came up to the bog and noticed Mr. Johnson struggling with his wagon and horse to get through. As the Old Man drove past – by now, having passed the bog so many times the Old Man knew how to drive through the bog successfully – he just looked at Mr. Johnson, saying with his eyes: “See what kind of mess you’ve made in front of your house?”