This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne, also known as Sam Minter. In addition to the blog below, be sure to check out the other sections of the site above and to the left! IM me on AIM as Abulsme or email me at email@example.com. Comments are always appreciated! Thanks!
If you came here from a link on another site, chances are high you are looking for the Electoral College Prediction page.
I just destroyed the address book on my computer and once again had to revert to a months old backup. I am very unhappy, and wishing that the house had already sold so I could buy myself a new backup drive and be automatically backing up again, and even better wishing that Leopard was already out so I could fix this with a few clicks in Time Machine. (Cause the .Mac iSync backup of addresses is completely useless.)
In any case, to distract myself from this issue, I just want to note something I came across the other day that I think describes my recent thoughts on the whole no liquids on planes thing. It is an article from the Cato Institute from Fall of 2004. Here is the main gist:
A False Sence of Insecurity? (pdf)
(John Mueller, Cato Institute)
Throughout all this, there is a perspective on terrorism that has been very substantially ignored. It can be summarized, somewhat crudely, as follows:(via Boing Boing)
A sensible policy approach to the problem might be to stress that any damage terrorists are able to accomplish likely can be absorbed, however grimly. While judicious protective and policing measures are sensible, extensive fear and anxiety over what may at base prove to be a rather limited problem are misplaced, unjustified, and counterproductive.
- Assessed in broad but reasonable context, terrorism generally does not do much damage.
- The costs of terrorism very often are the result of hasty, ill-considered, and overwrought reactions.
Until 2001, far fewer Americans were killed in any grouping of years by all forms of international terrorism than were killed by lightning, and almost none of those terrorist deaths occurred within the United States itself. Even with the September 11 attacks included in the count, the number of Americans killed by international terrorism since the late 1960s (which is when the State Department began counting) is about the same as the number of Americans killed over the same period by lightning, accident-causing deer, or severe allergic reaction to peanuts.The entire article (5 printed pages) is well worth the read. It should be required reading for anybody making policy related to anti-terrorism.
Some of this is definitional. When terrorism becomes really extensive, we generally no longer call it terrorism, but war. But Americans seem to be concerned mainly about random terror, not sustained warfare. Moreover, even using an expansive definition of terrorism and including domestic terrorism in the mix, it is likely that far fewer people were killed by terrorists in the entire world over the last 100 years than died in any number of unnoticed civil wars during the century.
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