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Against SecurityHow We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger$
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Harvey Molotch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163581

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163581.001.0001

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Conclusion: Radical Ambiguity and the Default to Decency

Conclusion: Radical Ambiguity and the Default to Decency

(p.192) Chapter 7 Conclusion: Radical Ambiguity and the Default to Decency
Against Security

Harvey Molotch

Princeton University Press

This chapter further draws out some larger lessons. In anticipating danger, we learn that people rely on prior understandings and capacities. Extant goals and routines go at the danger, like chemicals on the surface of an oil slick. This includes forces of authority, more or less on standby, that come to bear. They do their thing. So do individuals struggling to stay on their feet and get families and communities back on course—in a word, to regain prior levels of security. It can be that remediation creates more trouble than it solves—sometimes tragically. It is not always easy to know the difference, to be able to do something without making things worse. The chapter argues that there are principles to follow, as local and national imperatives, for dealing with impending threat. The key is to exercise massive bias toward making life better all along the way.

Keywords:   safety, security, danger, remediation, threat

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