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Risk, uncertainty and chance are ideas which impinge on many academic disciplines, but whose implications may not be immediately familiar to undergraduate audiences. In this first television progra...mme we attempt to establish their relevance to everyday life by way of a dramatised and humorous dialogue, which introduces notions of physical, financial and social risk.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: U201, Risk
Item code: U201; 01
First transmission date: 12-02-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:09
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Producer: Nell Smith
Contributor: Jack Dowie
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Chance; Consequence; Probability; Risk
Footage description: This programme is a dramatisation of a discussion between a man and a woman who have differing attitudes towards risk in their lives. First of all they discuss routine and the need to try new things and experiences. In the background a huge dice rolls past them, pushed by Jack Dowie (course team chairman). He describes the characteristics of the people being represented. There is then a brief shot of Tom Stoppard talking about ambiguity in his fiction. The man and the woman now discuss the risks involved in smoking and the way the media distort peoples awareness of the likely causes of death by highlighting unusual events and disasters. An aircraft engineer defines Murphy's Law which states that if it is mechanically possible to fit a vital part incorrectly, someone, someday will fit it that way. The couple then discuss aircraft disasters and the odds of surviving a crash. They talk about astrology, the need for insurance and the risk taken by the business investor. To explore this theme further the man talks to Michael Kreisky, a businessman, about risks in business. Kreisky argues that success comes through hard work and careful planning. Talking to the woman he then states that the successful businessman must take chances. The couple argue about these opposing ideas and then discuss the pros and cons of gambling. There is then a montage of shots showing people betting. They talk about the risks involved in sport. Then there are a variety of scenes showing mountaineers, skateboarders, a hang-gliding accident and a motor crash. Three fantasies are acted out. Firstly the couple show what social relations would be like if everyone were stiff and formal. They then show the opposite situation in which everyone is spontaneous and impulsive and finally there is a sequence which uses sub-titles to show the individual's real motives as they talk to each other. In the final section of the programme the couple discuss luck and chance, and toss a coin to determine if they should go for a drink. As the programme ends the two actors drop out of their roles to discuss their performance with Jack Dowie and the producer Nell Smith.
Master spool number: 6HT/73112
Production number: FOUD009S
Videofinder number: 1310
Available to public: no