Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sarko-Sego and Mayday

TV5 (God bless them) are running the election results from France. As polled for a while, it will be Sarko-Sego in the next round. Christopher Hitches appears to have been far too pessimistic about the French, as LePen scored, according the current 'Estimation', under 12%. (It is only the current 'estimationn' and we have seen those go wrong.)
But meanwhile, Discovery Channel is having a 'Mayday' festival. As a quondam major air traveller, I am not sure why I enjoy this show. I think because I know that engineering involves difficult trade-offs involving risk and reliability, and flight decisions are in the end engineering decisions. I have just finished watching parts of the episode on the terrible Tenerife crash in 1977. The current episode is the Air France miracle of 2005 in Toronto (it was a disaster for the airplane but not so much for the passengers, while the Tenerife crash was the worst in terms of lives lost in aviation history, and nobody had even really got much off the ground.)
But there is one reason I rather like the shows; they show how hard people work to understand what happened in the disaster, and change the risk-reward balance to something more important. It gives me a lot of comfort, and the comfort comes largely from knowing I live in a society where there is accountability and some concern about where that risk-reward line lies.
Meanwhile back in Fraqnce, Sarko's supporters apparently just sang 'La Marseillaise'. I get the feeling that we are not in the active phase of this political report.


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