Why does magento show me the configurable attributes for the main configuration product?

I have an attribute "size" in the default attribute set, required and with drop-down options.

When a new configurable product is added it still shows me these options (along with quantity in stock) - why? There is no point as this is not a "real" product and these values mean nothing do they?

Also apart from the URL there is no way to tell the difference between this and a simple product... why does a simple product allow for creating configurations?

e.g. example.com/secret_admin/catalog/product/new/set/1/type/configurable/ but nothing in the title, just "New Product..."

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