To Catch a Thief

There's an awesome, though pretty scary story in this month's Wired. It's about the World Lock-Picking championship, though despite being called the championship it seems that it doesn't decide who is world champion. That is, the person who is world champion going into the event is a different person from the previous years event winner. This story certainly communicates that locks aren't going to do much against someone who knows what they're doing. This is similar to all the stories about people who can get into your car without a key faster than you can with it Thinking about this leads to ideas about just how dependent society is on trust that people won't violate certain moral norms, or fear of consequences of being caught, or most likely some combination of the two. It's also a good way to start thinking about contractarian ethics, since everyone would be worse off if they couldn't count on people not breaking their locks most of the time. The money paragraph from the story is:
Or take a jewelry store on Main Street. The world sees the shatterproof Lexan windows and stone walls. Sure, you could melt the Lexan with a lighter or turn that wall into lava with a few strokes of a battery-powered thermal lance, but that's not fair, that's forced entry. Besides, why bother when you can go through the door? The dimpled 437-rated high-security lock, the one Underwriters Laboratories considers a 20-minute pick job? A 12-year-old with a bump key could hack it in 20 seconds.
Also, the fact that the whole story is online makes me wonder why I subscribe. I haven't compared the online content to the magazine, so there could be an obvious answer. And it is well photographed and more convenient to carry around than my whole computer.