Friday, August 26, 2011

Worst Case Scenario

The people who refuse to leave evacuation zones in a hurricane scenario display an interesting facet of human behavior: why should anyone risk their life just to be in their house or store during the hurricane?  How much good can you do by staying?  Is it worth your life?

I think we do have a tendency to discount the worst case scenario, and we need to.  After all, if we didn't how could we dare get out of bed?  The world is full of risks, in bed and out, so we need a rough and ready built in risk assessor, and evolution provides us with one.  It's a good question, though, whether the one we got, evolved mainly to serve the needs of a primitive hunter-gatherer, is well suited for life today.