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The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 01:10:06 -0500 (CDT)
By Bruce Schneier
April 15, 2013
As the details about the bombings in Boston unfold, it'd be easy to be scared.
It'd be easy to feel powerless and demand that our elected leaders do
something -- anything -- to keep us safe.
It'd be easy, but it'd be wrong. We need to be angry and empathize with the
victims without being scared. Our fears would play right into the
perpetrators' hands -- and magnify the power of their victory for whichever
goals whatever group behind this, still to be uncovered, has. We don't have to
be scared, and we're not powerless. We actually have all the power here, and
there's one thing we can do to render terrorism ineffective: Refuse to be
It's hard to do, because terrorism is designed precisely to scare people --
far out of proportion to its actual danger. A huge amount of research on fear
and the brain teaches us that we exaggerate threats that are rare,
spectacular, immediate, random -- in this case involving an innocent child --
senseless, horrific and graphic. Terrorism pushes all of our fear buttons,
really hard, and we overreact.
But our brains are fooling us. Even though this will be in the news for weeks,
we should recognize this for what it is: a rare event. That's the very
definition of news: something that is unusual -- in this case, something that
almost never happens.
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- The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On InfoSec News (Apr 16)