’cause I’m the Unknown Stuntman

Nearly every time I fly, I think about dying. It’s not entirely a bad experience. I consider it my time to make my peace with mortality.

I also consider it time to imagine myself improbably falling through the air towards my death outside the plane.

If I had my phone in my hand, I think, what would I do with it? Would I hold the headphones against the wind to my head to listen to a final song? Or would I try to send a final SMS to my loved ones?

Every time I read about airlines finally adding Wi-Fi to planes I can’t help but think: it won’t be that long before we can read emails and instant messages from someone about to die as their plane falls out of the sky.

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13 Responses to ’cause I’m the Unknown Stuntman

  1. cha0tic says:

    I wonder if you could get the iSite footage (Bitage?) uploaded to You Tube before the ‘plane completely wrecked?

  2. The Lizardman says:

    I’m sure this will quickly get corrected if wrong but my recollection and a quick bit of searching seems to indicate that most of those calls were made on the in flight phones (seat back phones) not cell phones (and those cell phone calls that were managed were close to a technological miracle by many accounts) and only a few people successfully made calls – nowhere near most of the passengers.

    Hopefully this doesn’t collapse into a conspiracy thread

  3. Muppet says:

    Failed chute survivor!
    you can hear him saying “good bye” just before he crashes… a very lucky dude!

  4. Alex Spence says:

    It’s true that a few of these have already happened, but it’s still pretty interesting that it will only happen more. I wonder when the first case of someone dictating a will into voice mail will hit, and if it’ll count.

    Side note – I’m not still if it’s still up, but a few years back I saw a video on Youtube showing WTC footage while playing a 911 call that someone was making inside the building on a floor above where the plane hit. The call ended in a muffled scream when the building began to collapse. Pretty sure it was real. Very chilling stuff.

  5. Muppet says:

    forgot the URL
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=DyVppfDhrVc

    sorry if linking to YouTube video doesn’t work/is a bad move…

  6. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    Joel, this post is the most sensible thing I’ve read today as it echoes my misguivings about air travel. Said that, I advise you to shift your thoughts to what comes after you arrive; in my experience it’s better -and logical- not to narrow your focus on the air trip, but visualize it as part of the day’s continuity. Everything passes.

  7. pork musket says:

    God damn, bunch of sissies in here. Go skydiving.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Flight 93 was a government hoax!

  9. kerry says:

    Man, thanks for bumming me right the hell out. Damn.

  10. Memory Harker says:

    Say, um, Anonymous: By the time you finish reading this sentence, at least people will have died in car crashes somewhere in the world. Is it offensive to mention that? Is it *more* or *less* offensive because it’s mentioned devoid of a context ~ unlike the relevant context in which Joel’s comments occurred? Would it be better to never speculate on what one might indulge in, technologically, during a (let’s call it) Extremely Terminal situation? And would it be better to never speculate thus because, dag nab it, you might offend somebody who loved somebody who died?

    And let’s not even consider the potential to offend the dead themselves. (Although from what I understand, any of That Sort who might be offended are likely to be more concerned with the search for and devouring of braaaaaaaaaaaaaains.)

  11. flickersticks says:

    Great, this post really helps me to look forward to my holiday travels. Am I on the right blog here? Is this really boing boing gadgets?

  12. Anonymous says:

    darkety dark dark dark

  13. Anonymous says:

    Obviously you did not put a lot of thought into this post. In a post-9/11 time where pretty much everybody has seen or heard about United flight 93 from which most of the passengers called their loved ones from their cell phones or left messages before crashing into the ground this is not something that will happen in the future, it has already happened several years ago, and I am pretty sure there are other less publicized airplane crashes from which people have made similar last contacts.

    While personally I did not take offense in your post, I can see why other people might. It certainly is no gadget-of-the-future material.

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