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Unread November 27th, 2010, 11:20 AM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia area
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Arrow TSA: Impulse

Many of our toys are made in China, sold to us in Wal-Mart, and underwrite China’s military. On the other hand, much of our software and electronic innovation comes to us from Israel. There are surprising implications for our airport security.

Impulsive behavior is often associated with lower I.Q., a limited ability to make plans and see them through, and to imagine novel outcomes…such has been documented by ADHD researchers. (See Barkley Russell (1997) ADHD and the Nature of Self Control. NY: Guilford. However, domineering, physically active, risk-taking children are valued by nearly all of us if they are also smart. We say, “He’s got cojones!” or “She’s a ball-buster!” Such children are active. They are quick. But they are not impulsive. And they win!)

Impulsive people conform to explicit rules by means of explicit, personally relevant, immediate consequences. Thus, we find that imams, drug lords, and special educators manage impulsive behavior. So do police, lawyers, judges, parole officers, and guards.

What is the plan for doing such in TSA employees? Do we recruit the brightest and most determined? And do we reward finding terrorists or running people through a scanner? Should we emphasize “following the rules” when faced with adversaries who are determined to be creative in by-passing our rules with lethal outcomes?

PROFILE but with Israel’s model: Use gifted sleuths who do the job because they love it rather than clock-watchers who gossip with co-workers and take long breaks instead of watching passengers before they come in line!
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