Ramp equipment at CDG. Look: you can see baggage tugs (just past the crosswalk), and some tow tractors just past them. In the middle, above the minivan, you can see baggage containers on carts and what look like mobile APUs. If you really squint (or click through to the larger image) you can see an HSBC ad on the jetway just in front of the Air France 747.
The standards on which we rely; a 747 must be serviced a certain way. A global archipelago of compatible standards, built to follow our islands of capital. We see the world as easily interconnected only because it is. We do not have the incompatibles—changes in railroad grade, shipping container size, segregated national telephone networks—that were an accepted part of earlier ages.
The temporal colonization of space: Turn around a jet in 30 minutes. They don’t make money when they’re sitting on the ground. The ease with which this idea is extended to people: Minutes necessary to eat, hours necessary to golf. Spatial products built on expectations of turnover. (Seating at McDonald’s is built with plush seatbacks but hard plastic seats so that it becomes increasingly uncomfortable the longer one stays.) Linger in protest.
(The diagram and Gant chart are both taken from Aviopolis, an interesting take on airports through the world-as-network lens. There’s only one more CDG post, I promise, and then we’ll finally leave the airport and actually make it to the City of Lights.)