Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Maybe Vague Warnings Make Sense

The following by IowaHawk was hilarious:

London - British public safety officials today increased the national alert level to "Quite Elevated Indeed" -- the highest category possible -- and appealed to UK citizens to "keep a sharp lookout for diverse people engaged in activities."

"We ask the public to report any behaviors by various people that may or may not be of a suspicious nature," said Lt. Clive Jameson of the Metropolitan Police Service. "We further ask the public to be especially vigilant for activities of broad stratas of people who may be from countries of some sort, especially those within the eastern and/or western hemisphere."


Nigel Brunton, a spokesman for the British Society of Diverse People Doing Various Things, said his organization was "cooperating fully" with police, but said he felt it unfair that it was being singled out.

"In every group there's bound to be a few bad apples," said Brunton. "Or some sort of pomaceous fruit of some kind."

It would have been even funnier if I hadn't read the following first:

One complaint in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the anthrax incidents afterward, is "They tell us to be alert, but they don't tell us what to look out for."

The Federal Government advises people to watch for packages with loose wires, suspicious stains, excessive postage and incomplete addresses. Frankly, if you get a package like that, you're dealing with a very stupid terrorist. Shameful how people don't take pride in their work any more.

Terrorists by definition use surprise and concealment. A predictable terrorist is no threat. So it is impossible to give a simple list of what to look for.

So here it is. You notice everything. You identify every potential threat, everywhere, all the time, and have a plan to deal with it if something happens. Always. You no longer have a right to go through life in a fog on cruise control. You never really did, but the penalties before now were not severe - your career was lackluster, your achievements were nil, other people picked up the slack because you underachieved, they paid the bills when your negligence got you in trouble, but there were no really bad consequences. Now your inattention might get you killed. So you spend all your time, 24/7/365, observing and thinking. Gerbils eat, sleep and reproduce, and go through life without thinking. If you want to live that way, don't complain about other people "dehumanizing" you. You did it yourself.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the statement "you no longer have the right to move through fog in cruise control - you never did, really":

Dead on perfect!

One thing that I really hate in news articles about someone being mugged, or otherwise having a bad time: the inevitable quote about "my sense of safety is GONE! Woah is me!".

Look - we live in a dangerous universe. We're mostly coddled away from the dangers, here in the first world...but the dangers are still out there.

If you ever had a sense of safety, it was a bad thing.

Don't complain to me that your inaccurate, maladaptive illusions are gone.

8:15 AM  

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