Saturday, September 10, 2011


Now that we're bathed in frequent if not continuous commentary regarding 9/11, it continues to be noted that we see little indication of any effort to reduce anxiety about terrorism. I guess it's because it doesn't sell advertising space.

What is terror about?
Terrorism is about inducing terror. Let's face it, this isn't so hard, and it's  made easier in a world of instant, 24 hour news access, where one of the leading concerns is that if you're going to have news broadcast 24 hours a day, you have to have something to say, even if you have to manufacture it to some extent. Any time you don't have to manufacture news, you have a gold mine to use for content.

Terrorism is cost efficient. 

This is true. You don't even have to actually do anything. All you need to do is create anxiety about what you might do, based to some extent on things you have done, but you can also benefit from some cockamamie thing that someone thinks you were trying but didn't happen. Look at that poor schmoe who sets his pants on fire on an airplane -- terrorism for Dummies -- but it works!

Really, this is a matter of dealing with the fears that we all have, that some have more than others, that some have so severely that there are psychiatric DSM-IV codes for. But what value is there in engendering fear? Very little. Even though there are logical, scientific explanations (not opinions) that the energy that a cellphone can generate, in the radio frequency energy level, are quite impossible of causing changes to DNA, we will probably never quash the idea that cellphones cause brain tumors. The main risk of cellphone usage comes from using it while you're driving down the road.

So the same people that have some abiding concern about some Islam-inspired terrorist continue to yack on their cellphone as they drive down the street.

1 comment:

drcharles said...

very true about the relative energies spent chasing fears that don't statistically benefit us. China is laughing all the way to owning us.
But you know me, I think there are more subtle risks to the radiation from cell phones than just DNA breakage, perhaps the induction of downstream heat stress factors... 75% of non-industry-supported studies find small links between heavy cell phone usage and cancers, according to Devra Davis' book.

But driving with idiots on the road and not defending yourself with total concentration is MUCH more a hazard as you said.