Media discussion about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) is an example of how we are getting sillier and sillier when we discuss tomorrow's technical crises.

I wrote about WMDs on November 21, 1998 in SUPERTERRORISM. When my predictions started to come true I reprinted that article on September 11, 2001.

I made a recommendation on dealing with WMDs in the 1998 article. I repeated that recommendation on September 15, 2001 in FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, AMERICA, SPREAD OUT!

What I said was that, if a few people can kill millions, the first thing we must do is spread people out so they will not make easy targets.

But nobody but me will talk about spreading out our population. Why? Because this involves talking about something nobody wants to think about.

If we spread out it means we are admitting the horrible likelihood that weapons of mass destruction can't be stopped just by Clamping Down on them. It means we have to face the fact they might be USED.

On the other hand, we can avoid that ugly thought by doing what New Yorkers want to do about the Twin Towers. They say we just need to Clamp Down on terrorism.

Not only are New Yorkers going to build another Twin Towers, many want to build them bigger and taller. New Yorkers tell themselves that this means they are not "giving in to terrorism".

What this really is, is wishful thinking. They want to believe that terrorism is over. Rebuilding the Twin Towers says we can have a target like that and no one will ever hit it again.

No one mentions spreading out because that would mean facing a reality that is horrible, ugly, and, worst of all, realistic.

No one wants to discuss the nasty reality that, IN THE LONG RUN, we cannot deal with weapons of mass destruction just by Getting Tough and Clamping Down.