Friday, September 12, 2014

Terrorists and Abusers: Ounces of Prevention Wanted

Terrorists and abusers: two groups of (mostly male) people are very much in the news this week.

Press and politicians are using words such as 'destroy' and 'punish' as the proposed remedies.

But are these words not the equivalent of saying: 'let us terrorize the terrorists' and 'let us abuse the abusers'?

By the time the terrorist or abuser acts, their mental state is well-formed. It's very late, often too late to adjust the mental processes of such people.

And even if you could 'get even' or trade an 'eye for eye' with such people, you would be doing little to stop their followers.

What really needs acting on are the circumstances and conditions that allow and enable these types of thoughts to grow and develop in young people without consideration of the consequences of their actions to society.

In turn these thoughts beg the question: What are the steps that people should take to identify and prevent abusive or potentially terrorizing behavior?

Living and working in San Francisco - a place where the Internet touches the ground - I can't help but wonder what are the technologies and the networks to be developed that will be part of the eventual solutions to these grievous issues. And who will be the people that will lead this engagement with creating a more equitable world?

Are you ready yet?


  1. This is a thought-provoking piece, Theo. Terrorists could be viewed as abusers engaged with a community of victims; abusers as terrorists with a limited field of victim(s). Your observation about addressing the problem before it reaches its tragic flowering is an excellent one.
    Thank you for your thoughts.


  2. Jim

    Thank you for the approbation.

    Can you think of any web presences that help people identify abusive behavior and/or suggest actions that can be taken to verify or inform others of such behaviors?

    I have found one site that seems fairly sensible - though with a out-of-date look:

    This site, though, is mostly addressed towards helping victims. There also needs to be guidance on how o deal with the abusers...

  3. Brand new, very with it - and launched by the Whitehouse: