Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Morning Insight: The Hard Questions

I wanted to talk about something else today but the events that occured on Friday have made me ponder about the following questions:
  • Are there simple means of interdicting the use of high powered weapons in crowded areas or cities ?
  • Are there cheap and rapid means of detecting high explosives from a distance ?
  • Are there cheap and rapid means of interdicting the use of high explosives ?
  • Are there better technical means of enhancing monitoring capabilities in group hostage situations ?
  • Are there better ways of enabling citizen responses to emergencies without giving information ?
  • Are there efficient and privacy conscious ways of monitoring the activities of a few thousand people deemed potential threats without overburdening security forces ?
All answers should have little impact on societies (financial, privacy). Some of these questions may look like they are impossible to answer affirmatively but we need to ask them nonetheless and we need to have places where these questions can be asked in a naive fashion. This type of exercise is still undertaken by scientists in the shape of the JASONs in the US and maybe we should have something similar here.
Current organizations and structures which should deal with these issues seem out of touch with Science based approaches. That needs to change.

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