I love America. Why? It’s our unending hubris. Everyone appreciates the guy with confidence. Women uniformly agree that they find confident men attractive.
The trouble is, overly-confident people usually have no fucking idea what they’re talking about or what they’re doing. The scientific method doesn’t give a crap how confident you are in your hypothesis. Bad ideas will be sussed out. Nature doesn’t care how confident you are. Earthquakes kill heroes and cowards alike.
Confidence isn’t always a good thing. I know it sounds insane, but sometimes a bit of caution is helpful.
Solving complex problems involves a bit of both: confidence that you will succeed and caution to avoid deceiving yourself. Knowing when to apply each is like cooking a steak over an open fire and using liquid butter and a water bottle to adjust the flames.
Which brings us to:
The way the media is telling it, swine flu is just inches away from killing your infant. Never mind the fact that your kid is 9000% more likely to die from regular flu. Never mind the statistics or the numbers. The American media wants you to know that swine flu is poised to cover the Earth with burning piles of corpses. There is no escape and no future; we are all royally fucked.
OK, I’m being too goddamn sarcastic. Fact is, swine flu (Influenza A H1N1) is a particularly lethal form of the flu. And we are overdue for a pandemic. We haven’t had a real high-quality barn-burner for 91 years.
But folks, by all outward appearances, this flu isn’t THE flu. Its current form just isn’t virulent enough to do the kind of damage that the bobble-heads on TV are warning you about. Yes, it could mutate (unless you’re a Creationist, in which case mutations don’t ever occur unless the Bible describes them). A random mutation that increased virulence and lethality could make H1N1 a real pisser.
But that just hasn’t occurred. So stop freaking out. Stop running off to the ER because you got the sniffles. They can’t help you anyway; if you’ve contracted H1N1, there is no cure. You’ll either die or live. You’re better off staying at home, swilling NyQuil and watching re-runs of Hell’s Kitchen.
If the virus mutates in a bad way, the global networks will certainly let you know. In the mean time, let’s “Keep Calm and Carry On”, OK?
And if the worst should happen, you can rest assured that I will hole up in my bunker with six weeks of provisions and some powerful guns. When the worst is over, I will emerge into the smoking ruins to take full control over a society gone mad. I will rule with an iron fist, but if you prove your worth and join me in hunting down the last of the infected zombies, you can go with me to a secret Paradise waiting in the mountains.
You see? There’s nothing to worry about.