Norm Geras has a great post up on the tsunami and our moral/philosophical reactions to it. I’m mostly pragmatic, and note the quote he has from Simon Day, an Earth Sciences professor at my alma mater:
For me, the deepest horror of the event lies in the one to three hours between the recording of the earthquake on the worldwide seismic network and the arrival of the tsunami waves on distant coasts, while their victims lived out the last hours of their lives all unawares.
With less than an hour of warning and a simple lesson in advance on what to do, most would have been able to simply walk a mile inland to safety and the death toll would have been counted in the hundreds rather than the tens of thousands. Providing these things is not advanced science.
The best monument to the dead from this disaster would be to ensure that this effort is now made. Man is not helpless in the face of nature, if he applies his intelligence and energy to the task.
No, we’re not helpless.
He also wants you to email him your Top 10 Rock songs. I’m late with this because it’s hard for me not to do a top 100, I’m musically promiscuous I guess. But after hours of staring at the CD cases, here’s what I came up with. Note that if I did it again, half the answers would be different.
4th of July – X
Baba O Reilly – The Who
Catch Me Now – Kinks
It’s Expected I’m Gone – Minutemen
Guns of Brixton – The Clash
I’m Happy Just to Dance With You – Beatles
Struck A Nerve – Bad Religion
California Girls – Beach Boys
My My Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) – Neal Young
Hotel California – Eagles