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Note to business travelers: When your airplane falls out of the sky because your BFF CEO flew his aircraft through volcanic ash, don't blame me

Read this thread for a fascinating study of ideology at work. On the one hand, we've got an airline CEO who, if not prevented, would have flown his aircraft through ash from the Iceland volcanic eruption, abrading the aircraft skins and endangering the engines, and on the other hand, we've got "business travelers" vehemently defending the CEO, personally and by name (Walsh, "Willie Walsh," "WW"), for, let's just say it, attempted statistical murder because his motives -- "efficiency," "modernization," "streamlining working practices"*-- were pure. Not exactly "sell us the rope with which we will hang them"; more like "drill a hole in the bottom of the boat we all sail in." I mean, if we were talking executive jets, fine, let these guys do what they want (cf. Luke 9:60). But a lot of women and children ride these crappy long hauls back in the cattle section, ya know?

The language is so revealing. Read down: A consensus cluster immediately develops where abstract ideological categories trump concrete engineering issues. Truly, a fine example of the Stockholm syndrome, since even these "business travelers" are on the expendable long tail of the food chain compared to the apex predators in the top 0.01%.

Ah well. These "business travelers" can clutch their ideological fetishes after they put their tray tables and backs in their upright and locked positions while their aircraft screams downward. I hope that gives them some comfort, at the last.

NOTE * If "streamlining working practices" means in the UK what it means in the US, this translates to firing all the mechanics and outsourcing maintenance to India. More safety goodness. But think of the bonuses! And the options!

NOTE The abrasive effects of the ash on skin and turbine blades might not not have shown up right away, and so would not have affected quarterly results. Then again, they might have. From the UK Independent link above:

The scientists cite the instance of a British Airways 747 which suffered potentially catastrophic damage when it flew through an ash cloud from the 1982 eruption of Mount Galunggung in Indonesia.

All four engines failed as a result of melted ash on the aircraft's turbine blades; the pilot restarted three of them after descending.

Oops.