Thanks to the wonders of social media, I was once again faced with the story that the ‘brace position’ as instructed on airline safety cards, is designed to snap your neck and kill you on impact. This story has been around for over a decade.
The reason this time, was airlines do not want people suing them. That sounds a little less fatalistic than the “everyone will die in the crash anyway, they are trying to preserve the teeth for identification purposes” explanation that I first saw attached to the idea. It also sounds a little more stupid.
(Author’s note: The story might have originated anywhere, but when I hear ‘lawsuits’ in a reason, I automatically assume it’s American. You may blame Weird Al Yankovic)
Come on. We get American television here. I’ve seen the ads. “If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death while using this well intentioned but ultimately flawed product, contact us at Bloodsuckers and Sons. Operators are standing by” (Yes, I know. #NotAllLawyers)
Most of the people flying will have loved ones who are not on the plane. Specially now that flying for pleasure isn’t so pleasurable anymore. If the airlines were minimizing chances of survival in any way that is demonstrable — with crash-test dummies, theoretical physics, retired airline personnel, whatever — the team at Bloodsuckers and Sons would have a field day. Airlines would be opening themselves up for more lawsuits, not less.
The story just doesn’t make any sense, when you think about it. Yet, so many people will comment along the lines of “OMG, corporations are so greedy.” I can sort of see why some people would believe a story like that. Some people will rather shock themselves than spend time thinking, so yeah…What baffles me is; who thinks these things up? It’s not the electro shock group. They would be too uncomfortable to think long enough for such an idea to form.
What say you, Ralph Waldo Emerson?
“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”
I’ve always loved that quote. It explains so much, doesn’t it? So the people who made this story up, or at least altered this story to be about money, would much rather kill than be put in a position where they would have to pay damages?
You know, that’s a bit too cynical. Almost as cynical as the story itself. Wait, cynical and creative. Maybe I’ve been taking Ralph’s quote too literal.
What if the creators of this myth would not actively kill, but would actively keep a certain group of people from saving themselves. Say, a gullible, slightly paranoid group, that doesn’t like thinking very much and can’t be bothered to do research. What if this is meant as a sort of Darwinian selection process, giving certain undesirable traits a disadvantage in this whole survival of the fittest competition?
After all, ‘fittest’ is always relative to the environment. When the environment is a steel and aluminum cage plunging from great heights, survival seems to be more a matter of luck and seat placement. But still one can adapt to the environment and behave in a way to increase your chances of surviving. Unless you’ve been led to believe this behavior will in fact kill you.
See, the conspiracy is the conspiracy. The conspiracy theorists are out to kill you. Beware.