It’s been a while since I’ve written, which is as much a statement about the turmoil of my inner life as the outer one. This is nothing new, of course. The churn that happens behind the scenes always seems to dwarf what’s on the outside, like some kind of mental iceberg.
One Pilot's Perspective on Autopilot
In my time as a Naval Aviator, I flew one jet with a crappy autopilot, one jet with an exceptional autopilot, and one jet with no autopilot at all. As a Landing Signal Officer (LSO) I enjoyed the agony and ecstasy of waving more than 25,000 carrier landings, many of which used some sort of autopilot assistance. Most passes were safe, some were ugly, and a few were downright scary. What follows are some of my thoughts on that experience and its implications for enhanced cruise control and self-driving cars.
We hear about it all the time, from those physically near us and (perhaps ironically) through the din of mass-media: We’re too distracted. We aren’t aware of our surroundings. We spend too much time staring into our shiny black rectangles, and not enough time focusing on what’s really important.