Monday, January 15, 2007

Defining a just society


There would be trampolines. Actual trampolines as well as metaphorical ones. A just society would make room for people to have fun. Fun. Joy. Play. Creativity. Passion. And like the cute little graphic below, whre the lemmings dive off the cliff to find a trampoline that tosses them back up onto the next cliff, a just society would have safety nets for its citizens.


TenaciousK said...

And here's where the sticky parts start.

Gary Busey says he has the right to ride his motorcycle helmetless. Some utopiates might be inclined to live on the wild side, and jump the cliffs without nets. Of course if they fall, they bear a consequence, but so does everybody else.

Watcha' gonna' do?

wtaxgr: We're taxing great?

Oh yeah - tax structure?

vxdwfqk: Vexing damn widget-fucking querelous kin

Keifus said...

Oh fine, one more thing.

Fun, joy, creativity, passion....I'm all for 'em.

Yeah, cuz if you don't, those impulses have a rotten tendency to turn into anger or depression (the anger you turn in on yourself--wish I could tell you where I heard that one), and we all know where that sort of thing leads. (Boom.)


dzieu. Gesunteit, Pierre

TenaciousK said...

Hey Keifus:
Have I told you today how lovely I think you are? And disconcertingly attractive, I'm only a little ashamed to say! Rapier wit, dashing good looks, the epitomy of good fatherhood, and (I'd venture), damn fine in the sack.

Be well, Keifus. Humor is anger turned sideways. It's how you turn the blade that's headed towards your heart.

[([([([([brotherly hug])])])])]

dqqxgsfo: daring quixotic queifus crossing* gorges of sorrow from oblivion.

Jkorg: Jokes organized

hipparchia said...

danger. best damn drug ever invented. ever. we're wired for it. sex is great, and it's probably an effective for the need for danger, but it's not as widely available.

my favorite drug. the difference between me and christopher reeve can probably be measured in millimeters.

how do we pay for it? today's assignment is to define it. that's all you're going to get out of me today.

taxes? dude, i'm a long-time registered, yellowdog democrat. but, yeah, taxes were in the pipeline for today.

hipparchia said...

"effective antidote"

TenaciousK said...

Dat you, Cholly?

xhhzf: xenophobic horse-hater: zero feelings.

emkxwfcp: eh, my kicks would face-plant.

Keifus said...

All right, all right, you'll give me a complex already. (I'm fine--I'm not really wired for a long-term downer.)

K (asttfk: fucking astroturf)

TenaciousK said...

Sorry for being overly familiar or assumptive, K. My own history comes into play.

rizase: Rise and shine

Keifus said...

TK: Oh no, it was quite appreciated actually, I'm ashamed that I forgot to append the customary "and thanks." (You sure honed in on the raw nerves accurately enough.)

I could go on of course, as you no doubt realize, but don't feel right about it. Right now it's breathing a little again.

And a damn fine point about humor.

K (dgniqggh--sounds like a Gaelic curse)

hipparchia said...

oftydyof --- looks vaguely like a welsh curse, now that you mention it, though more ll's would help

hipparchia said...

tk: i took a few minutes to look up some motorcycle helmet stuff on the web. everybody's cherry-picking their studies and data and interpretations and i didn't have a lot of time. strong correlation: mandatory helmet laws, lower number of head injuries. opposition's interpretation: states enacting helmet laws are driving motorcyclists to states without helmet laws, and number of fatalities per number of motorcycle registrations is approximately the same no matter what the laws are. nobody has a complete set of data for the entire country [or if they do, they're hiding behind subscription-only sites] so it's hard to figure out who knows their stuff and who's blowing smoke.

two studies, one in italy, one in california, show dramatic decreases in tbi's immediately after the implementation of helmet laws, but i didn't have time to dig into them looking for flaws.

some questions arise:

head injuries cost us, the general public, more money. yes, but motorcycles generally use fewer resources [less metal, plastic, glass goes into making them; less fuel needed to operate them] than do cars. do motorcyclists leave us greedy carists more resources than they cost us in paying for their injuries? [badly stated, i know]

i couldn't find much data on how many motorcycle crashes are caused by motorcyclists' own stupidity/mistakes and how many are caused by cars running them down. if the drivers of cars are responsible, shouldn't we be cracking down on them a lot harder? where's their personal responsibility?

it does seem sort of stupid not to armor yourself as well as possible before heading out on your motorcycle, but it's been suggested that the restricted vision and hearing and the increased fatigue crom wearing a helmet cause accidents or hinder a motorcyclist's ability to avoid an accident.

TenaciousK said...

Helmet laws:
Neuropsychological testing results make a strong argument for helmet laws. Dying, dismemberment, crippling injury - all suck very much. Living with brain damage that could've been avoided (or at the very least, drastically reduced) by a helmet? Trust me - you'd rather not.

The majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by people other than the cyclist. It's unlikely helmets would have a huge impact on those, except to minimize harm to one's precious noggin.

But really, there are lots and lots of examples where paternalism seems to make good social sense. Finding the optimal balance between individual liberties and social costs is tricky. I usually find myself coming down more on the socialist side of the argument, I find. Sweden, anyone?

Joggdehv: Jogged heavy

fleiauu: A legendary Tongan princess.

uldcq: unlucky dumb character question

hipparchia said...

legendary tongan princess! have i mentioned lately that i love you?

funny you should mention sweden. i was going to use them in my military post.

i can't imagine not armoring oneself as fully as possible when all the rest of the world is gunning for you. having said that, i should probably admit that my one and only motorcycle wreck, i wasn't wearing a helmet.

i've only got one friend, that i know of, who's been through that kind of head injury. he was a pedestrian and got hit by a car that ran the red light while he was in the crosswalk. he had the right of way, the car did not. what? now we have to wear helmets just to walk?!

he's near-normal now, has been for many years, but the road to recovery was a long one.

if we're going to be paternal, i lean more towards making the bullies and big guys behave themselves, rather than sending the little guys out onto the playground ever more encumbered by yet a new piece of armor against something that might happen.

heh. i can hear you all the way from here. no no no, in a utopian society, the big guys wouldn't need reminding. they'd look out for the little guys out of altruism. a just society, otoh, recognizes that rules are occasionally going need to be enforced.

on those other injuries. an interesting [to me] sidelight is that the two people in wheelchairs whom i know, one a paraplegic, one a quadriplegic, both of them tell me they'd neither of them go back to being able-bodies were they given the chance. i can't imagine myself ever feeling that way, and would never have believed it if an able-bodies person had told me that there were people who felt this way.