Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The worth of a soul

When I was serving my mission I had my parents sign me up for classes at BYU for me to take when I returned. I guess I could have done it myself, but I didn't want to waste internet time rummaging around on BYU's website, trying to figure out my schedule. I hadn't really declared a major yet, so I figured that anything the signed me up for would be OK.

I was signed up for some funky stuff, but I liked my classes a lot. I still think about them sometimes. That semester I took World Civilization through 1500, Introduction to Ethics, Fitness and Lifestyle Management, a few religion classes, and Natural Hazards. Yes, Natural Hazards. That class was all about flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, and, yes, crime. Did you know that crime is considered a natural hazard? We discussed this in detail, and how environmental changes make people more criminal. Also, geography plays a role on what type of crime you are likely to commit. For instance, people in the South are more likely to commit aggravated assault, whereas those in the Northwest and East are more likely to burglarize. Funky stuff.

In that class we also discussed how news is reported disproportionately here in the United States according to race. I don't remember the ratios exactly, but it went something like this: if one person was killed in a natural hazard in the United States, there would be a significant amount of media coverage, especially if she was a young, white female. For the same media coverage to occur for a disaster in Western Europe, three people have to die. In South America, the number is around 20. In Africa and Asia, at least 50 people need to die for it to have the same media coverage as someone here in the United States.  In some cases this makes sense. They're further away, it doesn't affect us as much. But Europe is just as far away as Africa...

Anyway, that was just something that I was thinking about today.

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