October 20, 2016
(New Scientist) – A CYNIC, said Oscar Wilde, is somebody who “knows the price of everything but the value of nothing”. If so, then some of the most cynical people on Earth are those who have to make life-and-death decisions about road safety, medical treatment and health and safety legislation. In order to make those calls, they first need some measure of the monetary worth of a human life. That does seem a dreadfully cynical calculation, and it is unsettling to think that some faceless bureaucrat somewhere is putting a price on your head. But in reality, it cannot be any other way.