Thursday, January 3, 2013

Who Says Flying Would Be Faster ?

Everyone makes the exact same assumption ... and I'm sick of it!
"If I could fly, that would be so much easier/better/faster, etc."

For sake of argument we will bypass the ridiculousness of any scenario in which your 150 to 350 pound person would even be capable of getting airborne.  Let's just assume it was possible and you are now "in the air, a.k.a. flying."  It is absurd to assume that the same laws of gravity and physics would somehow not be in existence any longer.  If that is the case, I should think that "flying" would not be any easier/better/faster for 99.9% of the population.  Let me break this down for you.

First, it would not be easier.  The energy needed to propel yourself through the air would at least be equal to that energy needed to move your body on the ground.  Did gravity just stop being in effect as soon as you got off the ground?  I think not.  In fact, some argument could be made that the higher you fly off the ground the greater the weight of gravity pulling you down, thereby actually making it harder to fly than to walk, run, or otherwise move around.

Second, it would not be better.  How could it be better than riding or driving in a car?  Remember that this is just you flying and not "you in some contraption that flies."  So the correct comparison would be with you walking or running somewhere.  I seriously doubt that your main reason for driving everywhere is because it's too cold to walk or run or whatever.  Which leads to my last point ...

Third, it would not be faster.  In fact, it might actually be slower than any other mode of transportation.  At least with a bicycle (a machine, but one powered initially by you) you can "coast" some of the time and let the bicycle carry you further.  Can you "coast" while walking or running?  Try it.  Let's see if that kinetic energy keeps you moving forward when you don't lift your foot and take that next step.

So the only 0.1% of the population (and that is probably generous) that would benefit from flying might be the long distance runners (marathoners) and the really, really skinny but still having some muscle mass people.  They alone would have the stamina and weight ratio to enable them to travel the necessary distances without wishing they hadn't.

This is the kind of thing that I think about while I drive home from work.  Sorry.

Song Of The Day:
Although not really related to the subject of flying, the song "Gravity" by John Mayer is apropos, at least in the sense that in the song he seems to wish gravity didn't exist.  So that's a shout out to all you who would still believe flying would be easier/better/faster.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious post!! And what an appropriate song choice for the post!!