Tuesday, November 04, 2003

NukeUS for 23

Public outcry may have scuppered the Pentagon's plan for terrorist futures, but predictably the type of bets it would have carried have appeared in other decision markets. My old roomie Stumbling Tongue points out that the markets predict there is a 20% chance of nuke going off in the US by 2010.

Let's try this again: people think there is a 20% chance of a nuke going off in the US in the next 6 years!! It's hard to know what to say. I have no idea if that 20% figure is too high or too low, but I hope to God it's waaay too high. Three years ago I would have put the odds at zero, but now the idea of a young man wandering into Grand Central, saying "Allah Ho-Akbar," and pushing a small red button seem terrifying plausible. If such a terrible catastrophe does happen, it will make this war against terrorism (depose a brutal dictator as bloodlessly as possible and then spend $87B in cash, and who knows how much in blood, to install a democratic and free muslim state in Arabia) look like, well, a wonderful, but naive, humanitarian basket-weaving session. Worth keeping in mind.


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