Friday, June 05, 2009

Cure Terrorism or the Flu -I'll choose the latter.

After getting a warning email about how we all need to get more proactive to prevent terrorism, such as notifying authorities immediately upon finding an unattended bag, and being aware of people that frequently visit the Middle East I started to do some reading up on death tools.

"Using State Department figures, he [Alan Harris] assumes a worldwide death rate from international terrorism of 1000 per year--that is, he assumes in his estimate that there would be another 9/11 somewhere in the world every several years."

full article

So say that even including regular 9/11 terrorism this number is a bit low and terrorism is on the rise, so 2000 people a year world wide will die from terrorism each year (twice the projected rate).


"According to the CIA World Factbook, as of July, 2005, there were approximately 6,446,131,400 people on the planet, and the death rate was approximately 8.78 deaths per 1,000 people a year. According to our nifty desktop calculator, that works out to roughly 56,597,034 people leaving us every year. That's about a 155,000 a day."

full article

So 155k people die each day (56597k a year!), compared to 2k a year from terrorism worldwide.

Even if all 2k people died in one day the death toll for the day would probably not be significantly higher since so many other people die every day.

The flu kills 56k a year in just America according to the CDC. If all terrorist deaths in a year were to occur in America you still would have 28 times the chance of dying from the flu. If we get the flu do we start writing our will?

In the US 43k people die each year in car wrecks. Do we still drive to work every day?

27k people in the US die from poisoning each year. Do you take a food tester with you and use it every time you are about to eat something?

We don't need to shriek in terror from unattended bags, we don't need to "keep an eye on" the tourist from Egypt, and we don't need big brother to "keep us safe".

The fact is that you will not die in a terrorist attack. But you will be affected by the laws that are placed to stop an event that has such a small chance from happening. Our fear is causing us to sacrifice our precious few freedoms, and fear mongering will not help us survive any longer.

To make a real impact on our chances of surviving we should just wash our hands more.


Candy's daily Dandy said...

Yeah, I was in a great mood till I came over here...

Kidding. Interesting, very interesting.

Slyde said...

you are right, of course (but you knew that)...

the common cold kills more each year than pretty much anything else..

Tuba Queen said...

Yes but the flu isn't 1K or 2K people in 1 area all at once. We should wash our hands more, people are just gross that don't, but a flu is in a totaly different area then a bomb or plane crash I think. Murder vs a sickness, both are horrible and both need precautions in their own seperate areas and ways as well as common ways.

Heff said...

Well, at least I feel more confident that towel-heads won't be attacking my Bar now !

Ookami Snow said...

@Candy - Don't be depressed, be strong and be confident. It's more of; look at all the things that kills us that we don't get down about, let not let terrorism get us down too.

@Slyde - However if you search for the leading cause of death, it comes up with Chuck Norris.

@Tuba Queen - I don't think most terrorism deaths happen at once either, most are two or three a day over in the Middle East from bombings. I think the real fear is that we have no control over them (like air plane crashes).

@Heff - Make sure the towels are washed, they might be carrying the flu.

Braveharte said...

Here are some fun facts for you:

Which causes more death?
Accidents or strokes?
Motor vehicle accidents or digestive cancer?
Homicide or diabetes?
Air crashes or rail crossing?

2x more stroke
3x more cancer
4x more diabetes
Several times more train

Which produces the most injuries (gathered from ER records)?
a. Playground equipment
b. Home workshop power saws
c. Cooking ranges and ovens
d. Beds, mattresses, and pillow

a. Playground equipment 248,378
b. Home workshop power saws 91,771
c. Cooking ranges and ovens 44,824
d. Beds, mattresses, and pillow 456,559

Which of these produces most injuries?
a. Scissors
b. Hammers
c. Chainsaws
d. Toilets

a. Scissors 30,290
b. Hammers 41,518
c. Chainsaws 29,684
d. Toilets 44,335

People forget to consider base rates of use and perception of control makes a big difference in our fears. BTW, these stats are from a fun book called "Intuition" which is all about how good and bad our intuitions are.