By Arnold Kling
First, there’s South Bend Seven.
I’m still waiting for the plan that requires volunteering* from able bodied retirees as a condition of receiving their social security checks, or requires a few hours a week of service from anyone getting unemployment benefits.
The asterisk points out that required volunteering is an oxymoron. My line is that I want to know what crime my daughter committed that makes you want to sentence her to community service. Furthermore…on second thought, don’t get me started. Thanks to Russ Roberts for the pointer.
If dumping on community service isn’t shocking enough for you, here’s Will Wilkinson on bicycle safety.
I [like] biking because it’s faster than driving — because I blow through stop signs, go the wrong way on one-ways, etc. Were I suddenly to become fastidious about heeding traffic laws intended to regulate cars, one of the main advantages of biking over driving would evaporate.
He is responding to Megan McArdle, who needs a refresher course in game theory. The case in which bikers obey traffic signs and drivers are courteous to bikers is the “co-operate/co-operate” quadrant of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The equilibrium is “defect/defect.”My opinion about pavement is this: bikes; pedestrians; cars. Pick one.
Cars and pedestrians get along about as well as cars and squirrels. In my opinion, pedestrians crossing streets in the DC area are no more sensible than squirrels, and just about as likely to get killed.
As for bikes and pedestrians, don’t get me started. I’m usually the biker. My pet peeves include:
–the parents who think it’s cute to watch their toddler run randomly all over the path. Why don’t you send junior out to cross Wisconsin Avenue by himself while you’re at it?
–the dog-owner who is on one side of the path while the pooch is on the other side, with the leash creating that sweet trip-wire effect.
–the jogger who doesn’t hear you shout “Passing on your LEFT” and then takes off his earphones long enough to swear at you as you go by.
As for bikes and cars, they weren’t meant to co-exist, and that’s the end of it.
Back when Megan was in diapers, I formulated Kling’s Law of DC Transit. This law states that if you can’t get somewhere by almost entirely sticking to the path on Rock Creek Parkway or along the Potomac, you can’t go by bike. So if you have to get from Capitol Hill to Dupont or Georgetown, you start by heading in the opposite direction, toward the Potomac. You pick up the path, circle your way around past Hains Point and the Lincoln Memorial, get on the Rock Creek bike path, get off at P street, climb the brutal hill, and walk your bike from there.
Megan lives too far from the bike path, IMO.