Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Security Show

You know, I could pontificate on aviation "security theater," or, I could let someone much better at it do it for me.

"DHS is another example of that old political standby: Don't just stand there; do something that will keep people from noticing that you're just standing there." Bruce Reed ("The Has Been - My Kingdom for a Department" Slate Magazine, 13 July, 2005)
But I suppose that part of the issue is that there's really nothing wrong with just standing there, if someone else is effectively handling the problem elsewhere. But we, as the general public, want to SEE action being taken. So the guy on the scene, even if there's nothing he can do, has to go through the motions of trying to make a difference. We see this public performance, and decide that things are being handled. So... where's the incentive to have someone working their tail off to do the heavy lifting, if no one is going to know, or care? Hence the public perception of something being done becomes more useful than something actually being done - so nothing is actually done.

Confused yet?

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