Things that are Safe


A man-made object could easily be harmful and safe at the same time.

But still, interesting to think about.

Why are you doing this?


I’m curious to see where the products I’m designing might land on such a map.

So far it looks something like this:

Dangerous: from Harm Billions to Harm Thousands
Nuclear Weapons
Pollution (climate change)
Medical Error

Safe: from Protect Billions to Protect Thousands
Trade economy, money
Water treatment & distribution
Medicine, vaccines
Emergency systems
Air traffic control
Seatbelts, airbags
Smoke detectors

Not sure I agree this falls under that catagory…yet. Technically speaking pollution hasn’t harmed humans (from a Global Warming perspective), has it? I would imagine you could make an argument for allergies and athesma, etc. But death and “harm”.

Storms, at this point in time, are arguably circumstantial in their relationship with pollution (climate change). I doubt it would hold up in a court of law (yet).

Curious your take on this.

Pollution is like Nuclear Weapons: the potential for mass harm is there, and both are man-made. Obviously Nuclear Weapons are a more immediate threat, since they’re sitting in the silo’s.

Perhaps nuclear weapons are worse because of the radioactive contamination that goes with it.

Pollution of all sorts have killed thousands if not more. On top of that, similar to nuclear radiation, it has made probably millions sick.

Air pollution’s massacres:

Solid toxic waste pollution:

There’s probably a hundred better examples of each. Pollution is a bitch!

you want to know what man made object/s have caused humans the most suffering?


religious books. the bible, the koran, the list goes on.

written by men long ago and unfortunately still believed by many today. they are what cause the wars, they are what made men want to produce WMD in the first place. religious hate.

just my 2 cents! no flaming please.

haha michael- you just flamed a good chunk of the globe, and yet dont expect debate :slight_smile: nice.

For every crusade, and 9-11 there is a Pol Pot and Stalin. Perhaps it is the heart of the man at the center that is the danger, not the philosophy of that leader.

Back to the topic:

Safe: google. perhaps safety and trust are not the same. But everytime I want reliable news I just google it.
GPS: Never lost.

This kind of carries through with the whole “anything man made can be harmful” meme…Google “How to make a Bomb”.

Is it the person, Google, or the bomb that is most harmful?

I found this article:Five System Barriers to Achieving Ultrasafe Health Care

There is a chart on page 3 that shows: Average rate per exposure of catastrophes and associated deaths in various industries and human activities. It’s a bit different because it shows things as they are vs. what they could be without safety systems in place. So “nuclear industry” and “commercial large-jet aviation” is considered Ultrasafe. Himalaya mountaineering is “very unsafe.” My chart has those reversed, since I’m measuring potential for mass harm.

Been thinking about this topic for a few days now…

Ultimately I don’t think there are “safe” and “unsafe” human-made objects. There are just objects, and the way we use them is what makes them safe or unsafe.

I’m reminded of the scenario where someone is murdered and the family wants to sue the gun manufacturer…


yes- but some products are engineered to inflict harm. The gun is not safe for the intended victim when used as designed.

A care-bear is not going to be lethal in its normal use and has to be used WAY outside of its normal parameters to be constituted as a deadly weapon.

The construction of creatures also indicates whether they are going to be carnivorous or not. Tigers- huge sharp teeth designed to tear and rip apart. Nothing ambiguous about it. Rabbits, large flat incisors for shearing. The design of those teeth point to their function.

So obviously there is a continuum of whether an object is designed to be deadly, not to be confused with how it is used. If enough people use a cell phone as a trigger for car-bombs then yeah it will be seen as deadly, but until then it stands for communication between people.