[ExI] The Avalanche Threat

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 08:16:01 UTC 2007

On 9/14/07, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> OK, but that just means you think avalanches are less dangerous than
> terrorists. The problem is that even when it can be shown that a
> non-malicious threat is more dangerous than a malicious threat, people
> are more likely to respond to the malicious threat with concern and
> allocation of resources. I can see how this way of thinking might have
> evolved, but it doesn't make it rational.

It is rational, because if ignored, these 'minor' threats make life
not worth living.

In the UK there is a 'minor' problem of gangs of feral youth running
out of control in the streets. Sure, at the younger ages it is mostly
'minor' trouble.  Graffiti, throwing stones, malicious vandalism, cars
damaged and broken in to or set on fire, fighting, swearing, under-age
drinking, shop-lifting, burglary. But these gangs of kids make some
housing estates hell to live in. Shops have metal shutters for
protection. Cars have to be put in strong garages overnight. Visitors
are afraid to enter the estate. And so on.

The police show little interest until someone is knifed, or a girl is
raped. i.e. When the usual day-in day-out violence goes a bit further
than usual, and a 'serious' problem occurs.

Sounds perfectly rational to me to deal with 'minor' problems.

If you get an itch, don't you scratch it?
Or do you say, "I'll wait till I finish I finish work, then I'll have
more time" ?


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