Rules and Rituals by Basab Pradhan.
From the post:
Matt Richtel investigates the mystery of why laptops and not iPads need to be pulled out of bags for the X-Ray machine at airport security.
From the New York Times
What’s the distinction between the devices? Similar shapes, many similar functions, the tablet is thinner but not by much. Is the iPad a lower security risk? What about the punier laptop-like gadgets, the netbooks and ultrabooks? What about my smartphone?
the TSA and security experts, but doesn’t really get a good answer. The TSA said that it had its reasons but declined to share them saying that “the agency didn’t want to betray any secrets.” Another security expert called it “security theater”, implying that making passengers go through some inconvenience makes it look like the government is taking their security seriously!
A very amusing post on rules that concludes:
The only way to keep business agile is to constantly subject its rules to the sunlight of logic. Why do we have this rule in place? Did we make this rule when the conditions were different from what they are today? Do we completely understand the costs of this rule and have we weighed them against the benefits? Does anyone even remember why we have this rule?
Like zero based budgeting, we should be talking about zero-based rules.
Most of us would agree with Basab on the TSA and the use of the “sunshine of logic” with regards to airport security.
At least at first blush.
But it is a good illustration that the “sunshine of logic” is always from a particular perspective.
As a former frequent air traveler, my view was and is that the TSA is public band-aid of little utility. At Atlanta, it is simply a job creation mechanism for sisters, cousins and other relatives. Now that groping children is part of their job, no doubt the pool of job applicants has increased.
From the perspective of people who like groping children, the “sunshine of logic” for the TSA is entirely different. The TSA exists to provide them with employment and legitimate reasons to grope children.
From the perspective of the politicians who created the TSA, the “sunshine of logic” for the TSA is that they are doing something about terrorism (a farcical claim to you or I but I have heard it claimed by politicians).
Bottom line is that if I get to declare where “zero” starts, I’m pretty comfortable with “zero-based rules.” (You may be more or less comfortable.)