Maths Expounded

Day Four. Last day of gym for the week. Spent much of yesterday in Nawth Alibam’s Shining CIty on the Hill and in and around staff call and foodstuff acquisition I had occasion to reflect on my recent blot on the maths of terrorism.

So I thought I would do a bit of a word picture of a specific scenario, the one of greatest interest right now, 

  1. A group of citizens are gathered
  2. A number of terrorists arrive and either take hostages, begin executions, or both. (Note: these are executions. The terrorists are acting like an organizations so the humanity of the citizens is relevant only on its impact on those not present.)
  3. Somehow the constabulary is alerted.
  4. The constabulary marshals forces, and transports them to the locale. Then reconnaissance, analysis, and planning must occur before any substantive reaction.

A simple dynamical analysis of this indicates that the most significant time factor is the latency between the arrival of the terrorists and the constabulary being able to initiate ameliorative action.

This latency is not, in any sense, the result of any malice or incompetence. (Elected officials who “fund” the constabulary is a separate question.) If anything it is characteristic of the overall organization. A good part of it is deliberate to reduce casualties.

While some things may be done to decrease this latency, nothing presents itself that is able to substantially reduce the damage. 

To effect a substantial reduction, a change of dynamics is necessary. The most effective change, at least for this scenario (and many others,) is to require all adults of adequate physical and mental capability to be armed, trained, and qualified in the use of those arms.  

This does not eliminate casualties, but it does minimize them. It’s the only practicable way (found to date,) to reduce the latency to a minimum.

Yes, it’s an ivory tower solution and thereby not implementable per se. But a modified variant could be.