The Death - Ejaculation Rating
quantifying the importance of death
in the aftermath of the Indian ocean tsunami

here has been quite a bit of hand-wringing over the wholesale, grim reaper, "hell let's take 'em all and let God sort it out", tidal wave. Most of it is disingenuous. They who "feel" the most are also those who feel nothing ... yet "feel" that they should. Why is this particular tragedy so much greater than any other of like or greater proportion? One answer is that it is "our" mass death event. By "our", I mean the computer generation ... for surely, all other generations have known their own. For instance, my generation has seen the Pol Pot massacre (and done nothing much). Others have seen the Stalin, Mao and Hitler massacres and done little. Of natural "massacres" there was the Bangeladesh hurricane, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Chinese earthquake (pick one) ... all of which caused as much or more death.

Now, they say that Cumbre Vieja (if I spelled it right) will go 20 kilometers inland (yeah ... sure) ... probably more like 2000 yards. You may start the "death-circle-jerk" now if you wish for surely ...

we're all gonna' die soon

It's a pitiful thing but it happens pretty regularly ... like every day. Yup, every day about a million people die on the earth ... they just don't die in one place or from the same cause. The ones who died in the latest catastrophe will cause a ten percent blip on the death charts for that day.

Remember this equation ...

The importance of death is proportional to the square of the number (N) of people who die from the same cause (that's usually in the same place too) multiplied by the "oddness" (O) of the cause on a scale of 1 to 10

If 100,000 people die today from heart attacks ... that's not newsworthy because it has an oddness rating of say, 1/10. If someone developed a prophilactic for heart attacks, it would be big news (in the west) but not as big as the tsunami deaths. This is because "death" is more important to the majority of people than "life". And this in turn is because death is considered "good" ... it's a release from life's troubles (read here "the necessity of independent thought"). Death means that you don't have to think anymore.
divided by the distance removed (both physically and culturally) from the hand-wringing people who weren't involved (again on a 1-10 scale but raised to the power of the selected value) and the time over which the event occurs (also a 1-10 scale).
If it's all at once it's more important than if it drags out interminably. So, the importance of the flu pandemic of 1918 which killed about 20 million is downgraded somewhat. Hence, the temporal division.

Oddness x   D2eaths / Time x   Ssdistance

= The Death-Ejaculation Rating

where the answer is "D.E.R" units ... or ... just "Der" (in new-speak).

Thus, the tsunami has an oddness rating of about 7 and a cultural removal rating of about 6 ... so ...

7odd x ~150,0002 / 1t x 66s = 3.375 millionDER units

Now, for comparison, the WTC had this ...

7.5odd x 20002 / 1t x 22s = 7.5 millionDER units

So, the World Trade Center disaster was at least twice as important as the tidal wave deaths.

My equation is of course something I made up on the fly. But there does exist such a cultural equation (I have no doubt whatsoever). It would look something like what I've just made (perhaps it would have some logarithms in it too and the constant "e" thrown in for good statistical measure). Such a hypothetical equation doesn't appear to be related to race, religion, culture or time you live in. It would be just as valid in ancient Rome as now. The big difference is that now we can be aware of much more than they were. So, we are "empowered" to do much more hand-wringing and can feel good about helping out the less fortunate (but only when the situation is odd and not chronic ... like starvation ... which is their own fault ... so you can't get any brownie points with God for helping them out).

The true reason that so much emphasis is placed on such events now is that they are so heavily documented by moving pictures from a million handheld cameras and distributed by the media for their own "ends" (not just to make money but rather, to have you wallow in the swill of your perceived vulnerability ... to shove your nose in it ... just to show that they can do so ... as an end in itself ... thus embodying the fact that it is "they" who are truly in control of civilization).

I don't wish to sound like I object to people helping other people. That's fine at all social levels so long as it doesn't generate an unnatural dependency. I just want to point out the laughable hypocrisy of some of what I've seen on the tube lately. Aren't we fashionably compassionate? ... as the news media leads us once again where IT wants us to go, i.e. in the direction of "Social Masterbation".


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