With the latest incident of the Nigerian lighting a bomb as they approached the US, the increase in airline security has become onerous again. I say that it is time for a new security paradigm. This is the proposed Cosmological Cabbage security paradigm.
The bottom line is this. There is not enough security agents to monitor everything and everyone. For example, the city of London in England has put in 10,000 CCTV security cameras at a cost of £200 million. The results have been so-so. There is only a certain limit as to how many humans can monitor any number of cameras.
There are two approaches. The first approach is to try to develop image recognition software to help the authorities monitor the cameras. This is an expensive approach.
Instead, you get the crowd on the internet to watch the cameras for you. And you make it financially worthwhile. Right now people spend a lot of time on Facebook, or SecondLife.com or dating sites or many other time-wasters. Suppose that you put all of the cameras on the internet, and let the mob watch them. If they see something suspicious, they report it. If it turns out to be a terrorist, they get a cash windfall of say $100,000.
Now of course, the level of false alarms would be initially high, because of folks trying to cash in, but you let the "crowd is always right philosophy" work for you. A single report of a possible terrorist in Des Moines Iowa is not to be taken seriously, but 10 reports of a terrorist getting on a plane in Nigeria is worth investigating. Thus the authorities who now watch the cameras would be employed to investigate the reports, instead of watching cameras. You would develop metadata as to what reports would be taken seriously.
I can see this concept being extended to lotteries and crime fighting. Various locations such as convenience stores and ATMs would be put on the internet and people would pay a small amount to a central kitty and watch these cameras. When they averted a crime, they would win the pot.
But in the meantime, the search giant Google would not be idle. They would develop a video search engine that would monitor these images, and as an observer, you could search CCTV with the parameters of white windbreaker, blue jeans and Columbus Ohio, and you could watch your husband or lover delivering flowers to his other sweetheart, as he cheats on you.
This could open up a whole new range of businesses and money-making paradigms. But I would be content if it paved the way for less security at airports. However, the real issue at hand now, is protecting ourselves during air travel. The new measures punish the wrong people -- the travelling public, instead of the socially-retarded, uncivilised few terrorists.
As it stands, I am in favour of banning all radical Muslims for any air travel to and from and within North America. And that takes me back to swearing on a big slab of pork that you will not carry explosives onto an airplane.