You will recall, early last September, my resolution to abandon air-travel. It is a work in progress, given how often I have to leave home. I took my first step last week, taking a nine hour train ride to Pittsburgh instead of the one hour flight. The common calculation holds that the flight—even with delays, boarding, and the TSA—would have saved time. I think that’s true in terms in terms of quantity, but less so in terms of quality.
More often than not, my flights end with stressed-out call to my wife, and me re-enacting some beef over cramped legs, or ridiculous delays. These are minor annoyances that don’t really register in my mind on a moral scale. More disturbing is the security theater, the virtual, and actual, rifling through luggage, and the rather outrageous abuses which all too regularly reach our ears. The result is that I spend way too much time thinking about the perils of flying (not crashing) and the time I save is effectively experienced as “negative time.”"