Sunday, June 12, 2005

Behind the Times

So, we're getting ready to go on this trip, and of course, the airline we're flying on:

a) doesn't have places to plug in laptops in coach
b) won't let us upgrade to business class, because we bought discount tickets.

Nice! I'm also feeling really, ahem, naive because I bought a power convertor thingee last year, not realizing that you can't even plug that into most Economy class seats. They certainly market it as if it's going to solve all your problems! Of course what happened on that trip was, on the way there, I had the convertor but wasn't in a seat where I could use it. On the way back, I figured the same thing would happen, packed the convertor in my checked luggage, and then discovered I was in a seat that was, in fact, equipped with an outlet. Of course.

On subsequent trips I frequently witnessed a couple of guys sitting in Economy in the one or two only seats that have outlets, merrily working away.

So now I'm thinking, I probably should just invest in another battery for my laptop, for less than the price of upgrading my seat. And then I can use it every time I travel. That's what money is for, after all: alleviating suffering. Too bad I can't buy a handy $100 device to make Economy seats feel less claustrophobic.

But really, we don't fit into the business view of the world. Of course it seems only logical that the only people who would spend the money on a laptop would also spend money on a business-class ticket every time they fly.


At 12:00 PM, Blogger Adam Solomon said...

Ugh!! Great timing...I'm leaving for Israel tonight and I'm having the EXACT same problem. My laptop gets an hour and a half of battery life if I'm lucky, and I'd like to get some work done during the 11 hour flight! But Israir doesn't have any outlets, apparently...~sigh~ so much for giving that auto-air adapter some good use.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Junniper said...

I love to fly, but someday I'll splurge on first class because Economy is just so...economy! :) Usually I'm all about what cheap and on sale and whatnot, but if you're flying (especially for a long time) you need some space, and an easier way to get to the bathroom!

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see another PhD who seems interested in medicine and worldliness.
Money is supposed to be for alleviating suffering. But money + intellectual property actually causes suffering in its current implementation. I am also a PhD candidate, 30 years old, and nearly ready to die because the government has ignored a terrible epidemic disease for the last 15 years. Want to find out more?

There you can see another view of money and its impact. It's a lot more than just what class you're flying. Best wishes,

Rudi Cilibrasi

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...


I went to your site. I used to work in a Hepatitis B lab. The real problem is that more people die from hepatitis in Asia than in the US, so the US government considers it a low priority.

Frankly I don't understand why you didn't just move permanently to Europe. Seems like it would have saved your life.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. PhD,

Good guess; I did! You can see my research homepage at
I didn't back then because I had no money or job to do it. But in 2002 I left America.

I don't think this solves the problem for the rest though, like my parents. And I don't agree that the "real" problem is that more people die of hepatitis in Asia; while that is a true fact of course, we have had about as many HCV deaths as HIV deaths in America for 2003. I am glad to hear you are very familiar with HBV but I wonder why you think HCV is not a big problem after looking at my website, or the US Surgeon General's website at
Best regards,


At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

typo above, fixed here:

At 12:59 PM, Blogger dubiousbiologist said...

Alaska Airlines used to have a thing where you could upgrade to First Class for $20 at departure time if they had an open seat. You just had to know to ask. So I did it once. Main thing: more space, less hubbub. Amentities I didn't really care for.

Nowadays, I think I'm too cynical to save the world.


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