[ExI] Behavioral Screeners

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Apr 6 16:05:00 UTC 2008

At 08:20 AM 4/6/2008 -0700, John G. wrote:

>It really bothers me that conversations about this subject on the 
>Extro-list turn "comical" with discussions of flying naked on planes.

Just for the record, since I unintentionally introduced this turn of 
the discussion: I didn't suggest, or mean, that passengers would fly 
naked. What I wrote was:

"I wonder if it might be necessary to
strip search *everyone* boarding, and not allow *anything* to be
carried on board by passengers, maybe not even their own clothing."

I meant that literally, but assumed that some sort of robe would be 
provided for the sake of modesty. If extreme measures are required, 
this one seems vastly more sensible to me than the usual extrope 
recommendation that everyone on board pack a small cannon.

A. Blainey says: "It's still just a matter of time before wannabe 
martyrs start swallowing condoms full of C4." Presumably that kind of 
threat can be prevented by scanners.

I agree with Samantha that the whole Muslim-terrorist-under-the-bed 
panic is absurdly overstated and has been used for dubious purposes. 
Still, we do seem to be getting to the point where disgruntled kids 
or psychotics might find ways to do terrible and lethal damage to 
large systems we depend on. As I recall, John Brunner's grim novel 
THE SHEEP LOOK UP showed a world in which monkeywrenching of a pretty 
doable kind wrought havoc in large cities... and that was 1972, 
before everything was as interconnected and deteriorated as it is now.

Damien Broderick

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