January 5, 2010

This Post is Old!

The post you are reading is years old and may not represent my current views. I started blogging around the time I first began to study philosophy, age 17. In my view, the point of philosophy is to expose our beliefs to rational scrutiny so we can revise them and get better beliefs that are more likely to be true. That's what I've been up to all these years, and this blog has been part of that process. For my latest thoughts, please see the front page.

How Great is the Threat of Aircraft-Based Terrorism?

In my recent post Preventing Terrorism "At All Costs", I argued that it is necessary to consider the genuine risks of terrorism and balance them against the cost and inconvenience of proposed security measures, rather than merely taking a knee-jerk "anything to make us safer" approach. In the course of the post, I compared the risk of aircraft-based terrorism to other risks we take every day, such as driving on Los Angeles freeways. In a recent post, Big Numbers and Air Travel (HT: Uncommon Priors) on his blog Good Math, Bad Math, Mark Chu-Carroll examines the question of just how risky air travel really is. His conclusion? "The chances of being hurt by someone who got past airport security, even without things like the full-body scanners being deployed after this latest panic, are smaller than dying in your dentist's office from an anaesthesia error." If this analysis is correct, then it seems obvious that current airport security measures represent a massively disproportionate response.

Posted by Kenny at January 5, 2010 1:53 PM
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