Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gut Check

It's not easy being logical in forming opinions. We humans are wired to make decisions with our guts, and to manufacture a rational world around those decisions.

We are easily manipulated. A news story with lots of blood convinces us that a minor issue is the problem of the day. For example, the Camera front page has a story about an accident at a flashing crosswalk, and suddenly flashing crosswalks are death traps. We conveniently ignore the fact that most traffic accidents do not happen at these crosswalks.

Then you throw in peer manipulation. One person says that pedestrians don't look before crossing the street. Pretty soon it is common knowledge that pedestrians in Boulder have a death wish and always walk out directly in front of cars without even a glance, an opinion that, if examined logically, couldn't possibly be true.


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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gunning for Guns

The University of Colorado Regents are trying to preserve their right to ban guns on campus. They say they decide who gets to do what on university property.

Meanwhile, gun rights activists are telling us that guns are necessary on campus (and elsewhere) because you never know when a random killer is going to attack. Someone with a concealed gun can take out that killer and prevent mass casualties.

By my calculation fewer than two lives per year would have been saved in this country since 1966, even if every university shooter had been killed by a legitimate gun owner at the first shot.

School shootings have gone up in the past decade, but still, fewer than five lives would have been saved per year in that period.

Clearly, more than five additional deaths would occur each year with the presence of legal guns due to gun accidents, escalation of arguments, stolen weapons, and other types of mortality.

And yet, the U.S. Constitution, as recently confirmed by the Supreme Court, guarantees the right of the people of this country to have weapons and to carry them.


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Black Hawk: The Definition of Arrogance

I looked up arrogance in the dictionary, and this is what I found:

1. Banning a legal activity (cycling) inside your city
2. Exempting your own residents from the ban and only applying the ban to people passing through and likely unprepared
3. Not posting adequate signs warning people of the ban
4. Claiming the ban is for your citizens, and then defining those citizens to be the biggest companies in town, not the real residents
5. Making sure the ban covers a nationally-known cycling route
6. With no reasonable alternate route
7. Which is in violation of state standards
8. And federal standards
9. Claiming the ban is for safety, with zero history of bike safety issues
10. Without consulting any cyclists or cycling groups
11. Rebuffing any attempt by cycling groups to even participate in the discussion or offer alternatives
12. Ignoring state statutes that limit the ability of municipalities to modify state vehicle codes
13. Modifying the standard model vehicle code to give yourself the right to ban bikes
14. In the law giving yourself the right to ban bikes, citing non-existent research
15. In the law banning bikes on specific streets, citing non-existent research
16. In the research does exist, using a measurement technique that is designed to increase use of bikes
17. When the measurement technique didn't produce the desired results, fudging the numbers to make it appear the roads are less usable by bikes than in reality
18. Telling cyclists they have to walk their bikes, which causes a larger impediment to traffic
19. And causes the traffic impediment to last longer
20. And less safe, because cyclists walking their bikes are less maneuverable than cyclists riding
21. Writing the law so poorly that it bans bicyles, not cycling, and in effect would even ban walking your bike or carrying it trough the streets.
22. And the latest, banning bikes in your resort town, and then inviting the president of the League of American Cyclists to host events there.

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