Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Five Years On

Posted by hyperpat on September 11, 2006

It’s the fifth anniversary of a very dark day. I remember getting up that morning, and walking out in the living room where the news was on the TV. Didn’t think much about it till I saw airplane #2 fly directly into that tower. Quite a wake up call.

In the years since, there have been a few changes in America, ostensibly to try and prevent any recurrence of that day. While some of them have been common sense improvements in the security of basic infrastructures, there have also been changes that I think attack the fabric of America in a far more serious manner than those suicide planes did. What I refer to here are the impositions on some of our basic freedoms: freedom not to be spied on by our own government, freedom of speech (if you don’t think this one has been limited, try yelling ‘bomb!’ in an airport tomorrow), freedom to be considered innocent until proven guilty (every time they inspect your luggage, the premise is that you’re guilty of trying to transport illegal substances), limitations on citizen’s basic rights to know what their government is doing.

In some ways, the terrorists have already won. And that’s a very sad legacy of 9/11.

2 Responses to “Five Years On”

  1. Nathan said

    “In some ways, the terrorists have already won.”

    A couple of years ago, talking out of my ass, I said to some people, “We’re spending billions on this, standing in line to enter any public place, and there are cops with uzis on every corner. Haven’t they (AQ) achieved what they were trying for?”

    My friends were mortified that I thought we shouldn’t be doing everything possible to stay safe. I’m not so sure.

  2. hyperpat said

    In this life, there is no such thing as ‘safe’, only degrees of relative safety. Every time you get in your car, you are facing a far greater risk to your health and well-being than when you get on an airplane. But people insist on not performing a proper risk/benefit analysis in any situation where they see themselves as not having any control over that situation. In a car, people feel that they have control, even though in reality they have no control over what that yahoo in the next lane over is doing, whereas in a plane they feel subject to mercy of others (the pilot, ground control, etc). Thus they merrily accept the car risk, but not that of the plane. Illogical, but that’s a good chunk of what’s driving this hysteria over possible terrorist actions.

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