ANTIcarrot

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A Fable of Science and Politics

Consider a slightly different story. Eddin and Ferris come across a strange gas cylinder and both look at the warning labels the cylinder has.
Eddin: Ah. Explosive. I better handle this carefully then.
Ferris: Ah. Explosive. I really need a ciggarette now...

I'd go with Eddin as being the more rational reaction. Ferris sees, and understands there's more to be learned, but doesn't seem to make any effort to internalise or actually understand this knowledge. Both explore, but in diferent ways. At the end of the day though, neither immediate reaction is bad. No one is required to learn something in a single moment. What matters is whether they have other reactions (and specifically, each other's reactions) in the minites, hours, and days to follow.

Offense versus harm minimization

We don't have to suppose. This has happened in recent history. When a small group of british people turn hostile and violent for a specific cause, the media services and the population decry their actions, and the British government invariably arrests them. Thatnks to football hooligans, riots, the IRA, 7/7, and its nanny state system of CCTV cameras, the UK is actually quite good at this sort of thing.

In comparison the islamic world tends to take a 'boys will be boys' attitude to this kind of thing. While I appreciate the utility of avoiding words like 'blaim' and 'fault' it's kinda hard when the 'victims' are not only indirectly supporting terrorism but actively egging them on.