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elbanditoroso's avatar

Is this tempting fate in the worst possible way? NYT publishes an article about how safe air travel has been?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15715 points ) February 12th, 2013

In today’s Times, an article was published saying that the US has now gone exactly four years since the last fatal crash (in the US), and that this was the longest period on record.

The article was here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/business/2012-was-the-safest-year-for-airlines-globally-since-1945.html?hp&_r=0

Is this tempting fate? Are we asking for trouble?

Is there even such a thing as fate?

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10 Answers

Seek's avatar

Fate doesn’t care about temptation. Correlation does not imply causation.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t believe in fate. Shit happens. A part breaks, you fly into some birds, whatever. Then you have to rely on the skills of the people involved.

janbb's avatar

Only if you believe in fate and that it cares about something like temptation.

Pachy's avatar

Reading this article could easily make any flyer nervous, and if he or she were superstitious, certainly more so. But fate itself is a superstition in which I don’t happen to believe, so my answer is no.

CWOTUS's avatar

If that were so, then every construction jobsite in the world that celebrates “One million manhours without a lost time accident!” (and they all do, if they can, because it’s a big deal) would cancel their celebrations.

Come to think of it, who would ever celebrate a birthday, anniversary, New Year’s Eve or any other time-based or longevity marker?

No, the article (though I haven’t read it) should be a review of “lessons learned” and their application to other endeavors, with an aim to improve in other ways. Maybe someday our descendants can celebrate “four years without a traffic fatality in the entire nation” or some such. It’s not impossible.

wundayatta's avatar

There will be a rally in Times Square this evening, where we will sacrifice the New York Times to the airplane gods in hopes of satiating their desire for more human deaths. The Times will be made into paper dolls (people are cutting them as I write), and these dolls will each stand for a human death.

Everyone must be there, or we will see a planageddon the likes of which we have never seen before!

ETpro's avatar

No. Labeling the Titanic “The Unsinkable” didn’t cause it to sink. Design flaws that made it highly sinkable coupled with the hubris of the ship’s captain and owners and the bad luck of running into an iceberg the size of Mount Everest caused it to sink. Hopefully man has learned from that disaster that labeling and press releases do not control reality, mechanical design and human behavior do.

cazzie's avatar

I love how people don’t understand statistics and risk assessment. It makes me laugh.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, if you are superstitious you might think saying something or writing something like this might cause a crash. Statistics or not, saying something good out loud can bring the evil eye. I would suggest not flying with the people who wrote the article. They should have added “kenahora” for good measure.

But, seriously, this article tells a lot about the industry and does not come off as a bragging, but rather it is informative about how things have changed regarding safety. Even a superstitious persin would not perceive this article as tempting fate I don’t think.

flutherother's avatar

That’s good news and good news is never bad unless it makes us complacent. That would be tempting fate.

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