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Repeal the risk averse society

Comment 3rd July 2010

A common thread running through a lot of overreaching laws is risk aversion.

There are 3 main categories:

  • Terrorism
  • Health and safety
  • Anti paedophillia laws

There are potentially100s of examples in these categories.

(These all help with "bad things" but the risk is generally over stated, and laws overly restrictive and expensive).

Why does this matter?

We need to accept that we can't elliminate risk, that it's a part of society.

A lot of the legislation overly restricts our freedom and should be toned/down removed.  This really goes beyond laws and to peoples general attitude.


The distance that children have been free to play has reduced again and again in the last 100 years, probably a feedback cycle where they become more fearful when they have their own.


The chance of being blown up by terrorists is tiny compared to more prosaic risks like being ran over – the security theatre in airports merely serves as an inconvenience.


Stopping people taking photographs of buildings also seems unnessacary; you won't stop everyone and people could use online services like google maps if they really wanted.

Theres nothing to stop people who really want to, from getting a job as a cleaner in said building.

Most of the antiterrorism laws that affect the public are probably inneffective and expensive, I'd rather the money was spent on intelligence.


TLDR:  Risk is the cost of living in a free society: By all means reduce it, but understand that all these laws have a cost in freedom and money and we will never eliminate it.

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