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Journal: It's past time for humanity to grow up

Journal by Rick Genter

As the title says, it's past time for humanity to grow up. I've been feeling this for a long time (years-to-decades), but it's come to a head recently for me on three topics.

One: Daylight Saving Time. The arguments for changing the clock include saving energy, slight health benefit (correlating fewer accidents with a higher overlap of daylight hours and waking hours), and "Americans like it better because they can do more in the evenings."

All of these arguments center around people centering their clocks around their lifestyles. This, to me, is a sign of immaturity. It shows self-centeredness: adjust everything to me, rather than having me adjust. What if the schedule I like doesn't work well for others? The result is what we have today: a fractured system that varies, not just from country to country, but state to state within the US, and even within states in the US (e.g., Indiana).

Two: Legislation to protect people from themselves. In particular, I'm thinking here about speed limits. Speed limits are arbitrary, and in my opinion punish "good" drivers while trying to protect "bad" drivers. I would much prefer to see a system where there are no speed limits, but where speed is considered a factor in the cause of accidents and people who cause accidents are cited/punished appropriately. A sign of maturity is accepting the consequences of one's own actions. I should be allowed to drive fast if I am willing to accept the consequences of my driving, including causing accidents.

Three: this whole campaign against terrorists, starting with airport security. I have a pacemaker. Because of this, I am required to be hand-frisked at airports. The quality of search that I am subject to varies widely based on who does it, and it is ridiculous that I be searched in any case, since I am not a terrorist. I know: they don't know that I am not a terrorist. While that is true, I still feel that I am being punished because I have a medical condition. If we, as a society, feel that we need to protect ourselves from ourselves with respect to terrorist actions, I'd rather see everyone subject to the same level of scrutiny - uniform treatment. I'd also much rather see a technological solution; hand searching is not robust nor scalable.

To me, each of the above situations demonstrates a level of immaturity in human society. For at least sixty years we've had the means to mass exterminate our population without any means to protect against such actions. Without demonstrating improved maturity, I fear that we won't survive much longer as a species.

I look forward to the day that we will no longer require self-policing.

(Forgive the rambling nature of this post - I've had very little sleep in the past week. I should have waited until I was better rested to write this entry, but it's been nagging at me for a while now and I needed to get it out.)

User Journal

Journal: I want to need less sleep

Journal by Rick Genter

On a whim I've decided to start using the Slashdot journal feature. I'm starting with the congestion of life.

I really want to need less sleep. There are so many projects that I want to work on, and there just are not enough hours in the day. If I could recover the 7 hours a day I lose to unconsciousness, I feel that I could get so much more done.

Would someone please invent the magic elixir that alleviates the need for sleep?

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne

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