Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Peta (formerly known as Peter) Principle.

'Empowering' people - well specific 'classes' of people - can have unintended consequences. Promoting people up and up regardless of merit can put such folk into positions well beyond their competence.  It used to be known as the 'Peter Principle'. Heck, I know about that well, having been a King and  Knight. An incompetent Knight gets unsaddled fairly quickly and even the nicest and fairest King can be wounded by his enemies such that sitting down is very uncomfortable.

Not that I was incompetent of course. Oh dear no.

But we do not see many Kings and Knights around these days. Tavern Keepers, yes, but almost anyone can pull a pint and wipe down tables. And women, yes. And they are every other person you meet.

These days social situations are fraught; even inadvertent ones which one often find onself in when travelling. A chap, be he a Squire, Knight or even a farm-boy is best advised to resist engaging in conversation with strange, 'empowered' women unless they are known to be Ladies. The Feminist women's 'empowerment' fiasco is a modern Peta Principle wherein the most awful women find themselves the recipients of 'position' which is not at all merited. And what disruption they cause.
Hmmmmm. Who's day shall I ruin today
Like the fiasco on an Airline last week. I doubt we shall hear any of the hundreds of women journalists writing about it though. They are focused on whineing. But hey, this report was by a female journo. !  Catherine Rampell.
Ivy League economist ethnically profiled, 
interrogated, for doing math on American Airlines flight
On Thursday evening, a 40-year-old man — with dark, curly hair, olive skin and an exotic foreign accent — boarded a plane. It was a regional jet making a short, uneventful hop from Philadelphia to nearby Syracuse.
Or so dozens of unsuspecting passengers thought.
The curly-haired man tried to keep to himself, intently if inscrutably scribbling on a notepad he’d brought aboard. His seatmate, a blond-haired, 30-something woman sporting flip-flops and a red tote bag, looked him over. He was wearing navy Diesel jeans and a red Lacoste sweater – a look he would later describe as “simple elegance” – but something about him didn’t seem right to her.
She decided to try out some small talk.
"Is Syracuse home?" She asked.
No, he replied curtly.
He similarly deflected further questions. He appeared laser-focused — perhaps too laser-focused — on the task at hand, those strange scribblings.
Hmmmm. Most likely being a chap and avoiding talking to strange women in case she complained that he was talking to her. Or even worse - 'Looking !'. 
Rebuffed, the woman began reading her book. Or pretending to read, anyway. Shortly after boarding had finished, she flagged down a flight attendant and handed that crew-member a note of her own.
Then the passengers waited, and waited, and waited for the flight to take off. After they’d sat on the tarmac for about half an hour, the flight attendant approached the female passenger again and asked if she now felt okay to fly, or if she was “too sick.”
I’m OK to fly, the woman responded.
She must not have sounded convincing, though; American Airlines flight 3950 remained grounded.
Then, for unknown reasons, the plane turned around and headed back to the gate. The woman was soon escorted off the plane. On the intercom a crew member announced that there was paperwork to fill out, or fuel to refill, or some other flimsy excuse; the curly-haired passenger could not later recall exactly what it was.
The wait continued.
Finally the pilot came by, and approached the real culprit behind the delay: that darkly-complected foreign man. He was now escorted off the plane, too, and taken to meet some sort of agent, though he wasn’t entirely sure of the agent’s affiliation, he would later say.
Remember, this report was actually filed by a woman journalsit. HE, the chap was the 'real culprit', she says.
What do know about your seatmate? The agent asked the foreign-sounding man.
Well, she acted a bit funny, he replied, but she didn’t seem visibly ill. Maybe, he thought, they wanted his help in piecing together what was wrong with her.
And then the big reveal: The woman wasn’t really sick at all! Instead this quick-thinking traveler had Seen Something, and so she had Said Something.
That Something she’d seen had been her seatmate’s cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize. Maybe it was code, or some foreign lettering, possibly the details of a plot to destroy the dozens of innocent lives aboard American Airlines Flight 3950. She may have felt it her duty to alert the authorities just to be safe. The curly-haired man was, the agent informed him politely, suspected of terrorism.
The curly-haired man laughed.
He laughed because those scribbles weren’t Arabic, or some other terrorist code. They were math.
Yes, math. A differential equation, to be exact.
But heck, why had they not found that out earlier? I put it to you that it was because a woman had complained and he was a man; an automatic suspect.
Had the crew or security members perhaps quickly googled this good-natured, bespectacled passenger before waylaying everyone for several hours, they might have learned that he — Guido Menzio — is a young but decorated Ivy League economist. And that he’s best known for his relatively technical work on search theory, which helped earn him a tenured associate professorship at the University of Pennsylvania as well as stints at Princeton and Stanford’s Hoover Institution.
They might even have discovered that last year he was awarded the prestigious Carlo Alberto Medal, given to the best Italian economist under 40. 
That’s right: He’s Italian, not Middle Eastern, or whatever heritage usually gets ethnically profiled on flights these days.
Furphy alert. Ethnic profiling is not allowed. The 'security' people at airports are just as likely to strip search a 90 y/o granny in a wheelchair or a four y/o with a teddy bear as an Arab with a ticking carry-on case. In fact, they would not dare search the Arab in case of accusation of 'racism' ! 
Menzio had been on the first leg of a connecting flight to Ontario, where he would give a talk at Queen’s University on a working paper he co-authored about menu costs and price dispersion. His nosy neighbor had spied him trying to work out some properties of the model of price-setting he was about to present. Perhaps she couldn’t differentiate between differential equations and Arabic.
It could be used on loose lips too.
Menzio showed the authorities his calculations and was allowed to return to his seat, he told me by email. He said the pilot seemed embarrassed. Soon after, the flight finally took off, more than two hours after its scheduled departure time for what would be just a 41-minute trip in the air, according to flight-tracking data.
The woman never reboarded to the flight.
The nice lady journalist Catherine Rampell, then goes on to drag a few more red herrings across the trail, bringing Donald Trump into play ! Has she no shame? Silly question. You can read those for yourself.

She at last drew to a close, having earned her column fee and the kudos of the feminists for the slipped-in furphies, and pencilled in another 'cause' for the incident.
In this true parable of 2016 I see another worrisome lesson, albeit one also possibly relevant to Trump’s appeal: That in America today, the only thing more terrifying than foreigners is…math.
No, m'dear. YOU are the problem. The empowered woman. No one argues with them or puts them in their place - on the ground, unsaddled, with a sore arse.

Perhaps some treatment as this might be more appropriate.

Maybe it is time to extend the usual airline policy of not allowing men to sit next to children - because, you know, they might be paedophiles, so just to be safe.... and not have men sitting next to women either. Segregated seating.  Let the women make outlandish accusations, have 'suspicions' about, and fantasise of scribbles on a notepad of other women.

Leave the men alone!

Have a pint.


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