November 4, 2009

Life is Risky!

Offlate I have been contemplating on probabilities for various everyday day events in our lives and I thought it will be an interesting exercise. The reason is the recent Bt brinjal controversy that is making headlines. The Wiki says "Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred. In mathematics the concept has been given an exact meaning in probability theory, that is used extensively in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, and philosophy to draw conclusions about the likelihood of potential events and the underlying mechanics of complex systems."
Now,  probability of being involved in an airplane accident: 1 in 11 million;
Probability of dying in a car crash: 1 in 5000

But do these statistics stop us from using them for transport? Infact, people find it glamorous to use these modes of transport:-). I was talking to a medico and he was saying that a simple penicillin shot or a pain killer can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Do we stop taking these shots? There is so much talk about the ills of using mobile phones, can we do away with them? We all know the harm non vegetarian food / alcohol does to our human body, have we all given up non vegetarian food /alcohol?

Then why this hue and cry and 'holy cow' attitude towards Biotechnology in Agriculture? Some people are against genetic modifcation as it means 'going against nature". I would like to ask these people if they take medicines / vaccines when they fall ill? Most drugs today, are produced through genetic modification. I am shocked that medical doctors are expressing concerns over gene manipulation. Such ignorance:-)

A point all of us need to ponder is "How safe is living in this planet?" Our lifestyle from waking up with coffee /tea, to using mobiles, to driving cars, flying in jets /trains, walking in Indian roads, using PCs, eating junk food, popping pills when sick, are all extremely risky things we do, as part of our routine. We need to realize that life is all about taking risks, its a gamble

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