Ya gotta wonder, part 1:
On my recent trip to San Diego, at both JFK and San Diego airports I saw a big table at the entrance to security, covered with large bottles of shampoo and such, items that haven't been allowed on planes for three months now. Clustered in front of the tables were lots of people who were removing similar items from their carry-on bags and adding them to the TSA's collection.
What I wonder is this: Have these people all been on Mars for three months? I understand that they might not have flown since then, but come on, how can they possibly not have heard about this? Sure, maybe a few would be out on that wing, those who don't pay attention to news at all (and don't talk to anyone who does, and...). But that many? I don't get it.
Ya gotta wonder, part 2:
At the conference, during one of the afternoon cookie breaks near the end of the week, I was sitting at a table facing one set of meeting rooms, having a cookie and tea, and working on my laptop. To my right, if you went around the corner you'd head for the main lobby. To my left and around the other corner was the other set of meeting rooms... and the cookies.
Two people, at different times while I was sitting there, stopped and asked me, "Where are the cookies?" Um. About half the world was walking from my right to my left, empty-handed. Something approaching the other half of the world was walking from my left to my right, eating cookies. Each time, I looked up at the questioner and pointed silently to my left. "Thanks!", said each. "You're welcome," said I.
I was glad to help, but really, was that a question that the slightest bit of observation wouldn't have answered as well? I said to myself, "Hm, and these are the people who run the Internet...."
One colleague speculated that people just feel warmer and fuzzier when someone assures them that they're going in the right direction. Another simply said, "Intelligence sometimes has surprising blind spots."