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av8tor last won the day on May 5 2017

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  1. An interesting perspective ... February 2009 I finally realized today why politics and religion yield such uniquely useless discussions. As a rule, any mention of religion on an online forum degenerates into a religious argument. Why? Why does this happen with religion and not with Javascript or baking or other topics people talk about on forums? What's different about religion is that people don't feel they need to have any particular expertise to have opinions about it. All they need is strongly held beliefs, and anyone can have those. No thread about Javascript will grow as fast as one about religion, because people feel they have to be over some threshold of expertise to post comments about that. But on religion everyone's an expert. Then it struck me: this is the problem with politics too. Politics, like religion, is a topic where there's no threshold of expertise for expressing an opinion. All you need is strong convictions. Do religion and politics have something in common that explains this similarity? One possible explanation is that they deal with questions that have no definite answers, so there's no back pressure on people's opinions. Since no one can be proven wrong, every opinion is equally valid, and sensing this, everyone lets fly with theirs. But this isn't true. There are certainly some political questions that have definite answers, like how much a new government policy will cost. But the more precise political questions suffer the same fate as the vaguer ones. I think what religion and politics have in common is that they become part of people's identity, and people can never have a fruitful argument about something that's part of their identity. By definition they're partisan. Which topics engage people's identity depends on the people, not the topic. For example, a discussion about a battle that included citizens of one or more of the countries involved would probably degenerate into a political argument. But a discussion today about a battle that took place in the Bronze Age probably wouldn't. No one would know what side to be on. So it's not politics that's the source of the trouble, but identity. When people say a discussion has degenerated into a religious war, what they really mean is that it has started to be driven mostly by people's identities. [1] Because the point at which this happens depends on the people rather than the topic, it's a mistake to conclude that because a question tends to provoke religious wars, it must have no answer. For example, the question of the relative merits of programming languages often degenerates into a religious war, because so many programmers identify as X programmers or Y programmers. This sometimes leads people to conclude the question must be unanswerable—that all languages are equally good. Obviously that's false: anything else people make can be well or badly designed; why should this be uniquely impossible for programming languages? And indeed, you can have a fruitful discussion about the relative merits of programming languages, so long as you exclude people who respond from identity. More generally, you can have a fruitful discussion about a topic only if it doesn't engage the identities of any of the participants. What makes politics and religion such minefields is that they engage so many people's identities. But you could in principle have a useful conversation about them with some people. And there are other topics that might seem harmless, like the relative merits of Ford and Chevy pickup trucks, that you couldn't safely talk about with others. The most intriguing thing about this theory, if it's right, is that it explains not merely which kinds of discussions to avoid, but how to have better ideas. If people can't think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible. [2] Most people reading this will already be fairly tolerant. But there is a step beyond thinking of yourself as x but tolerating y: not even to consider yourself an x. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you. Notes [1] When that happens, it tends to happen fast, like a core going critical. The threshold for participating goes down to zero, which brings in more people. And they tend to say incendiary things, which draw more and angrier counterarguments. [2] There may be some things it's a net win to include in your identity. For example, being a scientist. But arguably that is more of a placeholder than an actual label—like putting NMI on a form that asks for your middle initial—because it doesn't commit you to believing anything in particular. A scientist isn't committed to believing in natural selection in the same way a biblical literalist is committed to rejecting it. All he's committed to is following the evidence wherever it leads. Considering yourself a scientist is equivalent to putting a sign in a cupboard saying "this cupboard must be kept empty." Yes, strictly speaking, you're putting something in the cupboard, but not in the ordinary sense. Thanks to Sam Altman, Trevor Blackwell, Paul Buchheit, and Robert Morris for reading drafts of this.
  2. I am in agreement with your comments J.O. but one decision that this government made pre-COVID-19 has turned out to be very short-sighted; namely the evisceration of Public Health Agency of Canada's Global Public Health Intelligence Network. Their primary focus was pandemic surveillance and risk assessment. Their alert system has subsequently re-started, albeit after the proverbial horse has left the barn https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-what-happened-with-canadas-pandemic-alert-system-the-gphin/
  3. Exactly Rich! Canadians have been counselled since last March to avoid unnecessary travel. If a Canadian wishes/chooses to disregard that counsel and travel anyway then they should expect and be prepared for unexpected events and/or changed circumstances. For all intents and purposes, those who have chosen unnecessary travel during this pandemic have also chosen their destiny. Choices have consequences, dire and otherwise. Choose wisely, because making the wrong choice, while wrong, is still a "right". Living with a wrong decision is usually problematic and unpleasant.
  4. Bad behaviour knows no class ... years ago I was in Business when a guy in row 1 took off his shoes and socks and planted his bare feet high up in the bulkhead for all to admire. ?
  5. It wasn't that long ago (well at least it doesn't seem so) that the Constellation Hotel (now torn down) on Dixon Road had its own Constellation aircraft on the property, used first as a bar and later moved and converted to a restaurant.
  6. There is no question that Mr. Rovinescu has done a stellar job in turning around AC from its near-death experience in the mid to late 2000's. As I recall, the pilots helped out during those dark days when the company was in precarious financial difficulty and the pension plan was in severe deficit by voluntarily (and temporarily, the thought went) giving up indexation. When times got better, it was believed, then indexation could be, and would be re-instated. Well times did get better, in fact much better, and with the pension plan now over-funded the company has shown no interest in the return of indexation. I seem to recall them actively resisting indexation during one of the many arbitrations ACPA has had with them in the intervening years. What is that saying about being nice guys??? Meanwhile Mr. Rovinescu and all the other senior executives (who enjoy participation in their own non-contributory pension plan) can look forward to a very sweet pension for which they made not a single contribution. I'm not suggesting that their pensions are not deserved, yet it bothers me nonetheless that these same people, with a clear conscience, continue to reject all requests from us former worker-bees for re-instatement of our indexation. Silly me, apart from feeling that we deserve it, I believed that we had earned it. Some interesting reading here, particularly starting at page 72: https://www.aircanada.com/content/dam/aircanada/portal/documents/PDF/en/2018_proxy.pdf
  7. Speaking of flight bags, this wounded warrior was purchased in 1979 and, had it not been force-retired, was good for a few more years! ??
  8. There has existed for a long, long time, a rivalry in the Air Force between pilots who fly different equipment. 50 years ago, when I joined up, I wanted to be a fighter pilot but even back in my day there were those who professed to see no purpose for fighter aircraft in the then today’s Air Force and I came to realize that no minds were going to be changed in the oft-times vigorous debates of my day. I have always seen the requirement and necessity for different aircraft types and missions in our Air Force, but of course we are all not like-minded (that’s a good thing) and hence the perpetual debates concerning what aircraft are, or are not required/necessary. History is once again repeating itself. Just like the Liberals under Chretien had cancelled the Sea King replacement, thereby costing us taxpayers hundreds of millions; now the Liberals under Justine have all but abandoned our investment in the development of the F35 and worse, seem comfortable spending a billion plus on end-of-life Aussie F-18’s. I’m in your camp, Wolfhunter: “the next step in lunacy is coming to the conclusion that an air force doesn’t need fighters”. Our small contributions to NORAD and NATO, alliances within which we have been members for many decades, are contributions nonetheless. If Canada as a country is unwilling and/or unable to contribute our share in those alliances, then we risk becoming a shameless satellite to those countries that take up our slack. I suspect most Canadians understand and accept that with any threat to the North American continent, the US will run the show. That does not, however, in my view, rationalize our throwing up our hands and abandoning responsibility for our own defence, however regrettably small our contributions continue to be. As for fighters in our Air Force, I would use the analogy of carrying a set of jumper cables in the trunk of your car: you’ll never need them … until you do. And when you do need them, you need them now. You’ll get no disagreement from me regarding our heavy haulers that in peacetime resupply Canadian embassies and consulates around the world, that in times of crisis provide emergency aid wherever and whenever asked. Our search and rescue people provide yeoman service despite being undermanned and underequipped. They are just two organizations of many within our military that are able to serve Canada and Canadians in times of peace as well as war. Fighters, on the other hand, are combat machines. In times of peace, it’s easy to dismiss them as being unnecessary, even irrelevant and particularly today, certainly expensive. After all, they can serve only as a visible sign of deterrence and only a preparedness to fight. The alternative however, of being caught up in a fight without the equipment you need, will prove to be far costlier than the peacetime expense. The Cold War was my kind of a war wherein no shots were fired. That war was fought through the strength of deterrence. Let’s not forget that, as we struggle with the F-18 replacement. It would appear from the YouTube video above, that the Norwegians haven’t forgotten, but then again, they experienced an occupation by a foreign power whereas we Canadians never have.
  9. I agree. As a 12 year Air Force pilot, 3000+ hours, current squadron ICP (Instrument Check Pilot), I had to pay for a few hours flying lessons in a Beech 95 just so I could fly a check ride in an unfamiliar aircraft with a Transport Canada check pilot to confirm my ability to hold an Airline Transport Rating. To add insult to the process, the check pilot concluded his pre-flight briefing with a comment along the lines of "if you fail this ride I don't want you to go complaining to my boss." Class act.
  10. There's a lot of WWII nose art available for viewing that suggests not much was banned let alone removed and so in terms of restrictions imposed during WWII I'm curious as to the "political committee" and the decision issued to which you refer. Are you able to provide further guidance? The only info on restrictions that I've been able to locate happened decades later: From one web site that I viewed: "If we are to compare side by side the 80’s with Vietnam or WW II then the general consensus among most people would be that there is more freedom than what was enjoyed in the Vietnam era but less than what was allowed during the Great War. In the wake of the infamous “Time” story on the fifth of December 1988 “Bimbos for Bombers”, nose art earned public ire so much that it invited the criticism of the National Organization for Women and the National Women’s History Project."
  11. I love the artwork on all those WWII aircraft, particularly bombers and fighters. In today's PC and SJW world, such artwork would no doubt profoundly offend somebody and be judged inappropriate by some "independent" tribunal. I suspect a decision would come down from above dictating that you go fly your mission and die if necessary, but don't dare deface an aircraft with such offensive artwork.
  12. I expect that they will .... and very soon. They already accept remotely controlled trains and autonomously driven automobiles are just around the corner (in terms of legality and availability), robots are everywhere from surgical rooms to assembly lines. It (remotely controlled airliners) will begin with single pilot ops and then ultimately complete autonomy. Not in my lifetime I suspect, but most likely in my grandchildren's lifetime. Absolutely. People place a high value on life but when it's their own money they often come up with some strange rationalizations.
  13. I was told that I was "immature" the day after I joined the Air Force and I've been told that time and time again ever since! Only have one life to live!!!
  14. Employers will push and push and push some more until one is willing to take a stand. If any pilot believes that fatigue will be a consequence of any given flight schedule then that pilot has a duty and obligation to ensure that he or she will remain in compliance with CAR 602.02 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-433/page-82.html#h-750 If, given the circumstances of any particular flight, he or she has reason to believe that they will not be in compliance with CAR 602.02 then they shouldn't do the flight. Particularly so because, safety aside, if something untoward does happen and it is found that fatigue was a factor then the pilot will carry the blame and the employer will be the first one to agree that the flight shouldn't have been flown by that particular pilot. You will be hung by your own "can do" petard. Will the employer be happy if you don't accept a flight because of CAR 602? No. Will the employer push back against your decision? Most likely. Possibly a "letter" on your file or a suspension or obligatory medical examination or any number of other things. And they will be doing such things not as a message to the "offender" but as a message to everyone else. Employers know that there's strength in numbers and it's in their best interest to cut the legs out from under an individual than it is to deal with the group as a whole. Problem is, when it comes to fatigue, most pilots, as individuals, will avoid the grief of standing up for what is right and instead, do what is asked of them. Ninety-nine point nine per cent of the time everything works out but surprise, surprise, employers keep wanting more and more, all in the interests of "flexibility" and "protecting the operation". But remember this: if a pilot gets caught in a fatigue-related incident/accident - you're on your own and the employer will be the first one to pull the chair out from under you. And your "can do" attitude will count for squat.
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