Have you ever wondered why your phone has an “airplane mode” setting?
If you’ve ever used it, then you know that engaging “airplane mode” blocks all signals to and from your phone.
In effect, it cuts off your phone from the outside world without powering it down.
But why are passengers required to engage “airplane mode” on most commercial flights?
Supposedly, airplanes are sensitive to a phone’s outgoing signals, so much so that a passenger sitting in seat 24C might inadvertently interfere with the pilots’ ability to fly the plane.
Think about that for one second.
An ordinary mobile phone being used in an ordinary fashion might bring down a plane.
That is nuts.
The Obvious Is Impossible to Believe
Mobile phones are completely incapable of disabling or interfering with the operation of a car, truck, boat, train, or motorcycle.
Somehow though, airplanes are frighteningly vulnerable to mobile phone signals.
But is that true?
And more importantly, have you already conjured up an explanation of how your phone could indeed jeopardize a flight even though you’re neither a pilot nor an electrical engineer?
Somehow, you can “see how” a phone could mess with a plane’s instruments, etc., but yet you have no proof.
That is because your phone cannot and does not interfere with a plane’s instruments or sensors.
It’s an urban legend. It has never happened.
Sure, people have reported cases of phones knocking out instruments, etc., but these reports are entirely anecdotal and impossible to repeat.
In other words, it is completely and utterly unscientific to make passengers put their phones on “airplane mode” in order to “protect” the plane.
And yet airlines keep mandating “airplane mode.”
Governments keep doing it, too.
All in the name of “an abundance of caution,” which translates to “to soothe our imaginary fears.”
Sound Familiar Yet?
There are many, mucho laws, guidelines, and regulations on the books exactly like “airplane mode” – based entirely on fear, not science.
Once enough people have a fear of something, that “something” is now real, even if it was entirely made up in someone’s mind.
Therefore, “phones will interfere with the plane” is now a real thing, even if it’s founded on pure fantasy.
Even worse, people who actually know better are still forced to submit to the nonsensical rules.
And the folks who enforce those rules enjoy nothing more than cultivating snitches.
Is any of this starting to sound familiar?
Nice and Big or Too Friggin Tiny
The problem with things like viruses and electromagnetic radiation coming out of a person’s mobile phone is that we cannot see it with our “naked” eyes.
In short, we have circa 1.000.000.000 years of experience in examining things with our eyes.
In contrast, we have maybe 300 years of experience in examining microscopic things.
Furthermore, we have just 75 years of experience in examining submicroscopic things.
So, just as you’d expect, we suck at understanding stuff in the Tiny World.
And why not? Tiny World is weird.
Tiny World is billions of times more complex and frenzied and dynamic than anything we’re used to.
Looking at a drop of pond water under the microscope for more than a couple of minutes will give you a headache. And yet those microorganisms are jumping and wiggling and zooming and skating around like that non-stop, 24 hours a day in Tiny World.
It makes you tired just thinking about it.
At best, when absolutely everything goes right, the most we ever get to see is a thin, two-dimensional slice of Tiny World.
It’s like trying to chart the coast of Norway with a submarine periscope.
We know next to nothing about microbiology. We barely have names for a tiny fraction of the bacteria that exist on this planet, and we know nothing at all about the rest.
The number of people on this planet who can identify viruses with an electron microscope could fit into a single van.
Therefore, it really would behoove us to stop acting like we have any expertise when we are only just starting to scratch the surface in terms of what is actually going on in Tiny World.
Furthermore, collectively, humanity still needs more time to get its head around the idea that Tiny World even exists.
Currently, we just are not ready to make life-destroying decisions based on what we only pretend to understand.