Security Theatre

Schneier is brilliant, and unpronounceable and difficult to spell. Coined the term  ‘Security Theatre’. I was an unwilling participant in one when making an internal flight from a city in the UK to a city in the UK to speak at an event. On the return leg I spent a hours waiting in the departure lounge in Inverness with Tim Gill, another speaker. I had bought two bottles of scotch and hadn’t realised they needed to checked in. Eventually it transpired that these dangerous bottles containing possible explosives could be kept in the office for up to 7 days. [pause for the absurdity of keeping ‘bombs’ in an office in the centre of an airport to sink in] I was told they would be destroyed if not collected. Like I believe that in Scotland. I rang the mom and pop taxi firm I’d used and they agreed to store them for me until I could collect them. Which turned out to be never as I have not been back. But a mate was flyfishing nearby and collected them for me, a year later. Thank you, old chap.

Notice how human kindness has to work overtime to fill the gaps? One thing security theatre smashed effectively was trust, another is compassion. But humans, on a one to one basis, will always help. It’s a primate thing.

Footnote: my public school educated friend tipped them a tenner. That jarred. Been worrying at it for years. I think this is why, and it relates to the notion of ‘conviviality’ as described by Illich (googlim): it’s a class thing. Posh people, and don’t get me wrong, my friend has been a staunch supporter and had put plenty of work my way, do the tipping thing, working-class people don’t. Our expectation is that we help each other out without thought of reward. (There are exceptions and you can guess what they might be). I suspect that Hamish and Marie were bemused by his gesture and might have quietly donated the ten quid to charity. Having said all that, I wish I was half as gentlemanly as my posh friend.

This posting doesn’t have a heading that’s because…

This posting doesn’t have a heading, that’s because it is entered on a desktop machine* via a browser**, rather than from the SUPERIOR android WordPress app.

Very very interesting item. Lying as a topic, and bad TV.

What I take from it is this:


What is the noun, is shrewdity, shrewdience, shrewdness? The latter probably, boringly.

What happened to shrewdness? I suspet it vanished at the same time that multi-tasking became fashionable. In the same accident, the deaths of free-speech, free-thinking and the near-fatal injuries to critical thinking were reported. The authorities said ”Someone must be at fault. There must be reasons, and blame. Someone did this. Someone is to blame. We do not accept that the world is complex, and we reject the charge that we have further encomplicated it“.

The Shrewd is an endangered species. Save the shrewd!

* Mac, ** Safari v.4.1.3, the last version that works under Mac OS 10.4 aka ‘Tiger’. Obsolescent? Not just yet…