Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You!

Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You!

Cogitation is concerted thought, reflection, meditation, or contemplation. “Cogitation” highlights cognitive ideas that cross our paths. These ideas and thoughts don’t really warrant full articles. They are important enough to be shared as food for thought before forgotten.

Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You!

hu·bris: noun \ˈhyü-brəs\ : a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence via Merriam-Webster.com

Prepping For EbolaThe death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the foreign national who recently passed away in Dallas, becoming the first US ebola death, is raising alarms. What I find even more alarming is the CDC’s, and US administration’s public response to his death and the subsequent infection of not one, but two of his nurses as well as the general threat that Ebola poses to our nation and the world.  At every turn the CDC and administration’s statements have turned out to be untrue, or patently false.  The most glaring examples of this are the following:

  • The threat of Ebola coming to American shores is small:  Less than two weeks later Thomas Eric Duncan was dead in Dallas and several potential cases are being monitored in Dallas, TX,  Atlanta, GA and Kansas City, KS.
  • The threat of others being infected is small:  One of Thomas Eric Duncan’s nurses has contracted Ebola, and his family and those that are around him are being closely monitored and there is a real threat that they have been infected as well.
  • The chances of health care workers becoming infected with Ebola is almost non-existent:  Two nurses in Dallas have been confirmed to have contracted Ebola, with another 70 possibly exposed.  No one is 100% certain is was human error that caused the nurses to get infected, and there are conflicting reports that the virus may have mutated so as to be airborne.

At every turn officials have had to back pedal, or “clarify” what they previous meant to say. In at least one case Canadian officials actually edited info out of a web page.  This was an apparent attempt to make the info fit the meme, as well as to nip any panic in the bud.

Do I think this is all some sinister plot, or cover up?  No, I do not.  I do think is that it is a shining example of hubris, demonstrated by people who feel they are smarter, more informed, and simply better at doing things than every one else. The way they see the world is the ‘way it is.’ The way they say things should be run is the ‘best way;’ without exception. In their eyes, their systems and plans are infallible, as if believing that will make it so. In the best of circumstances, this is just irratating; maddingly so at times. In dire times and emergencies, say like when facing a potential epidemic/pandemic with a 50%+ death rate, that type of hubris will kill you.

Don’t think that this is soley an indictment of current adminstrations and beauracracies. My comment translates to the individual, as well. More so, in fact.  On a personal level, if you are closed minded and believe that your systems and procedures are infallible, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Do that in the wrong situation and you or others may very well die!

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