On Twitter last week, I caught a couple of tweets with the idea that too many famous people have died recently. I thought that was an interesting idea, and wondered how many is just enough?
Everyday people die across a city, a country, a continent, and the world. Some are known to just the few others they may live with, and some are known around the world. The idea that too many have passed is a reaction to the known names that have come up recently. David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays were all in the news for their deaths in the last few weeks.
Is that too many? Is it statistically unusual or is it just the normal variation in human death. Is it more than we should permit without taking action of some sort?
OK, so that sounds a little weird, as though we could take action to prevent celebrity deaths. But in the world of safety, where we specifically take action to avoid injury and possible death, we are reacting to the idea that too many people are maimed or killed in certain ways.
The invention and popularization of the automobile increased the death rate, and engineers are continuously looking at how to improve the safety of vehicles. Too many people die and so we try and find ways to avoid the crash or at least minimize the harm to occupants.
Someone thinking that “too many famous people have died” is making an observation based on experience. It’s not an observation you can exactly take action on.
In your workplace, in your home, have you ever thought that too many people are hurt or die due to a certain act or condition? What steps have you taken to eliminate the problem?