Home > Uncategorized > United Airlines Exposes Our Twisted Idea of Dignity

United Airlines Exposes Our Twisted Idea of Dignity

April 18, 2017

My latest post on Bloomberg View:

United Airlines Exposes Our Twisted Idea of Dignity

Also last Friday I wrote an old-fashioned philosophical essay:

What If We Could Upload Books to Our Brains?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Just for my own clarification: the news reports I heard all said that 4 passengers were chosen “randomly” for removal from the flight, but you’re saying an algorithm with specific criteria for choosing “the lowest value customer” was used… so are the reports I heard totally bogus (basically a lie), or was random selection applied AFTER a subpool of candidates was isolated via an algorithm (or, did the algorithm actually pinpoint the 4 best candidates)?


    • April 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      I think that’s what the crew told the passengers, but it’s not how it actually works.


  2. Guest2
    April 21, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I liked the algorithmic approach to the United Airlines story — the March of the Algorithms (Star Wars storm trooper music in the background).

    But where is the link to the use of force by police? Did the algorithm automatically dial their cell phones and order them to intervene?

    I think not. The micro-situational coercions that we experience daily are invisible — until something like this goes viral. In the workplace, out making purchases, even driving in traffic —
    everywhere we are herded like cattle, but invisibly, and acceptably. We take it for granted that it is legitimate. Cognitively, this has all been internalized, until the assumptive world is is violated in some way.

    The flip side is that socialization is how we get our algorithms of daily living, mostly living in large organizations, including airlines and airports. It teaches us how to handle our inputs, how to act. And we do so dutifully, for the most part.


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