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Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.
The stochastic terrorist is the person who uses mass media to broadcast memes that incite unstable people to commit violent acts.
The person who actually plants the bomb or assassinates the public official is not the stochastic terrorist, they are the "missile" set in motion by the stochastic terrorist. The stochastic terrorist is the person who uses mass media as their means of setting those "missiles" in motion.
Some lone wolves have no provable connection to the hate-talkers and pot-stirrers, other than memes in common. One example of this type is James Wenneker von Brunn who shot and killed security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Another is Andrew Joseph Stack III, who flew a Piper Dakota into the Austin Texas field office of the Internal Revenue Service, killing IRS manager Vernon Hunter and himself, and injuring thirteen others. At this point it appears as if Jared Loughner is one of these: all-over-the-map crazy, with an incoherent ideology that is mostly rightwing but difficult to trace to specific sources.
(UPDATE: to be very clear about this: at this point I am not aware of any evidence to suggest that Loughner falls under the definition of stochastic terrorism, because there is nothing yet to link him to being a fan of one of the mass media hate-talkers. However there are enough other cases out there to make this issue topical and relevant right now.)
Originally posted by Leo Strauss
An interesting example would be Sarah Palin's response video where she accused the media of creating a "blood libel". This is an extraordinarily charged choice of words! First let me remind you that blood libel describes a false accusation that Jews--murder children to use their blood in religious rituals, and has been a historical theme in the persecution of the Jewish people. Specifically the Jews were purported to use the blood of Christian or Muslim children as an ingredient for their passover bread. This story was used with great success by the Nazi's, among others, to incite fear and hatred.
Originally posted by Tasty Canadian
Stochastic literally means random. So if the media is not focusing on any particular target, then to what end are they perpetrating this terrorism? So that they have new & horrible stories to tell to boost ratings? What is the motive?
Originally posted by Leo Strauss
reply to post by HattoriHanzou
I have many Christian and Jewish friends and I can't think of one that drinks the blood of children! The topic is stochastic terrorism...
Are Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and the rest of the gang guilty of stochastic terrorism?
When you listen to people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and the rest of the gang – it’s easy to see – these men and women are guilty of something called stochastic terrorism. That is – the use of mass communication like radio or television to encourage individuals to commit random lone acts of violence. It’s what Glenn Beck was guilty of when he encouraged Byron Williams to attempt to massacre members of the Tides foundation and ACLU. It’s what Bill O’ Reilly was guilty of when he shouted “Tiller the baby killer” a dozen times on his show – and then someone killed Dr. George Tiller.