Originally Posted by Piobaire
We're going to end up disagreeing here, I think, in terms of degree rather than concept. For instance I think expecting school officials in BFE Texas to have the level of discernment/knowledge in the bolded is pretty outlandish. I also think that just because we've not had a suicide bomber in the US yet is no reason to think it won't happen. What I'm saying is I don't think the scrutiny or suspicion was misplaced given the state of the world in 2015.
It's not the scrutiny or suspicious that's the issue, it's the escalation. The English teacher freaking out is kind of silly, but fine. Bringing the cops in isn't absurd either. But arresting him, charging him with a "bomb hoax", and then the school proceeding with the suspension after the fact is what takes it off the rails.
The world was far different back then and I don't think we can meaningfully compare the two situations. I mean, boys used to grab boobs when I went to school, and we all know how that would end today.
It's an interesting parallel. You'd never, ever get away with that today and shouldn't. But many people are tossing around this whole "why would anyone ever build a clock hurrr" line, and you get a technical genius like Woz who deliberately built a fake bomb for laughs.
On the Ahmed bit, calling it a bomb hoax might even have made sense if he'd have done something to present it as a bomb like Woz did. But just leaving it in his backpack? The jump to "oh he could have been a suicide bomber, so it could have been a hoax" is just a bridge too far.
What I do think was outright stupid was the response of the adults when it was apparent the kid has just screwed the guts of an alarm clock into a nifty case.
The interesting thing there is that the only picture that's getting passed around doesn't even show the screen. It's clearly being presented as "electronics = bomb."
Originally Posted by Ataturk
He was fucking around for fun, so he cut up a clock and put it in a metal case. I asked you what it was supposed to be and you can't say, but you -- for no reason I can gather -- insist on denying it that coincidentally fits the popular image of a bomb. It's not that it was electronics in a case, it's that it was a clock. Now whether people actually strapped clocks to explosives to make bombs, I have no idea. But that's beyond the point.
Piob's response got me to realize that we're talking past each other. As I said to him, I can understand the initial reaction from the English teacher of being concerned at seeing a timer screen on a homemade case. It's stupid, but abundance of caution and all that. The problematic part is the police and then the school spinning it into a "bomb hoax," arresting and then suspending him.
In the age of Raspberry Pi's, Arduinos, etc, a screen in a box shouldn't even be particularly suspicious, much less a deliberate attempt at making a hoax bomb. This stuff is routine now, and a lot of little nerds are going to be fucking around with them. They should be encouraged, not forced to keep it at home because some idiot might claim they were trying to fake having a bomb.