Luck vs death

World Trade Centre Business CardPhoto by Stuart Glendinning Hall

I just found the business card in Leciester from HIV expert Dr Sam Friedman, which has the World Trade Centre address. When I asked Sam, he was luckily late for work that day in New York on 9/11.

I don’t recall if I reminded him about the value of luck vs death. By retrospective coincidence in 1999 I’d quoted for the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences conference at Berkeley research of his and his colleague’s, on ordinary people’s (or in this case drug injectors’) ability to see something coming before it ‘hit’ them:

“Drug injectors in New York (and indeed, throughout the world) have acted both to protect themselves and others against the AIDS epidemic. Thus, by 1984, before there were any programs other than the mass media to inform them about AIDS or to help to protect themselves, drug injectors in New York were engaged in widespread risk reduction…Furthermore, observations on the street confirmed this by showing that drug dealers were competing with others for business by offering free sterile syringes along with their drugs as AIDS-prevention techniques.” [1]

Nice to close the loop by finding the card. Only a few months to go as well to pay off the loan for all that research:-)

1. Friedman SR, Curtis R, Neaigus A, Jose B, Des Jarlais DC, ‘Social Networks, Drug Injectors’ Lives, and HIV/AIDS,’ 1999. New York, Kluwer/Plenum. Also see ‘Big Events and Networks’.

2 thoughts on “Luck vs death

  1. Which reminds me what I’m uncle said, that “the reason that we were expelled from Damascus was that the British Government (Mrs T ! ) broke off diplomatic relations with Syria. That was because the Syrian embassy in London refused to “assist the police with their enquiries”, their investigations into the attempt by a PLO terrorist, one Hindawi, to place a bomb on an El Al flight to Tel Aviv. He had persuaded his extremely gullible Irish girl friend to take his brief case with her. He would get it back from her when they met up again in Jerusalem to get wed !!! Happily for her the El Al security found the Semtex explosive in the lining of the briefcase. As I said earlier, the net result was that Mrs T broke off diplomatic relations with Syria, giving them 14 days to leave the country. The Syrians reciprocated as one would expect, but gave us only 7 days to leave!

    “All very sad for us as we had only been in country about three months. It is a lovely country and the people are wonderful – kind, generous and inately hospitable. In the short time that we were there we saw a great deal of it – Aleppo, Palmyra, Lebanon (Tripoli and Beirut), Crak des Chevaliers (Crusader castle on the way to the port of Tartous), the desert to the East and North, and the Golan to the South,Hamaa and Homs and I haven’t even mentioned Damascus, the Souk, the Street called Straight, the tower in the town wall where St Paul was let down in a basket to make his escape, indeed the chapel which marks the spot where St Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus (marred then by the SAM 3 rockets deployed on the ridge above it!), and so much more.”

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