Friday, May 21, 2010

Misplaced priorities, again

Terrorism was a name based on people's psychological reactions to a set of events, and if they're concerned about terrorism, they might ask what causes terror, and how can we stop people from being terrified...

In raw numbers, these are very tiny accidents. We already know, for example, that in the United States more people have died as a result of not taking airplanes because they're scared and driving on highways than were killed in 9/11.

Not the least interesting thing to be found in this TED talk (this quote at about minute 24).

Dan Gilbert asks later, "which problem would you solve, terrorism or poverty?" And though the host (and, as it generally appears, the audience) agrees that poverty would be a more productive thing to solve, there seems to be no particular recognition that poverty could be a causing factor of terrorism, making it of course even a more productive solution than originally intended.

Also, one questioner near the end challenges the rather unsympathetic presentation of those who buy lottery tickets, indicating that from his interviewing of lottery ticket buyers, they buy it not because they think they're going to win, they buy it because it makes them feel good, and they get a serotonin release. My response, perhaps a little more direct than Gilbert (since I have the freedom of not confronting the person directly), is that: if the person really believed they weren't going to win, they wouldn't get the serotonin response. The serotonin response is an indication that they still believe they could win.

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