Off to London

posted by Jason Kottke Jan 27, 2005

I'm leaving for London in a couple of hours. I'll probably be posting a bit while I'm there as time and connectivity permit...hopefully some photos as well.

Packing this morning, I came up with a list of the extra stuff that I need to do before going to the airport now that everyone's a terrorist until proven innocent** and the major airlines are all about to go out of business:

** The Jan/Feb 2005 Atlantic Monthly has a couple of great articles on terrorism...here's a relevant snippet from Success Without Victory (subscribers only) by James Fallows:

Screening lines at airports are perhaps the most familiar reminder of post-9/11 security. They also exemplify what's wrong with the current approach.

Many of the routines and demands are silly, eroding rather than building confidence in the security regime of which they are part. "You can't go through an airport line without thinking 'This is dumb,'" says Graham Allison, the author of the recent Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, and the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at Harvard, which conducts many projects on anti-terrorism and security. "You have two people whose job it is to see if the name on your driver's license is the same as the name on your ticket — as if any self-respecting terrorist would fail to think of that. You have a guy whose job is to shout out a reminder for you to take off your jacket and get your computer out of your bag. You've got one-year-olds taking off their shoes. It is hard to think of a way you could caricature it to make it look sillier." At the same time, the ritual manages to be intimidating, as a standing reminder of how much Americans have to fear.