Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Terror Without the Terrorism

Bruce Schneier has “a fantastic article at Wired.com”:http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,71642-0.html?tw=wn_columns_securitymatters_1 on the aftermath of the supposed London terror plots. The terror plots were not near fruition, they were apprehended by solid law enforcement tactics, the science of the plots has been debunked and yet, our air-lives have been disrupted, our “leaders” are posturing and shrill rhetoric fills the vacuum.

Before you call me names, hear me out. The threat is real. However, the roller-coaster perceived threat-level and fear mongering is generating as much terror as terrorism itself.

From Schneier:

Regardless of the threat, from the would-be bombers’ perspective, the explosives and planes were merely tactics. Their goal was to cause terror, and in that they’ve succeeded.

Imagine for a moment what would have happened if they had blown up 10 planes. There would be canceled flights, chaos at airports, bans on carry-on luggage, world leaders talking tough new security measures, political posturing and all sorts of false alarms as jittery people panicked. To a lesser degree, that’s basically what’s happening right now.

Down to 8 Planets: Pluto Gets an Umbrella

The solar system has lost a planet today, as the International Astronomical Union decided to demote “pluto to Dwarf planet”:http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/08/24/pluto.ap/index.html?section=cnn_topstories status. So now “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine” just doesn’t make any sense.

Although astronomers applauded after the vote, Jocelyn Bell Burnell — a specialist in neutron stars from Northern Ireland who oversaw the proceedings — urged those who might be “quite disappointed” to look on the bright side.

“It could be argued that we are creating an umbrella called ‘planet’ under which the dwarf planets exist,” she said, drawing laughter by waving a stuffed Pluto of Walt Disney fame beneath a real umbrella.

Well, at least they have a sense of humor about it.