Found this in the text I'm reading for my missiology class, called Diffusion of Innovations. It's a theoretical book written by a guy who does research on this particular theory, a theory that attempts to show how new things (ideas, objects, technologies, behaviors, etc) are spread and adopted by the people who didn't invent them. It's an interesting observation ...
"In the case of copycat crimes, network influences on criminal behavior occur via the mass media rather than through face-to-face channels. Aircraft hijacking is a contagious behavior that occurs by means of media news coverage of hijacking incidents. Holden analyzed the diffusion of aircraft hijackings that occurred between 1968 and 1972 in the United States. During this period, 137 hijacking attempts took place, one every two weeks! Many of the hijackings were for purposes of freeing prisoners or extorting money. Each successful extortion hijacking in the United States generated two additional attempts within forty-five days. This contagion effect explained 85% of all U.S. extortion hijackings. Further, many of the unique details of a hijacking were replicated in later hijackings. In this case, hijacking was an innovation that diffused to other criminals." (pg. 335)Isn't that interesting - by allowing the behavior to continue, lots of other people decided they should try it. I'm trying to decide how this should all apply to Iraq; is the US's perceived "aggression" being copycated by middle-eastern nations such as ... well, all of them ... or is it that by squashing the behavior of the Taliban and Al Quaida, we are eliminating a threat that would otherwise spread across the world? Or even better, is the US copycating the terrorists?