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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1718 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Airline Maps Look The Same

    If I understand you correctly, the journey matters less and less (from adventure to sleeping pill), so it's not important where you are?

Not exactly. The sense of empowerment has been so completely diminished that any totem that gives you a feeling of control rises in importance. A diagram tells you what to do - a map tells you where you are. If you are feeling active, a diagram is great. If you are feeling lost, you need a map.

Modern air travel is all about making you feel lost. Even that barely-moving-map display counts for a lot. That's why they give it to you.

user-inactivated  ·  1718 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A natural companion to the point you're making here might be ribbonfarm's explication of the future nauseous. Indeed, air travel is cited as a prime example of the future nauseous, where—in spite of the fundamental alien weirdness of hurtling through the atmosphere at 600 mph—airlines cloak the experience in "a manufactured normalcy field" by doing things like controlling climb rates, setting bank angles, and prescribing acceleration profiles. The sum of these controls is to take what's essentially un-human and un-cognizable and render it familiar and digestible. How do maps fit in? I'm not sure, but if the theory of the future nauseous holds water, then my hunch is that the airline maps derive their particular look and format from the necessity of maintaining the manufactured normalcy field.

veen  ·  1718 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have been looking so long for that article. Nearly impossible when all you remember is 'airplanes' and 'normal future'. Thanks for bringing it up!