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By David Henderson, Jan 6 In short, it is attempting to reduce even further the small probability of terrorist attacks on Americans. That reduction in probability, times the value of the damages averted, is the expected benefit of spying. However, spying is costly in a of ways.
A numerate analysis shows that the cost of NSA spying is substantially higher than the expected benefits. NSA spying on Americans should be ended. Starting with some reasonable estimates of various costs and various probabilities, Hooper finds that the costs of NSA spying greatly exceed expected benefits. So, to bias the against this initial finding, he inflates his estimate of benefits and understates his estimates of costs.
And he does this without even considering some costs of NSA spying, costs that he lists but does not delve into further. September 11th cost near on a trillion dollars, even if you only count the direct costs of the Iraq war. The Iraq war was chosen by Bush and Congress. Recall that the architect IIRC of the Twin Towers was in a depressing funk for weeks Woman want nsa Bostonia the attack because he had thought the towers would not fall.
And it would have been easier to convince Congress to go along had Gore been president. It was an obvious consequence. Do you have a cite for your claim? It should be counted just as, say, the TSA should be counted. Is there some world in which we could have chosen not to do it?
No, I completely made up those s. I have no cite. And the prosecution of the Iraq war certainly greatly reduced our estimate of the probability of such an event. I remember reading Judith Miller at the time and being honestly worried about things like pre-positioned smallpox stocks cited around the US. We now have more information, so we can rule that particular scenario out.
It would probably take a nation state to do such a thing. If you want something easier to estimate, imagine an Iranian nuclear weapon smuggled into New York, which is likely higher probability today. Whether Mr. Henderson thinks the U. What matters is whether terrorist attacks increase the chance of U. The open borders advocates should realize that Muslim immigration to the U. Maybe would should not invite the world.
Finch, Is there some world in which we could have chosen not to do it? Congress and the President did. But now to your substantive point. Yes, there is such a world. The government could easily have chosen not to attack Iraq. Look at the lengths Bush went to to make the case for about a year and a half. He could have easily chosen not to do that. So it follows that A was not the inevitable consequence of B. I think we can all agree that: 1 there are non-pecuniary costs to a terrorist attacks. The real question, I think, is why do we focus on this one specific low probability event?
There are countless others that we are unconcerned with e.
Is it because we have a direct reference event for terrorist attacks? It would be interesting to hear some feedback on this. AIDS panic was rampant. Tests were developed to detect HIV. Idiot politicians in Chicago, against the advice of medical experts and epidemiologists, voted to require HIV testing to get a marriage. The prevalence of HIV in heterosexual couples was extremely low.
In 18 months they had tested overpeople and found six positives. Four of the six were false positives. Given the extremely low prevalence of terrorists in the USA, I expect the false positive to true positive ratio of NSA screening to be more than The only spying the Woman want nsa Bostonia is authorized to do within the US is of people in contact with suspected foreign spies and terrorists.
And the NSA is supposed to get warrants to do that. Do you really think the probability of invading Iraq was not materially increased by September 11th? From my perspective, it was an inevitable consequence. Also, from what I can tell, Saddam Hussein had no connection to al Qaeda, had no weapons of mass destruction, and was not a threat.
I think you two may be talking past each other. If a terrorist group were to successfully carry out a WMD attack in the US, Congress would pass a law that makes the Patriot Act look like the Freedom of Information Act, and with the full support of the American public would authorize the president to turn large portions of the Middle East into a glowing parking lot. So we really ought to consider that reaction as a cost of a possible terrorist attack.
Garbage in garbage out…. This to me seems far more reasonable though probably an underestimate of the program. It still says something that the cost of the program is potentially so high on such a narrow view of the costs, but the author should be more careful about his assumptions. Rather, they are thresholds that need to be met to get X result.
If the NSA proceeded for 30 years and gave us complete access to its data, we could compute the sensitivity and specificity. In the absence of that, we need to make reasonable assumptions and look at thresholds. I question whether the NSA could ever achieve a specificity anywhere close to Remember that terrorist groups are fully expecting the US and its allies to embark on expensive anti-terrorist campaigns.
Indeed they are relying on it:. The initial disaster is the terror attack. But a subsequent crisis occurs if we self-impose further stresses on the nation by our response. Even when security is successful at preventing an attack, they celebrate at the self-imposed cost. But a system that prevents any terrorist attack from happening at all could still be one that terrorists are very pleased with, curiously, since it imposes economic and social costs.
Thank you Dan S. You may have better articulated my point. With it, we were near certain to invade Iraq.
Were there another major successful terror attack on the US, depending on the nature of the attack, it would not be surprising in the least to find us invading Yemen or using WMD in the middle east. That reasonably has to be counted as a cost of a successful terror attack. David R Henderson Of course I read the article. The author never mentions any benefit to come out of the NSA other than terrorism prevention, and his only attempt to dissect the NSA budget is a guess that half of it goes to surveillance. If a man burns his house down after his wife ruins dinner, should we blame the woman for the damage to the house?
Or, more to the point, should we plan on a house fire for each Woman want nsa Bostonia dinner? Indeed they are relying on it. We thwart them precisely by not overreacting. The man should realize that his burning down the house is exactly what the woman wanted, is unnecessary, and just hurts himself. Speaking at a very high level, criminal law does not exist to punish murderers because murder is bad, therefore we should punish them.
At least I think that is a very naive moralistic interpretation. Laws against murder and their enforcement exist so as to solve a basic collective action problem. Alice is willing to give up her right to murder Bob in exchange for Bob giving up his right to murder Alice. Police, judges, and courts exist to enforce this basic pact. So if we can pretty much guarantee that Congress will do all this stuff in the event of a terrorist attack, we ought to consider it a real cost. I think the real distinction is between normative and positive or descriptive thinking. Or, between what the government will likely do overreact and start a war and what it should do react appropriately.
Compared to a WMD attack, those were nothing. They shut down Boston, and that was for a domestic terror attack. Now imagine a foreign WMD attack. I think the responses would Woman want nsa Bostonia totally different. There is always a trade off between specificity and sensitivity in any test that you are free to adjust by changing the test threshold. The author fails to recognize this aspect, and implicitly assumes that specificity and sensitivity are correlated.
It depends also on what you define to be a false positive. The author assumes that positives are people arrested under the program, in which case I would say that the specificity is more than Now, there may be many more people who get flagged for closer attention, but are cleared or marked for observation in the future without their knowledge. There are an infinite of combinations of sensitivity and specificity.
The article, for the sake of brevity, lists just a few.Woman want nsa Bostonia
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