Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

February 7, 2006

Good Article on Profiling and Generalizations

Filed under: My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 4:23 PM

A really good article that talks about profiling and generalizations. It takes a case about generalizations regarding Pit Bulls and compares them to terrorist/smugler profiling and how thats not such a good idea.

Profiling is never a good idea, if I know that there’s a profile for a particular kind of person then when I am trying to do something unnoticed as that person I would deviate as much as possible from that profile. I think thats a logical/intelligent response and while terrorists are acting on a false sense of right/wrong that doesn’t make them idiots and this is proved time and again when a bombing or terrorist act is carried out by someone completely unsuspected as they were completely outside the usual profile.

Another issue with generalization is that people tend to start focusing on them and ignore other vectors of threat. e.g. terrorists usually hijack planes right? So the reaction is that lots of money is spent on airport security etc. What is to stop them from taking a shopping mall/theator hostage? They can seal off the exit’s and threaten to blow it up. This is not a threat that is commonly recognized. There are hundred’s of other ways they can terrorize us.

So what do we do? Do we hide at home and refuse to comeout? Nope, we learn not to limit our responses to a list of threats, diversify and learn to counter/field unexpected threats.

Original Article: The New Yorker: Fact

Thanks to: Schneier on Security for the link.

– Suramya

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