Don't Try This at Home

9:50 AM -- The 2007 Darwin Awards race has a new front-runner, to judge from this LA Times story:

    A man who authorities say appeared to be driving while using his laptop computer died Monday when his car crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a Hummer.

    California Highway Patrol officers found the victim's computer still running and plugged into the cigarette lighter of his 1991 Honda Accord.
Wow. It was still running, post-Hummer. What's the crash-test rating on your laptop?

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:12:52 PM
re: Don't Try This at Home re:"Atheletes tend to be very competitive which typically goes counter to the SP crowd that want to ban playing tag during school recess."

Correct me if I'm wrong -- and I'm sure you will :) -- but I seem to remember the subject of intellectual competitiveness coming up during the thread about art teachers. I seem to remember that you ascribed intellectual competitiveness as being a SP characteristic. So, you don't object to competitiveness if it's of an athletic nature only if it's of the intellectual variety?

I'm on deadline today and don't have time to go back and find the exact post, so forgive me if I'm remembering this incorrectly.
sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:12:51 PM
re: Don't Try This at Home Thanks for clarifying, CLG. I agree about not posting first graders grades on the bulletin board. And for the record, games of tag are encouraged at Quaker schools.
CoolLightGeek 12/5/2012 | 3:12:51 PM
re: Don't Try This at Home "So, you don't object to competitiveness if it's of an athletic nature only if it's of the intellectual variety?"

I did ascribe to the view that child's play should be child's play with only enough supervision that bullying is prevented.

I also ascribed that the purpose of early art class was to emphasize encouraging children to enjoy art and deemphasis on comparing their works to that of the masters. An elementary art class room that is filled with masters art insteead of the art of the students is not, IMO, appropriate. I think I also talked about encouraging children to sing by giving them plenty of opportunity and praise for their willingness to sing and zero judgement to their technique or skill.

Friendly competition (without bullying) on the playground is expected. Art and intellectual pursuits are supposed to be more about more reserved (internalized) competition: I.e., posting every first graders grades on the bulletin board is not something I would ascribe to as positive. (Does my view remind you of Quaker approach?)

At higher grades, art and intelligence competitions (such as chess team, debating team, Destination Imagination teams) are very much appropriate for those that voluntarily want to partake.

Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:12:46 PM
re: Don't Try This at Home

We may have to make you an honorary "Fun Ruiner".

That would be a first. Offline, I'm the life of the party. ;)

1) "Frontier mentality" is about growth and change, not about stagnation. Its about the "Don't fence me in" free spirit.

2) Environmentalists and druids are all about "the world was perfect in year X". There are now too many humans on the planet trying for too much in the name of pursuit of happiness. They propose that it would be better to have more exotic plants and animals than it would be to have more humans.

Both of these views, if dogmatically adhered to, are equally flawed. Does "don't fence me in" mean there shouldn't be child porn laws, for example? Obviously, as a society, there is agreement that certain behaviors should be moderated or curtailed. The question is when and where to draw the line, and what role, if any, government should play in that process, depending on the issue on the table.

To your point, at the other end of the spectrum, it is ironic that some environmentalists who claim to be so passionate about saving the planet (and some animal rights activists too) seem to violently dislike their fellow human beings. In that case, who exactly do they think they are saving the planet for? It's bizarre.

But I suppose the SPs don't really want to think about what is under the covers, it wouldn't feel good: and to an SP, its all about how it feels.

Um, isn't this the exact pattern of non-thinking, fact-ignoring emotionalism that has resulted in the Iraq debacle? I'm pretty sure that was not an SP initiative. Hopefully, we can all learn from this "don't really want to think about what is under the covers" mistake and approach the climate change issue more sensibly.

Both ends of the political spectrum -- from neo-con knuckleheads to liberal egg-heads -- seem equally prone to ignore facts and rigorous objective analysis when it is philosophically inconvenient. Why? Because it "feels good" for the dogma dogs to pat each on the back for upholding their doctrine. Conservative idiots and progressive idiots are equally idiotic. Let's lock them all in a room and let them fight it out for the next decade. While that exercise in futility plays out, maybe the reasonable majority of the population with a clue can get some real work done.
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