What the stampede at JFK airport tells us about fear

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/16/what-the-stampede-at-jfk-airpo.html


In an individual, this kind of paranoia and irrational fear would warrant examination for severe mental illness.


The War on Terror is over.

Terror won.

Freedom lost.


It’s like the man said, “The only thing we have to fear is clapping.”


Fear, it sells itself.


Choooooice ad pairing, algorithmic overlords.


So security in airports isn’t necessarily that effective, but there’s a lot of talking like there isn’t any threats at all here. People wildly gunning down other people has been pretty common across the world recently - I’d say it is Paris and Orlando (and the rest) people might have in mind as they run in fear.


She’d been running down the hallway, she told me later, when the
terminal turned and her crowd of sprinters met another crowd of
sprinters, which everybody took to mean there were multiple shooters,
attacking from multiple directions. Somebody called out they’d seen four
of them. Soon she found herself in another stairwell, where there was
one guard sobbing hysterically and screaming and another dismissing
anyone who turned to him for help or leadership by yelling that he
didn’t want to die tonight, either

You had ONE JOB, security guards!

(also, we’re fucked)


What it tells us about ourselves, following the through-line of the quoted article, is what we already knew. We care about hating and killing terrorists, but don’t seem to care about actually making each other safe, or creating and maintaining the conditions for peaceful coexistence.

Man I hope we don’t see copycat trolls trying to purposefully start stampedes in crowded airports now that they know how easy it is…


“… pretty common across the world, recently.”

Deaths in Orlando: 49
Deaths in Paris: 130
Deaths in Nice: 85
Deaths in Istambul: 41
Deaths in Lahore: 72
Deaths in Ankara: 37
Deaths in Baghdad: 73

I’m sure I’m missing some. Let’s round that up (i.e. more than double it) to 1000.

World population: 7.4 billion

Odds of dying in a terror attack this year: 0.00001%

Traffic fatalities in the US each year: over 32000
US population: 319 million

Odds of dying in a car accident on the way to the airport that day: 0.00003% At any time this year: 0.01%

You are a thousand times more likely to die in a car accident than in a terror attack this year. (In the US, if you are not likely to find yourself the target of an LGBT hate crime, that ratio approaches infinity.)

No. They are not ‘pretty common’. They are spectacularly rare.


“The only thing we have to fear is cheer itself.”


I guess what the autor is trying to tell us, and how I too see things, is that despite 15 years of focus and nearly unlimited funding, the war on terror has not achieved its goal: the public in general is still terrified.

Arguably more so today than 15 years ago.

I’m aware that terrorists are still active, and yes, unfortunately they do at times succeed in bombing airports and other public areas. But I think too much effort in that war on terror was focused on making a show of trying to find and stop the next terrorist (mission impossible), and not enough in reassuring the public.

When I’m scared, I don’t want you to tear apart my bedroom and try to find the monster! I want you to acknowledge my fear, reassure me, and help me put things into context and perspective. I want to be informed in an open and rational way about the danger, without exaggerations or hidden agendas, so I can cope with it in my own way.


RT.com : Breitbart.com :: dogshit : dogshit


I’m just thankful nobody had bottles larger than 3.4 ounces containing liquid, or someone could’ve been seriously hurt!


I can completely understand given the current climate, number of attacks world wide, and massive fear mongering being done by one of the presidential candidates that people would panic at what they believe was gunfire.

The problem to me is that once you have heard actual gunfire in person, you would never mistake it for clapping. EVER.


Huh? That sounds to me like the “war on terror” is working exactly as intended.


If all travelers deposit fear greater than 3.4oz into a giant plastic barrel all will be well.


I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Tolstoy:

There is as much difference as between cat-shit and dog-shit. But I don’t like the smell of either one or the other.


As a French anarchist said, the purpose of terrorism is to create terror.
Mission accomplished.


Terrorism is not defined by its methods. It is defined by the reaction to its methods. This is how it works. If it doesn’t generate fear, terror, panic or hysteria, it is completely ineffective.

It angers me to hear about this story. It is frustrating that so many people are so paranoid. To mistake applause for gunfire? That is Ultra-paranoid.

FOR was right. He was, then, and he is now.