Thursday, September 4, 2008

China's Long Beach

California had its Long Beach earthquake of 1933, where schools collapsed. The result was a whole series of codes for schools only, that has made it less likely that students will be killed in a school. This improves things tremendously, since not many people get killed in the single frame houses of the suburbs. Whether anything has been improved for urban kids, is another matter.

China now admits it made its schools out of wallpaper paste. China has the advantage of not having a zillion lawsuits involving everyone and their dog, even though 'whiners' might not be heard from again. But in a poor country, it is best to put the resources into actually improving things. That is why I'm glad they've taken a South African Truth Commission approach, and are only looking to the future. We, on the other hand, tend to look for scapegoats, which makes the actual guilties harder to pin down in the first place! This has not really improved things in the earthquake biz. I actually find that 'powers' devote most of their attention to ass-carpeting, rather than doing anything. Take that recent bus-beheading where they are suing everybody!

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