Thinking, for ourselves, not just critically, but at all, is not quite dead, but it certainly does seem to be discouraged – especially regarding “security”. Few, if any, “security” measures result in ANY increased “safety”. They mainly just create inconvenience – and greater control by a few over the majority who were never a “threat” to begin with. Few REAL “threats” by the determined are “stopped” or “deterred”. The average person and “system” is in many respects probably more, rather than less, vulnerable and “at risk” than ever before – despite what many may “think”.
Emphasizing WHAT to think rather than HOW seems especially ironic (and potentially dangerous) when those we are being told and taught to fear do NOT think at all like those who seek to “think” for the rest of us – if we allow them to. It is not only WHAT and HOW people think that differs, but WHY, WHEN and WHERE. Context and perspective need to be considered (as do most assumptions and expectations) for things to make sense.
As emotions increase, the ability to think (clearly) inevitably tends to decrease. The primary characteristic of “terrorism” is FEAR rather than actual attacks or other acts resulting in death and destruction. Far more disruptive and harmful than taking direct action is simply manipulating others’ imaginations – and allowing them to scare themselves (and those around them) as our government agencies (and their policies and procedures) so often do. “Theirs is not to reason why, but to do and die.”
Don’t blame the TSA, the President (current or former), or any “terrorists” (foreign or domestic) for what happens at airports (or anywhere else). Check your premise. Passenger acceptance and compliance allow and perpetuate much of the thinking and behavior associated with air travel – and “homeland security”.
© 2009 – 2010, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.