(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Monday, July 14, 2003

what to blog about?
This is the final week before my one-year blogiversary, at which time I will decide whether to shut old Ignatz down (as previously hinted without much subtlety) or instead to go to a reduced-blogging mode. And as I think about whether to blog, what better thing to blog about than blogging? And so, naturally, my thoughts turn in part to the question, "Do I really want to be part of a cultural activity in which the most widely-applauded guy is so transparently lame? If that's what blogging's about, shouldn't I spend the time practicing the banjo instead?"

That's where my mind was this morning, in particular, on reading this item from the Instapundit, which reads in full "SPEED LIMITS KILL, according to this piece in the New York Times." Fits right in with that particular brand of libertarianism that is so in vogue in the blogworld these days, right? There's only one little problem: the linked article says exactly the opposite. It says, plain as day:
according to a recent academic study, raising speed limits to 70 miles per hour, and even higher, has no effect whatsoever on the death rates of young and middle-aged male drivers. That's right, guys: if you're under 65 and you find yourself cruising the great wasteland somewhere between Denver and Portland, say, you can rev things up with a clear conscience -- soon maybe even in Oregon, whose Legislature is considering upping its maximum speed limit from a poky, painful 65 to a brisk and wholesome 70.

Like most studies that seem to grant us leave to indulge our lazy, bad habits, this one comes with an asterisk, unfortunately, that it would be cruel not to disclose (despite the fact that as a young male Westerner I'd love to bury the finding in a footnote): higher speed limits do increase the death rates of women and the elderly.
. There is literally no sentence in the article that says anything like "SPEED LIMITS KILL," or even (less colorfully) that death rates are lower if speed limits are higher. As quoted above, the article says exactly the opposite.

This is blogging at its best, I suppose.

posted by sam 11:01 AM 0 comments


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger


email: first name@last name dot net