Moebius Stripper (isomorphisms) wrote,
Moebius Stripper

  • Music:

Do non-math geeks really assess risk so differently?

4 homicides in Vancouver area 'not linked':

With the lack of any link among the slayings or any connection to gangs, Malo said he wanted to reassure the public there was no reason for fear or panic on the streets.

That is: people are afraid that

(a) There is one murderer, or group of murderers, on the loose in the Lower Mainland, and they are targeting people affiliated with gangs (which presumably does not describe most Lower Mainlanders).

The police are countering this fear by reassuring us that, no, as a matter of fact

(b) There are four distinct, independent murderers on the loose, and they are targeting non-gang people, just like you!

I'm not saying that the police should lie to us, but personally, (b) sounds like a better reason than (a) to panic, and the perception (correct or not) that most people think differently is one I find bewildering.
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