Gut Rumbles

July 29, 2005

"err on the side of caution"

Somebody barfed that line in my comments. I thought about it for a while. The more I thought about it, the more disgusted I became.

"Err on the side of caution."

Damn! Doesn't that sound like profound philosophy until you think about what it really means? It's LUDDITE thinking.

Little Org runs into the cave to see his father. He is proud of himself. "Look, Daddy!" he says. "I have found a rock that makes FIRE if you strike it with another rock!"

Org's daddy takes the stone away and throws it as far as he can. "No, little Org. Fire can be dangerous. Now, shut up and eat your food raw in the dark. We must err on the side of caution."

Yeah. The same thinking would have demanded that we destroy ANYTHING new. After Little Org was told not to build a fire, he invented a wheel.

"Look, Mama! If we use this, we can ROLL things around instead of dragging them! Do you like it?" And mama said, "Throw that away!!! You'll hurt yourself or put your eye out. We don't need such dangerous things as wheels. We must err on the side of caution!"

Bejus. That's the thinking of sheep, cowards and idiots.


Org? I thing he was Ug's brother-in-law and lived in a cave down the way.

There is being reckless and then there is a calculated risk. mankind has profited a damn sight more by being reckless that by a calculated risk.

Posted by: GUYK on July 29, 2005 10:08 PM

I like my philosophy better: Err on the side of loud.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on July 29, 2005 10:27 PM

Screw caution!

Posted by: gravdigr on July 29, 2005 11:50 PM

Clearly, Rob, people aren't taking that line very seriously. If they were, the law firm where I work (and all of us in it) would be out of jobs.

Just think of all the law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, doctors, nurses, EMS technicians -- shall I go on? -- who would be jobless if more people erred on the side of caution!

Posted by: Joni on July 30, 2005 12:07 AM

I've never erred on the side of caution. I'd have more teeth if I did, though.

Posted by: Velociman on July 30, 2005 12:10 AM

Whenever I've erred on the side of caution, I've had a lousy ally. Boring, really.

Posted by: Scott Crawford on July 30, 2005 12:17 AM

I seek thrill and adventure a shitload more than most people, but I don't think I do anything that I would consider 'reckless.'

"Erring on the side of caution," to me, means stuff like wearing a life jacket even though I'm only rafting a Class-IV river, today.

Posted by: GORDON on July 30, 2005 07:14 AM

It was people who through caution to the winds who have brought us the most important social and technical progress. Martin Luthor pu his life in his own hands when he told the Pope to fuck off! The Wright brothers would still have been repairing bikes if they hadn't figured they could fly! EvEl Knievel taught us that motocycles couldn't fly very far and the list starts with the cave man and is still being added to everyday. Take a risk once in a while-the worst thing that can happen is it can kill you and you're never gonna get out of this world alive anyway.

Posted by: GUYK on July 30, 2005 07:45 AM

If the automobile had been invented in 1970, the boomers wouldn't allow private citizens to have them. "What? 100 million free wills travelling at 60 miles an hour? No way! Someone might get hurt!"

Naturally, they'd give the governments a monopoly on autos. Then the governments would run right over us, as usual.

Posted by: Brett on July 30, 2005 08:28 AM

I err on the side of caution all the time. I cautiously sneak up on everything I aim to kill. I never look down the barrel of a gun unless I feel like shooting myself in the eye. There is a difference between taking a chance, throwing caution to the wind and plain old fucking stupidity.

Posted by: assrot on July 30, 2005 09:56 AM

Err on the side of adventure!

Posted by: Yogimus on July 30, 2005 09:58 AM

Aren't we "erring" every time we put on a seat belt? I err every time I wipe my ass...there's a much better chance of getting head when I do.

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on July 30, 2005 10:01 AM

I'm with Assrot. There are times to err on the side of caution and then there are times to just GO FOR IT. The trick is recognizing the difference.

Posted by: Kelly on July 30, 2005 10:58 AM

Maybe you barfed when you read it...I didn't barf when I made it.

Posted by: Maggie on July 30, 2005 11:18 AM

We all err on the side of lunacy when we post here. Ya never know what's gonna chap Rob's ass.

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on July 30, 2005 11:36 AM

Maggie, you should have. Environmentalists have glommed on that "caution" idea and hammered it into the ground.

Show me ANYTHING in this world that's free of risk, and your comment might make some sense.

Posted by: Acidman on July 30, 2005 04:44 PM

But it's the guys who err on the side of caution who are still around to preserve the gene pool by mating with the women of all the guys who killed themselves by acting recklessly!

Posted by: Garry K on July 30, 2005 06:03 PM

I'll bet the crew of Columbia had wished that NASA had "erred on the side of caution".

Aman you should change your name to Asshat! I didn't say "never take a risk", I was talking about our one and only planet. A very rare comodity in this vast universe.

One of my favourite poems is "IF", but if we lose the bet, when we are wagering the planet Earth, we don't get a second chance! There is no RESET button in this video game, you moron!!!

Posted by: bob on July 30, 2005 08:05 PM

Gee, Rob, I didn't make the "err on the side of caution" remark regarding the environment...someone else did.

I believe I used that phrase awhile back when recommending you get a second opinion on your medical problems.

Posted by: Maggie on July 31, 2005 10:06 AM

Another equally useless saying is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

But both of these witticisms - err on the side of caution and if it ain't broke . . . - call to mind a third saying which I first heard used to describe the plight of public education.

You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.


Posted by: Walt on August 1, 2005 01:27 AM
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