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Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
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Blaster Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
(04-18-2013 09:01 AM)NY Digital Wrote:  funny how if it's a "natural disaster" it's not really important for news or outrage.

Relatively speaking it is slightly less sensational than malevolent violence. Yes. There are many differences-- no guilty perpetrators to be found, no motives to be saught, no adorable little boy brutally murdered in a cowardly act. In short, there is no injustice, no threat, only tragedy.

But the Texas explosion would be huge news if the Marathon bombing hadn't happened first. If an average mundane new story carries a value of 50, the fertilizer plant disaster would be a 1,000; ahead of or on par with tornados, major earthquakes, and other natural disasters. But the Boston Marathon bombing rates over 9,000 because of the element of human conflict and injustice.

You could make an argument that people shouldn't care about a terrorist, or his motives. That if we just pretended it never happened that it would deter future terrorists. But ultimately I don't think it makes much difference. The "Boston solidarity," the hunt for the perpetrators, and that sort of media attention means a lot to the people of the city and future marathon runners, and so long as the politicians don't spin it into oppressive new security laws then the reaction is not excessive.

The victims of the fertilizer explosion in West, Texas certainly deserve sympathy and support (monetary, emotional, blood donations). But because there was no malicious attack, no malevolent threat, the psychological injury is not the same.
04-18-2013 04:14 PM
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Therapsid Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
(04-18-2013 04:14 PM)Blaster Wrote:  
(04-18-2013 09:01 AM)NY Digital Wrote:  funny how if it's a "natural disaster" it's not really important for news or outrage.

Relatively speaking it is slightly less sensational than malevolent violence. Yes. There are many differences-- no guilty perpetrators to be found, no motives to be saught, no adorable little boy brutally murdered in a cowardly act. In short, there is no injustice, no threat, only tragedy.

But the Texas explosion would be huge news if the Marathon bombing hadn't happened first. If an average mundane new story carries a value of 50, the fertilizer plant disaster would be a 1,000; ahead of or on par with tornados, major earthquakes, and other natural disasters. But the Boston Marathon bombing rates over 9,000 because of the element of human conflict and injustice.

You could make an argument that people shouldn't care about a terrorist, or his motives. That if we just pretended it never happened that it would deter future terrorists. But ultimately I don't think it makes much difference. The "Boston solidarity," the hunt for the perpetrators, and that sort of media attention means a lot to the people of the city and future marathon runners, and so long as the politicians don't spin it into oppressive new security laws then the reaction is not excessive.

The victims of the fertilizer explosion in West, Texas certainly deserve sympathy and support (monetary, emotional, blood donations). But because there was no malicious attack, no malevolent threat, the psychological injury is not the same.

Yes, but it's still irrational. It's within the power of individuals, businesses, communities, states, and the federal government to respond and to prevent accidents like the fertilizer plant explosion just as much as they can react to terrorist bombings like the one in Boston.

It would only make more sense to devote more resources to terrorism if accidents not caused by malevolent people were totally out of our control. But typically, they aren't. For example, observe that the death toll from car accidents has dropped significantly since 2001. This has been the result of a wide range of conscious policies and technological improvements, which have saved far more lives and for less money than the War on Terror and homeland security industry.

As for the unique psychological toll of terrorist attack - this is largely the result of the irrationally disproportionate attention and response they receive from the media and political establishment.
04-18-2013 04:26 PM
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GenJx Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
news is like a movie. you want to watch the movie about an accident at some plant or the terriorist bombing and the manhunt for him?

in the game of life there are spectators and players,which are you?
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2013 04:30 PM by GenJx.)
04-18-2013 04:27 PM
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Blaster Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
(04-18-2013 04:26 PM)Therapsid Wrote:  Yes, but it's still irrational. It's within the power of individuals, businesses, communities, states, and the federal government to respond and to prevent accidents like the fertilizer plant explosion just as much as they can react to terrorist bombings like the one in Boston.

In this context, it's not really irrational. Both incidents got lots of attention and resources. It's not like hospitals in Boston can help victims in Texas, anyway. At least, not in an ER scenario.

Quote:It would only make more sense to devote more resources to terrorism if accidents not caused by malevolent people were totally out of our control. But typically, they aren't. For example, observe that the death toll from car accidents has dropped significantly since 2001. This has been the result of a wide range of conscious policies and technological improvements, which have saved far more lives and for less money than the War on Terror and homeland security industry.

Yes I am not disagreeing with this. We devote lots of resources to reducing car accidents and we absolutely should. Similarly you can bet your ass that safety regulations and policies surrounding fertilizer plants will be reviewed and lawsuits are likely to be on the way.

Quote:As for the unique psychological toll of terrorist attack - this is largely the result of the irrationally disproportionate attention and response they receive from the media and political establishment.

But what is the "disproportionate attention and response" really? A crowd at the Bruins game singing the National Anthem? People changing their profile pictures to say "B Strong"? Inspirational speeches in a church? FBI Press conferences?

How much does it cost to have President Obama and a dozen or so religious leaders give some inspirational heartfelt speeches to the public? What's wrong with a bunch of Americans and friends really throwing their heart into a rendition of the national anthem before a hockey game? What's wrong with having a law enforcement agency do their job in tracking down a pair of criminals that set off bombs at a public event?

There's nothing wrong with any of those things. Maybe they aren't your cup of tea, but they aren't hurting you either. The costs are marginal.

Give me some explicit examples of where the real costs of response are disproportionate to the event.
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2013 05:54 PM by Blaster.)
04-18-2013 05:54 PM
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cardguy Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
Well - to give the earlier example I gave. Was launching two wars a proportionate response to a terrorist attack?

This is a serious question - and not a political point.
04-18-2013 06:00 PM
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Blaster Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
(04-18-2013 06:00 PM)cardguy Wrote:  Well - to give the earlier example I gave. Was launching two wars a proportionate response to a terrorist attack?

No wars have been started over this. I am not talking about 9/11.

Feel free to warn against a disproportionate response in advance or criticize one when it happens. But so far, I have not seen disproportionate response* to either the Boston bombing or the fertilizer plant explosion.

Note that I'm not counting greater internet idiocy which can always be counted on to overreact to anything.
04-18-2013 06:34 PM
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puckerman Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
Federal and state investigators have now ruled that the fire was started intentionally. It sounds like an act of "terrorism." One has to wonder if they can find much evidence at this point though. It's not been three years.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/west_explos...90317.html
05-20-2016 01:19 PM
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debeguiled Offline
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RE: Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, TX
There's a building technique called the "Monolithic Dome" that is possibly the most indestructible form of architecture out there. Made from a single, rebar enforced piece of concrete with insulation, private homes made like this are Hurricane-proof, Tornado-proof, earthquake-proof, and practically fireproof.

There is an article at their site about this explosion, and they maintain that if the fertilizer had been stored in one of their domes, the tragedy would have been averted because the strength of the walls of the dome would have diverted all of the energy of the explosion upwards, and just blown the top off.

http://www.monolithic.org/blogs/presiden...le-tragedy

The Monolithic Dome people once had a grain storage unit they built with a slow burn inside, and a buildup of methane, that eventually exploded, and it performed as described:

Quote:Wheeler Grain Storage: The grain did a slow burn for several months, while the owner and his team looked for a way to stop it. They were told it would explode, and one night it did! It awakened people four miles away! Note: The lower shell’s super-strong wall held the pressure from the methane explosion, and the top blew off. This is typical. The release of pressure tends to drag the broken roof section back into the dome. Almost no concrete landed outside the floor area.

[Image: large_wheeler_img0047.jpg]

Quote:Wheeler Grain Storage: We offered to put the top back on the dome, but they did not consider it necessary as the need for storage had disappeared. So the dome stands as shown. It’s both a monument to its strength and blast-resistance and a testament to its longevity.

[Image: large_stor_wheeler5164.jpg]

Quote:Wheeler Grain Storage: Twenty-five plus years later it still stands as an example of its strength. It released the energy vertically and not horizontally where it would have done a lot of collateral damage.

[Image: large_Screen_Shot_2013-10-17_at_4.57.39_PM.png]

Monolithic Domes are ugly as sin, and I wouldn't want to live in one. They are so airtight that if the power goes out, you would suffocate.

I just think it is interesting that there is technology out there that can prevent not only deaths like this, but all the horrible tornado carnage, and Monolithic Domes are becoming popular in Tornado country as combinations school gyms/tornado shelters.

Often it is more human habit, inertia, and the impulse to cut costs that results in grand scale disasters.

“That sig BTW is a very asinine anti-family anti-parent quote. You live in a country where 40% of children grow up without a biological father, yet somehow “the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents”? Sorry but this is fruity Boomer nonsense.”

911
05-20-2016 01:58 PM
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