Perhaps we have become inoculated against shock. Just yesterday I wrote about reacting positively to negative news, instead of distancing ourselves. Maybe we feel impotent in doing anything about it. Maybe there is too much need.
This morning's Times of Malta front page has a photo, with blurred-out face, of a two-year old's body washed up on a Libyan beach. Face up, fully dressed with trousers and a jacket. A non-survivor of Monday's tragedy. Did his parents drown with him, or are they still looking for him? Someone will know soon enough, but few will ever care.
We can fund the LHC so we can accelerate an atom to the speed of light to see what it does when we then smash it, but we can't find €120 million per annum to rescue people in The Med. We can't find the political will to help those fleeing war. We decide which wars to end and which to start based on how well these wars suit our needs. We definitely don't want the even greater cost of accommodating people in our own countries once we've rescued them.
We send space ships to planets and comets billions of kilometers away to find trace elements of water and maybe the origins of life, but the very life before our eyes, those lives being destroyed, we will not do anything for them. They've simply been dealt a bad hand in life. Our cosmic interest is far more important than the well-being of those around us.