The half-life of a near miss
How long does it take to forget how frightening it was?
You fell off your bike and really skinned your knee. How many months or years go by before you're willing to ride a bike again?
The stories we tell ourselves are powerful indeed. I got food poisoning as a kid and never again ate at the restaurant that caused it, even after the restaurant went out of business and was replaced by a totally different business, which then went out of business and was replaced again. There was no rational reason to avoid that particular building, but our myths run deep.
On the other hand, sometimes we do have a rational reason to avoid a particular behavior, but our culture or outside forces or sheer force of habit causes us to forget.
This episode of Dan Carlin's podcast is, like most of his work, extraordinary. In just over five hours, Dan will remind you about just how close each and every one of us came to dying because of nuclear weapons. It was a near miss, by every measure. And yet, within a generation or two, it's easy to forget.
I hope we don't forget.