On Tuesday, Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” uploaded part one of a recent interview with Mike Rowe to his YouTube channel.
When Rubin asked Rowe, former host of “Dirty Jobs” and founder of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, about COVID-19 and the ongoing lockdowns, Rowe compared what he’s seeing to the famous “five stages of grief.”
“The country’s grieving in a sense, but we’re all at different levels and we’re all grieving at different speeds, and we’re trying to process a lot of information and a lot of data without a ton of context or perspective,” Rowe said.
Rowe then spoke about a piece he wrote called “Safety Third,” which explored the “unintended consequences of a culture that truly elevates safety to an unrealistic place on some hierarchy.”
“The safety first culture, the safety first mentality with regard to vocational work, is fascinating because it’s rife with unintended consequences,” Rowe noted. “When you put safety at the top of the thing, and when you tell your employees or your customers that their safety is your top priority, you set the table in a very strange way. It’s a way that oftentimes, in my view anyway, fosters complacency among the very customers and employees who should be really taking a measure of personal responsibility for their own actions.”
As for how such a concept relates to “quarantine,” Rowe stated that “we can be a safety first country, but only for very, very, very short periods of time, and then we’re reminded that the chief goal of living is not to merely stay alive, at least not for most people.”
The former “Dirty Jobs” host observed that over the last two months, he’s been fascinated by the conversations surrounding types of risk, like “risk equilibrium, and all the subconscious things we do to maintain our own illusory relationship with the illusion of safety.”
Rubin asked Rowe his take on the American people possibly reaching their collective “limit” as the lockdowns continue.
“Are you sort of amazed at the way we don’t look at risk normally until suddenly it smacks us in the face?” Rubin asked.
“Well, yes, because look, we’re just not used to it yet,” Rowe replied. “Part of the reason we’re not used to it is because it’s just a staggering, new thing to get your head around. But it’s also hard to get used to a thing when the goalposts are constantly moved, when the data is constantly shifting, and most of all, when the experts themselves are in violent disagreement. This is the most disconcerting thing to people, and I’m sure you’ve spoken about it.”
Rowe noted that two scientists, Neil Ferguson and John Ioannidis, predicted wildly different outcomes despite “looking at the same data.” Rowe said that this kind of disagreement, especially in our current “fake news culture,” could make people “skeptical.”
Rowe later spoke about risk management as it pertains to the ongoing crisis.
“Risk is personal. This is why risk compensation is so interesting,” Rowe said. “You get 100 people in a room, everybody has a slightly different tolerance for risk. When when you introduce protocols – safety features, for instance – the theory goes that your behavior will change to suit the measures you take.”
“Risk equilibrium is the thing that says you subconsciously adjust your behavior to adapt to your circumstances, [which] is perfectly rational, but as you start to introduce new safety protocols, subconscious things start to happen,” Rowe continued, later adding, “something is happening right now with regard to public safety and individual responsibility. It’s a collision.”
Check out the entire segment here:
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