ABSTRACT

You are late getting to the airport. Halfway across the parking lot, you remember that you have left your raincoat in your car. Leaving your bag, you hurry back to retrieve the coat, then pick up the bag and rush to the ticket counter. There you wait impatiently in a line of people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, one of whom is talking on a cellular phone in a language you do not recognize. As you wait, you notice a security guard standing in front of one of the advertising posters that line the walls: he is talking quietly into a small microphone connected to the collar of his uniform. When you get to the counter you are required to show a picture ID card and you are asked whether you have left any baggage unattended. The plane is scheduled to leave in 10 minutes. You lie, get your boarding pass, run to the gate, and just make the plane. As it taxis into position for takeoff, you notice that most of the passengers appear to be business executives, and that some of them are beginning to unpack their laptop computers. You begin to wonder if you have done the right thing.