Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Modernity and Superstition

On the Continental jet back from Florida, I noticed that there was no row 13. I do not mean that the plane was only 12 rows long, it had 30 - 40 rows total. Amazing. A incredibly advanced and complex system of systems (the plane: the rubber, the hydraulics, the electrical system, the fan blades, the jet fuel and how it is refined and priced, radar, radio, the metals, the theory of lift, all working together) that are all highly advanced science, and we don't have a row 13 (well it's there, it's just relabeled as 14). We expect people to be afraid of the number 13 (witches coven!) even in the face of all of this science.

Reminds me of the Yankees and the t-shirt (and $50,000). It's just a shirt. 13 is just a number. Culture is powerful...