Monday, February 27, 2017

The big splash

In today’s world, terrorists are the most significant practitioners of the art of inducing availability cascades. With a few horrible exceptions such as 9/11, the number of casualties from terror attacks is very small relative to other causes of death. Even in countries that have been targets of intensive terror campaigns, such as Israel, the weekly number of casualties almost never came close to the number of traffic deaths. The difference is in the availability of the two risks, the ease and the frequency with which they come to mind. Gruesome images, endlessly repeated in the media, cause everyone to be on edge.— Thinking, Fast and Slow, page 144

<idle musing>
Good to keep in mind, isn't it? But we tend to forget that we have a higher risk of getting hit by a random driver while in the crosswalk than of being killed by a terrorist. And an even smaller risk that the terrorist is not already a U.S. citizen with a rifle...
</idle musing>

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