Musing about flood inspectors

Malcolm touches upon one of my favourite subjects, the nanny state, its attempts to de-risk society, and the totally inane consequences of such actions.

He makes a key point: when risks go down (say as a result of structural change), the mechanisms we use to measure risk often stay in place, despite the total pool of risk shrinking. We start getting disproportionate views of any incremental risk as a result.

Maybe there’s a link to the root causes of Michael Power’s Risk Management of Everything. When people run out of first-order risks, they start focusing on second-order risks, and soon we land up in that awful place where risk management is a zero-unemployment industry.

Risk management, like flood inspection, works best when there is a risk to manage.

3 thoughts on “Musing about flood inspectors”

  1. Talking about perceived risk, there was a wonderful cartoon in Punch some years ago showing an aged couple walking at night through a graveyard. The old man cowers in terror as an owl hoots high in a tree. The old lady says, ‘Don’t be silly. Of course it’s not Tony Benn.’

  2. Thought of sharing this quote which I got from one of my friends. Do you see some similarity between risks and worries ?

    When I look back on all the worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.

    – Winston Churchill, 1874 – 1965

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