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August 23, 2006

Comments

The Pedant-General

Whilst I will certainly give you 3), I think 1 and 2 are plausible.

Looking at the fear of being caught vs the perceived paybacks of not being caught, the worst thing that could happen to a suicide bomber is that they are caught before they self-detonate then spend the rest of their life in jail, without the prospect of their glorious martyrdom and with opprobrium (see social norms in 2 above...) heaped on them by the creatures that sent them on their way in the first place.

By this reasoning, the more successful suicide attacks, the weaker the downside appears. As an aside, this is also why it might be important to make such a big song and dance when plans are foiled.

As regards 2), no there aren't "communities of suicide bombers", but there are communities within which those who would become suicide bombers live and are recruited, indoctrinated and trained. It is a valid question as to whether "social norms" apply at all to those who would slaughter others randomly in the name of religion, but then that would suggest that this behaviour is largely unconstrained by social norms in general rather than the breakdown of any existing norm acting an accelerator.

dearieme

Apparently suicide does enjoy, if that's the mot juste, a copy-cat characteristic. So why not this particular form of it?

jamie

But suicide isn't strictly illegal in the UK. When has there been anything reasonably describable as an epidemic of it, which is what you'd expect if Finklestein is correct?

dearieme

With the vast store of authority earned by watching the telly the other night, I can answer jamie with "after the publication of Goethe's Werther". Apparently.

jamie

Ah, yes. I remember hearing about that somewhere. Of course, that may be a function of the irrecoverable time they wasted reading it.

cmain

I followed your link to your economics tutor and was disappointed it didn't lead to ALR Fincham, who you liked to cite in your homework at Wyggy.

I wonder if you would consider signing my petition requesting that the British government provides us with some evidence that these suicide bombers actually existed: http://www.petitiononline.com/j7truth/petition.html

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