Whut up, yo? Mostly moved to Twitter... You have an account... why don't I see you there much?
So you've added two or three more people to be bribed to ignore a faulty tracking device - 1 or 2 in maintenance, and someone in the control tower?
I said "99%". You came up with the other 1%. Congratulations, here's your cookie, now sod off.
Lets say you were a pilot with intent to commit suicide (and take everyone with you; ignoring the sociopathy involved in that)... Why go through the effort of 'hiding' the plane? Turning off the transponder and comms, changing altitude and direction, and flying for a few more hours? The plane was already over the ocean, easy to dive it straight down. Less than a minute and it's done.
My intuition says that someone wanted a 777 and wanted to hide it.
So first, a potential argument against the suicide scenario is that it would be more rational to simply fly the plane straight down instead of flying on for 7 hours. Of course, if we are talking about a suicidal pilot, then we're talking about someone sadistic and deranged enough to kill 238 people. This is, by definition, not someone who is thinking in terms of what is the most rational response to a given situation, but a deeply fucked up individual. If they're sadistic enough to kill over 200 people and inflict untold suffering on their loved ones, maybe they're also sadistic enough to torment them for seven hours first. We're not talking about a simple suicide here, we're talking about a murder-suicide like Columbine or a suicide bomber.
Second, if someone wanted to steal a 777 for a terrorist attack, then why haven't we seen the attack? If there's a terrorist plot like during 9/11, then it requires the element of surprise. The more time passes, the more time there is for people to unravel the plot and send in the Special Forces to take out the plotters.
Third, if it's piracy, why haven't we seen the ransom? If you're a Somali pirate, then once you've got the ship safely in the harbor in Somalia, you send a message to the owners of the ship that you're open for negotiation. Also, if you want to do the piracy thing, you have to find somewhere sufficiently lawless that they won't arrest you when you land. Even a place like Kazakhstan isn't lawless enough; you don't just need a repressive dictatorship, you need a failed state level of anarchy, somewhere like Somalia or the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. And as for selling the plane on the black market, you might be able to pinch and sell a few parts... but this is the most famous airplane in the world right now. there's no way in hell you could sell so much as a rivet if it had the serial number on it.
Pilot suicide is, unfortunately, the simplest explanation that fits the facts. We've seen it before and it would fit what happened here. For the sakes of the crew and families, I desperately hope that's wrong, but it's been more than a week- if these people were alive, we'd probably have heard by now.
How do you think I get my weed?
It's not unreasonable to say that they should be able to track the plane using satellite. There are a lot of media reports to the effect that it's not quite as easy as Find My iPhone but the technology is there. In fact it should be far easier to locate a plane than an iPhone, because unlike an iPhone, a 777 is a very large piece of equipment with plenty of power, so it's trivial to install satellite communications. So sure, it's true ACARS won't do it, but that's because ACARS is an obsolete system.
For $150 and a $100 annual fee you can get a portable satellite beacon that broadcasts the position of your trek or your kayak trip every 5 minutes. It's bullshit to argue that it's difficult or expensive to do for an aircraft what you do for your kayak trip, and ridiculous that this isn't already required for every large commercial aircraft. And in fact there's a company- FLYHT Aerospace- that already delivers a system that does real-time black-box reporting via satellite networks. It costs around $100,000 to install during routine heavy maintenance, and it will automatically relay data on position, altitude, heading, fuel use, etc. every few minutes.
If they had had this technology installed, not only would they know what happened to the plane, they would have known within minutes that the plane had changed course. They could have radioed the pilot, and if he didn't respond they could have scrambled interceptors, and if it still crashed, they could have put rescue helicopters in position to respond. Not having real-time reporting in place cost lives.
(Disclaimer- I like to play the stock market, so I took a sizeable position in FLYHT).
BULLSHIT. I don't care how much fucking pain you're in. You want to end your own life? Fine, go right ahead. I believe everyone has the right, and God knows I understand the appeal. I've been there. It's not so much the pain, which is bearable, as the lack of joy or any pleasure in your work, your friends, or your family, and the prospect that it will never end. In that situation, suicide becomes a rational decision.
But even when things were at their darkest, I never lost sight of one fact: the fact that killing myself was in the end a purely selfish act, and one that would cause a tremendous amount of pain and suffering and trauma. For my friends and my family when they found out, for the people who would find my body hanging by a rope, for the people who would have to go through my things and figure out what to do with them... it was the quickest and easiest way to relieve the suffering, but I never thought for a moment that there would be anything remotely noble about going through with it.
But if killing yourself is selfish, how much more selfish is it to kill 233 other people- the people who put themselves in your care, in your trust? That's not selfish, that's outright malicious. There is something deeply fucked up, purely malicious, and wholly evil about someone who, in the process of killing themselves, takes other people with them. It's one thing if your life is so fucked up you just want out. But just because you're miserable, what the hell gives you the right to deny other people their happiness? The poor bastards from Iran who just wanted to have opportunities abroad that they didn't have at home, and used those stolen passports... if this was a pilot suicide, no matter how much pain he's in, what gives him the right to deny them their dreams, to take them from their friends and family? If this is in fact a pilot suicide, then I hope there's a Hell, and I hope it's got all nine levels like in Dante, because this guy should straight to the lowest fucking level, the level for people who commit treachery, and there's no amount of suffering that would be too much for a crime like that.
Sailing is practically free transportation. The adjustment of the sails can be automated so a single human operator can run the whole ship.
And poor people, after the global economic collapse, are going to buy that automated sailing ship how again?
Most people don't see the flaw in thinking that they're going to weather the coming social breakdown because they have a high limit on their Visa card.
Because nature has shit loads of fusion reactors all over the planet that go critical all the time.
Actually, that's not all that far off from reality. Except that, in our solar system, nature has only one fusion reactor, which went critical roughly 4.5 billion years ago. Nature has been powered by the output of that one runaway fusion reactors ever since then. And life here has had to handle the fact that our power supply is available only about half of each day, so each species needs to develop ways of surviving a total failure of the power plant every day.
... THE most important thing about a church, is that it's about building and serving the COMMUNITY, actual religious beliefs are secondary. Atheists need to understand this, and I would like to see atheist 'churches' that fulfill this important human need.
Here in the US, there's a widespread "church" that officially takes this approach: The UU (Unitarian-Universalist) church.
When my wife and I moved to the Boston area back in the early 1980s, we lived in the suburb of Belmont, and the UU church there recently celebrated its 150th year of existence. Back in the 1850s, a new "town center" had grown up at the junction of three adjacent towns, and the people wanted to form a new town. At the time, Massachusetts law required a town to have a church, but (as the story goes), the truly religious churches in the area had a problem: If one of them was accepted, members of the others would have problems using that church as the town meeting place. This was settled when members of the area's Unitarian churches got together a committee that created a new church. This was acceptable to all, because they knew that the Unitarian church would support all local groups regardless of their religions (or lack thereof).
This has pretty much always how the UUers work. It's why, here in New England, they often have the title "First Church in <town-name>". They don't require any declaration of religious belief for membership, and they actively work to be the local central meeting place for all (especially non-profit) organizations. They do hold regular Sunday-morning services, but typically a lot of members never go to those services, and this is socially acceptable to everyone.
But they do tend to be community "activists". That's the primary function of a UU church. It's legally a "church" to gain tax exemption, so they can more easily support non-profit community activities. If you're an atheist with little interest in community events, you probably wouldn't find them useful. If you're an atheist trying to be more involved in the community, they're often a good place to find like-minded people who won't give you a hassle over your lack of religious beliefs.
Because nature has shit loads of fusion reactors all over the planet that go critical all the time.
Well, "set a thief to catch a thief."
One of the reasons for the dysfunction we have in Washington is that all the rules that are supposed to protect the public interest have become so complicated that they actually promote crony capitalism. You need someone who knows how to hack the system to catch people hacking the system.