I have replaced “go swimming” in Nigel Pike’s recent letter concerning lifeguards in Thailand with an illustrative change: “If anybody is brainless enough to ‘smoke’ and ends up dead, then we have an example of Darwinism at its finest.”
Having spent a decade living in Hawaii, and regularly bodysurfing the beaches on the North shore of Oahu, I had occasion to save the lives of quite a few tourists who, although they could swim, simply misjudged their abilities in unfamiliar circumstances. It was my experience that upon hearing someone in a panic and screaming for help, one does not consult Darwin’s theories in order to decide what to do. I felt it was always a privilege to be given the opportunity to help in such circumstances. Just so, most lifeguards don’t do their job primarily for the money.
However, one may wonder at the enactment of Thailand’s new law prohibiting smoking in one’s own home. Everyone now knows of the dangers of tobacco, and it seems rather draconian for the state to invade the privacy of a citizen’s home as a preventive measure.
More people die from eating sugar than breathing second-hand smoke, so will it soon be a crime to give your child the occasional ice cream? And what shall be done regarding alcohol, cigars and marijuana?