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Fatal Courtesy - 07/21/2013

My post today is about the disastrous consequences of inappropriate language in the cockpit, but IMHO it has interesting applications for world building, for dialogue, and for plot and character development, for alien romances and non-alien fiction as well. We're talking dangers degrees of deference, and exaggerated awe of a higher ranking officer... which happens to be a theme that interested me in my God Princes Of Tigron series where the god-Prince Tarrant-Arragon was aware that cowed Star Forces officers were a liability on the Bridge of a war-star. This is one reason that he took a shine to the human, Grievous who shot off his mouth first and worried about the social graces later. I am reading "OUTLIERS" by Malcolm Gladwell ... and I think you should read it, too. The chapter on "The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes" is fascinating to me. Basically, the theory is that Korean pilots used to crash more than pilots of other countries because of their strict social structure (high Power Distance Index), the complexity of their language, and their respect for authority... including abrupt air traffic controllers. Apparently, all planes are safer if the less senior officer is flying the plane and the more senior pilot is watching everything and talking to the air traffic controllers. It sounds counter-intuitive, but if there is ice on the wings, or the fuel is running out, or there's a storm up ahead, there is no time for parsing gentle hints such as "the weather radar has helpe...

Fatal Courtesy

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