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Old Jun 27, 2013, 09:39 PM   #76
Analog Kid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caesarp View Post
Stop it. We've all flown dozens of times. And on each of those flights dozens of devices were on. We're still here duh. There is no problem. Your hyper technical concerns are simply annoying and bizarre. [...] Strap your big boy pants on and live a little scaredy cat. [...]
Right. The hyper-technical concerns of a "scaredy cat" deeply experienced in hyper-technical equipment are annoying and bizarre to someone who's flown dozens of times and is still here.

I think that sums up your argument nicely. If that's the logic that sways the FAA, I'll be forced to agree with John123 on their level of expertise.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 02:30 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caesarp View Post
We've all flown dozens of times. And on each of those flights dozens of devices were on. We're still here duh.
As is well understood by anyone with the remotest grasp of statistics and experimental methodology, that is insufficient.

Quote:
Your hyper technical concerns are simply annoying and bizarre.
As much as you'd like it not to be, it's a deeply technical subject. No matter how much popular culture tries to convince us that everybody's opinion matters, there are some areas where, like it or not, technical understanding is required in order for an opinion to have value.

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Strap your big boy pants on and live a little scaredy cat.
Charming. Clearly I was being over-optimistic to hope for mature, intelligent debate on the internet.

Quote:
You misunderstand. All the masses need do is keep their devices on. No qualifications required. If planes crashed we would know or pilots would have reported severe and ongoing problems. Since we don't have that, test completed. With the number of flights and people with devices all testing has occurred on all flights. Be real.
As has been explained ad nauseam in other posts, current experience is not sufficient. It's certainly useful, but more than just that is needed.

-- HJKL

Last edited by hjkl; Jun 28, 2013 at 04:27 AM.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 07:57 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hjkl View Post
As is well understood by anyone with the remotest grasp of statistics and experimental methodology, that is insufficient.



As much as you'd like it not to be, it's a deeply technical subject. No matter how much popular culture tries to convince us that everybody's opinion matters, there are some areas where, like it or not, technical understanding is required in order for an opinion to have value.



Charming. Clearly I was being over-optimistic to hope for mature, intelligent debate on the internet.



As has been explained ad nauseam in other posts, current experience is not sufficient. It's certainly useful, but more than just that is needed.

-- HJKL
People like you are never satisfied. There will never be a sufficient test; there will always be a new device or a new airplane.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 08:16 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by sorinc03 View Post
I recently flew domestic First on AA and they were offering Galaxy Tabs for free. I don't know if they were offering them to Economy passengers as well and if they were for how much, but does anyone know why they offer Androids to passengers when clearly they have a deal with Apple for iPads in the flight deck? Do Androids offer them more flexibility in terms of movies and music they can put on rather than going through iTunes or such?
Samsung is probably paying the airlines to do this.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 09:03 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by caesarp View Post
People like you are never satisfied.
I'll be satisfied when sufficient work has been done. If you'd bother to read what I've actually written, you'll notice that I've said I expect this to happen.

I know it's silly of me - this is the 21st century after all, where any fool's opinion has to be taken seriously. We live in a world of homeopathy and faith-healing - using science to analyse scientific problems is so last century.

I wonder if there's a B-list celeb around whose opinion we could solicit? That would decide it.

I despair for our society.

-- HJKL
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 09:06 AM   #81
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We're on the 4th page of this thread and no one made an Apple Maps joke

MR, you disappoint
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 10:01 AM   #82
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To be honest I'm kinda puzzled by the media reports about this issue. Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) have been with us for the last 15 to 20 years and lugging around big charting kits has been a thing of the past for the same time. Except for some airlines that lived very much in the past apparently. The only "new" thing is that the iPad is used as EFB, but that has been true since the iPad 1 was new.

There are some issues with appliances like the iPad as they can not be integrated into the aircrafts avionic suite like EFB Class II or III devices and therefore will have some limitations in normal line operations.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 04:03 PM   #83
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Sounds good.
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 09:26 PM   #84
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The line-by-line is growing wearisome and increasingly pointless, so I'll limit this to two points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Kid View Post
Stop and the read context of the comment. One in a million isn't my number, it was his. My point is that to many people, one in a million sounds like a small risk, but with 700 million passenger embarkments in a year and each person probably carrying something, his comment that one in a million causes a problem is an enormous risk. One in a billion is significant.
You're still perpetuating the problem. You're choosing arbitrary probability values and then saying "WHOA, THEY'RE SIGNIFICANT EVEN WHEN TINY!" because you're multiplying them by a big number. That remains mathematically and logically specious until there is some basis for those probabilities. There's a great little book by a Stanford professor named Sam Savage called The Flaw of Averages that is not only written at a high school level but also does an excellent job of articulating why these types of expected value calculations make no sense.

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Originally Posted by Analog Kid View Post
Etc. etc. etc.
Or we could, as you suggest, make everything in the world as dangerous as driving and relax regulations until we lose 40,000 people a year in air travel.

However we chose to set our priorities, it should be knowingly, not because we just guess at an answer.
You'll be distressed to learn that I actually agree with your sarcastic suggestion to make the world as "dangerous as driving" -- but the reason rests with your second point. Some probabilities and outcomes simply cannot be known a priori. When you hop in the car, you are choosing to do so given your tolerance for risk. And that risk has something to do with the uncertainties (probabilities) involved. While you might not know those probabilities, they are easy enough for you to find out. In this situation, however, the scientific evidence is inconclusive at best. It's not good policy to run around outlawing things because you're worried about a tiny chance of an event when the real probability may be orders of magnitude lower, or even zero.

You have created a false dichotomy between "15 minutes of convenience" and "40,000 people a year." That's great as a scare tactic, but completely unrealistic. If the policy changed, and planes started falling out of the sky, I guaran-damn-tee you that the policy would revert in very short order.

You'll probably counter that any lives lost in the name of 15 minutes of time on gadgets is a bad trade...or that we'd get into some middle ground where there's uncertainty about the cause of accidents. The former has to do with your attitudes toward risk and uncertainty, while the latter is a logical straw man. Should the policy change, you have the right to pursue other modes of transportation to reach your destination. But most of the rest of us will, given the lack of evidence supporting the relationship between interference and accidents, continue to fly until new information suggests we shouldn't.

If you think there is some scientific test that should be run but hasn't, I pose the question: why hasn't it been done? And if there isn't a valid scientific test, I pose the question: why are we even debating this as opposed to applying the experimental method to the real world?

I'm not going to say that you can't go through life scared of everything you don't know. A lot of people have done just that. But I think it's a pretty sorry way to live.
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Old Jun 29, 2013, 03:36 AM   #85
Analog Kid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
You're still perpetuating the problem. You're choosing arbitrary probability values[...]
I'm not sure why you haven't read what I'm saying yet, but I'll try again: I didn't pick the likelihood arbitrarily, adamneer did. Please, please, please read the context of people's comments before berating them over and over again.

If you're suggesting my understanding of statistics would be helped with high school math, you're mistaken.


Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
You'll be distressed to learn that I actually agree with your sarcastic suggestion to make the world as "dangerous as driving" -- but the reason rests with your second point. Some probabilities and outcomes simply cannot be known a priori. When you hop in the car, you are choosing to do so given your tolerance for risk. And that risk has something to do with the uncertainties (probabilities) involved.
You're treating risk in isolation and missing the concept of cost/benefit analysis.

You're wrong about the sarcasm, though. That is a choice available to us-- we could target a fatality rate equal to driving. We can't, however, target any rate by saying "people have been accidentally leaving their phones on and I'm not dead yet, so it's safe to make calls during takeoff".


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Originally Posted by john123 View Post
You have created a false dichotomy between "15 minutes of convenience" and "40,000 people a year." That's great as a scare tactic, but completely unrealistic.
I do so wish you'd read what I've said rather than just grab some words and create your own context. Please look at my comment and honestly judge whether you think I posed it as a rigid choice between two opposites. I'll give you less words to sort through: After a hypothetical I posed (which was actually 12 hours against 100 lives, but what's a few orders of magnitude among friends), I wrote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Kid View Post
Pick what numbers you'd like, I don't know what they actually are (which is kind of the point of my argument), but this is what the calculation comes down to. What is the risk, and how much are we willing to sacrifice to mitigate that risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
I'm not going to say that you can't go through life scared of everything you don't know.
The argument I'm hearing most in this discussion is phrased more along the lines of "you shouldn't be afraid of things I don't know", which is a very different thing. What I and others have been saying all along is that some of us do know quite a bit about this subject. Even among the knowledgeable there's room for a difference of opinion. My issue is with people who don't know anything and therefore assume there's nothing to know.


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Originally Posted by john123 View Post
If the policy changed, and planes started falling out of the sky, I guaran-damn-tee you that the policy would revert in very short order.
Now, here's where we can agree: this is pretty much what is being suggested by the "why worry" crowd.

If you pose your plan to the public as "we can't estimate the risk, so we're just going to change the policy and if planes start falling out of the sky we'll change it back", and the public supports it, you've won the argument.
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Old Jun 30, 2013, 02:48 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Kid View Post
Pick what numbers you'd like
This line is the entire problem with everything you've been saying. If you don't get that by now, I don't think you ever will. The irony of you criticizing me for not reading...well, it's palpable.

I'm done.
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Old Jun 30, 2013, 04:41 AM   #87
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If you'll excuse the attempt to make a point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
I don't think
I can trim quotes down and remove context too, of course, but quoting you out of context like this doesn't lead to either of us understanding anything better.

If you go back to the conversation I was having with caesarp and put my comment back into context, it's clear that I'm posing a hypothetical (as identified by the words "let's say") to better explain the cost/benefit analysis. The "pick what numbers you like" comment is to further emphasize this as a thought experiment rather than a statement of fact. I then conclude with the statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Kid View Post
However we chose to set our priorities, it should be knowingly, not because we just guess at an answer.
So if you're implying that I'm just guessing at an answer, you'll understand what I mean about reading what I say before you berate me for it.


I'm not really sure why we're debating these parts of the conversation, anyway. They're not really germane to "everything [I've] been saying". My points, in summary, are these:

  • We don't really know the danger posed by electronics on a plane, and almost certainly can't predict it looking forward. It is likely small, and certainly non-zero.
  • People may wish to call it zero, because it's so very small, but it would need to be much smaller than the numbers people bandy about before disregarding it entirely could be justified.
  • The fact that people sometimes forget to turn off (or intentionally leave on) their equipment is not proof that the risk is zero.
  • The fact that the airlines are allowing pilots to carry one particular device in the cockpit is neither hypocritical, nor proof that the risk posed by a cabin full of electronics in active use is zero across all devices over all time.
  • So, while they may choose to change the policy on using electronics during the critical 10kft, it should not be because anyone thinks that forgetting to turn off devices, or pilots with iPads, proved a point.
  • Also, though I don't think I've stated this in so many words yet, people should not take a potential revision to the rules on e-readers as an indication that any other form of equipment is equally safe-- particularly intentional radiators such as phones.
At no point did I engage in fear mongering, or stating hard numbers as fact, I merely advised against substituting ignorance for certainty.
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Old Jun 30, 2013, 05:40 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
You're still perpetuating the problem. You're choosing arbitrary probability values and then saying "WHOA, THEY'RE SIGNIFICANT EVEN WHEN TINY!" because you're multiplying them by a big number.
You need to read more carefully - it wasn't Analog Kid that chose those arbitrary numbers. I thought it was perfectly clear that his point was simply that, even in the hypothetical case of those arbitrary numbers (presumably chosen by their original poster as being very low) the actual risk is still far from negligible.

Quote:
There's a great little book by a Stanford professor named Sam Savage called The Flaw of Averages that is not only written at a high school level but also does an excellent job of articulating why these types of expected value calculations make no sense.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'd hope we'd be able to apply a level of understanding somewhat more sophisticated than high school level.

Interestingly, the thrust of "The Flaw of Averages" appears to be that we tend to *underestimate* risk, which doesn't seem to help your argument.

Quote:
If the policy changed, and planes started falling out of the sky, I guaran-damn-tee you that the policy would revert in very short order.

[...]

I'm not going to say that you can't go through life scared of everything you don't know. A lot of people have done just that. But I think it's a pretty sorry way to live.
Then be clear about your position. Are you saying "we don't know the risks, so we'll try it and see, and back off if people start to die" or "we know the risks and its safe". The latter position is being put forward by many in this argument, but seems to me to be untenable. The former is at least an intellectually justifiable position, but may, I suspect, prove less popular.

-- HJKL

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Kid View Post
  • We don't really know the danger posed by electronics on a plane, and almost certainly can't predict it looking forward. It is likely small, and certainly non-zero.
  • People may wish to call it zero, because it's so very small, but it would need to be much smaller than the numbers people bandy about before disregarding it entirely could be justified.
  • The fact that people sometimes forget to turn off (or intentionally leave on) their equipment is not proof that the risk is zero.
  • The fact that the airlines are allowing pilots to carry one particular device in the cockpit is neither hypocritical, nor proof that the risk posed by a cabin full of electronics in active use is zero across all devices over all time.
  • So, while they may choose to change the policy on using electronics during the critical 10kft, it should not be because anyone thinks that forgetting to turn off devices, or pilots with iPads, proved a point.
  • Also, though I don't think I've stated this in so many words yet, people should not take a potential revision to the rules on e-readers as an indication that any other form of equipment is equally safe-- particularly intentional radiators such as phones.
At no point did I engage in fear mongering, or stating hard numbers as fact, I merely advised against substituting ignorance for certainty.
That's an excellent summary.

My position, as I've tried to make clear, is that I remain open to being convinced that the rules can to some extent be relaxed safely. I won't be convinced, however, by simple assertion based on the uninformed gut feel of people ignorant of the technologies involved.

I'd be as happy as anyone to get those extra few minutes on my Kindle, so I'm all for changing the rules if we can, but please let's decide if it's possible based on science and understanding.

Any rational decision in this sort of field involves trading off the risk against the inconvenience - once we know the risk we can choose to accept a higher risk if we choose, but just pretending the risk is zero is an intellectually dishonest way to proceed.

-- HJKL

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Old Jun 30, 2013, 11:58 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hjkl View Post
You need to read more carefully - it wasn't Analog Kid that chose those arbitrary numbers. I thought it was perfectly clear that his point was simply that, even in the hypothetical case of those arbitrary numbers (presumably chosen by their original poster as being very low) the actual risk is still far from negligible.
You two are so cute! It's adorable. Again, for what I think is the fifth time, you cannot allege that "the actual risk is still far from negligible" if you don't know what it is. It may very well be "negligible." You people are bastardizing the entire concept of expected value calculations. It doesn't matter who threw out what probability, nor does your argument get any stronger by saying, "Hey, that's my number, but there is SOME number out there!" And yes, that's precisely what Analog Kid said. When you start alleging that numbers are "far from negligible" without scientific evidence to support that claim, you are fear mongering.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hjkl View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'd hope we'd be able to apply a level of understanding somewhat more sophisticated than high school level.

Interestingly, the thrust of "The Flaw of Averages" appears to be that we tend to *underestimate* risk, which doesn't seem to help your argument.
1. I said it's written for a high school level. The concepts are the stuff for which people get PhDs in OR.
2. First off, you're misusing the term "risk," which you wouldn't do if you'd read the book. Second, that isn't the thrust at all. It's about...drumroll...improper use of expected value calculations, one facet of which is subjective probability assessment. Maybe next time, actually read the book rather than grabbing onto some snippet you read on Amazon? Just a suggestion.


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Originally Posted by hjkl View Post
Then be clear about your position.
If you don't get it by now, I give up.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 02:16 AM   #90
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I notice you ignore most of my attempts to steer this back to the substance of my argument. Is that because you agree with me? If it is, I'm happy to just ignore the rest of this tangle.

If you still think this is a flaw in my overall point, I'd like to understand why:
Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
You people are bastardizing the entire concept of expected value calculations.
[...]
First off, you're misusing the term "risk,"
It might help if, instead of repeating over and over that we're using different definitions of terms than you are and are therefore wrong, you defined your terms. If you think you've already laid out a definition of these terms, you're welcome to quote yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
It doesn't matter who threw out what probability, nor does your argument get any stronger by saying, "Hey, that's my number, but there is SOME number out there!" And yes, that's precisely what Analog Kid said. When you start alleging that numbers are "far from negligible" without scientific evidence to support that claim, you are fear mongering.
For the umpteenth time, it wasn't my number. I was responding to adamneer, using his numbers.

Is your whole issue here a campaign against abstract thought? That's really what this comes down to... The hypothetical world of a one in a million failure, is an abstraction. That world isn't claimed to exist. Within that hypothetical world, my statements are valid.

It's not all that different in concept from the hypothetical world that you created:
Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
It's not good policy to run around outlawing things because you're worried about a tiny chance of an event when the real probability may be orders of magnitude lower, or even zero.
except you're making the claim that it could be zero which is quite soothing but starts to become, shall we say, mathematically difficult when discussing interference. One in a million is unlikely but zero is, I believe, impossible.

Ordinarily I'd just assume you meant infinitesimal, or more precisely, inconsequential, but you seem to be insisting on rigor in definitions so I'll assume zero is defined rigorously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by john123 View Post
If you don't get it by now, I give up.
I've looked for you point, and the best I can understand it, it's: we don't know anything so rather than be scared and cautious, we should just try it and see what happens.

Or at least it started that way before it devolved into "hypotheticals are scary".
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 02:25 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by klover View Post
And yet I still have to turn my Kindle off when ascending/decending.
Yep. A couple of iPad's (or devices) shouldn't cause a problem, but 50-250 devices with cellular radios could.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 04:06 AM   #92
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They aren't the first major airline: Qantas started this a year ago.

July 2012: http://www.macworld.com.au/news/ipad.../#.UdFE3vaSD3U

Qantas now has no paper manuals in the cockpit other than the Quick Reference Handbook and one backup copy of charts.

Pilots carry a personal issue iPad 3 64GB 3G which carries the full suite of aircraft manuals, enroute and terminal charts, take-off and landing performance app, and and app for electronic delivery of flight plans, weather, notams, and company reporting forms.

Our iPads are EMI tested and certified for de-pressurization.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 06:52 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by john123 View Post
Again, for what I think is the fifth time, you cannot allege that "the actual risk is still far from negligible" if you don't know what it is.
And if you read, and thought about, what had been written, you'd notice that that wasn't the allegation being made.

Quote:
It may very well be "negligible."
You're right - it may very well be. The thing is, we don't know.

Quote:
Second, that isn't the thrust at all.
The full title of the book is: "The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty ".

Quote:
If you don't get it by now, I give up.
It was a straight-forward question - which, if either, of the two positions I outlined represents your opinion? Do you believe the risk is known and zero/negligible, or do you believe the risk is unknown, and we should try it and see, and back off if it proves unacceptably dangerous?

Which is it?

-- HJKL

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Old Jul 1, 2013, 07:42 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by uaecasher View Post
been using iPad since it was released and it never failed me.
Well if yours hasn't failed then none of them will. It's just inductive reasoning. ;-)
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