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Random Musings

Today I read about a man who got away with murder on account of the fact that the world ended.

The world did not really end, of course. But some 28,000 people on the island were killed. There were only two survivors. And one of them was this guy who was in prison for committing murder.

He was let go even though he had served almost no time in jail. I guess they figured that having lived through the destruction of everyone on the island was punishment enough.

Myself, I don’t quite get the logic. It was a known fact that all 28,000 of those people were going to die when they sentenced the man to life in prison for murder. The only surprising thing was that they all died at once. But in the long term, does that really matter?

I mean, all of those deaths did not happen very long ago. But I bet that nobody reading this knows what I am talking about or where it happened. Nor does it really matter to you. Everybody who lived back then has died by now, so who cares about a volcano that killed 28,000 of them all at once?

If it happened today, it would be a different story. Especially given the location of the volcano. Prime place for TV coverage—for the North American market in particular.

But why should it be a different story? Logically, it does not make any more sense to me that people should care more about 28,000 people who died today they 28,000 who died a couple of hundred years ago.

I mean, if we can help then we ought to do something. But why should it shake us up? We know that everybody is going to die. Why should it bother us more that deaths happen in our own time instead of the past?

I sometimes think that the main reason is that we are always suprised by reminders that our world can end. Sure, it all ended for those in the past. But their world was fake and unknowable.

And our world is real.

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