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Of panic and progressives

It seems Captain Schettino panicked. Who's to say you wouldn't? | Bruce Hood | Comment is free |

There's an interesting (and rather heated) discussion of the linked Guardian contribution to the discussion of Captain Schettino's conduct over at Harry's Place. Libby T asks the provocative and amusing question "Is there anything so craven that it won’t find an apologist at The Guardian?" Quite. However I find the original piece by Bruce Hood, an 'experimental psychologist' at the University of Bristol less revealing than the comments it provokes over at the Guardian's Comment is Free section. For example;

I can guarantee you: No little old lady is too sweet, no pregnant momma too rotund for me to trample them down on the run to the exits.

Progressives and their love of their fellow man, eh?

Actually that's rather a cheap shot and I should be ashamed of myself. In fairness, many others at Comment is Free make sensible and even noble points. Still it's educational to watch other Guardianisti try to fit this story, like every other, into their tired ideological templates. The trouble with making 'society' to blame for everything, it seems, is that you risk making excuses for anyone who fails to take personal responsibility. Rather like the progressives at work in our justice system, perhaps.

For myself, I am upset about a member of his crew comparing Captain Schettino's personal style of navigation to a 'Ferrari driver'. Harumph.


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The Guardian article is utter bilge, fight or flight were not the Captain's reality. I doubt he feared for his life for a second, he new the boat and all its safety features.

However he knew his life was already over in a more profound way. Everything that happened was entirely his fault, no excuses nor defense, he would have been in deep shock. No training would prepare him for his own inadequacy and culpability. Would the crew have even taken an order from him. He should have appointed a competent sailor to take over, then located a single malt and a revolver (though he probably would have missed).

Shock robs you of the ability to reason. I can see why someone might act a bit strange after playfully putting a 50 metre hole in a boat with 4000 souls on board.


Compare and contrast Captain Schettino with Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III... Not that the Guardianistas would approve of the latter, he's American and probably votes Republican. :-)

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