Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192

 

Uhm, so if you feel as many people do this, it’s just a matter of time the nuke of some form gets to the hands of terrorists and we have a massively porous border. You know the joke is, if you want to get nukes into US, just hide it.

 

Hide it in a bale of marijuana. It’s like we can’t fight the war on drugs so the idea that we can keep everything out is pretty much a pipe dream.

 

So, so when you start thinking about the idea of a nuke going off in a major American city and forget about the loss of life, just what would that do to the world economy.

 

It’s easy to see how the paranoia ramps up so you know, I don’t. These are hard, obviously these are hard calls to make for anyone and uhm, you’re gonna look..

 

Just imagine the day after an active terrorism or as a magnitude bigger than September 11th, what..  to have to talk about the reasons why we didn’t do all these things

 

Joe Rogan: Right.

 

Sam Harris: that we could have done to keep us safe. So I’m very much, I share your concerns about infringing on civil liberties but it’s just

 

Joe Rogan: The way you look at it, it’s scarier on the other side. The threat is scarier.

 

Sam Harris: I think the threat of nuclear terrorism is quite real and anyone who thinks that it’s not or that’s just fear mongering, uhm, I just think it’s not… not reading the books or papers of experts whose job it is to worry about these.

 

It’s just not uhm, it’s real. It’s a real problem. So the question is, in the phase of that, what do you do? And you know, I’m as annoyed as the thing you don’t do is to force everyone to take their shoes off in the airports until the end of time.

I mean we’re so inefficient in how we filter and uh, so yeah, I mean it’s a big problem. It’s a problem I don’t know much about it but my file on what we should do is pretty thin.

 

But it’s pretty clear but you know every time  I go to an airport and I see uhm, old Norwegian lady who obviously is not a terrorist submitting to the same search as somebody who looks like Osama Bin Laden uhm, it seems like a misallocation of attentional resources so..

 

Joe Rogan: Yeah, it seems ridiculous. It just, the idea behind it and so you know what else freaks me out? The fucking radiation! How much radiation are those big body scanners? Is that something to be concerned of?

 

Sam Harris: I dunno. But I would be concerned on the manufacturers were not entirely candid about or even cognizant of the health effects of them so I dunno.

 

I haven’t seen the data on them but you would want to minimize the amount of x-rays you get. And but everytime you get on a plane,

 

Joe Rogan: Yeah

 

 

Sam Harris: you get into those. So it’s not, I don’t know how it compares to the actual plane flight.

 

Joe Rogan: How much time in your day do you think about nuclear terrorism? Because if I was convinced as you are…

 

Sam Harris: Oh no, you know it’s not even every day. I put it out of my mind like everything else. Well, it’s just… The truth is you asked me rationally how big a risk do I think it is? I think it’s a big risk. It’s not one in a hundred risk. I think, I think it’s..,

 

Joe Rogan: 50-50?

 

Sam Harris: Well, that’s what, you know… Experts like Graham Allison think in this next decade. He wrote in his book you know, 5 years ago but he thought like next 10 or 20 year period.

 

The chance of a nuke going off in a major American city was like 50-50. Not one in a hundred and so, no one really criticized him for that.

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