Ever wanted to register your protest against the baggage check insanities at the airport? You know, the one where blunt, sharp, wet and flammable things are taken away from every passenger, for ridiculous reasons*? Unless you’re a high-ranking U.S. politician, there’s not much you can do to influence directly, and using other transport is out of the question for most people.

What any passenger can do is to frustrate the system as much as possible. You can fill a little water in a used bottle, bring it along in your hand luggage, and dump it at the security check. The bigger the better, for making the garbage bags fill up and showing your sympathy with other passengers. You can also bring a bottle smaller than the limit (WTF is up with that anyway? You can bring several deciliters in total, and I don’t suppose a lot of explosives are needed to blow up a plane), go through the check, and then suggest sending it separately. Korean Air did that for me free of charge. Just make sure you’re nice about it – It’s not the airport employees’ fault.

Let’s protest in a visible way.

* For those who want to rant about how it can prevented terrorist attacks, consider this:

  • There are so many possible attack vectors, you couldn’t possibly prevent all of them. If you disallowed hand luggage, stripped every passenger down and shackled them spread-eagle on the plane, a passenger could still have explosives or pathogens in his or her body.
  • The arrangement obviously steals time. A little math will show you that if the extra procedure takes 1 minute per passenger (a very conservative estimate) then this stupidity steals 5232 years of passengers’ lives annually (according to 2006 estimate)!

Is the U.S. evil?

The reputation of the U.S. has been taking a beating for decades now, and even more so since a lying adulterer gave up his office to a lying warmonger. Let’s see if a few search engines can give us an idea of what people think…

Google gives 254 million results for good and 40.9 million results for evil, that is 86% good.

All right, but that just counts the number of pages. How about del.icio.us, pages that people actually read? 2294 results for good and 515 results for evil, that is 82% good.

Interesting stuff. But in all fairness, Reddit deals a whole lot more with news, and should give a better zeitgeist than all the del.icio.us bookmarks thrown together. Counting only stories of the last month with a score over 1 (that is, at least two persons must have voted for the story) gives 2 results for good and 8 for evil, that is 20% good. Ow!

But check out those links! That’s not proper news… Unfortunately, the Digg search gave no results whatsoever in the “World & business” category for these searches, even when searching a whole year, and no useful results in the other categories.

Anyway, it’s a bit futile to get a semantically correct view. Reference.com’s thesaurus entry for the adjective “evil” lists “good” among five other antonyms, for a total of six. “Good” has a total of 19 antonyms (“Evil” is only listed in the noun definition). So how about we test with “evil” against all the other antonyms, “moral”, “righteous”, “sinless”, “upright”, and “virtuous”?

“Evil” versus “moral”, “righteous”, “sinless”, “upright”, and “virtuous” in search engines
Site Not evil Evil %Not evil
Google 39,600,000 40,900,000 49%
del.icio.us 242 515 32%
Reddit 7 8 47%

In plain words, web pages, and bookmarked ones in particular, look a whole lot worse when looking for the “moral” antonyms of “evil”, while news stories look a whole lot better. Who’da thunk? Of course, this method doesn’t take into account spam and other #$@%. In any case, this seems to be a rubbish method for gauging public opinion.

No, I don’t have a life right now. Thank you, and good night!