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4

tnstaec wrote

There's a list of automobile attacks in Europe at the bottom of the article. Clearly this terroristic tactic isn't going away any time soon. Is there any possible way pedestrians can defend themselves against these death machines?

4

sudo wrote

Besides dodging? No.

5

NEOalquimista wrote (edited )

Perhaps by effectively blocking the passage of cars in places like that one in Barcelona, using small concrete structures that only leave enough space for people to pass.

But I'm not sure it would be efficient everywhere, and it would have to be something less noticeable to preserve some sense of freedom for visitors of our parks.

Imagine this applied to self-driving cars. They would hijack many vehicles around the area and program them to attack places with a lot of people, pretty much the same way it happened in the last Black Mirror episode, but with cars.

3

sudo wrote

You mean these? That would probably stop runaway cars; I'm not sure about runaway trucks. But good luck moving those into position by hand - they can only be placed by a large truck designed for them. So, this wouldn't work for spontaneous crowds. Plus, it'd be impractical to put these up every time a large crowd gathers, since these terrorist attacks are so rare.

2

NEOalquimista wrote

Yes, I imagined those blocks. But I get your point. It needs to be something more portable. Who knows? Someone could come with a solution for this, a new invention.

3

sudo wrote

Well, that's just the problem. A runaway van has a lot of momentum, so it would take something very massive to stop it in a short enough distance. Anything light enough to be carried by a person wouldn't be heavy enough to stop the van, and you can't create a barrier that gets heavier on command, because of conservation of mass. So, any type of portable barrier wouldn't work in this situation.

1

NEOalquimista wrote (edited )

Well, as you said down there, we need to look for other ways to stop attacks then. Placing ourselves in cages won't do it. We need to make use of community power and unity to take care of ourselves. The authorities can't respond fast enough to stop a shooter or a moving van. They are not everywhere, they are fewer. But we are many. We need to start "doing the dishes" ourselves.

1

Defasher wrote

Pedestrians should be seperated from the traffic, putting busy walkways next to roads is antiquated.

2

sudo wrote

Could you elaborate? This doesn't make sense.

1

Defasher wrote (edited )

Build the pedestrian paths elsewhere, not by roads. Don't allow cars on busy shopping streets, period. A lot of Europe already closes high streets to traffic - even bicycles.

Or

Build the pedestrian paths at a higher level than the road, so the cars have no way to get to them. A metre should be enough, it's not like vans can jump. Or more likely, the road would be dug lower than the surrounding buildings/pedestrian areas. Drainage systems need to be designed well.

Or

Build permanent concrete pillars between the road and the path.

2

sudo wrote

I really don't think runaway cars are enough of a risk to necessitate any of this. #1 would be bad for accessibility, since some people may not be able to walk that far once they leave their car. #2 is completely impractical. #3 might work, but the pillars should probably be steel, and it would make moving large objects (like sofas, for example) from the street to the sidewalk impossible. Not enough of a risk to necessitate it.

Have a look at this article, specifically this section:

It is important to distinguish between threats and risks. While a threat is a bad thing that can happen, risk is the likelihood that the threat will occur. For instance, there is a threat that your building might collapse, but the risk of this happening is far greater in San Francisco (where earthquakes are common) than in Stockholm (where they are not).

So, for example, there is always a threat of being struck and killed by a meteorite when you walk outside. Upon hearing about this, someone who doesn't understand risk analysis would always walk around holding an iron umbrella, to protect themselves from small meteorites. But this is an error in judgement, because while meteorites are a threat (a bad event that could happen), they pose virtually no risk (a bad event that is likely to occur). So, there's no need to carry an iron umbrella.

Likewise, terrorists driving vans into crowds is a threat, but not much of a risk. Think of all the crowds of people that form around the world every day, then think of the percentage of those crowds that are run over by vans. It only happens once every couple of months, so if you're standing in a large crowd of people, the risk of being run over by a terrorist is actually quite small. Another threat is a terrorist using a gun to shoot random people, but again, the risk is quite low. Some people suggested gun control for this, but you already know what leftists think of gun control laws.

If you want to stop ISIS, building giant walls between the roads and sidewalks isn't the way to do it, because they'll just find another way to kill people. Getting rid of the material conditions that lead to terrorism (i.e. getting rid of imperialism) will do it.

1

Defasher wrote (edited )

It's not just for terrorism though, people get run over in accidents everyday because pedestrians and cyclists are forced to share the street with heavy machinery (cars). I really think my first option should be standard on high streets - if it works in Holland, Germany, etc, why can't it work worldwide? Furniture stores aren't on high streets anyway, they're in strip malls or in Ikea's case, they take up a whole street with underground parking.

And the dual-level idea is something I've seen first hand where I live. All along the coast, there are pedestrian footpaths several metres below the road, all along the coast. Separate bike lanes too. They would just need to be reversed so the roads are lower than the footpaths.