Please, Turn On All Your Electronic Devices

wpid-20150222_080058-1.jpgI’m writing this post from a Bangkok-Dubai flight. It’s a 6 hours trip in a brand new giant Airbus 380. We have in-flight Internet. Slow, but functional. This is the way to go.

Economy is stagnated in most of the world. There are micro actions that could probably help if not revert, at least to alleviate this situation. One of them is to reduce dead times when people can’t produce or consume. Airports and flights are a deep holes of such dead times.

In-flight Internet is still rare. Same about phone calls. Most of time, it isn’t due to technical issues. It’s just ridiculous restrictions for using electronic devices, usually due to bad-designed over-cautious near-superstition safety rules.

We should maybe start to think of Internet and mobile calls as we think of streets and roads. Streets and roads aren’t a goal on themselves. From an economic perspective, they are media through which people can go to work, access services, deliver goods. The same is true for the Internet and calls: they’re digital avenues through which people make economy run.

In this plane, even sitting at couch, I have an available outlet to power my devices. Again, this is the way to go. In our world, electricity isn’t a matter of luxury to be restricted to superior classes. A power supply is an essential need.

Infrastucture, however, isn’t keeping pace with these new needs. In an important airport like Düsseldorf International (I fly from there every two weeks), outlets are rare and usually out of service. In other airports, they’re placed in inconvenient stands, were you have to remain grounded till your device is recharged.

In flights, normally you need at least a business ticket to not have your laptop dead by the middle of the trip. On the other hand, a good example of how things could be is the Oslo airport. There, the waiting sits in the boarding area have individual power supplies.

Governments, companies, civil society, all of us should be looking around to identify and fix all economical bottlenecks that hold people down. We are lost in the middle of senseless technical rules and bureaucratic procedures.

In a next post, I’ll return to that and discuss some of those unproductive tasks in academy, many coming from above, imposed by administrations and funding agencies; others created by ourselves, while driving blindly through outdated traditions.

But now, I’ll just enjoy my flight meal that’s coming. I’m not feeling myself especially productive…

MB



Categories: Culture

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