What’s Scary About the World Today

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It’s scary out there…

Despairing about the state of the world is a popular pastime for amateurs and professionals alike. It’s easier to imagine the apocalypse than to visualize progress, and apocalypses certainly make for more compelling movie plots. But our fears are fickle, prone to change with the latest headlines. Ten years ago, for example, everyone’s favorite apocalypse-in-waiting was the suitcase nuclear device in Times Square.  If you search Google Trends for the term “suitcase nuclear device”, you’ll discover that its search popularity peaked in July 2005 and has been in steady decline since then, except for a recent uptick probably reflecting concerns about the malevolent potential of ISIS. Today people are scared by other things. I just searched Google Trends for “US Russia War” for example.  Not too many people were worried before 2013, but since then it’s been climbing the charts.

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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Categorized as:International