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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Reason: Don't Be Terrorized

by Ken Newquist / August 11, 2006

Reason science correspondent Ronald Bailey crunches the numbers and finds what deep down we already know: the chances of getting killed in a terrorist attack are exceedingly slim -- to quote from the story:

"your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered."

And yet, many people are willing to give up libertiy after liberty in a vain effort to feel safer ... and in the process fail to notice that onrushing garbage truck that just blew through the light on Broad Street.

Of course, as 9/11 shows, terrorist attacks can have terrible consequences, destroying thousands of lives, destroying billions of dollars in property, and causing tremendous pain and agony. Yet in many ways, this is not unlike the other risks -- be they tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards -- that we already must deal with, and which threaten our lives to a greater extent every year. Some how we live with those threats without turning our nation into a police state.


Common sense. Everyone is hot and bothered over shark attacks and terrorizum. It's not in certain powerful groups' best interest to extol the virtues of calm and measured response, apparently.

PS: Loved the vlog story too, Ken! Great work on the site, and feeding us folks hungry for new geekness (and with family on the way, I see great virtues in your struggles to redecorate to allow for greater geek functionality!).


Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's annoyed by the terrorism circus. At some point I'll write up my slow-boiling rant on anti-terrorism efforts, but not today. :)

As for the vlog story ... thanks! They're actually pretty cool once you get a chance to watch them. They've quickly become part of my morning ritual -- now all I need to find is a good gaming vlog that talks about upcoming releases, and I'll be in geek heaven.

And with regards to redecorating ...yeah, achieving that perfect geek feng shui is pretty damn hard, but it'll be worth it. Now excuse me as I return to playing Animal Crossing... (obscure Nintendo joke; apologies in advance to those who don't get it).