The Upgrades That Make You Feel Worse

I've been on a lot of airplanes recently. Flying isn't much fun, but I like being in other places. So in the process of travel I tend to see those around me as either obstacles to my getting where I need to go, or neutral (other passengers) or helpful (hopefully, airline personnel).Airlines have been having a bad year, and they've cut back flights and amenities, so traveling this summer has been … [Read more...]

Great Expectations (Except When They're Not)

Ken Brecher tells this story about Alexander Graham Bell. The inventor of the telephone apparently spent the last part of his life railing against the way people were using his invention. When greeting someone on the phone, he insisted, the proper protocol was to exclaim "ahoy!" Saying "hello" was a misuse of his work.You can't predict how people will use things, and you can't force people to use … [Read more...]