Today’s information technology mediates our awareness of dreadful events, such as terrorist attacks, in a manner that makes them feel closer and more pressing. Unless we are dreadfully unlucky, the actual bombs and bullets don’t affect us directly; thanks to social media, though, we are all a part of the aftermath.
One danger is that this distorts the way we perceive such happenings and the scale of the threat that they represent to us. Obviously, ISIS and other radical Islamist groups now represent a real security issue. But how large is it compared to other causes of death and injury?