Thursday, October 22, 2009

The March of Science

From Communications Daily [subscription only], the following groundbreaking research is announced to be published in "Applied Cognitive Psychology:"
People walking and talking on their cell phones are more than twice as oblivious as those not on their phones, according to a new study by Western Washington University Psychology Professor Ira Hyman.

Hyman hired a unicycling clown and found that just 25 percent of those using a cellphone noticed when the clown passed them as they walked. Half of those not talking on a cellphone said they noticed the clown.

Of course, the purpose of this research is to enlarge the Nanny State:

"If people experience so much difficulty performing the task of walking when on a cellphone, just think of what this means when put into the context of driving safety," Hyman said. "People should not drive while talking on a cellphone." Hyman said cellphone users "walk more slowly, change directions and weave more often and fail to notice interesting and novel objects."
So, now, presumably, cell phones are to be banned from the sidewalk, lest we miss out on the stream of clowns flowing past us on unicycles and fail to notice other novel and interesting objects, like psychology graduate students hiding in vans with clipboards. Of course, it's everyone's favorite supposition that any jackhole gabbing into a small piece of plastic while weaving a line in front of us on the sidewalk is just a preoccupied twit, a clown, right? You know, the kind preoccupied with their wife or kid or boss or client. The kind taking care of their business.

SBD's own sidewalk research is that no one walks precisely at the pace and in the direction that he walks and is then by definition a clown, in the way and should be tossed in front of a bus. SBD's murderous intentions are actually lessened when that clown is talking on a cell, giving excuse to his meanderings.

SBD is interested in research on people who spend all their time while on a sidewalk paying attention to other people as they go about their lives and wonders how many "interesting and novel objects" they are missing out on because they aren't minding their own fucking business.