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Monday, September 30, 2013

Air Fares, Wealthy Members and Generosity

(There's a point to this, but you have to read the whole thing to get it!)

I was reading a tech article and actually noticed an ad. (That's almost bizarre enough to merit a mention!) The ad was for Emirates Air. Specifically for, "First class private cabins between JFK and Milan." The ad's photo implied extreme comfort and luxury.

Note that I am NOT in the market for tickets to Milan. Or anywhere else.

Just out of curiosity, I clicked the ad and eventually figured out how to search for the fares for these first class flights.

Now I should point out that Emirates Air actually has a decent reputation, from what I've heard on NPR. They have budget seats.

These aren't them.

Emirates rates

The highest and lowest rates are highlighted, both near the middle of the table.

Who would ever, EVER, pay that kind of money for two people to fly anywhere on someone else's plane and schedule?

The high rate is so high that the lowest rate almost seems reasonable until you think about it in the absolute sense.

But, I suppose if you're a billionaire and your private jet is in the shop or you have family going multiple directions, $44,000 (boggle...) is just money.

After all, a man with $1,000,000,000 in the bank looks at $44,000 the same way a man with $10,000 looks at $0.44.

Yeah, that's right. Forty-four cents to the man with ten thousand dollars is forty-four thousand dollars to the man with a billion dollars.

OK, so I went to the extreme by bringing in Billionaires. There are plenty of them around these days (over 1,600), but there are a lot more ten-millionaires (over a million). So how does someone with $10,000,000 in the bank see a $44,000 airfare? The same way a man with $10,000 sees a $44.00 airfare.

This brings me, in my own round about way, to something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately. I often hear people talk about how generous this-or-that rich member of their church or ecclesia has been. It's clear that there is some gratitude there, but also that a bit of pedestal building has happened. That rich person has been elevated in someone's mind because of the generous donations made to the church.

How do those generous donations compare to the person's resources, though? If you had $10,000 in the bank, would you only donate 44 cents to your worthy causes and charities?

I'm trying to make a point without being blunt or sounding accusatory, so let me finish with a quote from a much wiser man than myself:

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why Not Christmas

Just stumbled on this, and couldn't believe my eyes (or my ears).

A short cartoon on the history of Christmas. Wicked cool.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

StratFor On the Significance of Those Cartoons

Strategic Forecasting sent out their latest, free intelligence report today. This one provides a pretty thorough analysis of the background and results of Those Cartoons.

I've attached the whole article (with permission), but here's my favorite quote:

European states cannot control what private publications publish. That means that, like it or not, they are hostage to Islamic perceptions. The threat, therefore, is not under their control. And thus, even if the actions or policies of the United States did precipitate 9/11, the Europeans are no more immune to the threat than the Americans are.

If you're at all interested in the apparent "collision of civilizations," read this article.

Those Cartoons

I'm not particularly surprised that the European press ran those cartoons that have the Muslim world in an uproar.

I am surprised that Dave Winer hasn't even mentioned them, as far as I can tell, nevermind actually run one or two of them himself. (I wonder if he's even considered showing one of them?)

It also surprises me that so few American papers have run it. Not that I'm claiming they should: not running them seems to have shown some wise self-restraint. Or maybe they're just scared.

Are the cartoons being avoided out of respect for Muslim beliefs, or is it just fear of reprisals?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Stupid Sunshine

OH SURE!!!

After eight straight days of rain, preceded by a couple days of having a cold, the sun has finally decided to show itself here in Southern Connecticut.

I've only ridden three times this month thanks to this ridiculous weather, so you'd think I'd be very happy to see the sun.

You'd be wrong. Today I'm stuck in my office, finishing my exhortation for tomorrow morning. Can't ride today, no matter how much I'd like to. :-(

On top of that, Will Rudd just called me. They're back in Old Lyme for the weekend before sailing south to the Carribean for the winter, and would like Corinne and I to come over for a visit. On the yacht. (I didn't say no, but I did say it'll have to wait until Sunday afternoon.)

Sunday, April 3, 2005

What a Weird Site I Run

My site is weird, isn't it?

You guys, my readers, are a bizarre mix of family and personal friends that I've known most of my life, and looser friends and complete strangers. The first group is interested mostly in posts about my life, spirituality, philosophy, scripture, whatever, but is bored to death whenever I talk about technology. The other group probably doesn't care about the personal stuff, "just gimme the tech."

Then there's this subset from both groups that are actually interested in my cycling!

I guess, around here, you just get what you get. To those who are a little freaked out about the recent conversation with Gervase, not realizing you'd subscribed to a site that discussed that sort of thing: well, I won't apologize, but I will ask you not to worry about it too much and just be patient. The site isn't changing, and this isn't the first time we've talked about this sort of thing. (For example, one of my favorite discussions was about morality and atheism, almost exactly four years ago.)

To all of you, though, I'd like to express my thanks and appreciation, especially to those who participate in any discussions here on [tw], on any topic. I love being self employed and working on my own schedule, but it's a little lonely sometimes: your messages and conversations help me feel connected.


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From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. - WC