Security theater as human nature

While thinking about how I suffered through several years of Latin in school, like I mentioned in a previous post, I was reminded of how surprised I once was while reading the Aeneid. There's a place where (IIRC) Mercury delivers some sort of important message to someone and then vanishes into thin air. What surprised me when I read this was that the Aeneid describes how Mercury vanished the exact same way that I just did – "into thin air." The only difference was that "into," "thin" and "air" were their Latin equivalents instead of English. 

This was a bit of a revelation for me, how people a couple thousand years ago used some of the same idioms that we do today, and it told me that they probably thought much like do in other ways too. And although the case that I came across today that got me thinking about how "security theater" may be something that's an unavoidable part of human nature only dates back about 500 years, it also seems to suggest that people have been a certain way for quite a while. And if this is indeed the case, it's probably better to accept this behavior instead of trying to change it.

So without any more unnecessary rambling, here's what I came across that led me to this particular train of thought:

[T]he great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities and are often more influenced by things that seem than by those that are. 

— Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532 

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