Wide Awake Developers

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Education as mental immune system

Education and intelligence act like a memetic immune system. For instance, anyone with knowledge of chemistry understands that "binary liquid explosives" are a movie plot, not a security threat. On the other hand, lacking education, TSA officials told a woman in front of me to throw away her Dairy Queen ice cream cones before she could board the plane. Ice cream.

How in the hell is anyone supposed to blow up a plane with ice cream? It defies imagination.

She was firmly and seriously told, "Once it melts, it will be a liquid and all liquids and gels are banned from the aircraft."

I wanted to ask him what the TSA's official position was on collodal solids. They aren't gels or liquids, but amorphous liquids trapped in a suspension of solid crystals. Like a creamy mixture of dairy fats, egg yolks, and flavoring trapped in a suspension of water ice crystals.

I didn't of course. I've heard the chilling warnings, "Jokes or inappropriate remarks to security officials will result in your detention and arrest." (Real announcement. I heard it in Houston.) In other words, mouth off about the idiocy of the system and you'll be grooving to Brittney Spears in Gitmo.

On the other hand, there are other ideas that only make sense if you're overly educated. Dennis Prager is fond of saying that you have to go to graduate school to believe things like, "The Republican party is more dangerous than Hizbollah."

Of course, I don't think he's really talking about post-docs in Chemical Engineering.