All the world’s a stage

There’s a great interview with Bruce Sterling at The Well (via
It starts out:

For the eleventh time, Inkwell rings in the New Year with a visit from Well
member Bruce Sterling, to address the State of the World and Things Various
and Sundry. Bruce used to write novels when there were bookstores, and used
to write for magazines and newspapers when magazines and newspapers existed.
Nowadays he travels a lot when trains are running and when airports aren’t
clogged by security theater. [emphasis mine]

What first caught my attention, before I even hit the interview, was a word the interviewer used in reference to the bullshit we endure at the airport – security theater.
And that’s exactly what all those metal detectors, fluid requirements and jackets-and-shoes-off procedures are – theater.
Airports don’t provide security, but the appearance of security.