Re: Why?

Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 01:06:04 BST

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    Subject: Re: Why?
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    In June, I gave a talk in the Wall Street financial district on the subject
    of stock market thought contagions. I had been invited to give the talk
    mainly to address what caused the bubble and crash in the technology stocks
    and in the broader market, as well as boom and bust in an entire economy.
    Before addressing those topics, however, I discussed something that no one
    wanted to hear: how contagions of ideas that cause war and mass violence can
    send shock waves through the world financial markets. An earlier draft of my
    talk put things in such stark terms that it would have cast a pall over the
    conference, and may have just made people shut out the message.

    Right after my talk, a group of about 50 of us walked west on Wall Street,
    past the New York Stock Exchange, then North on Broadway, and West on Liberty
    Street. We then entered the World Trade Center, walked through the complex,
    and out to the World Trade Center marina on the Hudson River. There, we
    boarded a yacht and went sailing around Manhattan for several hours. The view
    of lower Manhattan was fantastic, but I continued to discuss with several
    people my sad sense of how vulnerable the whole place was in the face of the
    extremely hostile ideologies and warfare ideas spreading throughout the
    world, as well as the gravely dangerous clashes between ethnic, religious,
    and political movements. At present, I do not know whether all of the people
    I met that day are safe.

    I have long been surprised that a mass-violence attack had not happened
    earlier, particularly given the past attempts, though I am still as shocked
    as anyone now that it has actually happened. Unfortunately, far worse attacks
    remain possible and increasingly likely. A dangerously complacent attitude
    toward the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons
    technologies will need to be reversed, even if such weapons have already been
    smuggled into target cities.

    Regarding what I can contribute toward answering the hard questions of "why,"
    I have discussed ideological causes of mass violence in my book Thought
    Contagion and in a variety of works since then. (Some of the papers and
    excerpts are available at I am continuing to work on
    these urgent subjects. Besides the natural questions of "who did it," we need
    to pay far more attention to questions of "what did it."

    --Aaron Lynch

    In a message dated 9/12/2001 4:11:10 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

    > Subj: Why?
    > Date: 9/12/2001 4:11:10 PM Central Daylight Time
    > From: (Luisa F. Robles-diaz-de-leon)
    > Sender:
    > Reply-to:
    > To:
    > I join Vince, Philip, Lawrence, Angie and Kenneth in sending
    > condolences and sympathies.
    > I also agree with Lawrence that we should be thinking why this
    > occurred. Such a strong statement, what are the causes of it? Why do so
    > many peoples, individuals hate the US so? What has the US done to them?
    > I would like to hear some of your opinions.
    > Luisa

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