[FoRK] Laws that ban texting while driving could be counter productive

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Thu Sep 15 02:00:13 PDT 2011

On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 4:42 AM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> On Thu Sep 15 01:01:37 2011, Damien Morton wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 3:40 AM, Stephen Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>> Umm, Stephen, I have seen your car and I know how full of gadgets it is,
>> but
>> depriving someone of time spent on a cellphone, or blackberry, computer or
>> whatever, in no-way equates with depriving someone of life, especially
>> when
>> they have the option to pull over to make their call. It might feel that
>> way, to some, but its not.
> Have you commuted much in the last 10 years?  Had a significant other who
> also commuted?  Had older children to help and coordinate?  Had challenging
> family or work or other activities to maximize?

No - not much commuting in the last 10 years. Lived in Manhattan for much of
that time, working from home for more. Spent a year in London with a 1:00 to
1:30 train commute.

I don't know, people somehow managed to live their lives before they had the
option of constant connectivity. They maximised. They coordinated. They
dealt with the challenges.

> Pulling over A) is sometimes far more dangerous than multitasking and B)
> doesn't solve the problem of otherwise unusable dead time.  Sometimes
> something must be handled immediately.  Usually, you're just trying to get
> something out of uninteresting and otherwise life-wasting travel time.  For
> me, thousands of hours have been saved from the wastebin of mindless
> driving.  Plus, I've been lucky to avoid commuting much of the time.

...thousands of hours have been spent enjoying the bliss of solitary
meditation while driving.

The only effective alternatives to multitasking while driving (i.e. talking
> on the phone) are: A) public transportation (but rarely applicable and often
> slower than driving) B) driving much faster (not considered as an option in
> the US although perfectly feasible) C) limo / service (common in Manhattan,
> rare / unreasonable elsewhere), D) robotic cars (go Google / Thrun), E) work
> shuttles (if you work for Google, coming from SF) or F) personal flight
> (flying cars next year, but you need landing strips, expensive vehicle and
> training, not ready for it in general).

You missed (G) not attempting to multi-task while in transit


More information about the FoRK mailing list