This paper describes a threatening and insidious process occurring in Western societies like the United States, a process accelerated by the attacks of September 11, 2001. We are not only thinking less “outside the box” in finding new answers and solutions to our questions and problems, but the metaphorical box is shrinking as we further convince one another that man's salvation from adversities lies squarely in the furtherance of techniques and the technical management of the human condition where an excess of power is wielded by an ill-defined cadre of individuals commonly referred to as “experts.” The rest of us in turn often blindly comply with their recommendations in hopes that the human experience will improve without checking that power and influence with thoughtful independent thinking. This paper reflects a talk the author delivered at a NATO Advanced Research Workshop held in Bratislava, Slovakia in October 2006. An international audience discussing the psychological and social dimensions of radiological terrorism attended the conference, which the organizers hope to use as a launching pad to conduct further research into this facet of modern terrorism.
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