Thursday, July 27, 2006

Passenger Boarding Problems Solved

It was reported in the Scotsman today that it has been determined that Einstein's theory of relativity can be applied to the problem of more efficient passenger boarding of the world's very busy airline customers.

Scientists working at Ben Gurion University have determined that letting people board as they wish is probably more efficient than getting all anally retentive and making big lists.

In a vindication of the notion that getting intelligent people together to work in the same area has all sorts of interesting and useful outcomes, one scientist was applying Lorentzian geometry to an information processing problem, and one of his colleagues observed that the process had similarities to the problem of boarding passengers. It was ultimately determined that Lorentzian geometry could be used to describe congestion in passenger boarding, and the research will no doubt prove useful in making the life of the average air traveler a little tiny bit easier.

It's also a heartening story for another unrelated reason. Even while there's a brush fire war going on up on the Lebanese border and no end of heartache and misery in Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel, there is still time for the good people of Israel to devote themselves to the scholarly pursuits that bring real progress in human affairs. It's also a trenchant commentary on cultural values, who has them, and who doesn't.


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