New York Times Movie-Plot Threat Contest
Hearing about these rules got me thinking about what I would do to maximize terror if I were a terrorist with limited resources. I’d start by thinking about what really inspires fear. One thing that scares people is the thought that they could be a victim of an attack. With that in mind, I’d want to do something that everybody thinks might be directed at them, even if the individual probability of harm is very low. Humans tend to overestimate small probabilities, so the fear generated by an act of terrorism is greatly disproportionate to the actual risk.
I’m sure many readers have far better ideas. I would love to hear them. Consider that posting them could be a form of public service: I presume that a lot more folks who oppose and fight terror read this blog than actual terrorists. So by getting these ideas out in the open, it gives terror fighters a chance to consider and plan for these scenarios before they occur.
Far more interesting than the suggested attacks are the commenters who accuse him of helping the terrorists. Not that I’m surprised; there were people who accused me of helping the terrorists.
But while it’s one thing for this kind of thing to happen in my blog, it’s another for it to happen in a mainstream blog on The New York Times website.
EDITED TO ADD (8/9): Sadly, he had to explain himself.