Sunday, July 10, 2005

Putting Terror in Perspective

Mrs. CaliBlogger has been quite ill for the last week or so, so my posting has been infrequent as my focus has been turned elsewhere. In the meantime may I suggest a diary by Jerome รก Paris over at Daily Kos.

Here's a sample:

Terrorism and the lottery - some lessons

by Jerome a Paris
Sun Jul 10th, 2005 at 04:02:32 PST

Again, this will be a callous, heartless diary. So if you are easily offended, or think that non-Londoners have no right to write about the kind of reaction we should all be having to the recent London bombings, do not read on.

I will make two simple points:

* you are much LESS likely to be a victim of terrorism than to win the first prize at the lotto/lottery;

* it is IMPOSSIBLE to prevent a terrorist from blowing itself up in the metro or a bus.

My conclusion is that we should NOT care so much about terrorism. Our perceptions suggest otherwise, so public policy with regards to terrorism should endeavor to correct these public perceptions rather than indulge them.

I will add up here one other element gefore you decide to read on: as the father of a 4-year old boy diagnosed with a brain tumor (probability of occurence: 1 in 15,000) and, as a result, a paralysed arm, I do know about the real-life consequences of senseless statistically-rare events.

Here's the rest.

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