Why we should welcome warnings
At MIT event, experts call for a new approach to worst-case scenarios
Nuclear accidents. Sea level rise. Terror threats. The world is full of potential catastrophes, but most of the time, most of us are oblivious to them.
Still, at times, experts warn the rest of us about these potential crises. Sometimes those warnings work, but many times they go unheeded. Why do we ignore information we could use to stave off a disaster?
Prominent national security expert Richard Clarke SM ’79 weighed in on this issue at MIT’s latest Starr Forum event on Wednesday, making the case that we should be more receptive to the possibility of dire news, as well as more systematic about analyzing it.
Clarke, the former chief counter-terrorism advisor on the National Security Council, expanded on ideas in his new book, “Warnings,” asserting that specialists in a range of fields can “see the thing buried in the data that other people don’t see. They see it first.”