Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Illogical Arguments

Prata gave me an idea for a blog entry. That's been my problem lately: lack of good ideas. Yesterday, Prata mentioned a study done that shows that cell phones impair driving. Anyway, the first article I could find is from the University of Utah. Now, when I think of University of Utah, I think of Mormons that couldn't get into BYU (or could not afford it). That's probably not an accurate depiction – but let's face it, I am some chick for Georgia. I have not been past the Mississippi River. Or admit to the traveling that far. Now I understand that there are wonderful and interesting places that far west, but I don't know specifically of any. Just mark this up to dumb chick and move on. Nothing to see here.

Anyway, the cell phone article I found was not the one I was looking for. The one I was looking for said something about talking on cell phones impairs one's driving – decision-making skills and reaction skills, akin to having either a 0.08 or 0.10 blood-alcohol level. Again, I could not find the article, but I normally don't do much research when writing. It sort of interferes with my writing. So I am thinking – most people don't want to outlaw talking on cell phones while in the car. Not sure if it is because of the "big brother" syndrome, a pro-libertarian stance or because talking on a cell phone is just so darned efficient.

Here is a thought. Why don't we just raise the blood-alcohol level for DUIs. I mean, if driving on a cell phone impairs driving and we are okay with this, why not just let people drink and drive. Sounds a bit irresponsible does it? I know, if you drink and drive, you need to put something on top of your car to highlight your impairment. I mean, cell phone users, by in large, can be distinguished by cradling the phone to their ears or speaking into their dashboard so we can easily avoid them in tricky situations. There must be a way to distinguish alcoholics.

On a completely different subject: the other day I heard an argument about global warming. Some conservative was talking about how the "environmentalist nut-jobs" think global warming is occurring because it has been warmer in certain areas for 10 years. Soon-thereafter a caller called to agree with him, stating that when he moved to Pennsylvania, four years ago, they had the worst snowfall they have had in some time. So this accumulation of snow proves global warming does not exist and the talk show host agreed with the person.

My initial reaction was to think – you ridicule someone for using only ten years, and you bolster your argument with one season. But then I thought: snowfall is precipitation. It has little to do with extreme cold temperatures. Sure, in Georgia, we don't get too cold, but in Pennsylvania, if it gets colder, you don't judge it by the amount of snow on the ground. At colder temperatures, I have been told, it gets "too cold to snow." Well, I don't know if this is true or not, but snowfall needs two things – a temperature of around 32 degrees Fahrenheit and precipitation. That seems a really poor predictor of global warming.

Now I don't want to argue about global warming or talking on cell phones. It just seems to me that some of the arguments for talking about them make little sense.

For cell phones, they have said "well, people eating are distracted too." That is sort of like saying that since smoking and a high fat diet will both kill you, we should tax McDonald's French fries because they have so much fat. Other than increasing the price on such a taste morsel (which I avoid), the argument seems to be muddled. Who knows, years from now, perhaps we will have a fat tax. So donuts and lard beware.

My brain hurts now. Guess I should stop thinking for a while.

15 comments:

Mike said...

I think cell phone usage has gotten a bit ridiculous. I watch people walk up and down the mall, day after day, with a cell phone stuck to their ear. How in the world did we get by years ago without one?

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oh this is perfect timing! I had a chick on her cell phone just this morning that royally pissed me off in traffic today....and I wasn't even the vehicle she cut off! Then she had the balls to get pissed at the guy she did cut off! I thought "Honey, you better be SO GLAD that's not me you cut off!" I would've went ballistic on her stupid ass.

Great...now my brain hurts too AND I'm pissed. Sure wish I had some irish whiskey for my coffee this morning...;)

Prata said...

http://news.com.com/2061-10801_3-6090342.html

The article you were looking for.

Prata said...

Oh..and yes it does get too cold to snow. Snow requires near freezing temperatures and moisture in the air. When it gets too cold, the moisture in the air is frozen and can't precipitate. So it's just cold.

Steve said...

Who are they all talking to?

I think that we should do away with the DUI laws and just have a driving while stupid law.

You could be inserting a CD in your stereo and kill somebody and just get a ticket, or talking on the phone while eating your breakfast and putting on makeup, and kill somebody and just get a ticket.

Why don't they charge people with murder when they kill somebody? Drinking or talking.

Charge them with driving while stupid.

My head hurts now.

Leesa said...

mike: I agree with you.

stacey: irish whiskey? Nice suggestion.

prata: thanks, sweetie, for the article. And thanks for backing me up on the snow. We don't get a lot of the stuff in the south!

steve: interesting point. Now get some coffee.

Prata said...

My pleasure. You talk to me and help me out...so why not!? *blinkles*

~Deb said...

What about those who eat lunch in their cars while driving back to work? That has to be some sort of distraction. I rear ended a lady while sipping my hot coffee. Yep---the coffee spilled all over my lap. Result: An accident and a hot pair of legs. (from the coffee of course.)

I'm waiting till they ban us from doing everything in our cars. Oh get your minds outa' the gutters!

Edtime Stories said...

I loved the flow of this today.
I want to comment on Global Warming. Again, a very well studied and difficult topic is a punchline on right-wing radio and people think they have an answer because they listen to a Foxpert who told them some mumbo jumbo about how it was warmer three years ago in Cleveland how could the earth be getting hotter. It is the intellectual free lunch and it drives me nuts.

mal said...

"Fat Tax"? you trying to put Krispy Kreme out of business?

rules for argumentation and debate do not require the facts be appropriate, just that they be facts. There lies the opportunity for rationalization instead of rational thinking,

Leigh said...

Leesa do you sleep at night??? Man you think more then I do. That is a scary thing.

Shhhh... about the fat tax, if our canadian goverment reads that they will tax us more for sure. It is bad enough we have GST (Good and Services Tax) What I don't understand about GST is that it is on Tampax, why are women being punished for having there period, is it not bad enough we get it, they have to tax us on it too.

Leesa I hope you are having a good day!

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jody said...

for some people haveing a passenger impaires thier driving

Prata said...

I didn't know taxes were a punishment. heheheh

Leesa said...

prata: aw.

~deb: I nearly got run over (as a pedestrian) the other day by a guy trying to eat a handburger in his car.

ed: intellectual free lunch. I think I may steal that one.

mal: I think Krispy Kreme started in Georgia. If not, we still say that to others.

leigh: didn't get much sleep last night, actually.

askinstoo: I hate you, you little blogger robot.

jody: thanks.

prata: I enjoy paying income tax - that means I have income, right?