VOCABULARY: “Security Theater”


Why Vaccine Cards Are So Easily Forged
Bruce Schneier

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Back in 2003, at the height of our collective terrorism panic, I coined the term security theater to describe measures that look like they’re doing something but aren’t.

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Well, for once, he and I disagree.  The smug cheater getting away with fraudulent documents instills in society that some are above the “rules”.  Like when politicians are unmasked but force everyone else to mask up.  One set of rules for me; another for thee. Doe the smug cheater get to run red lights and put others at mortal risk?

As a little L libertarian, I don’t recognize the Gooferment as having the power to mandate a lot of what it does.  I’m for the “night watchman” government if we have to have one at all.  So, when the Gooferment politicians and bureaucrats promulgate their diktats, I feel free to treat them as “suggestions”.

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” — Robert A. Heinlein

So I stop at red lights and stop signs and expect others to do the same.  Not because the Gooferment has a diktat about it, but it is common sense to cooperate in the real world. 

If a shop keeper feel that masks are need for the well-being of their patrons — even if masks are ineffective and just provide some crazy people psychological comfort — then I’ll either accept their invitation to shop there wearing a mask or go somewhere else. (It’s not my role in society to disturb the peace and preach “any gospel” to the infidels.

Sigh, there are common sense rules that we obey for the benefit of humanity. And, they are way above diktats in moral authority.

But “theater” of any type should be mock, skirted, or just ignored if at all possible.  

(Note: I don’t do bail money. So obey that old knight. “But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.” Grail Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097576/quotes)


HEALTH: Hygiene Theater, like Security Theater, is a waste of attention, time, and resources


Friday, December 11, 2020
Surface Cleaning in Response to COVID-19 is Hygiene Theater

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Joseph G. Allen, an associate professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Charles Haas, professor of environmental engineering at Drexel University and Linsey C. Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, write in The Washington Post:

We don’t have a single documented case of covid-19 transmission from surfaces. Not one.

So why, then, are we spending a small fortune to deep clean our offices, schools, subways and buses?

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Just like the Gooferment, who desires to be seen as “leading”, sends up down a rat hole of wasted effort.

Gooferment is just immoral, ineffective, and inefficient. As well as untrustworthy.


RANT: CSFB stupid “security theater”


Call up to find out where my pension check is.

Called, went through all the automated questions, and then the operator comes on after a short wait and asks me for my password.

What password?

(Ignores the concept that a “password” is a shared secret. If I knew and told her, then it’s no longer a secret. And, a static password! Please. Even Google two factor authentication is better.)

So we can do anything without them mailing me a new temporary password.

Now envision that I sent them in all my paperwork by certified mail and suggest that number as an authenticator. Or that they call me back. Or that they send me a fax or an email.


And, who says that US Mail is secure, unless it’s sent certified mail. (We know they won’t do that because it costs more.)

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