Obvious recycling alternators from old cars is not a solution that scales well enough to industrialize a nation, but at the same time this was being done by a teenager with only rudimentary knowledge of engineering.
It seems to me that the problem is the brown-skinned people, Arabic-speaking people, or whatever group that hates us. We hate them because they acted on their hate. They hate that too.
Brown-skinned people do not universally hate America. Arab people do not universally hate America. If that is not clear to you, take a look at the enormous number of brown-skinned and Arab people who have immigrated to this country. Many of those people came here to escape the kind of people who attacked us. Many came here to escape persecution and corruption by their government. What do you think happens when they give up their old lives to come here, then face constant suspicion and harassment by the government?
It is no wonder the CIA has trouble finding Arabic and Farsi speakers. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, and we are doing so for no reason other than a popular belief that Muslims, Seikhs, Hindus, and anyone with brown skin must be connected to terrorists. In other words, outright stupidity.
The key is to remember that checkpoints do not keep you safe on an airplane. You can walk through a checkpoint with all kinds of sharp objects -- like all those sharp metal bits in your laptop -- all kinds of explosive chemicals -- like batteries -- and then you can buy more things that are easily turned into weapons on the other side of the checkpoint. We have checkpoints because the government wants to remind people that something is being done, and it works -- people were terrified to hear that the TSA would relax the knife rule to something approaching sensible, and nobody cared about the number of other dangerously sharp things people are allowed to carry through.
If airlines were responsible for security, this would all be simplified. No corrupt contracts for nude scanners, because the airlines cannot afford to dump money on that garbage. No nude scanners means no pointless groping -- the groping was always a punishment reserved for anyone who refused a scan (gotta make sure the machines are used, right?). Too annoying and the airline's profits suffer, as they should (and as long as there is a TSA, nobody should fly unless they have to cross a distance that is beyond driving / train range).
Racial profiling works
That is why this is dumb. If a terrorist wants to blow up a plane, he can kill just as many people (if not more) by blowing up an airport -- maybe while standing on line for security, or at a ticket counter, or at a border checkpoint. If a terrorist wants to hijack a plane, he does not need to carry anything through security, and taking him aside to harass him for an hour will not stop his plot.
Of course, profiling is a great way to appease people who have a problem with brown-skinned people, Arabic-speaking people, or whatever group we decide we hate next. Meanwhile, the same people we are harassing could have been working with us to find the real terrorists -- if they moved here to America, it is probably because they wanted to escape the terrorists in their home country, and could have been allies in fighting those terrorists.
Oh well, there could not be a problem with having only a dozen Arabic speakers working at the CIA, right? It's not like we keep going to war in Arab countries...
Basically the TSA is cover-your-ass security theater. If there is any kind of attack, nobody wants to be the politicians who voted to remove the TSA from our airports, regardless of whether or not the checkpoints make a difference.
That, of course, is a theoretical argument. In practice, there are other issues to consider. ECC has a lot of parameters and there are a lot of constraints on the curve you choose; this means there are a lot of things to get wrong. RSA is not technically secure on its own (and the construction used to make it secure is easy to get wrong), but related systems like Blum-Goldwasser (which is based on a related problem, the Quadratic Residuosity Problem) are and they have many fewer parameters. The code for such systems is also simpler, which makes it more straightforward to audit (and harder to hide backdoors).
- Let it play out, hope that capitalism will prevail and that we will be better off in the end.
- Make automation beyond some point illegal or create so many regulations as it effectively outlaw such automation (where is Dr. Baltar when we need him?).
- Restructure society to deal with the new realities of a world where we just do not need people to work. Let people have food, entertainment, and a comfortable life without forcing them to work for the privilege. For those few jobs that will still require human workers, create special, luxurious living arrangements for which people are required to work.
I think my preferences here should be obvious...
The other option is for the luddites to win, for the machines to all be smashed and abolished and for us to go back to a time when humans were needed to do things like drive cars and prepare taxes. Call me a cynic but I think it is a toss-up -- I honestly would not put it past our leaders and the general populace to try to force the technological clock to run in reverse.
Now, the problem with this kind of argument is that you are pitting the employment of some people against the general improvement in the quality of life for society at large. Consider what the world might be like had this line of reasoning been applied here:
If websites are worried that they will go broke without ads, they should stand up for their users and demand that advertisers stop pissing us off. Otherwise we will eventually just block ads by default.
My only objection to hackers revealing exploits is they must give the affected company time to fix the problem
On the other hand, if a company's customers keep getting burned by the poor security of the company's products, that company might rethink its engineering methodology...