Thursday, April 12, 2012

If you don't know, don't do anything

With regards to Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin, the self appointed volunteer stogie chomper who patrols my neighborhood on a quad sometimes makes me nervous. He is legally armed with a 9mm 15 shot automatic.  He has a concealed carry permit (so do I). He is a prescription painkiller pill popper. He keeps an eye on things.  Maybe this is a good thing. In my wood stove heated neighborhood he notices chimney fires, for example, and is quick to call the fire department which can be helpful unless the volunteer fire fighters too eagerly chop holes in your roof prematurely.  Often chimney fires remain contained in the chimney and burn out by themselves. In my case the department Chief himself was on site and the crew were careful and competent and drama minimized.  Having experienced other chimney fires that were harmless and essentially gave the chimney a good cleaning, I likely would not have called the fire department,  but the neighborhood Patrol did not give me that option.  Quick reaction is sometimes good, sometimes not so I give the Patrol the benefit of the doubt and overcame my initial anger.  Usually, I am more afraid of officials at my house than I am of natural disasters.

On trawlers, I learned about the ambiguity that goes with quick responses.  Sometimes they work, even heroically. Sometimes they don't and actually make things worse. Nothing is less productive than the excitement and panic that spreads in an emergency where everyone feels the need to do something.

Once, when I was on a particular trawler for the first time, the Captain said to me: "Don't be first to anything until you get the hang of things. Hang back, don't rush."

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