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I paid attention to news of the Marathon bomb ...

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Not at all
  1934 votes / 9%
  6938 votes / 32%
More than slightly, but not obsessively
  9136 votes / 42%
  2484 votes / 11%
Is that a new long-lasting caramel candy?
  901 votes / 4%
21393 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I paid attention to news of the Marathon bomb ...

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 20, 2013 @03:09PM (#43505223)

    I followed it on Reddit. We crowd sourced the investigation, poured over every image taken at the marathon, painstakingly sought out every swarthy looking male carrying a bag, and reported them to the FBI and the paper media. In some cases the FBI infuriatingly didn't act on our discoveries, so we hate bombed facebook pages and made sure any nut with a gun knew the full name, phone number and full address of anyone we suspected. We even got two swarthy indviduals with bags onto the cover of the New York Post.

    We all did our part. Without our help, they would never have been caught this fast.

    • by JimMcc (31079) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @03:49PM (#43505473) Homepage

      Hopefully the AC comment was posted as a sarcastic comment. It's hard to tell sometimes. But yes, the social media hords did get two INNOCENT people on the cover. Mostly it seems as though the crowd sourcing folks did a great imitation of Chicken Little.

      • by D1G1T (1136467) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @05:46PM (#43506159)
        I don't mean to downplay the pain of the victims of this horrible crime, but the media pointing a finger at two completely innocent people was, for me, the most chilling part of the entire story. These guys could easily have ended up dead because 12 year olds where joking around on Reddit and the press picked it up as legitimate.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 20, 2013 @07:58PM (#43506699)

          Even more chilling when you realize these aren't just "12 year olds on Reddit", these were a variety of people that you would think should know better.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "these were a variety of people that you would think should know better."

            not really, because this is reddit we are talking about

        • by rve (4436) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @02:23AM (#43508043)

          Yes, it got so bad that the FBI saw the need to release the photographs they were interested in, stating people should only focus on these and not others, because the amateur sleuths were creating unnecessary extra work for them.

          Half a dozen innocent guys were at some point accused or harassed, not by the authorities but by 'the internet' and trashy publications and similarly 24h cable news networks.

        • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:26PM (#43518119) Journal

          Actually, the scariest thing for me about the MSM was the "hope", for lack of better term, that the bombers were White American, right wingers. Any hint that these were tied to "Teabaggers" would have sent these people off the edge. Even now, they are trying so hard to downplay the fact that these were Muslims it is not even funny. Just today, I heard a doctor trying to blame boxing. REALLY??!!??

          The media is in the tank, and is no longer objective in any meaningful sort of way.

          • by bogjobber (880402)
            Well, they were white Americans, so I guess the mainstream media was ecstatic, right?

            I don't think I've seen a single in-depth article that didn't zero in on the fact that the older bother was Muslim, most going into great detail about his trip to Dagestan. There was a great discussion on the radio this morning about how immigrants from tribal Muslim cultures are particularly prone to alienation and have difficulty adapting to mainstream American culture.

            But what do I know? I listen to NPR.
      • by magic maverick (2615475) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:45AM (#43513803) Homepage Journal

        All people are innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law. And even then, much of the time they are innocent, but did not have a good enough lawyer, or were railroaded into accepting a plea-bargain, or just damn well were unlucky.

        The person shot and killed by police is innocent for all time, because they'll never get their day in court. The young man caught by police and arrested, innocent, until proven guilty.

        At least, I hope that people are not jumping to conclusions and trusting not just the media, but the police and government. When it has been shown many times all three lie, don't tell the whole truth, etc.

        Wait longer for the facts, and see what happens. Don't make up your mind now.

        • Spoken like a lawyer (Score:3, Interesting)

          by beer_maker (263112)
          I agree that in a court of law that everyone is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty but IRL the person shot and killed evading the cops is looking pretty guilty already, and I expect the trial of his brother is going to produce more evidence than we have seen already. I am willing to wait and see how that shakes out, are you willing to admit the possibility that the dreaded authorities might have caught the right guys?
        • by MondoGordo (2277808) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:50PM (#43517779)
          'All people are innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law.' NOT!! Guilt and innocence are absolutes. All people are entitled to the presumption of innocence when accused of a crime. This has no bearing on their actual guilt or innocence, if they did it they are guilty, regardless of whether or not it's proven in a court. If they didn't do it they are innocent regardless of whether or not they are convicted of the crime.
        • The person shot and killed by police is innocent for all time, because they'll never get their day in court.

          That guy sort of lost his right to be presumed innocent when he carjacked the guy, told that guy that he was the one responsible for the bombs, and then later shot at and threw explosives at the police. That doesn't exactly scream "innocence" there. Actually being innocent has nothing to do with going to court. He should be presumed innocent in the eyes of the law until he goes to court, but that's not the same thing as actually being innocent. He's not innocent because he's dead, he's dead because he's

        • There's one thing that will keep the government on the straight and narrow for this thing though.

          This will be a trial that gets watched by a great number of interested parties. If the prosecutor fucks the dog on it, he's done, his boss is done, a massive backlash from the public will happen likely culminating in riots, etc.

          The United States Attorney who will be prosecuting the case is only going to arraign on what they can prove, and what are violations of Federal jurisdiction (the terrorism crap). Then,

    • by SinisterRainbow (2572075) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @03:52PM (#43505499) Homepage
      Was this an attempt to brag or just show how lynch mobs work in the 21st century?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 20, 2013 @03:26PM (#43505329)

    is the amount of media attention they get when they do. I ignored it.

    • by femtobyte (710429) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @09:18PM (#43507017)

      Thank you for your selfless service in keeping America safe by not watching the news.

      In this particular case, it's not yet clear whether "terrorist" is technically the right categorization. Sick murderous fucks, certainly. However, we don't know whether the perpetrators were intending to use this as leverage for political ends (simply having political/religious motivations/grievances does not make "terrorism"). Were the perpetrators intending to release threats calling for some political action lest such events be repeated (terrorism)? Or just planning to slink away unidentified, personally satisfied at having caused mayhem (not terrorism)? They were likely not linked to any larger, more organized terrorist network --- otherwise, they probably would have had access to more powerful high explosives than gunpowder, and a more orderly escape plan (or deadly final suicide).

    • by Psyborgue (699890) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:29AM (#43514269) Homepage Journal
      You have a point. In Israel there is a law that after a terrorist act such as a bus bombing the place has to be cleared out, cleaned up, and back to normal within so many hours. They realize shutting down an entire city, for example, would be giving the terrorists exactly what they wanted. On the other hand, shutting down Boston probably did help catch the two bombers and likely did help prevent a second bombing by depriving them of targets.
      • On the other hand, shutting down Boston probably did help catch the two bombers and likely did help prevent a second bombing by depriving them of targets.

        I disagree. The guy was ultimately found in the boat when law enforcement lifted the lockdown, the homeowner went outside for the first time that day, and saw the blood trail and open tarp. If he was walking around all day he probably would have seen that a lot earlier. The guy's movements also would have been much more restricted if the entire city wasn't locked in their houses.

  • I ran the marathon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by word munger (550251) <> on Saturday April 20, 2013 @03:39PM (#43505413) Homepage Journal
    I ran the marathon and my son, watching the race from a rooftop on Boylston, saw the bombs go off. I didn't obsessively follow the news about the bombings, but you can bet that I was interested. Glad to see they caught the bad guys, and that life in Boston can return to a semi-normal state.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    With the markedly low loss of life, half the bomb team dead, no real nationwide manhunt that went on for weeks, no clear goal for the attacks that I'm aware of, and no subsequent or copycat bombings; I found this bombing to be on the whole underwhelming without the flair usual bombers make (McVeigh, WTC Towers, Unibomber, etc.) Maybe if there were repeat offenses or the loss of life was higher then I would have paid more attention. I think lack of live footage near the event didn't help getting my interes

    • by TWX (665546)
      On the other hand, my wife is from Boston, she went to MIT, her folks live about five miles from the Arsenal Mall, and friends of ours ran the marathon, apparently finishing 12 minutes before the bombs went off, close enough that they were lucky to not have been hanging around the finish line.

      So yeah, I paid attention.
    • So you're saying the Nakh brothers could've been some--body if they would've hit their stride? Perhaps if they'd been better financed the 7-11 robbery could've been avoided so they got right to the MIT bombing... and then the cop who got in there way here in the real world wasn't there along a different timeline. Following this line of reasoning, if we dare call it that, the Chechens actually do avenge Schwartz in their own way. THEN, but only then, we have your attention?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 20, 2013 @04:09PM (#43505615)

    In my estimation, this sort of event is on the order of once a decade, and kills on the order of 10 people.

    School shootings and similar mass murder/rampages outside schools (the Batman movie theater shooting, the odd mall shooting, etc.) seem to occur on the order of once a year, and kill on the order of 10 people.

    Gang and/or drug-trade related homicides are on the order of 3000 a year.

    Motor vehicle deaths are on the order of 30000 a year.

    I'm not trying to in any way minimize the impact of this on those who it has actually affected, or to suggest that the authorities are necessarily overreacting, just to say: what's the point of following all the in-depth coverage of it? I'm unlikely to find myself embroiled in a similar bomb plot and its aftermath, so more knowledge is unlikely to have a practical benefit to me; I already know that it happened, satisfying the social usefulness of knowing what somebody means when they say "That thing in Boston sure sucked, eh?"; what utility am I missing that I would get if I watched more?

    I'm just not seeing anything good that comes out of following each tragedy in depth -- and there's plenty of bad: the mundane deaths are enough, I don't need to get depressed by morbid examination of each more exotic death as well. And it's worse, because even though I know the many exotic deaths each have a tiny probability, and even taken together, sum to a ridiculously small probability, the human mind still sucks at dealing rationally with probability. How much worse for the people who can't be arsed to even estimate the probabilities with the rational part of their mind -- this is why we have a frightening number of people who believe either restricting gun ownership or putting an armed guard in every damn school is a reasonable reaction to the tiny real-world incidence of school shootings. (This is not to say that either of those 'solutions' is necessarily without merit in the big picture (although I do think they are), just that it's literally insane to suggest the tiny, tiny amount of harm associated with school shootings justifies a response as costly as the ones being pushed by each US political party.)

    • Here's the good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @07:46PM (#43506669)

      I'm just not seeing anything good that comes out of following each tragedy in depth

      Here' s the good - if you see someone leave a backpack at a crowded event and wander away, stuff it into an alley and then go find police to tell about it.

      That was obviously kind of suspicious before but now you have a better understanding of what a heavy backpack might be able to do in a crowd.

      If it helps people just be a little more tuned into what people are doing around them, it could help prevent the next bombing in a crowd. It's not like you have to be suspicious or fearful - just present and aware.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        if you see someone leave a backpack at a crowded event and wander away, stuff it into an alley and then go find police to tell about it.

        Now you're either a backpack-stealing thief, or a bomb-planting terrorist.

        If you really think you've spotted a bomb, it's probably best to say something like "omg I've spotted a bomb", so everyone will move away from it.

        • Bad Advice (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by SuperKendall (25149)

          If you really think you've spotted a bomb, it's probably best to say something like "omg I've spotted a bomb"

          And if you smell smoke in a theater do you also yell out OMG FIRE! before you check to see if someone is smoking?

          Your way creates a lot of pointless chaos for something that is probably not an issue.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I've fairly frequently spotted seemingly abandoned bags and suitcases at American railway stations and airports - I've kept an eye on them for a minute or so to see if their owners turn up, and on one occasion I've quietly informed a security officer of what I've seen. (A large suitcase left near the top of an escalator at an airport. Seriously, who does that?)

          Paranoid? Kind of. But I did grow up somewhere [] in which leaving bags around in public places would be considered utterly stupid. Unless you want your

          • That was you?! You arsehole! I finally wrestled it to the top of the escalator, went to get a trolley and when I got back my bag was gone and I was escorted to a small room for a prostate exam administered by a stern-faced gentleman who could have picked up two watermelons with one-hand.

            I grew up in the same country as you, at the same time. On multiple occasions I left my rugby kit/tenor-horn on a crowded station platform and the worst that happened was having to collect it from lost property. I shudd
      • by Xeno man (1614779)
        Who the fuck stole by backpack? I turn my back for a fucking second and some prick takes my stuff!
      • if you see someone leave a backpack at a crowded event and wander away, stuff it into an alley and then go find police to tell about it.

        Better still, point to it and say loudly, "Hey Mister! You forgot your backpack." Then see what happens. Maybe he's just absent-minded and he'll come back for it. If he runs . . . not so much. You can bet the crowd -- and any police it might contain -- will be paying attention pretty quick.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      We are interested exactly because they are rare.

    • by sootman (158191) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @03:27PM (#43511141) Homepage Journal

      Sense of proportion is also key for what comes after. What will be the results of the event in Boston, versus the accident in Texas two days later that killed and injured more people? []

      The fertilizer plant that exploded on Wednesday, obliterating part of a small Texas town and killing at least 14 people, had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)... Fertilizer plants and depots must report to the DHS when they hold 400 lb or more of the substance. Filings this year with the Texas Department of State Health Services, which weren't shared with DHS, show the plant had 270 tons of it on hand last year.

  • I was not at the marathon, but between having my office locked down in Cambridge, and having Blackhawk helicopters land in my childhood hometown(Dartmouth). There is pretty much no way I could not follow it all.
  • Old News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ganty (1223066) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @04:39PM (#43505775)

    I grew up in the UK in the 70's and 80's and during this time the IRA were detonating bombs in Northern Ireland on a regular basis, funded by collections taken in places like Boston where there is a large Irish community. Yes, it's sad that people died in Boston, but just because this particular pair of bombs were detonated in the USA it doesn't make it an international event.


    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ABEND (15913)

      The Boston Marathon [] is an international event.

      Also, the funding of the Provisional IRA by Boston is being over-reported. Boston Irish tend to be from the west and south of Ireland and do not have much association with the north.

      More likely it was Irish living in London that were ferrying cash back to the Provisional IRA.

      • Re:Old News (Score:4, Informative)

        by sa1lnr (669048) on Monday April 22, 2013 @10:32AM (#43515301)

        "More likely it was Irish living in London that were ferrying cash back to the Provisional IRA." []

        "The charge was also disputed by historian Ed Moloney who stated that the funds raised by NORAID went largely to the families of IRA volunteers, while Clan na Gael was the principal financial backer of the Provisional IRA" []

        "However the organization grew in the 70's. The organization played a key part in NORAID and was a prominent source of finance and weapons for the Provisional IRA during "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland in 1969-1998."

    • Re:Old News (Score:5, Insightful)

      by djbckr (673156) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @07:01PM (#43506519)
      Couple of comments on that:
      1) Terrorism in the US is still a relatively new thing to us. We're not used to it.
      2) The media is out of control. They love stuff like this. It makes them lots of money, so they'll milk it for everything it's worth.
      3)The above two things are what makes this whole event worse. Yes, a few people died and there were a good number of injuries. That, in itself, is not particularly newsworthy. Terrorism is newsworthy here, unfortunately. And the media pushes it as far as they can.
      • You left out the fact that our absurd number of different law enforcement agencies vie for recognition at these media saturated events. What was the DEA doing there????????
    • by csumpi (2258986)
      Nice trolling. I can't believe this comment was rated insightful.

      The IRA bombings were awful. But that doesn't make what happened in Boston less awful.

      If you had the internet and news over-coverage back in the 70s and the 80s, you would've heard about the IRA acts all over the globe. In fact I did as is, and that was in a communist-bloc country.
      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        If you had the internet and news over-coverage back in the 70s and the 80s, you would've heard about the IRA acts all over the globe. In fact I did as is, and that was in a communist-bloc country.

        As you are talking 70s/80s news in a communist-bloc country, I'm not sure whether that should count for or against you - was it really just reporting, or an attempt at extra "look what a mess it is on the other side of the iron curtain" kind of propaganda?

        But for the rest you're right. In The Netherlands these IRA bombings were also in the news all the time, I remember that from when I was a child.

        There were huge differences though between the IRA bombs and this marathon bombing. What I also remember is tha

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KC1P (907742)

      Just reacting to what seems to be hinted at here: I grew up in Boston in the 70s and 80s and Boston has an even larger NON-Irish community which was definitely not backing the IRA. Plus I wouldn't think the IRA was automatically universally popular in the Irish-American community either. So any implication that Boston deserves payback for crap the IRA did is way off.

      • Re:Old News (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @07:34AM (#43508689)

        So any implication that Boston deserves payback for crap the IRA did is way off.

        I don't think they were suggesting it was legitimate payback, I think they were suggesting it's something to reflect on and maybe reconsider a few attitudes. To copy a quote from somewhere else (no idea who said it first):

        As I am watching the horrific syndicated pictures of the Boston bombings, I think to myself about all those Americans with Irish family ties and background, who gladly poured dollars into the collection boxes in Irish pubs and clubs in Boston and elsewhere, to support the IRA and other Irish terrorist groups. They can now see first hand on their own streets, the carnage and death caused to innocent people that occurs when bombs are indiscriminately detonated in busy urban areas. Perhaps they might, just might, for a moment reflect on the fact that their joyfully made contributions to help "the boyos" back home, were used to buy Semtex to make bombs that devastated British cities for years, and were used to kill and maim innocent British men, women and children. I sincerely hope this does occur to them, but somehow I don't think it will

        Things hit home most when they literally hit home, and it'd be two faced for the above people to not at least reflect on this.

    • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:22AM (#43507669) Journal
      This is in no way justifying our past 12 years of senseless, self-destructive hysteria (which included pulling your troops into Iraq), but by the same token the importance of events is not a simple function of body count.

      The IRA to my knowledge never had plans for world domination. Much--maybe not 'most', but much--of political Islam ("Islamism") does. The IRA doesn't to my knowledge attack countries who have allegedly wronged non-Irish Catholics. By comparison, Iran is only happy to wage jihad against countries that have not wronged it, haven't wronged people of the same ethnicity or language (Persian vs. Arab, in case anyone still doesn't realize the difference), and haven't even wronged people belonging to the same flavor of Islam (Shia vs. Sunni being a rather huge divide.) In other words, the pan-Islam nature of the conflict makes this newsworthy.

      Because now we have a couple of Chechens waging their tiny little war against us. And maybe it's because they think we've been too soft on Russia, but I think it's more likely that they (or perhaps just the deceased big brother) sympathized with pan-Islamic causes. If there was an international organization involved, I think you'll agree that's certainly news. If it was lone wolf that's also certainly news, because it is one HELL of a culture/belief system that can inspire that kind of out of the blue fanaticism.

      Again, this is not apologism for Orwellian overreactions nor for ghastly wars nor is it excusing the evil that still emanates from the other Abrahamic religions. But don't pretend that this isn't a worldwide issue. It is, and neither dismissive hand waving nor the snuggly warm arms of enlightened multiculturalism will make it go away.
      • You don't know much about Irish Republicans. The various branches of the IR currently implicated in terrorism are technically not the IRA. The actual IRA went Communist in the 70s, and thus stopped obsessing over six counties, which forced Irish Nationalists to set up their own groups like the PIRA and the Real IRA.

        Additionally Irish Republicans have never been shy about trying to conquer anyone who happens to be between them and the British occupation of Ireland. For example right after the Civil War Irish

        • You're also misinterpreting Islamist territorial ambitions. None of them want to conquer Lappland. What they believe is that Islamic people who live in Lappland have a holy duty to replace the Lappish government with a Koran-inspired Caliphate.

          To-may-to, to-mah-to. I never said anything about an open ground invasion. A good portion of them seem to believe that some level of violence is acceptable to reach this goal (and many of the ones who condemn violence appear to do so primarily because violence is
      • When I read your title, I thought you were referring to the USA, which is currently trying to hold onto and manage it's diminishing world domination.

        Funny that you went on to discuss Islam, although I do agree that they are interested in trying to achieve for themselves...what the USA has already done.

    • Yes, it's sad that people died in Boston, but just because this particular pair of bombs were detonated in the USA it doesn't make it an international event.

      you're wrong, because it sure as hell turned into an international event. just because you or me think that it shouldn't be doesn't alter reality.

    • just because this particular pair of bombs were detonated in the USA it doesn't make it an international event.

      It may have been the way one of them was planted underneath a Russian flag at an international event that did it.

  • As we are reminded a few posts down, during the 80s the IRA was able to carry out a regular pattern of daily bombings of London, most of which were accompanied by warnings that ensured that noone was injured. In 2001 Arab Terrorists arranged a spectacular - but since then the number of bombings in the US has remained minute in comparison. A recent post on slashdot demonstrated how easy it is to use what's available at the duty frees at airports to make bombs. But it's not happening. Therefore some or all of
    • by femtobyte (710429) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @08:54PM (#43506911)

      The Irish had the "home advantage" --- they were operating in or near to their home country, providing them a lot of recruits, material, and support. Al Qaeda attacks in America are a lot farther from home, so the basic logistics are far more difficult. Attacks on American outposts and allies closer to population centers sympathetic to Al Qaeda causes are correspondingly far more frequent --- terrorist attacks are pretty much a daily occurrence in, e.g., Iraq.

    • 5.) Al Qaeda learned the lesson that the IRA did. Indiscriminate bombing just creates more enemies, more defenses, and hardens the stance of your adversaries. So, Al Qaeda is dedicated to focused attacks on "strategic" targets. This is harder to do and easier for our intelligence services to thwart.

      Any idiot can build a pipe bomb and drop it in a crowded place. The trick is finding either someone clever enough to get away with it or a much more rare suicide bomber. Neither of these brothers thought abo

  • Kept tabs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @06:00PM (#43506253)
    ...but only so I could find out when they actually had any decent leads, or found the perpetrators. Between rumours on the Internet and rumours being thrown up by the traditional media, there wasn't any point in seriously following things until then.
    • by mrxak (727974)

      Same. I watched and read a lot of news on Monday, and then watched and read a lot of news on Friday. Along the way I learned of the FBI releasing photos, and some general information about the types of bombs used. But generally I ignored the media. In other words, the information I absorbed was only official information during actual events and not wild speculation from talking heads or any of the pornographic exploitation of the victims meant to get ratings.

  • While this may be of fairly major interest to some people in the US, it's totally insignificant on a global scale. On the same day, around 100 people died in car accidents in the US, and about 7000 children died from malnutrition around the world - and both of those happen every day. It really pisses me off that the event's still getting blanket, blow by blow coverage, seemingly non-stop, in the media here in Australia. Who cares?

    • Re:Insignificant (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mhotchin (791085) <slashdot AT hotchin DOT net> on Saturday April 20, 2013 @08:18PM (#43506755)

      Pretty much *by definition*, something that happens everyday is not news, no matter how many dead people are involved.

      On the other hand, the events in Boston were, at the very least, unusual. That's what news *is*.

    • By that logic, nothing short of a war is newsworthy. Interesting note, there was something like 60 poeple missing in that fertilizer explosion last I heard, so the death toll will be maybe 25-to-1 to the Boston bombing.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Or, every traffic crash is newsworthy, not just the ones where young drunk people kill families (the media responding to MADD pressure to demonize the rare crashes, not the common ones). There were two choices, and you missed the more reasonable one. Treat every death as tragic, and maybe people will treat 30,000 deaths as 10,000 times worse than a bomb that kills 3, as logic would indicate.
  • by Hartree (191324) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @10:28PM (#43507273)

    We weren't obsessed!

    We could have stopped watching anytime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:50AM (#43507747)
    FBI shows up at my door on Tuesday evening. I wasn't home buy my roommate saw that they were casing the neighbourhood. As he left the house to go to the grocery store they flagged him down and asked me questions about me. The FBI social engineered a ton of information about me. They called me to set up a meeting the next day at my house. I was unaware it was the FBI, and since my roommate was leaving at the end of the month, I assumed it was the landlords of the new prospective place where he might be living. They called me the next day and I said I wasn't at home. I told them I was at a Starbucks downtown. 30 mins later, they showed up, tapped me on the shoulder and said "Hi, Mr. XXX" It was quite a surreal situation, and they claimed they were interested in why I was renewing my foreign passport (I am a dual national). I said to them, "what's wrong with that?" Anyway, since they social engineered a ton of information the previous day, they knew I was a heavy traveler and had been to Boston many times in February and March, and a runner, and they wanted to know more about that. I believe it was pure racial profiling.
    • interesting story.

      i remember when I was in grad school during 9/11 the FBI came to the homes of some of the muslim students in my department and asked them questions. at the time, these students were not offended and commented that had such an event happened in their own country, the government would NOT have been as professional/respectful in questioning foreigners. nothing came of the interviews...they continued with their degrees and got jobs in the USA after graduation.

      racial profiling is an effective t

  • by Orp (6583) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:11PM (#43509873) Homepage

    Somebody in Boston U-Streamed their scanner - there must have been 250,000 people listening when they had the guy cornered in the boat. I was one of them and for an hour or so was listening while on I was pretty obsessed for that hour and heard when one of the cops announced they had him in custody. Then I ate dinner and watched the tube with my wife.

  • It was a media hype overload, somewhat like OS thrashing. It's much more efficient to wait a day or two and read the facts on Wikipedia.
  • Grow up, Americans (Score:4, Insightful)

    by David Govett (2825317) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:25PM (#43511447)
    There are about 314,000,000 Americans. If Americans have a collective epileptic seizure each time a terrorist decides to kill a few people, the country cannot endure. Recall that those willing to trade liberty for safety will get neither. So carry on, like Winnie in bombed-out London, for there is nothing that so frustrates terrorists as a people oblivious of their depredations, because the people have better things to do. Otherwise, the terrorists will have won already.
    • by dkf (304284)

      So carry on, like Winnie in bombed-out London, for there is nothing that so frustrates terrorists as a people oblivious of their depredations, because the people have better things to do.

      On the other hand, when there is a clear threat present (whether from planes dropping bombs or a lunatic throwing grenades) it makes sense to temporarily stay out of the way. Once that threat is gone (or at least dropped back to a background level of probability) you go back to normal. Insisting on putting yourself massively in harm's way just because you don't like trusting the government very much, well... that's just dumb. On the other hand, cowering once the threat is gone is also very daft.

      In short, in

  • by rueger (210566) * on Sunday April 21, 2013 @06:37PM (#43511999) Homepage
    I very quickly figured out that the best way to follow this particular story was to ignore everything said until a day later when the rampant speculation, mistruths, and gross errors had settled out so that only the actual facts remained.

    As it turns out that was the best bet - during day one and two there was endless barrages of media coverage, 98% of which turned out to be just plain wrong.

    Although I think that I speak for most of the world when I say we did snicker a little when the Czech ambassador issued a press release explaining that Czechoslovakia and Chechnya are in fact two different countries.... []
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Krigl (1025293)
      Not only they are two different countries, Czechoslovakia doesn't even exist for twenty years now. Old Czechoslovakia also didn't use to get mistaken for Chechnya like Czech Republic, but for Yugoslavia.
      I also feel like I should insert "you insensitive clod" somewhere, but can't figure where, so feel free to imagine it wherever it makes sense to you.
  • The news coverage leaves a lot to be desired, IMNSHO.

    Something terrible happened. People were hurt. People died. Not good.

    The authorities are investigating. As they should.

    They caught the pricks. They wasted one in the process. Good.

    The hysterical saturation coverage of all of this, however, gives these sick fucks and their filthy ilk exactly what they want: free publicity, plus public fear.

    I've tried to avoid the coverage. It's difficult at times...


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