Monday, November 9, 2015


While musing over the recent Egyptian plane disaster, the question came to mind about how someone could trigger a bomb if it were a bomb. People who deal with these things mentioned a phone call, which seemed unlikely when Egyptian intelligence reported that the explosion occurred when the plane had just reached an altitude of 30,880. How would someone with a phone know when the plane reached that altitude? This lead to the idea that perhaps the bomb had a pressure activated trigger related to altitude. Screeners inspect carry-on luggage, but suitcases in the cargo hold are not so rigorously examined, which suggests such a bomb would be in the cargo hold, which would not work if the bomb were in the passenger compartment. A baggage handler could put a suitcase bomb in the cargo hold. The complicating factor was this could not apply with pressurized luggage, as are the passenger cabin. I check and the cargo compartment was probably pressurized. For example, a simple bellows device. While thinking about this, it suddenly dawned on me, I can find my precise location, including my altitude, within a few feet with my handheld GPS. To and old guy like me, this is startling. My response to people in the car, who say I think we are lost, is always the same. We are not lost because everyone has to be somewhere. The range of modern technology is from an organ transplant; computer assisted whole body x-ray scans, which can tell us where the smallest of tumors might be including GPS, which tells us where we are. With a simple program, it could also tell a bomb where it was including how high above the earth it was. My point in this blog is that technology has changed us in such basic ways that many of us no longer think as individuals. Rather, we think as an individual mass of people defined by our connectivity, for example, in a social organization such as political parties or the case of the bomb, terrorist versus non-terrorist. What is surprising is how easy it is to lose our individual humanity and turn that responsibility over to the group. Blowing up a plane and killing 224 people is an example. A group of people decided to blow up the plane, how and where to blow it up. I cannot imagine any individual would say that it’s the thing to do and not be judged to be crazy. Nevertheless, they all get on their cell phones, radios, TV’s, and computers and agree it was somehow good. Of course, we all get on our cell phones, radios, TV’s, and computers and agree they are crazy. How we think of the punishment is where the problem arises. As the Tee Shirt says, “kill them all and let God sort the out” or do we find the individual who put the bomb on the planes and kill him or her, of course, we have, as a society, decided capital punishment is too cruel but war is not. Does group-think make any sense to anyone in this technologically driven world? URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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