Superfreakonomics om terrorism

Jag är personligen allergisk mot hala slänten-argument om att det definitivt kommer att bli mycket värre. Därför njöt jag av att läsa kapitlet "Why suicide bombers should buy life insurance" i boken Superfreakonomics. Särskilt två stycken i boken fastnade lite extra. Det första stycket handlade om terroristbekämpning och följer:

"The probability that an average American will die in a given year from a terrorist
attack is roughly 1 in 5 million. He is 575 times more likely to commit suicide.

  Consider the less obvious costs, too, like the loss of time and liberty. Think about the last time you went through an airport security line and were forced to remove your shoes, shuffle through the metal detector in stocking feet, and then hobble about while gathering up your belongings.

  The beauty of terrorism, if you’re a terrorist, is that you can succeed even by failing. We perform this shoe routine thanks to a bumbling British national named Richard Reid, who, even though he couldn’t ignite his shoe bomb, exacted a huge price. Let’s say it takes an average of one minute to remove and replace your shoes in the airport security line. In the United States alone, this procedure happens roughly 560 million times per year. Five hundred and sixty million minutes equals more than 1,065 years, which, divided by 77.8 years (the average U.S. life expectancy at birth), yields a total of nearly 14 person-­lives. So even though Richard Reid failed to kill a single person, he levied a tax that is the time equivalent of 14 lives per year.

The direct costs of the September 11 attacks were massive, nearly three thousand lives and economic losses as high as $300 billion, as were the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that the United States launched in response. But consider the collateral costs as well. In just the three months following the attacks, there were one thousand extra traffic deaths in the United States. Why?

  One contributing factor is that people stopped flying and drove instead. Per mile, drivingis much more dangerous than flying. Interestingly, however, the data show that most of these extra traffic deaths occurred not on interstates but on local roads, and they were concentrated in the Northeast, close to the terrorist attacks. Furthermore, these fatalities were more likely than usual to involve drunken and reckless driving. These facts, along with myriad psychological studies of terrorism’s aftereffects, suggest that the September 11 attacks led to a spike in alcohol abuse and post-­traumatic stress that translated into, among other things, extra driving deaths.

  Such trickle-­down effects are nearly endless. Thousands of foreign-­born university students and professors were kept out of the United States because of new visa restrictions after the September 11 attacks. At least 140 U.S. corporations exploited the ensuing stock-­market decline by illegally backdating stock options. In New York City, so many police resources were shifted to terrorism that other areas, the Cold Case Squad, for one, as well as anti-­Mafia units, were neglected. A similar pattern was repeated on the national level. Money and manpower that otherwise would have been spent chasing financial scoundrels were instead diverted to chasing terrorists, perhaps contributing to, or at least exacerbating, the recent financial meltdown."

Det andra stycket handlade om effektiviteten och priset av att jaga terrorister med data mining. D.v.s. att du hittar gemensamma faktorer vad gäller t.ex. civilstånd, bostad, bankvanor, matvanor o.s.v. och använder register för att hitta de som passar in på sociogrammet. Det följer:

"Let’s say, however, you could develop a banking algorithm that was 99 percent accurate. We’ll assume the United Kingdom has 500 terrorists. The algorithm would correctly identify 495 of them, or 99 percent. But there are roughly 50 million adults in the United Kingdom who have nothing to do with terrorism, and the algorithm would also wrongly identify 1 percent of them, or 500,000 people. At the end of the day, this wonderful, 99-­percent-­accurate algorithm spits out too many false positives, half a million people who would be rightly indignant when they were hauled in by the authorities on suspicion of terrorism.

  Nor, of course, could the authorities handle the workload."

1 kommentar:

Viktualiebrodern sa...

Ur terroristernas synvinkel är det förstås att se som en investering - en liten kostnad för dem leder på sikt en systemhotande utgift för samhället de kämpar mot.Det var så Sovjet kördes ut ur Afghanistan och sedan rasade ihop.

Men det är inte terroristerna som skapar den utgiften, det är vi själva.

Övervakning leder till fattigdom.

Jag förstår att du motsätter dig "slippery slope"-determininism. Men så länge vi inte kan se något hack i kurvan så måste vi befara det värsta.

Isak Gerson

Isak Gerson
Foto av Mathias Heinel

Om mig

Jag skriver egentligen på Den här bloggen är tänkt som "överblivet".
Filosofi- och politikstuderande vid Lunds Universitet. Före detta student vid Katedralskolan Lund, Naturvetenskapliga programmet. Radikalliberalt kristen, fredshävdande, ekonomiskt högerorienterad, opragmatisk demokratihävdande, brinnande lobbyistisk, starkt immaterialrättskritisk, extremliberal pirat. 

Vilka rättigheter jag hävdar

Kopimi (från ”copy me”, kopiera mig). Å ena sidan ett imperativ, vars ursprung hänförts till dansande barns utrop. Å andra sidan beteckningen på en livshållning, animerad av lusten till att kopiera och kopieras.
Kopimi skiljer sig sålunda såväl från copyright, den moral som förfäktar att kopiering bör begränsas med rättsliga medel, som från copyleft, den rörelse som syftar till att med rättsliga medel utfärda formella tillstånd till kopiering. Kopimi som imperativ och livshållning skall heller inte blandas samman med en vurm för själva tekniken som gör storskalig kopiering möjlig.

Creepers och dylikt

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