February 1, 2007
This happened in boston on Wednesday.
Gist of the story: Adult swim was running a bizarre ad campaign for aqua-team hunger force. The ad group doing it setup some video displays to come on at the same time and display an image from the show. This caused panic and all sorts of problems as bomb squads ran off to check them out when people responded badly.
Now a couple of things that people aren’t saying, so far, which bothers me:
1. this is what happens when some advertising guy wants to get people’s attention. No one is noting that if the guy actually had malicious intent we would be in a state of red alert country-wide and pretty much everything would be shut down. These things went up in a number of places all over the city and no one noticed until they were turned on. Can you imagine what this would have been like if they had not been just video displays? If they had been bombs? The damage? The chaos? Why aren’t we assessing:
a. how this could happen?
b. if it can happen and there’s nothing we can do then what’s the point of all of these civil-liberties-restricting laws and policies?
2. Is it sad or just obvious that we’re living in such a state of fear that people get panicked b/c they see a new device plugged in where it wasn’t before? Does it mean we’re more alert than we used to be or does it just mean we’re paranoid?
I hope Bruce Schneier writes about this.
It seems like if the various actual bad guys out there wanted to hurt us they could just stage a series of these things all over the country using ad agencies as their unwitting accomplices. Just to prove to us that we CAN be gotten to, that we’re not actually any safer for all the censorship, war and civil-liberty-destruction that we’ve perpetrated on the world.
This also happened on Wednesday, apparently. Amazingly, Obama made the most profound statement I’ve ever heard a politician say:
“He called me,” Obama said. “I told him it wasn’t necessary. We have got more important things to worry about. We have got Iraq. We have got health care. We have got energy. This is low on the list.”
That’s right folks, we might just have a democratic candidate for president who has a sense of perspective.
I think John Edwards also has a sense of what actually matters as opposed to the host of bullshit things that in which people get bogged down. The next couple of years should be intriguing to follow.