Thursday, June 21, 2012

Checkpoints of the Future

At least they're starting to be somewhat honest about the future -
At a terminal being renovated here at Love Field, contractors are installing 500 high-definition security cameras sharp enough to read an auto license plate or a logo on a shirt.

The cameras, capable of tracking passengers from the parking garage to gates to the tarmac, are a key first step in creating what the airline industry would like to see at airports worldwide: a security apparatus that would scrutinize passengers more thoroughly, but less intrusively, and in faster fashion than now.

It's part of what the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, which represents airlines globally, calls "the checkpoint of the future."

The goal is for fliers to move almost non-stop through security from the curb to the gate, in contrast to repeated security stops and logjams at checkpoints.

After checking their luggage, passengers would identify themselves not with driver's licenses and paper boarding passes, but by scanning fingerprints or irises to prove they have an electronic ticket.
First of all, the cited problem of multiple stops and invasive pat downs was an idiotic unconstitutional national response to a barely understood tragedy. And like most hair-brained 'We must DO something!' schemes it has failed miserably. But then again, it has had the intended purpose of failing all along precisely so these extra invasive procedures could be put in place. Think it through once using the Hegelian Dialectic model -

Problem (Invasive pat downs) + Reaction (Collapse of airline industry) = Solution (Installation of advanced scanning instruments, possible nationalization of air travel)

But let's take it back a step further to get to the heart of the matter -

Problem (Radical terrorists) + Reaction (9/11 attacks) = Solution (Invasive pat downs)

We could keep doing this for a while, in fact quality control employs a technique called The Five Whys to understand the cause and effect relationship of a given problem. If one employs this technique, we are quickly able to see exactly why something happened. Take our current example in light of the official explanation for 9/11 -

Problem - We have new invasive security procedures.
  1. Why? Because current security procedures are delaying travelers.
  2. Why? Because we had to stop terrorists from hijacking airplanes.
  3. Why? Because we were viciously attacked on 9/11.
  4. Why? Because we maintain a foreign presence in Saudi Arabia.
So we see, the 'official' explanation from all parties on why we have these problems is ostensibly because of the United States' foreign policy. (It's officially called blowback.) So the correct national policy discussion would be - Should we be continuing to occupy foreign lands and risk another terrorist attack? (Note how that policy discussion never occurred. In fact Ron Paul was routinely marginalized for bringing this point up during the 2012 Presidential debates.)

There's a reason why Toyota's cars are dependable and popular. They figure out what the root problem is and they fix it! Unless we wish to learn the same lessons that Detroit is currently learning, nationally, I suggest we start employing this model a little more frequently.

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