Article on difference between feeling secure and being secure
Some interesting thoughts by Bruce Schneier. Check out the linked pieces, too, where he explores such topics as why the human brain is second-rate when it comes to logically assessing risk (the assessment appears wired into two different parts of the brain, one advanced and one primitive), why we have cognitive challenges when trying to undertake it (overestimating risks that are rare but spectacular, new risks, man-made risks, risks over which they have no control, etc.), and thus why companies, governments, etc. target making people feel safer, whether are not they are safer.
All interesting points. I remember flying out of San Fran airport after 9/11. National Guardsmen all over. Only a gunny would recognized that none were allowed to have magazines in their M-16s. Heard a rumor, not confirmed, that they weren't even allowed to have magazines with live ammo on them. Even if they did, they'd obviously be gunned down while loading. But people who didn't know enough to see that their guns were unloaded undoubtedly felt more secure.
Hat tip to reader Jerry in Detroit.