When I was a teenager, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, and Disneyland was the only Disney amusement park, I was taken to said theme park for the first time. I was immediately struck by the total artificiality of the place, and the fact the everybody wanted it to be so. For some reason I could not get the idea out of my mind, that if you dug a pit, entrenching sharpened stakes on the floor of it, and put ropes up to manage the line, people would line up and jump in.
I was forcibly reminded of this by a story about the coverage of the Japanese quake and tsunami, and the use of smartphones and social media to document the event and disseminate the information as never before. We are used to “reality” television which is completely unreal, and an unusual reality strikes us as fantastic.
And I’d like to reiterate my advice to prepare for the next disaster: get trained in emergency management and response.