Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Flying, or, an Analysis of Human Nature

To begin with, why are airlines compelled to distribute peanuts, which are essentially small packages of concentrated thirst, a full ten minutes before serving beverages? I think because they can.

My main gripe, however, is with my fellow passengers. When flying on Southwest, there are no assigned seats; the passengers form a line and board the plane, sitting where they please. In a polite society, this line could go to the back of the plane and start at the rear most seats, thereby allowing everyone to quickly be seated, as no one would block the progress of the passenger behind them in line. Unfortunately, people suck. The first person in line will take the very front seat, making everyone behind them wait while he stows his baggage and gets situated. Then, the second person takes the very next seat. Excruciatingly slow progress is made this way, but why should they care? I mean, they were first after all, so the needs of the crowd behind them don't matter. The ultimate irony is that they are trying to save time on getting off the aircraft, and the combined line wait for all these jackasses to find a seat is by far more than the time saved.

Personally, I think a big point of operating in a polite society is to consider the relative weight of your time versus the time of others. If all men are equal, than the value of each person's time is equal, making it rude to make someone else wait for 2 minutes to save yourself 20 seconds. Then, you have to multiply the wait by the number of people: making 100 people wait for 20 seconds each has just caused a combined 33 minutes of inconvenience (this officially makes you an inconsiderate asshole, by the way).

If everybody quit trying to be first all the damn time, you'd begin to notice something: while you might not be the first person there, odds are you'd get there in about the same time, and a lot less stressfully.

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