Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn't Always Better

Front Cover
New Star Books, 2007 - House & Home - 182 pages
1 Review
From warnings on coffee cups to colour–coded terrorist gauges to ubiquitous security cameras, our culture is obsessed with safety.

Some of this is drive by lawyers and insurance companies, and some by over–zealous public officials, but much is indicative of a cultural conversation that has lost its bearings. The result is not just a neurotically restrictive society, but one which actively undermines individual and community self–reliance. More importantly, we are creating a world of officious administration, management by statistics, absurd regulations, rampaging lawsuits, and hygenically cleansed public spaces. We are trying to render the human and natural worlds predictable and calculated. In doing so, we are trampling common discourse about politics and ethics.

Hern asserts that safer just isn't always better. Throughout Watch Yourself, he emphasizes the need to rethink our approach to risk, reconsider our fixation with safety, and reassert individual decision–making.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Lock the Door Bar the Windows
Our Most Precious Resource
The Flow of Community Culture

6 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Matt Hern is director of the Purple Thistle Centre, the author of Field Day: Getting Society Out of School, and editor of Deschooling Our Lives. He holds a PhD in urban studies and lectures widely. He lives in East Vancouver with his partner and daughters. His website is

Bibliographic information