This grim story, inescapable today, is a reminder of how uncontrollable and random the world is, and what a fragile perch in it we occupy. In a perverse way, this kind of tragedy - caused by no one, preventable by no one - is more more disturbing (in the sense of "disturbing to mental equilibrium" rather than as an description of the degree of horror at the results) to me than the worst genocides or terrorist attacks or other examples of the human capacity for evil.

It's frightening and horrible to think that someone would try to destroy you or your family or your people, but it's paralyzing to think about how easily pure chance could accomplish the same thing. I'm not surprised that most of us see this kind of news story, think (sincerely) about how terrible it is, then move on. Thinking about it is unnerving, and when it comes to "random natural events that kill you," the best strategy is generally to not think about it at all, until you have some specific useful information ("Run now!").

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