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Posted by Michael W. Pearson on June 15, 2002 21:20:03 UTC

Hey, get your hand off my leg.

Contrast two funny cases of Collateral Damage.

While trying to save folks from tyranny and
free them for a good life, things go awry and
a group creates some collateral damage.
Our news media always seem dimly aware of this story but seldom seem to make a quantitative analysis.

1) Military
2) Sex

First, a Key to the Scenario Intensity Levels:

Screw-up Intensity Levels (a=least to f=most)
a) no service provided, but nothing bad followed
b) made inappropriate comments
c) inappropriate touching -or- economic blockade
d) inappropriate arousal -or- damage to community infrastructure
e) full inappropriate contact without biological disease transmission -or- destruction of several buildings and persons killed
f) repeated inappropriate contact without biological disease transmission
- or - full bombing and siege combined with economic blockade
g) Inappropriate contact with emotional blackmail or Destruction of a country
h) Inappropriate contact with very serious biological disease transmission - or -

So how does this story proceed?
It's a formula. Write two parallel stories.

1) We see who the actors are and whether they also have any ulterior motives to begin with, and how they came by those, including historical perspectives.
2) We see what the media's incentive would be to make the best analysis.
3) We compare the numbers of persons involved and how far off-track they are wandering.
4) We take note of the merits of various arguments during this episode BEFORE they are distorted and taken out of context to win a debate. We note how arguments are turned against
anyone whose idea would require taking the whole situation in context and proportion.
5) We sadly note the damage done and see a note of hope sounded from the lesson learned.

Ha ha.


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