March 23, 2013

Human behavior in the year 2013.

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That's from my colleague Nina, who was getting off a plane in Milan, on the way to Gargnano.

The line-up of right hands in the distinctive cell-phone half-clench is so funny, and it must be happening constantly, everywhere.

68 comments:

betamax3000 said...

"Yep. My phone says we have landed safely."

"My phone confirms that. We are on the ground."

"No horrible aviation accident occurred according to my latest update."

"Wait -- I'm still checking my 'We're All Going to Die" app."

Shouting Thomas said...

Gotta get the damned chip implanted in our brains so we don't have to waste time with the physical part of the procedure.

Chuck Currie said...

Funny - I've never read a novel that portrayed the future to look like that.

The revolution will begin the day the government tries to take away our smart phones.

Cheers

jacksonjay said...


The more disturbing behavior, to me, is crowding the aisle trying to be the first one off the plane! Relax already!

betamax3000 said...

They are all snapping photos of the seat they just sat in. It is a memory, the seat I sat in on the plane I flew on.

Anthony said...

Let's do that right.

And it's only taken 8 years.

betamax3000 said...

They will then upload the photos to their online photo album, Seats I have Sat On.

7C is a particular favorite.

betamax3000 said...

On 'Seats I have Sat On' they post them all: bus seats, bistro benches, folding chairs, bar stools. The time there was temporary but the photograph will always be there to remind.

betamax3000 said...

Of course, "Seats Sat On By The Cute Girl I Am Stalking" is a bit creepy.

betamax3000 said...

"Seats Sat On By The Cute Girl I Am Stalking" is obsessive. No one can sit in the seat she just vacated until the Picture hHas Been Taken: step away, please.

betamax3000 said...

There should be a Respectful Pause before the seat changes hands, as it were.

betamax3000 said...

After a while "Seats Sat On By The Cute Girl I Am Stalking" requires decisions to be made: shall the photos be filed chronologically? Alphabetical by location? By Chair construction, such as wood, metal or wicker?

betamax3000 said...

If someone else sits in the seat before the photo can be taken the Spell is Broken: the photograph will capture No Magic.

Titus said...

It is and it's gross. I fly monthly for business and the entire experience with these people is horrible.


And many of them, especially the grossest of them all the 20 something professionals (many who also seem to work at Liberty Mutual and Fidelity), never shut them off during the flight-even when the sky slut tells them multiple times.

They tend to travel is packs to their fabulous business meetings too.

The one upside is the hotness quotient on the Boston/NYC shuttle is through the roof. You can't swing a cat without hitting a major stud on those flights.

Boston/NYC shuttles have their own fab terminals which is nice though-minimal kids and oldies.

tits.

Shouting Thomas said...

Why are you always swinging cats, Titus?

JAL said...

She should be careful taking pictures like that.

Hasn't she heard the airlines get huffy and throw people off for "breaking the rules" and taking pictures?

Not only did she show people's faces, she showed the back of a seat. Which must be proprietary information.

Brian Johnson said...

When I used to fly a lot, there would be a good chance that that would be me reading Althouse. :)

JAL said...

Cue: Chip

JAL said...

Chip -- you could put in Titus's cat.

betamax3000 said...

Seats Sat On By The Cute Girl I Am Stalking" can be notated with the amount of time spent in each Chair. It doesn't have to be to the exact second - that would be Weird.

Deborah McLaughlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
betamax3000 said...

It can be tough to get the Photograph with no one else intruding into the frame. Still, it must be The Chair Alone. There are no Others in this Universe.

betamax3000 said...

Why did she Choose This Particular Chair? Was it the proximity to the Window? There will be much to Contemplate.

rehajm said...

Thanks Nina for the great post!

Titus said...

I also enjoy strutting through the catwalk at Airports and looking at passengers waiting for their flights. I then look at where they are going and if it is a grossy city like Winston Salem or Witchita or some other hell hole I enjoy looking down at them and snarling.

But when I go home to Madison and go to the Madison gate I keep my head down while others walk by so as to not to the same.

You really can tell how fab a city is by the people waiting at the gate for their plane. People on vacas can skew that though but they stick out big time.

The Madison gate is always filled with major fatties, bad hair and hideous clothes. Their faces say, "wow, I am in an airport and there all these different peeps"...get me back to Dickeyville.

Lonetown said...

It's a whole new paradigm.

I took a blacksmithing class last week and the blacksmith whipped out his iphone to check the tempering process for S7 tool steel.

betamax3000 said...

Maybe a Pattern will develop, given enough Contemplation. With Patterns come The Better Understanding.

rhhardin said...

A camera-as-cell-phone move provides cover for picture taking, if it's a small camera.

Say you want to photograph an amusing sign in a store.

Lem said...

Sky slut... lol

Titus said...

Lately I have actually started to sit at fab city gates when I am going to Madison. I won't move over to that gate until they call last call to get on the plane. Then while moving to the Madison gate there is no catwalk...more like head down, move fast, and get on as quickly as possible.

It comforts me.

Madison gate is almost always 100% white and straight, 60% fatty (30% obese) and they have that Wisconsin look which says I am kind of stupid and definitely not worldly. There is something physical about their faces that say Wisconsin too-not sure what is is or how they get it. My friends and I who were from there mention the "Wisconsin Face" often.

betamax3000 said...

She probably wouldn't even Recognize most of the Chairs if she were to see them again. Their Significance escapes her.

Titus said...

Wisconsin fatty family also like bringing their Mcdonalds food on the plane (so rude). The entire plane smells like a big mac and french fries. I have noticed they buy those Apple Pies too. Who the fuck buys a pie at McDonalds? They pass the fries from aisle to aisle to fatty daddy and already obese kids. They are experts though in getting all the double order fries into the little Big Mac cover. I watched fatty mama do this once and not one fry fell as she was stuffing into the mac top.

Mountain Dew is a fan fave of the fatty family too.

Mountain Dew in general is hugely popular in Madison. Go to a PDQ and the refrigey wigey's are lined with rows and rows of Mountain Dew in all shapes and sizes and sleek packaging.

I have something to admit...when I was young in Wisconsin I drank Mountain Dew and my name is Titus....group hug.

Irene said...

The Gargnano link may need a correction. Nina is not visiting the Gargnano in Apulia; she's at the Gargnano at Lago di Garda.

chickelit said...

Of course Nina was holding a cell phone camera too but at a different angle and not so self-absorbed.

Michael said...

I am on a couple of flights a week. Never to bad places. But the fatties prevail even in first class though I have found that they eschew the early morning flights which are filled with investment bankers and lawyers. Fatties sleep in. Middle managment people sleep in. Everyone looks at their emails when they land because even if their phones are left on during the flight they dont get emails until they land. I always leave my phone on. I do not obey those instructions.

garage mahal said...

I think what Titus is telling us is that he tries to get laid in Madison but can't find any takers.

CWJ said...

About the same in the year 2003. I was late boarding a 737 and noticed that all six people in the first row of coach were fiddling with or talking on their cell phones. I had no sooner thought what are the odds of that when I noticed the same for the second row. ... then the third. It wasn't till I got to the seventh row that I found someone NOT working a cell phone.

Sorun said...

I would've guessed that Titus always flies first class. Apparently not.

Lem said...

Im experienced the boarding a dominican bound plane version of what titus is talking about.

bagoh20 said...

I love my smartphone, especially for traveling. I now can entertain myself, learn, or get work done during the hours of wasted time involved in flying. One thing that actually works well on that little screen is reading Althouse, and I like the feeling of holding you all in the palm of my hand while you scamper about like roaches.

Lem said...

Typos do to phone commenting. Idont have the hang of it yet.

Methadras said...

I can confirm this activity first hand myself and am guilty of just such an act.

jacksonjay said...


The more disturbing behavior, to me, is crowding the aisle trying to be the first one off the plane! Relax already!


All of these people have been sitting fairly prone for a while. They have a need to get up and stretch and not be sitting. They aren't trying to by the first to get out, they just want to stand up. Happens on every flight I've ever been on and I travel a lot.

traditionalguy said...

This is no joke. With the "No Standing Rules" now enforced at the baggage claim pickup curb outside the terminal the family member coming to pick them up needs to know the status of the arrival and deplaning moment by moment

Gahrie said...

I have never owned a cell phone.

I used to be met with bemusement when I made that statement.

Gahrie said...

to finish my post...

These days I am meet with actual hostility, even from strangers. Poeple just can't accept that I don't need a cell phone.

bagoh20 said...

Flying is already the fastest and cheapest mode of travel, but it could be really fantastic if they found a way to eliminate all the waiting. You generally spend more time waiting than actually moving through space. 3 hours at zero mph, and 3 hours at 500 mph.

Methadras said...

Titus said...

I also enjoy strutting through the catwalk at Airports and looking at passengers waiting for their flights. I then look at where they are going and if it is a grossy city like Winston Salem or Witchita or some other hell hole I enjoy looking down at them and snarling.

But when I go home to Madison and go to the Madison gate I keep my head down while others walk by so as to not to the same.

You really can tell how fab a city is by the people waiting at the gate for their plane. People on vacas can skew that though but they stick out big time.

The Madison gate is always filled with major fatties, bad hair and hideous clothes. Their faces say, "wow, I am in an airport and there all these different peeps"...get me back to Dickeyville.


You would probably bust a nut if you ever saw me waiting at the San Diego gate. I have San Diego face and I worked out that day. I always work out the day I'm going to fly. It relaxes me. You should have your head down going to madison. It's still Wisconsin, the land of mainly union tards, while I, from the land of San Diego get to go back to nearly perfect weather all year around. Yeah, it's Cali, I know, but it ain't fucking Wisconsin.

Methadras said...

bagoh20 said...

Flying is already the fastest and cheapest mode of travel, but it could be really fantastic if they found a way to eliminate all the waiting. You generally spend more time waiting than actually moving through space. 3 hours at zero mph, and 3 hours at 500 mph.


This is true and you can thank TSA for most of that waiting, with the close second being late arrival/departures. I fly SWA a ton, so it's not that bad, but when they screw up, they do it good.

Methadras said...

Gahrie said...

I have never owned a cell phone.

I used to be met with bemusement when I made that statement.


One of my best friends has never owned one and refuses to. She just says, if you need me, call me at work or at home. Then I give her incredulous face.

Bruce Hayden said...

Gotta get the damned chip implanted in our brains so we don't have to waste time with the physical part of the procedure.

Not really sure where things are going in the immediate future. Long run, yeh, maybe something implanted. We are talking some sort of personal assistant, with all the usual apps - phone, email, text, Web, calender, map, games, and maybe reader like Kinkos/Nook. Likely some others that haven't become that popular yet.

Smart phone form size seems to be inching up, and Steve Jobs may shortly be turning in his grave, as even Apple seems to be following this trend. But, some of us use larger devices for much of this - I now have an iPad (after trying the Windows pad, which was not ready-for-prime-time) and a laptop. Was going back and forth between a pad and ultabook (PC with flash instead of hard drive), but didn't want another Apple computer, so skipped the Mac Air. I can use my iPHone to link both the iPad and PC to the Internet. And, the iPad with a folding Bluetooth keyboard provides most of the typing I need short run.

The problem though is that I have three devices, and should be able to live with maybe one. The fact that the form factor for smart phones seems to be inching up would seem to corroborate with with others. More and more functionality into their phones requires a bigger and bigger form factor, which makes them ever more unweildly.

The two promising things that I have seen recently are the Google Glasses and PC/Mac watches. I think that I would be willing to buy into a watch with an IOS or Android OS, touch screen, and phone capabilities. Sure, looks a bit Dick Tracy, but think that it is workable. Power might be a problem, but it may be possible to power off of body heat, and if not, then some sort of induction.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is true and you can thank TSA for most of that waiting, with the close second being late arrival/departures. I fly SWA a ton, so it's not that bad, but when they screw up, they do it good.

Yeh, flew a lot of SW, up until maybe a year and a half ago. One thing that they do, that most airlines don't seem to want to do, is spend the fuel to get back on time when they are late. Out of Reno, SWA was almost always on-time, but UAL could get 1/2 hour late on the first flight into San Francisco, due to the fog closing it down to one runway, and they would often still be that 1/2 hour late 12 hours later. One of my best SWA stories - was flying from Dallas to Austin, a very short trip. Plane was 20 minutes late into Dallas. Was on time into Austin. Made half that turning the plane around quickly on the ground (with all the passengers helping) and the other half in the air. How do they find 10 minutes in the air on a half an hour flight? But they did it. I saw this sort of thing time and time again when I was doing over 50 flights a year on them. Also like the free baggage checking, which results in a lot less carry on. Used to be that everyone laughed at their peanuts. Well - rarely get anything more in coach elsewhere these days, and you don't have to fight as hard for the entire can of pop.

I do miss the good-old-days of pre-9/11 travel. When I would fly every other week from Austin to Denver, I could get to the Austin airport parking lot 45 minutes before the flight and still make it. That included finding a parking place and getting through security. Don't remember ever missing the flight, though that was cutting it pretty close. Would give myself an hour at the Denver end, since it is a much bigger airport, esp. with the switchover for Stapleton to DIA.

All this, just to give a lot of government employees something to do, and make those who don't fly very often a bit less worried about their safety. That is what TSA really is - a way to get and pay for a bunch of new unionized government workers.

ricpic said...

Those cell phones won't help them find decent Chinese takeout in Milan cause there ain't none!

Bruce Hayden said...

Don't know any more how often I have accidentally left my cell phone on while in the air. It is a bit embarassing to be on final approach, and your cell phone rings. Everyone on the plane knows that you screwed up. That is supposed to be the most dangerous time for it, but I think that takeoff is maybe even more so - if they are correct about it being a danger.

I have long been a member of the IEEE - the primary professional society for electrical engineers, etc. And, every couple of years they will have an article in their general interest magazine (Spectrum) about cell phones and other electrical devices on planes. And, they seem to invariably call the ban hokum. Completely different frequency bands. But, the argument seems to be any more that some of the older planes don't have adequate shielding for their electronics, and some of the older phones are also not well enough shielded. As if those phones were still in use... There is a rumor that I have heard on numerous occasions that the real reason for the ban was that cell phones flying over cell towers at several hundred miles an hour could cause havoc, esp. with the earlier cell systems. But, it is much more effective to pretend that it is a safety issue, and anyone who doesn't turn their phone off endangers the rest of the passengers and the flight crew.

bagoh20 said...

"...you can thank TSA for most of that waiting..."

It is some of it. I usually fly SWA too, and I'd say the TSA stuff adds up to about 15-20 minutes max out of the 1-2 hours wasted waiting per flight leg. The real culprit is uncertainty. You arrive early just in case something might happen to slow you down. You can't afford to miss that flight. If it was a bus, you would risk getting there later, because there will be another one right behind it, that will take you at no additional cost. I don't know what can be done about this, but it was there before 9/11. I live 5 minutes from the airport, and I leave my house about 1 hour before flight time, yet I nearly always wait at 30 -45 minutes at the gate after TSA is finished. It never goes bad, but I still won't risk getting there just in time. It's just too much hassle if you miss a flight. The wait time is because I'm a pussy, but I know others who add another hour just to be safe.

David-2 said...

[This post seems to have evolved in the direction of people's behavior on airlines, which is pretty good and pretty funny, but risking a comment on the original topic:]

This behavior is most commonly seen on a day-to-day basis in the elevators of any modern office building.

A few years ago people would be trying to talk on their phones and be annoyed when the closing of the doors cut off their call.

Now they can happily keep reading email, looking at their calendar, or whatever.

Of course it actually does serve a purpose: It gives you something to look busy doing so you can courteously ignore all the fellow human beings crammed in the elevator with you.

That is: the purpose isn't to ignore them as much as to pretend to yourself you're in the elevator alone.

Because some of the people you're trapped with may have issues with bodily odors, or whatever.

edutcher said...

Too effin' weird.

Not to say pathetic.

Ann Althouse said...

"You really can tell how fab a city is by the people waiting at the gate for their plane. People on vacas can skew that though but they stick out big time."

We need to pick our next hometown. It has to beat Madison, which isn't easy.

"The Madison gate is always filled with major fatties, bad hair and hideous clothes. Their faces say, "wow, I am in an airport and there all these different peeps"...get me back to Dickeyville."

Lately, I've noticed that most people around here are actually not overweight.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

We need to pick our next hometown. It has to beat Madison, which isn't easy.

I seriously suggest someplace warmer and drier.

If the cold and damp winter ghastlies haven't affected you and Meade yet (and thank your lucky stars if so), then you have them to look forward to.

bagoh20 said...

Detroit has really great housing prices. You could get a lot of garden for a little, and in Detroit, you'd be "special".

phx said...

Slaves.

Alex said...

Funny those slightly advanced primates.

bagoh20 said...

One thing that slows down boarding is that most people want to sit in the front, so everyone has to wait for them to get seated before they can even get on the plane. If they loaded from the back door, the plane would fill up much faster.

Writ Small said...

Air travel is being crammed into tight quarters with lots of weary people you will never meet again. An electronic device mentally takes you away from the unpleasantness surrounding you and signals others you're not interested in small talk. The reason people rush on the plane is to get an overhead slot so they can exit the airport as fast as possible. I get the idea the Althouse commentariat rarely travels.

BaltoHvar said...

@bagoh20 - I always wonder that too. Why not Borad back to front. Of course let the 1st Class snobs on first so they glare/smirk at the little people as they pass, but HOW MANY TIMES am I caught 10-15 rows ahead of my seat while some slob gets all stashed and comfy? Makes no sense.

And I have left my phone on for an entire flight in my bag. Reached for it at the destination, and a little cold sweat broke out. Then the evil satisfaction of knowing I just endangered the entire flight! Power.

Gene said...

I have often thought that the urge to chat, to gossip, to utter commonplaces to our friends and relatives is truly inborn. When anthropologists study primitive societies in New Guinea they find that the natives only spend an hour or two a day hunting and gathering. The rest of the time they sit around chatting with each other.

ken in sc said...

Swinging a cat has to do with swinging a cat-of-nine-tails, A whip that had nine lead balls on it. It was used by ships masters and slave masters. It's not a very favorable image.

ken in sc said...

Not to be confused with a sleeping pig in the sunshine.

AllenS said...

Baseball season is almost here. Check out the women in the stands behind home plate. Almost all of them are doing this.