[ by Charles Cameron — comparing two recent landslides for scale, and a conundrum ]
Abi Barak, Afghanistan: 2,100 believed buried
Oso, Washington: 41 dead, 2 missing
I wanted these two images to be as large as the Zenpundit format would permit, and fear they would be too small if reduced to fit my usual DoubleQuotes format — and since that still leaves them equal in image-size though very different in scope of devastation, I’ve added the figures of those who are thought to have died in the two slides, so that you can get a sense of differences of scale which may not be so easily apparent from the images alone.
So, the conundrum:
Are distant tragedies less tragic than nearby ones? Is a tragedy with more dead more tragic than one with less? Or is there no mathematics to tragedy?
For that last opinion, see the views of Ludwig Wittgenstein, CS Lewis and Arne Naess quoted in Of Quantity and Quality II: Holocaust, torture and sacrament.
Abi Barak, Afghanistan: 2,100 believed buried Oso, Washington: 41 dead, 2 missing