The UnScene


About this show

(NEW) Exploring the unseen themes and ideas about economics and political philosophy in popular culture, art, and entertainment.

How Do We Deal With Disasters?

May 20, 2023

Apocalyptic scenarios of all kinds -- war, disease, zombies -- might seem irrelevant because they're such an exaggeration of the problems we tend to face. But the reality is that shows and movies like The Last of Us, Contagion, World War Z, and The Walking Dead offer incredible insight into how we deal with catastrophic problems.

Why is wiping out the problem with bombs so often our first reaction to a disaster? Why do we give up individual rights for the sake of a greater good that's often totally uncertain and that we can't even define? Why is the temptation to cede all control to the government so common?

Watching our world succumb to disaster is enticing, exciting, and immersive -- but when it's done right, we get insight into our real life processes when everything goes wrong. From Katrina to Waco, it's shocking how often our efforts to rein in tragedy actually end up making it worse.

We can learn from our mistakes and we can learn from our fiction. We just have to see it.

Written by Matt Hampton, Matt Tabor, and Sean W. Malone
Narrated by Matt Tabor
Produced by Paul Nelson, Matt Tabor
Edited by Michael Ozias
Assistant Edited by Abby Richardson

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