I’m still reading Beyond
Fear a bit at a time…it’s still excellent. As a species we just don’t get
security, something that has become even more clear in the US in the last two years.
My favorite quote so far:
I have a friend who has, on almost every one of the many flights he has taken since
9/11, presented his homemade “Martian League” photo ID at airport security
checkpoints – an ID that explicitly states that he is a “diplomatic official
of an alien government.” In the few instances when someone notices that he is
not showing an official ID, they simply ask for a valid driver’s license and
allow him to board without a second glance. When he noticed that the gate agents were
scrutinizing expiration dates on IDs, he simply made another version of his Martian
League card that included one.
Aside from being amusing, what’s interesting is that – in the context
of the book – the conclusion we draw isn’t, “Airport screeners are
stupid,” but rather, “Authentication is a hard problem, and is misapplied
and inappropriately used at airports.”