Stupidity Czar Redux

Via Pejman comes another excellent analysis of why the Terror Czar is just a fundamentally bad idea. The short form: you can't centralize that much data and make sense of it. The 9/11 commission, besides being a collection of worn-out political hacks, really had nothing in the way of new thinking to add to the debate. The ideas Alex brings up are much more likely to be useful in the long run.

Part of the problem is that technological change has, for a long time, outpaced societal change. The 9/11 commission members are stuck in a mindset that does not realize the tremendous ability of technology to reshape the way we do things. The recommendations I have read from the commission are all evolutionary. They seem to propose exactly the same sort of security, just more of it. I am pretty firmly convinced this ain't the way to go. However, I don't expect a lot of visionary thinking from a bunch of worn-out political hacks. You don't hang out for as long as the commission members by proposing revolutionary ideas. The number of people in the federal government who are truly visionary can probably be counted on one hand. This is not just an issue with the feds, but it's going to be crucial where security is concerned. The 9/11 attacks should have been the death knell of the old security paradigm. New thinking is needed, but once again, I'm afraid more people are going to have to die before the paradigm is well and truly shifted.

What makes this all the more galling to me is that the US has one of the, if not the, most inventive and creative citizens in the world. We would have no problem coming up with new approaches if people just started trying to think a little further outside the old command-and-control model. Grrr. It's very frustrating.


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