Probably the ultimate in security theater: Williams-Sonoma stops selling pressure cookers in the Boston area “out of respect.” They say it’s temporary. (I bought a Williams-Sonoma pressure cooker last Christmas; I wonder if I’m now on a list.)
A tragedy: Sunil Tripathi, whom Reddit and other sites wrongly identified as one of the bombers, was found dead in the Providence River. I hope it’s not a suicide.
And worst of all, New York Mayor Bloomberg scares me more than the terrorists ever could:
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Terrorism’s effectiveness doesn’t come from the terrorist acts; it comes from our reactions to it. We need leaders who aren’t terrorized.
EDITED TO ADD (4/29): Only indirectly related, but the Kentucky Derby is banning “removable lens cameras” for security reasons.
EDITED TO ADD (4/29): And a totally unscientific CNN opinion poll: 57% say no to: “Is it justifiable to violate certain civil liberties in the name of national security?”
EDITED TO ADD (4/29): It seems that Sunil Tripathi died well before the Boston bombing. So while his family was certainly affected by the false accusations, he wasn’t.
EDITED TO ADD (4/29): On the difference between mass murder and terrorism:
What the United States means by terrorist violence is, in large part, “public violence some weirdo had the gall to carry out using a weapon other than a gun.”
EDITED TO ADD (5/14): On fear fatigue—and a good modeling of how to be indomitable. On the surprising dearth of terrorists. Why emergency medical response has improved since 9/11. What if the Boston bombers had been shooters instead. More on Williams-Sonoma: Shortly thereafter, they released a statement apologizing to anyone who might be offended. Don’t be terrorized. “The new terrorism”—from 2011 (in five parts, and this is the first one). This is kind of wordy, but it’s an interesting essay on the nature of fear…and cats. Glenn Greenwald on reactions to the bombing. How a 20-year-old Saudi victim of the bombing was instantly, and baselessly, converted by the US media and government into a “suspect.” Four effective responses to terrorism. People being terrorized. On not letting the bad guys win. Resilience. More resilience Why terrorism works. Data shows that terrorism has declined. Mass hysteria as a terrorist weapon.