About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Never-Ending War

So New For 2013, as the main draw of the US Open tennis begins Monday, they have announced that this year everyone will get to be wanded and go through a magnetometer.

Why?

For the past ten years, you've only been able to bring in one small bag, and that one small bag has been hand-inspected as you go in.  There's no way that the Boston Marathon scenario could repeat at the US Open as it has been run, security wise, for the past decade.

Adding a magnetometer adds no additional security.

None.

Nada.

Zilch.

Of course, it is a nice make-work program, because now the company that provides the security forces for the US Open gets to hire more people!  Most of these people are temps of some or another sort, and I am sure the contractor that provides this service for the Open makes a nice additional profit.

Of course, it is a nice make-work program for the people who make wands and magnetometers.

Of course it makes everyone feel so much more secure.  Even though it doesn't add any actual security.

It does add nicely to the time people will spend queuing to get into the Open.  Let's be very conservative and say that it's just an extra two minutes.  That's very very conservative.  But there are 40,000 people a day going to the open, so that's 80,000 minutes, for 14 days.  That's over two years of lost time.

Just dandy.

And of course, there's no going backward on any of this.  The day will never come when the polie or anyone else will say that the world has gotten safer and we can go back and do less, spend less money and lose less time and less productivity and still be reasonably safe.  It will only get worse.  Because no matter what we do, we will never be 100% safe.  There is risk to everything we do every day, and some day some other bad thing will happen that will require us to come up with some other layer of security.

Happy happy joy joy.

1 comment:

J said...

Yeah, was just thinking the other day that I've NEVER seen a story that said someone was caught trying to sneak bombs aboard airplanes in their shoes.

Nope, just that one time.

But since then, millions of people have had to remove their shoes to get on a plane. Why?

Stupidity.