A Particularly Italian Sort of Calamity

Yesterday, I posted two stories that I thought illustrative of a cultural trait, one that we might characterize as "nonchalance in a situation that ought to elicit great care." And this attitude will produce its own particular sort of calamity. What sort is that?

Well, for instance, one such as the cruise ship that ran aground the other day off the Tuscan coast. The captain, who was responsible for the lives of over 4000 people, navigated his ship through a dangerous passage, different from the planned route, apparently in order to amuse some people on the shore.

This is not to pick on Italy: every culture has its own weaknesses that produce their own sorts of calamities. Italians may tend to suffer from undue nonchalance, but Americans often fall prey to arrogance. And while Italy's sort of calamity killed a score of people, ours tend to kill hundreds of thousands.


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