August 15, 2006

Crooked Timber Link Dump

I've complained before about how our public discourse doesn't conform to my theories about credibility, on which people who assert falsehoods should suffer credibility problems. Still ain't working.

[Actually, unlike the cases I discuss in my previous post, Krauthammer doesn't pose any problem for my theory. People who read one of his columns usually do so fairly regularly. They don't have any excuse if they haven't noticed that he's always wrong. So he is subject to the normative credibility sanction: No one has any reason to believe what he says any more. If people do believe him, that's their fault.]

Matt Bishop says, "On reflection, maybe the ban on carry on luggage won’t be so bad: without a pc, let alone a phone, there need be no guilt about watching some movies on the seat-back video instead of working." But the movies are often terrible! I usually don't try to work on the laptop on flights, but I like my CDs and books. (And this is an issue. Sigh.)

On a serious note, Ellery Eells has died. I didn't know him but this is obviously very sad.

Posted by Matt Weiner at August 15, 2006 07:59 AM

I got Ice Age 2 and Vegas Vacation on my Ipod-less, laptop-less, book-less flight back to Texas on Monday. I have to agree with you, getting to watch the films isn't really an advantage.

Posted by: Aidan at August 16, 2006 09:04 AM

I watched Ice Age 2 on the way back from Australia. And then Failure to Launch. Think of the ones I didn't watch. I tell ya, you have to get the flights with movies on demand. (Also, when they do let you bring a book, bring something a little easier to read than Voss, which I finished anyway.)

Posted by: Matt Weiner at August 16, 2006 12:02 PM

I think the third movie on my flight to Australia a few years ago was "Drum Line," which is actually a pretty cool movie, especially if you ignore the plot and watch it for the drumline sequences. By the time you get to the third movie, they're reaching so far that they may actually show something unusual enough to be bearable. However, the first rule of airplane movies is that nearly all airplane movies are better without the sound. You can almost always tell what's happening anyway. The only airplane movie I can remember not having sound for and really wanting it was "Thirteen Days," which is (a) actually pretty decent and (b) mostly people standing around talking tensely.

The linked article about laptop-less flights is ridiculous. Forget working on the plane (and forget the idiocy of not allowing people to bring books on). I can stare out the window for six hours at a stretch anyway. The real problem is, if you are computer-dependent, what about the 5-10% chance per flight that your computer arrives broken or doesn't get there at all? It was enough of a pain when somebody took a $10 Mag-Lite out of my bag. Nothing can be made 100% safe; at some point, the 1 in a million chance of getting blowed up or incinerated by your seatmate's crappy Dell's battery becomes the more preferable alternative.

Posted by: Ben at August 16, 2006 03:38 PM

Yeah, if I couldn't take my laptop in carry-on it just wasn't coming. Fortunately it looks like I can bring my briefcase, w/laptop (and papers, books and CDs, I hope). Still, it'd be nice to have a couple of days of clothes, which was what saved me when my bag was delayed in Australia.

Also, oh Lord, I'm linking Andrew Sullivan.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at August 16, 2006 07:37 PM

Linking to Andrew Sullivan is the blog equivalent of jumping a shark on one's motorcycle. Even when Andrew Sullivan is right.

In an emergency, you can buy clothes in Australia. Although the whole place is upside-down, you don't have to wear the underpants on your head.

Posted by: Ben at August 18, 2006 04:41 PM