Normalcy Bias

The last installment of this blog has generated lots of help offers from friends and total strangers to help me by sending money or a care package. Well, I must admit that I’m overwhelmed by all this kindness and I feel grateful for it, but I regret to tell you there’s not much you guys can do to mitigate my current situation.

I even wrote a great blog post concerning the issues behind helping me, particularly explaining why these two options wouldn’t work and I edited the text till I reached the point where it clearly exposed the terrible imbalance between real world prices and the local ones (without risking having to face a firing squad) and proving that it would be useless to wire me money… and that if you sent me a care package, it was more likely it would be confiscated in customs, or that I’d be forced to pay a ton of postal taxes over an empty box stuffed with local newspapers to replace the pilfered items, the same way it happened to my mom about 45 years ago, when my uncle in Germany decided to send her some chocolates and a few toddler clothes.

However, I decided to scrap that blog post in the end after reading it again and again. Why? Due to Normalcy Bias. This is a sociological term which can be pretty much summed up as follows: when you lead a life where the mail shows up like clockwork at your front step and lights are always on and phone line always work, it becomes harder and harder for a civilized person living under such mental framework to conceive a situation where the exactly opposite conditions exists. It’s this same mental framework that causes you to be ill prepared to deal with a catastrophic scenario like a massive earthquake, flood or whatever major disaster you may want to fancy (believe me, it’s rather disturbing to think, giving my life conditions on the fringe of a rainforest, that I’m better prepared to survive a Zombie Apocalypse than you are).

This same normalcy bias thing is what has slowly caused me to stop updating this blog as regularly than I used to.

I mean… what’s the use?

However, there are times when the message gets through in unintended ways.

I just want to dedicate this blog post to the total stranger who, with all the kindness within his of her heart, just went and bought 5 of my books the day after I published my last one.

I don’t really know who you are, kind sir or lady… but you certainly saved my ass that week. 

Yours Truly

Edwin Stark

Signing Off


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