The Thin Blue Imaginary Line

scarecrow Since the Auburn shooting last month, they’ve been stepping up campus security here. The principal form this seems to take is the multiplication of police cars parked all over campus.

The puzzling thing is that all these parked police cars are, well … empty. Are they supposed to work like scarecrows or something? I don’t get it.

5 Responses to The Thin Blue Imaginary Line

  1. Kalynne Pudner April 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    Sshhh! You’re going to ruin it for those of us who have been fearlessly driving in the bus lane all week.

  2. Brian April 16, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    The number of police cars demonstrates that the university is Doing Something to make the people more secure.

  3. John Markley April 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    Those cars aren’t empty; that’s merely what they want you to think. After Arnold Schwarzenegger killed the Predator, the U.S. military salvaged the wreckage of its advanced alien technology and successfully reverse engineered the Predator’s invisibility field, with a human version going into production in the early 1990s. It was originally meant for military use, but the growing militarization of domestic American law enforcement has resulted in increasing use of invisibility fields by police. Radley Balko and William Grigg have both done excellent work documenting the growing abuse of Predator technology by American police departments.

    Or, if you want to get wildly speculative, you could go with Brian’s “look like you’re doing something” explanation.

  4. Administrator April 16, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    Well, whatever they’re doing, it didn’t work.

  5. R. A. W. April 18, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    The number of police cars demonstrates that the university is Doing Something to make the people more secure.

    Precisely, this is what Bruce Schneier calls “Security Theater”, wherein the appearance of ensuring the security of ones clients is deemed more important and more cost effective than measures that actually improve their security.

    A scarecrow is security theater that actually does work. As you might imagine, such examples are hard to come by, but it’s the heartfelt belief of fake security camera users everywhere that the model works.

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