Predicting Urban Fear Vectors

Via Schneier- Here is a computer simulation to predict fear vectors in an urban context. This stuff can really take off as unpredictability moves closer and closer to the present.

  1. simulate how a crowd flees from a burning car toward a single evacuation point;
  2. test out how a pathogen might be transmitted through a mobile pedestrian over a short period of time;
  3. see how the existing urban grid facilitate or does not facilitate mass evacuation prior to a hurricane landfall or in the event of dirty bomb detonation;
  4. design a mall which can compel customers to shop to the point of bankruptcy, to walk obliviously for miles and miles and miles, endlessly to the point of physical exhaustion and even death;
  5. identify, if possible, the tell-tale signs of a peaceful crowd about to metamorphosize into a hellish mob;
  6. determine how various urban typologies, such as plazas, parks, major arterial streets and banlieues, can be reconfigured in situ into a neutralizing force when crowds do become riotous; and
  7. conversely, figure out how one could, through spatial manipulation, inflame a crowd, even a very small one, to set in motion a series of events that culminates into a full scale Revolution or just your average everyday Southeast Asian coup d’├ętat — regime change through landscape architecture.

Tie it together with a sensor system and a map of utility grids and community law enforcement would be able to leverage it to respond more effectively and quickly. As with all duel use tech though: the bad guys know where to set off secondary catastrophic events. You will need people able to deal with lots of complexity very rapidly.

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