Where Have All the Hitchhikers Gone? looks at why there are few hitchhikers left. I guess my nephew won’t even know what one is when he gets to read H2G2.

I need to find a (new?) word along the lines of falsification (the idea that one single event – a black swan, if you like – can prove a theory wrong, but no end of evidence can prove it is right without doubt).

The word needs to describe the way in which a couple of high profile crimes, e.g. child abduction or attacks against hitchhikers, can kill off an activity formerly thought of as safe thanks to unwarranted fear. NB I do get the argument that it isn’t just fear that has caused the decline in the case of hitchhikers.

  • Overgeneralise is the right idea, but doesn’t have the feel that I want.
  • Scare mongering is too inflamatory.
  • Overinduction
  • Anti-Bayseianism (why? Bayesianism determines how we should rationally change the beliefs we have when presented with evidence)