Security expert Bruce Schneier writes on our cultures increasing risk aversion and our poor ability to assess the reality of different risks - and the dangers these pose to our societies.
This is the cultural/psychological background to so much of what I've been writing about/linking to recently.
We're afraid of risk. It's a normal part of life, but we're increasingly unwilling to accept it at any level. So we turn to technology to protect us. The problem is that technological security measures aren't free. They cost money, of course, but they cost other things as well. They often don't provide the security they advertise, and -- paradoxically -- they often increase risk somewhere else. This problem is particularly stark when the risk involves another person: crime, terrorism, and so on. While technology has made us much safer against natural risks like accidents and disease, it works less well against man-made risks.
... and more. Really good stuff to keep in mind whenever we're reading about or thinking about the debate about the balance between liberty and security, freedom and safety.