Re: Distracted Driving

1

Much easier to train people to be better drunk drivers, I'd imagine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:32 AM
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How come?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:32 AM
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The perils of texting seem mostly to be "when you're texting you aren't actually driving just happening to sit in front of the wheel". I'm not sure if there's a way to fix that/minimize the harms involved in a way that actually makes things much better.

Similarly driving drunk has a lot of pitfalls, but impaired judgment is one of the big ones and you'd have to trust people to recognize when/how seriously to take the 'methods for driving when drunk' when they're, well, drunk. (I doubt many people willing to get into a car and drive somewhere drunk enough that it's a serious problem still have good enough judgment to do a lot of annoying things they don't normally do in the car.)

Also the 'abstinence only'/'no tolerance' approach does seem to have done an awful lot for drunk driving which, if what older people tell me is true, used to practically be the standard way of driving.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:33 AM
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2: because texting just per se involves paying attention to something other than driving (as does talking on the phone). When you're drunk you have shitty reflexes and motor coordination and poor impulse control and so on, but at least you are theoretically paying attention to what you're supposed to be paying attention to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:35 AM
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Easy, sure. Ethical, hell no.

Also, visualising the next key sounds like the sort of thing that would be more dangerous.

Also, from what I've read about distracted driving, I'm not sure any of the proposed prophylactics would have much of an effect - it's the distraction that's the problem, not the precise nature of it. So if you wanted to teach "safe text", the measures would have to be related to driving rather than texting.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:36 AM
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As I have definitely mentioned here before there are studies of cell phone conversations while driving where the highly successful (in terms of improving driver performance) intervention consisted of giving the person on the other end of the conversation a view out the windshield (via camera and screen).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:38 AM
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Anyhow, just to be maximally broken record the ideal harm reduction strategy in this case would be arranging things so people had to do less driving.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:39 AM
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"One letter at a time, look up and around between each letter"

I think that's just straight up denial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:39 AM
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6 was the factoid that got my mind wandering in the first place.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:40 AM
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7: Abstinence-from-Texas-only?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:40 AM
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Rather than teaching drivers how to do it safely, since apparently now everyone thinks that constant texting is a perfectly ok thing to do no matter the situation (?), it might be better to try to teach cars how to do it safely.

How difficult would it be to put mini/low powered cell phone tower repeaters inside cars (just large enough that the cell phone will talk to them, not the nearest tower, and for it to pass the signal on to that tower itself)? Then you could just tell the car to shut down the engine and slowly drift to a stop whenever a call/text message went out from the phone, and wait until the person restarted the car before letting them drive again.

This would have the benefit of also teaching people not to dick around with their phones when controlling enormous pieces of metal at high speeds through populated areas.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:45 AM
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11 is an extremely crazy idea. I like it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:47 AM
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The proper way to drive safely while drunk is to turn off the radio, make the car as cold as possible, and continuously mutter "I'm alert, but calm."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:48 AM
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I'm pretty good about not texting while I drive, but you know what's really terrible? New cars have SO MUCH information on the dashboard, and when I'm bored and in traffic, it's so tempting to scroll around to see how many MPG I've gotten in the past three minutes, or what my brake score is.

Also, my new car has XM radio, and the dashboard will display the song a second before the audio comes through on the speakers. So, when I'm dialing through radio stations, it's a lot more efficient to keep my eyes on the dash while I flip through the channels looking for a song I like, than to pause a few seconds at each station while I wait for the song to start playing. It'll be the death of me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:51 AM
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I'm pretty good about not texting while I drive, but you know what's really terrible? New cars have SO MUCH information on the dashboard, and when I'm bored and in traffic, it's so tempting to scroll around to see how many MPG I've gotten in the past three minutes, or what my brake score is.

Also, my new car has XM radio, and the dashboard will display the song a second before the audio comes through on the speakers. So, when I'm dialing through radio stations, it's a lot more efficient to keep my eyes on the dash while I flip through the channels looking for a song I like, than to pause a few seconds at each station while I wait for the song to start playing. It'll be the death of me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:51 AM
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I'm pretty good about not texting while I drive, but you know what's really terrible? New cars have SO MUCH information on the dashboard, and when I'm bored and in traffic, it's so tempting to scroll around to see how many MPG I've gotten in the past three minutes, or what my brake score is.

Also, my new car has XM radio, and the dashboard will display the song a second before the audio comes through on the speakers. So, when I'm dialing through radio stations, it's a lot more efficient to keep my eyes on the dash while I flip through the channels looking for a song I like, than to pause a few seconds at each station while I wait for the song to start playing. It'll be the death of me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:51 AM
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I'm pretty good about not texting while I drive, but you know what's really terrible? New cars have SO MUCH information on the dashboard, and when I'm bored and in traffic, it's so tempting to scroll around to see how many MPG I've gotten in the past three minutes, or what my brake score is.

Also, my new car has XM radio, and the dashboard will display the song a second before the audio comes through on the speakers. So, when I'm dialing through radio stations, it's a lot more efficient to keep my eyes on the dash while I flip through the channels looking for a song I like, than to pause a few seconds at each station while I wait for the song to start playing. It'll be the death of me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:51 AM
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How difficult would it be to put mini/low powered cell phone tower repeaters inside cars (just large enough that the cell phone will talk to them, not the nearest tower, and for it to pass the signal on to that tower itself)? Then you could just tell the car to shut down the engine and slowly drift to a stop whenever a call/text message went out from the phone, and wait until the person restarted the car before letting them drive again.

Jamming the signal seems a simpler solution.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:52 AM
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19

You posted that while driving?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:52 AM
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When people do stupid stuff like text while driving they often slow down to compensate for the decreased mental bandwidth available. I routinely pass people dawdling along at 20 miles per hour slower than the rest of traffic, and lo! they are fucking around with their phones.

I think one of the reasons that the increase in in-car distractions hasn't come with an increase in accidents is that people do tend to compensate. It screws all the other drivers on the road, but frankly if someone is going to be weaving around in their lane and only half paying attention to traffic I'd rather they do it slowly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:56 AM
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21

Augggh!!!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:56 AM
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22

Uh oh jms hit a stop sign


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:57 AM
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20.2: I think it has come with an increase in accidents, but that increase is hidden by the decrease in alcohol-related accidents.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:58 AM
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Teaching people to drive drunk would just up the ante. You teach somebody who's drunk but more or less coherent some tricks to get home in one piece, and next time they're literally blind drunk so they can't see their hand in front of their face, they'll think, "Oh I know how to handle this, I've been on a course", and drive into a bunch of schoolkids.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:59 AM
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13: And practice saying the alphabet backwards.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:00 AM
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While standing on one foot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:00 AM
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18.--But the safest way to text and drive is to hand your phone to your passenger. I've always liked the idea of automatic liability for drivers found to have been texting or phoning during an accident.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:01 AM
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28

Or possibly, like with drunk driving, serious legal trouble.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:02 AM
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Science!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:02 AM
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25, 26: Without the vowels, and giving the American Sign Language equivalent for each letter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:02 AM
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31

And repeating "The Leith police dismisseth us" faster and faster.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:02 AM
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27: Texting while driving is illegal here. A lot of people still do it. If the cops catch someone after an accident, it's considered an aggravating factor.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:03 AM
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"Oh I know how to handle this, I've been on a course", and drive into a bunch of schoolkids.

To be fair, a course where you practice driving into schoolkids might not be such a great idea in the first place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:04 AM
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I knew a lawyer who told me that in order to bill her travel time, she was expected to be reading while driving. This was maybe 20 years ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:04 AM
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35

34: couldn't she listen to audiobriefs?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:05 AM
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The only time I texted while "driving" was when I was running late for work, because I got caught at a railroad crossing. There were still a ton of rail cars passing, so I knew that I wouldn't be called upon to move forward for a bit, and I had put my car in park.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:06 AM
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37

I assume at some point somebody pointed out just how vulnerable they were to a lawsuit if they didn't change that policy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:06 AM
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38

you could probably train people to drive much, much safer when they're drunk, by training them to techniques specifically designed for the pitfalls of being wasted.

This isn't generating nearly the mockery it deserves. Where does this soft spot for drunk drivers come from, anyway?



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:15 AM
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34: Just before this, I was practicing reading while transcribing by voice (repeating everything I hear with punctuation and formatting macros) and I think as long as I stick with trashy fiction it will work fairly well. I did it once while trying to finish my second or third Ben Aaronvitch book and that worked well, but it's a lot easier to do unobtrusively with an ebook where I could just be playing a game or something than with the paperback I have now. Possibly I'm playing chicken with my boss and should say this presidentially, but!!!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:17 AM
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Where does this soft spot for drunk drivers come from, anyway?

Stockholm Syndrome from living in Texas?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:18 AM
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Anyway, I'm now close enough to walk to several nice bars and there's a bus that runs about every 15 minutes if I don't feel walking much more moral.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:20 AM
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I thought Siri more or less solved the texting while driving problem.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:09 AM
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I text while I drive sometimes. If I hear the text noise, I can dig out the phone with one hand, press the appropriate button sequence to get the text on screen, bring it up near my face, then flick my eyes to it for just long enough to read it. It's not too hard to type a reply with one hand without looking. One more flick-glance to make sure whatever short thing I just typed is roughly equivalent to what I meant, and the text is on its way.

Am I equivalent to the idiots who say they can drive drunk just fine? Maybe. But I drive a fair amount and I've never been in an accident. Also, I'm friends with at least two people who I think are above-the-median drivers even when intoxicated.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:10 AM
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What we really need is a system which analyzes videos of crashes or near-crashes and assigns blame or praise to the drivers involved according to how much their actions increased or decreased the probability of a crash, sort of like the new SportVU motion/ball tracking stuff that basketball stats people have just started using. And then we take away people's licenses if they get a low enough score. I actually kind of want to make this now. Does anyone know if there's good highway footage anywhere?


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:14 AM
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I thought self driving cars were going to take care of all of this.

It's kind of an inspiring vision of the future: roads full of self driving cars with drunken passengers texting each other.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:27 AM
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I thought Siri more or less solved the texting while driving problem.

After Apple created the texting while driving problem by only making devices that are a screen and nothing else. I was fine at typing words without looking when my phone had a keypad.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:48 AM
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47

My phone does have a keypad still. I'm thinking of getting a new one soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:53 AM
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48

47: It's a flip phone, isn't it?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:54 AM
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Moby's so drunk he's trying to make a phonecall on his laptop.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:56 AM
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Am I equivalent to the idiots who say they can drive drunk just fine? Maybe. But I drive a fair amount and I've never been in an accident.

Please post maps so that I can stay away. This is completely equivalent to explaining that you have no trouble aiming your way home using your steering wheel, plausible on a well lit straight deserted road and not anywhere else. Worse, actually, because pulling over to text imposes a delay of maybe 60 seconds on your journey to your vital destination-- if it's not a hospital, taking a pause will not change your life.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:57 AM
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51

Am I equivalent to the idiots who say they can drive drunk just fine?

Sounds like it, yes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:58 AM
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47: It sort of slides out. It's an HTC G2, which I guess was never a very common thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:59 AM
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This isn't generating nearly the mockery it deserves. Where does this soft spot for drunk drivers come from, anyway?

I really actually am not sympathetic to drunk drivers and I am generally terrified of cars. Where this comes from, in some sense, is my idle observation that I spend a decent amount of time on boring country roads* and the contrast between the demands of country driving and city driving** is huge.

*Although my commute to work has become nearly unrecognizably more busy - a lot more lights, cars, etc. Due to it actually being a country road with a high fatality rate, and also that it's a thoroughfare to the Eagle Ford Shale area and so suddenly getting a shit-ton of traffic.

**ie this semester I'm up in Austin more than usual, and in the most unpleasant-to-drive parts of Austin.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:17 PM
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OT Bleg:

So the drive swapping went smoothly*, and now I'm trying to deal with a very old laptop, the HD of which has probably failed. BUT, the brilliant HD enclosure allows me to plug it into another Mac, where it doesn't mount properly, but is recognized by Disk Utility.

My question is, does the fact that DU can see it mean that it's basically intact, but something has gone awry with permissions/registry/something, or does it mean that it's probably blank? This was our music server, and while there's a backup of it, the backup is over a year old, and so I'd rather go to some effort to recover data from the old disk than just fall back on the backup.

*Two things made me overestimate the difficulty: one was inaccurate info from some forum or other claiming that a laptop of this vintage couldn't boot without special help; the other was that iFixit didn't make clear (to me) that the rubbery thing packed with the new drive is an utterly brilliant little external drive enclosure. When I put the old drive in the enclosure and rebooted the laptop with the new drive in place and the old one plugged in, it booted immediately from the old drive. Restore new drive from Time Machine, done. So, so easy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:29 PM
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I thought Siri more or less solved the texting while driving problem.

Not really, because it still requires A. distraction, which is the real issue, and B. regular checks to see if Siri has transcribed correctly. She's really pretty good, but I wouldn't send a text to a client without proofreading.

I assume checking FB while driving is fine, as long as I only Like things, and never watch the videos.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:31 PM
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I think heebie's point is a decent one in theory, that we talk about nonjudgmental harm reduction as a better approach in sex ed and substance use but not DUI/DWT. But I think part of that is not philosophical but pragmatic - unlike sex and addiction, these are habits that are not as tied to underlying biological urges, and should in theory be possible to eliminate altogether. (Certainly for DWT, more blurry for DUI.)

One harm reduction approach to DUI would, of course, be more and better public transit.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:34 PM
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52: I thought that you didn't have a smartphone.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:37 PM
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58

Some research on marijuana and driving that's along the lines of the OP:

"marijuana, when taken alone, produces a moderate degree of driving impairment which is related to the consumed THC dose. The impairment manifests itself mainly in the ability to maintain a steady lateral position on the road, but its magnitude is not exceptional in comparison with changes produced by many medicinal drugs and alcohol. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate where they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC's adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small."
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/.../00000026/00000004/art99270


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:40 PM
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57: That was Apo, I think, and some other people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:41 PM
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One harm reduction approach to DUI would, of course, be more and better public transit.

And zoning to have bars closer to housing.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:42 PM
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58: marijuana in particular doesn't cause terribly meaningful driving impairment. So maybe the right harm reduction is that people should smoke a fat jay in lieu of texting?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:46 PM
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58: Arguably, alcohol's effects (at least at low levels of impairment) have as much to do with non-motor skills as anything: aggression, poor judgment, etc. Certainly someone with a buzz* can do something requiring coordination like playing catch.

Or not. I don't know the science. But it makes sense to me that someone of average capacity who's had, say, 3 drinks in 2 hours (that is, above the rule of thumb for sobriety, but not remotely "drunk") would have the motor skills to safely navigate non-challenging streets, but would be prone to misjudging gaps in traffic, or being distinctly incautious, even if they're not driving maniacally. And with reduced capacity for compensating if they find they've made an error.

*taking the "Buzzed driving is drunk driving" people at their word. I assume everyone means by buzz "feeling distinctly affected by alcohol, but not showing any overt signs like stumbling, slurring, hazy thinking"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:49 PM
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unlike sex and addiction, these are habits that are not as tied to underlying biological urges, and should in theory be possible to eliminate altogether

That's not the only morally relevant difference. Another is the degree of harm reduction and residual risk. With consistent proper use of contraception, you can cut the risk of unintended pregnancy to a fraction of its baseline value. Heebie's handwaving notwithstanding, even a well-trained drunk is still a terribly dangerous driver. There's also a moral distinction between risking self harm and risking harm to innocent bystanders - in particular when the harm is death or permanent injury. Finally, there is the reality that a lot of those preaching harm reduction with respect to drug use and teenage sex don't actually have any fundamental moral objection to either activity, though they may elide that fact in order not to undercut support for the harm reduction they seek.

In short, this is why we have the analogy ban.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:54 PM
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What if you only use analogies very carefully, previewing before each clause?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:59 PM
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I thought it was well established that even using a hands-free phone is dangerously distracting, much less texting or dictating to Siri. I think Sifu got it right in 6, and I'd go on to say it's that humans suck at timesharing, in spite of everyone thinking they're good at it.

Also, going 20 mph slower than traffic is very dangerous. Speed differences are a major cause of accidents. Probably worse now than when the studies were done; now the faster moving people are probably texting and won't see you puttering along at 45 in a 65 mph zone until they're in your back seat.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:29 PM
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63: Yeah, I think you're right. Not that harm reduction is an invalid concept, but it doesn't map well onto these circumstances.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:32 PM
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I almost made a comment about how harm reduction doesn't seem right here. I have some thoughts about how it connects to foster care, but nothing I've fleshed out enough. (I also have thoughts about whether or not to keep sending my brother apartment listings with information on how many easily walkable blocks they are from various bars....)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:33 PM
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I only violate the analogy ban while driving.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:42 PM
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Maybe there should be some sort of drunk driving license, so that we can take into account the drivers marginal gained utility from drunk driving, instead of merely the victim's lost utility from being dead. Why are people so emotional about this?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:44 PM
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This goes back to my idea that you should be allowed to drive electric golf carts on the side streets up to .12 BAC.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:46 PM
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It's a solution in search of a problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:46 PM
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I'm going to go buy a phone or go to the library. Or both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:48 PM
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73

After Jammies' alcoholic grandfather had his license taken away, he started driving back and forth to the bar in his John Deere. After they told him that he could no longer do that, he and Jammies' grandmother moved from their small town to Butte specifically so that he could drink and drive again because no one would know who he was.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:49 PM
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69 is excellent! heebie for the bench!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:54 PM
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Age is probably just about as dangerous as far as driving safety as drinking or texting, so lucky they didn't know how old he was, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:08 PM
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I thought that age-related crashes tended to be less fatal and more fender-bender, because the elderly tend to self-restrict their routes and night-driving.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:11 PM
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There is a simpler solution. A driver license should be only very hard to obtain like any other license to do things that are very dangerous to other people should be. Eliminate jaywalking. Then the only drivers would be professional drivers who were very good at their jobs. Let them form a guild and decide on their own what the traffic laws should be. I think they would prohibit texting and driving but I don't know. Driverless cars may solve this problem.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:15 PM
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Is every last person in Jammies' family an asshole, unto the seventh generation? We presume that Jammies is the miraculous exception, but you told us that everyone who plays soccer with him hates him.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:20 PM
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Jammies' mom is a saint! I love her to pieces.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:23 PM
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Aha! (She would have to be.)


Posted by: oggee | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:32 PM
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I did a shitload of very drunken driving in my late teens, usually very slowly, in the middle of the night, on deserted but often suburban roads. Looking back, I have no idea. My friends drove around in every state but tripping, and possibly then, too. Either there is a providence which looks after recklessly stupid young men or there was very much less traffic in those days. It just felt like an entitlement, the way that speeding still does today.



Posted by: The King of America | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:34 PM
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More seriously, basically everyone is fine. The little brothers are just...slow to grow up. (I met the youngest when he was 16. He didn't speak to me for about three years, and the first thing he ever said to me directly was "You're sitting on the remote." This is the one who just found out that the Holocaust was really awful, at age 25.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:35 PM
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I thought that age-related crashes tended to be less fatal and more fender-bender

Not so. Drivers over 70 are more than twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than 30-69 year olds (adjusted for vehicle miles driven). The archetypal old person car accident is a head on collision caused by turning left into oncoming traffic, as older people have difficulty judging how much time they have to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. (To be sure, part of the difference in the fatality statistics may be due to the fact that people over 70 are more at risk of death than younger people from a collision of similar severity, due to their physical frailty).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:43 PM
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Funny, I thought the archetypal senior citizen crash was the mildly demented senior confusing gas and brake.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:54 PM
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73: It's like a country song come to life.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:59 PM
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When my own grandmother was past the point of safe driving, she convinced the judge that the red light she ran had malfunctioned, and turned from red back to yellow, and then back to red. My grandmother was better than the most annoying 13 year old at arguments of attrition, so it is easy to understand why the judge eventually caved.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 2:59 PM
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77: Huh? How is jaywalking part of that construct?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 3:09 PM
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I only text while driving when traffic is stopped. Considering that DC is one of the worst cities for traffic as measured by commuting times and yet has very low rates of traffic fatalities, I think my strategy is objectively safe.


Posted by: cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 3:17 PM
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The boyfriend's family had been assuming that his grandmother was appropriately limiting her driving, mostly taking friends to lunch, until she ended up getting lost from the gas station to her home. She ended up three counties away. When BF's aunt anduncle retrieved her, they noticed her car had fairly extensive damage, clearly from multiple minor accidents. They kept her keys. She was pretty furious. I plan on snooping intrusively as my father gets to that age.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 3:27 PM
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Drivers over 70 are more than twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than 30-69 year olds (adjusted for vehicle miles driven).

My dad has worked at a funeral home for the last five years or so, and he would agree with you on an anecdotal evidence basis. Most recent one he told me about was a 70-something woman trying to get on the highway, confusing an exit ramp for an on ramp, and hitting an exiting car head-on.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:17 PM
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81: I've felt much more worried about imminent threats to my life from people driving angry than from people driving under the influence. The worst was being in a car with a driver who was sobbing uncontrollably. Luckily I was only 23 at the time, so the exemption for stupidity and what not was still holding on.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:22 PM
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"Old people will kill you," is my mantra when it comes to cars. It's something that should be much more tightly regulated, but no politician is going to piss off the olds, not for a couple more decades, anyway.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:27 PM
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93

My mom lost her license because she couldn't find her way home and had to call 911.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:45 PM
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94

It turns out that getting lost within a mile of the house you've lived in for 18 years is a warning sign of some problem or another.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:50 PM
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95

At least she remembered (a) that 911 existed and (b) how to place a phone call. That's actually pretty resourceful compared to most stories I hear like that. Dad let Mom drive WAY too long (after she was tentatively diagnosed; guess their state doesn't automatically revoke licenses or the doc didn't file paperwork). I complained when I realized she was getting lost frequently within a 2 mile radius of their house, and he actually responded that she was fine, getting lost wasn't leading to her driving unsafely. This from the man who told me that being unsure about directions was unsafe and that I should pull over and consult a map if I had trouble finding a location.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:08 PM
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96

||

Hawaii got her first frowny face for her daily report for the teacher. She got in trouble for writing "penis" on the board. She claimed another kid did it and blamed her, but it's hard to imagine a more signature Hawaii crime than that one.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:12 PM
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ahahahahah oh man. It would be better if she'd owned it, I reckon, but that is a pretty choice kidcrime.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:14 PM
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95: She had doctor's permission to go to church and the store only. The doctor was getting paid by used car dealers to help keep their lies plausible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:20 PM
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96: You'd better search her room for molotov cocktails and copies of The Anarchist Cookbook.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:24 PM
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Anyway, hiding minor accidents from the family was my thing until my son got old enough to rat me out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:26 PM
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101

Once she was in bed, we laughed a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 6:36 PM
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102

I'm in the middle of dealing with my Dad's driving right now. His doctors have told him not to drive. He lies and says that he's been cleared to drive.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:12 PM
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I'm in the middle of dealing with my Dad's driving right now. His doctors have told him not to drive. He lies and says that he's been cleared to drive.

You have my sympathy. This should be handled at the level of official policy/law (mandatory road tests at age 75?), but instead is left to individuals doctors and concerned (sometimes terrified!) family members.

We went through this with my dad. He insisted there was nothing wrong, he was perfectly fit to drive, etc etc.

One day, while backing out of his parking space in the underground garage at my parents' apt building, he hit the accelerator hard, and smashed into a neighbour's car. Totalled the car. He came upstairs, dropped his keys on the table, and declared: "My driving days are over." He never drove again (and the province did revoke his license, though it took them months to get around to it). Very lucky that nobody was hurt.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:35 PM
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96 is hilarious. Frowny face indeed.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:39 PM
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102: So sorry you're in that position. It's awful.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:41 PM
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34: Just before this, I was practicing reading while transcribing by voice

...I had to reread this a few times to make sure you said what I thought you said. That's really impressive (to me, anyway. I've just started to learn transcription macros this year).


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:41 PM
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106: I finished the book that way! I'll try another tomorrow. It would be nice to be able to do things besides fuck around on the internet (not the best, because it means clicking back and forth between screens) and knitting or sewing or just doing the actual job, which is the worst because even doing the transcription part isn't quite multitasky enough for me. I have a crackpot theory that reading will help keep me grounded and keep me from overthinking what I'm doing, which is true when I get into a craft groove too. (I have one coworker who knits, another who clips coupons for hours on end, another who used to paint her toenails but has been discouraged because of the polish odor, but some just stare into space and end up hating their jobs.) I've been at this a long, long time, though.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:45 PM
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108

(It was probably more fun for everyone else when I stuck to my policy of never discussing my job on-blog. Oh well.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:48 PM
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109

I don't feel that way at all. It's an interesting job.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:30 PM
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||

Photos of the Halloween dress in the Flickr pool. Open to suggestions -- is the necklace too much? What else can I do for color? Makeup suggestions?

|>


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:40 PM
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I've probably told the story about my grandfather who agreed (eventually) that it was immoral for him to endanger other people by driving with narcolepsy, but didn't want to just sit indoors, so he bought a backhoe to use only around the house he and my mother built. And we didn't have to prise his crushed body out from under! My mother had a hydraulic accident and ran over her own foot with it but is OK now. By the comic law of bagel bagel bagel, I think I am doomed to die beneath it. Dreein' my weird.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:18 PM
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A driver license should be only very hard to obtain like any other license to do things that are very dangerous to other people should be.

Like automatic rifles? This started out being about Texas.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 1:07 AM
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6,18: Sifu, you've discovered the long-sought use case for video calls. Report to the GSM Association for your billion! Seriously, I'd love to know what the iOS app store police would make of Swrvy, the app for safer conversations while driving through the Facetime API.

Ginger, though, the problem with this idea is that radio waves won't stay where they're put, so each and every car on the road would be a denial of service attack on everyone around them (jammer mode) or else each and every phone by the roadside would be a denial of service attack on your car.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 2:56 AM
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110: I think of scarves as being very stewardessy, especially in stripey or geometric prints with strong colors. Not quite sure how you'd incorporate that with the dress's neckline though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 4:08 AM
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||

Did you know you could do this‽

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 4:38 AM
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116

110: Opaque hose.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 4:49 AM
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Agreement on both 114 and 116.

Given that it's a stewardess costume, and that while you're cross-dressing you aren't trans, would a subtle "CWA" logo be appropriate? Or would that be tacky somehow?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 5:03 AM
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Oh, and the scarf would work loosely knotted around the shoulders, I'd think, sort of shawl styled. (Or maybe a very small scarf tied around the neck inside the collar, sort of like an ascot but not really? Not sure if this would work.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 5:06 AM
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117: Can you still get the wings that flight attendants wore? They used to give them to me when flew as a kid.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 5:31 AM
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120

LB, have you seen this ad?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 5:46 AM
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121

My mother did have that hairstyle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 5:52 AM
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121: As did mine. Not the beard, though.

120: I wish I remembered Mom's description of the various airline's flight attendant images accurately; they were funny. Pan Am was glamorous, sophisticated European model types; TWA was nice Catholic school girls, better educated than the rest; American was cornfed Midwestern sexpots; and I can't remember United.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 6:07 AM
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Proto-goth?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 6:08 AM
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120: National Airlines (no longer exists, but it was one of the biggest then) went for the pure slut concept. Their commercials had an actress in a stewardess miniskirt and leather boots singing "I'm Laura, fly me." A later commercial had the line "National Airlines, Take me I'm yours."


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 7:20 AM
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87: sorry I typed that quickly and somewhat drunk and it didn't make much sense. What I meant was getting rid of rules against pedestrians in the roads.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 1:48 PM
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117: all morning I was like, "What does Communications Workers of America have to do with any of this?"

I'm not really committed to it being a stewardess costume, if accessories lead me another way. We'll see what turns up this weekend.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 1:57 PM
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I just saw a chance to repurpose what used to be my favorite O-Chem joke (airplane with two left wings and CWA on the tail).


Posted by: Lizardbreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 2:10 PM
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