'Everybody has a plan until they get hit," boxer Mike Tyson said. "Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze."



Task: Write a seven-sentence outline for the rhetorical analysis . Write only these seven (7) sentences:

1 x thesis sentence

3 x body paragraph topic sentences

3 x evidence sentences to accompany each of your topic sentences

Marking Rubric: Introduction thesis sentence: [2 marks] [e.g., In “X O X”, Joe Smith (2020) uses…]

Body paragraph #1 topic sentence: [1 mark]

evidence sentence: quoted/paraphrased and cited evidence from the article [1 mark] [e.g., Smith explains, for example, that “XXXX is YYYY”

 (para. 2).] Body paragraph #2 topic sentence: [1 mark] evidence sentence [1 mark]

 Body paragraph #3 topic sentence: [1 mark] evidence sentence [1 mark] Grammar (complete and correct sentences):

 [2 marks] thesis sentence = .5 body paragraph sentences = 6 x .25 / 10 total marks




Byline: Mark Kingwell


Mark Kingwell's latest book is On Risk.

'Everybody has a plan until they get hit," boxer Mike Tyson said. "Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze." The stocky pugilist took to biting ears rather than punching them as his singular career wound down, but his comprehensive wisdom must be acknowledged.

When life throws punches, plans fold, and bites start to look good.

We've all been punched in the face this past year, and our best laid plans have gone sideways. I hope we're not resorting to biting.


But as we shift from cancelled Thanksgivings and forced online classes to a discontented winter of new closings and maybe lockdowns, we have to pause and reflect on how we think about risk and our relationship to it.

Planning is never about our own levels of personal tolerance. Risk always has ethical and political implications. You may enjoy extreme sports that court physical danger, or bet on unlikely startup companies and lowprobability poker hands, partly for the thrill and partly for the rush of potential success.

You may just walk into traffic for the fun of it.

Winning against the odds is perhaps the best feeling humans are party to, when venture and likelihood collide to resounding effect.

Taking chances is thus both the best and the worst of human behaviour. Without risk takers among us, we'd dwindle and die in complacency and settled ways. But too much confidence takes the basic quality of boldness, as Aristotle said, from the lack we call timidity to the extreme we condemn as rashness. As ever, hitting the mean is everything: Courage is a matter of knowing when and how to take chances, especially when we're afraid to.

De l'audace, encore l'audace, toujours l'audace - "audacity, more audacity, and ever more audacity" - is a slogan that may sound good on the eve of battle, or at a singles bar, especially when articulated by Frederick the Great, Napoleon, George Patton or your bro-wingman.

But when you get kicked around at Kunersdorf, Waterloo, Fort Driant, or, I don't know, Hooters, it can just look dumb. Field marshal Helmuth von Moltke, in a more sober tactical vein, said this: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

The current enemy is everywhere; there are no fixed lines of battle. As the weather warmed this summer, we sought a return to the breezy hinterland of 2019.

Many shopped, gathered, exercised, worshipped and travelled as if nothing had really changed.

Some people even denied there was any risk out there. The pandemic was fake news, or it would somehow be over by November, or it was a blessing that could be survived like the common cold or a mild bout of influenza.

That last delusion is in fact a symptom of affluenza: the nonphysical disease that afflicts people with more money (and so more tests, drugs and resources) than sense. The pandemic is still undeniably upon us, statistically getting worse since August. Our own failure to understand risk is now itself a risk factor in public health.

Four structural things to note.

First, humans are bad at assessing chances. From air travel or swimming with sharks to home improvements or lottery tickets, we mostly have a poor grasp of probability. This is not surprising: We're bad at a lot of other basically rational things, too, such as logic in arguments or calculating our own economic self-interest. So we overestimate some fears and dangerously underestimate others. We're not smart.

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