Living and dying in the information age

Because we track our customers and how they are reached by our advertising, we at Kamaaina Loan are sharply aware that young people don’t read newspapers. So we spend time and effort trying to reach them other ways — this blog is one way.

An initial thought when the news arrived of the Brazil nightclub fire that killed over 230 young people was, things you don’t know can kill you. Don’t they know that setting off fireworks inside a building — especially if the building is a crowded nightclub — is a bad idea?

Today’s Star Advertiser carries a list of some of the most disastrous nightclub fires: Perm, Russia, fireworks ignite ceiling, 152 die; Buenos Aires, flare ignites ceiling, 194 die; Rhode Island, pyrotechnics ignite ceiling, 100 die.

But the partiers at the Brazilian club were mostly university students. Let’s assume they were around 21 years old. Those fires were prehistory to them: a 21-year-old was 18 when the Perm club burned, 13 when the Buenos Aires fire happened, 12 when the Rhode Island club burned.

Even news junkies, at age 21 today, wouldn’t have much sense that letting off fireworks in nightclubs often leads to bad outcomes. You’d think people could figure that out without lessons from history.

Apparently not.

And where were the adults?

A Washington Post picture from the fire