I asked for the point of your previous post but instead you just
repeat your "facts". What is your conclusion? Why did you bother to
recite your facts?
That is not a fact! If you ask anybody at The U.S. Department of
Transportation that "is leading the effort to stop texting and cell
phone use behind the wheel" you will find that _none_ of them believe
that a WWII Bomber _was_ found on the moon.
On Sun, 16 Oct 2016 13:38:58 +1100, Gordon Levi wrote:
The reason for bringing out the WWII Bomber sophistry was to forestall the
inevitable unbelievable response which already came out of the mouth of Rod
Speed for the *reason* that the reliably compiled accident record in both
the US and in Australia shows *none* of the accident rates predicted by the
dire "cellphone distraction" models many people subscribe to.
The reason for the high-octane example of sophistry + intensification was to
illustrate that we, the reader, must accurately parse all the stated
references, so that we don't fall prey to artificial intensification based
For example, nobody has ever yet ever produced a single reliable document,
which, when accurately parsed by an intelligent reader, shows *any*
relationship, in the real world, between cellphone use and accident rates!
The only readers who believe such evidence exists are those who fall prey to
the sophistry that I tried to illustrate with the high-octane examples.
There's a very deep message here, if you want to understand what I'm saying,
and that message is all about the fact that some people jump to conclusions
that are NOT based on the facts, but which merely reinforce their intuition.
Those who look at facts have never found any meaningful relationship between
cellphone use and accidents in the United States or in Australia.
Your WWII Bomber is not sophistry, it is obvious nonsense. How could
it be the used in the same sentence as "reason" or forestall _any_
In your original post you posted the "fact" that cell phone use was a
distraction and distractions can cause accidents. You even produced
some research that confirms it. Now you seem to be arguing that it is
safe for you to apply your lipstick while driving because no one has
found any meaningful relationship between applying lipstick and
accidents. You have even managed to exclude, as evidence, any
accidents in which the application of lipstick and the accident
happened at the same time.
On Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:47:52 +1100, Gordon Levi wrote:
You just stated my entire point!
Science contains *details*, and therein lies the truth.
As just an example of sophistry with details, let's assume 75% of adult
drivers wear corrective lenses (that's a reasonably reliable figure for the
Now, what do you think the percentage of accidents might be of people who
wear corrective lenses are?
I don't know the answer, but I'll guess that it's pretty close to the 75%
since corrective lenses shouldn't matter.
Do you notice the sophistry I can attempt with that fact?
I could claim that 75% of all accidents are caused by people who need
My point is that you need to UNDERSTAND the facts, which as you can see,
many people, such as Rod Speed has exemplified in spades, do NOT understand
Now let's get to the details of your observation:
Your point is apropos that cellphones must contribute to the likelihood of
accidents, simply because they are yet-another distraction piled upon an
already existing huge set of distractions (all of which existed before
cellphones ever came upon the scene).
While not every post of mine bothers to carve out that agreement, you will
note that many posts of mine in this thread say as much.
So, we both agree that cellphone use must be causing at least a tiny amount
of additional accidents, commensurate with the additional distraction that
using cellphones actually adds.
At the same time, I have already shown that there are far more potent
distractions (e.g., fatigue) which contribute to the accident rate, and even
with those far more potent distractions, the actual total contribution of
distractions to the accident rate was something like (offhand) ten percent
or so (we could doublecheck those figures based on the 2014 NHTSA
statistical survey summary already posted).
So my point is, was, or at least should have always been obvious that there
is an utterly astounding difference between the following true statements:
TRUE STATEMENT 1:
Cellphone use while driving, overall, does not meaningfully (aka measurably)
contribute to the overall accident rate in the USA (or Australia, as the
case appears to be).
TRUE STATEMENT 2:
Cellphone use while driving is an additional distraction, and since
distractions cause accidents, cellphone use will inevitably cause additional
accidents commensurate with the amount of additional distraction that
cellphone use entails.
The problem that I have with communicating these two true statements is that
many people seem to consistently discount the former truth while at the same
time, astoundingly hugely (utterly fantastically) overplaying the latter.
Intensification aside, how do you intelligently deal with such people?
Sophistry is commonly defined as "a reason or argument that sounds
correct but is actually false"
<http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sophistry . It should not
be confused with obvious nonsense.
False. Your original post cited
It "measured" cell phone use as contributing 0.9% of 340 accidents
that were forensically studied. Note the use of the adjective
forensically to give extra weight to _your_ numbers.
I originally asked you to explain your point. It seems that it was to
explain something to an audience that does not exist.
First you have to find "such people" then, if you tell us what deal
you want to make, we might be able to help you. You told us in your
first post that mobile phones contributed to under 1% of serious
accidents. Who disagrees with that?
On Sun, 16 Oct 2016 19:55:14 +1100, Gordon Levi wrote:
Sophistry is a bit complex, but it stemmed from a group of people who could
debate either side of the argument, using, of course, false examples, as on
technique, to sway Athenian juries (which were huge).
With respect to mobile phone arguments, sophistry abounds.
L'absence de virus dans ce courrier électronique a été v?
?rifiée par le logiciel antivirus Avast.
I have always wondered how the people who gather statistics determine
whether a driver in a crash was using a cell phone.
It would seem that only a vanishingly-small percentage of drivers would
own up to cell phone use when being interviewed for an accident report.
That would seem to leave the police finding the cell phone, determining
it's ID or phone number, looking up use in the phone company's database,
and correlating time of calls with the moment of the accident.... all of
which also seem to be of vanishingly-small probability.
Am I missing something?
Actually, determining the approximate time of the crash should be possible:
note the phone's present location in the telco's records and then work
backwards to determine when it stopped moving -- the crash happened
sometime after the last recorded movement. Not precise but it is a better
guess than none at all.
not only is it just a guess but determining motion is very imprecise,
particularly in rural areas where there aren't very many cell sites.
also, if someone used their phone 30 seconds before a crash, the phone
was not the cause.
it's also possible that a *passenger* was using the driver's phone so
that the driver would not be distracted, which means even if the phone
was in use at the exact time of the crash, it wasn't a factor.
how is that any different than if you got into a huge fight before you
even left the house or work? you'd be distracted for the entire drive.
either way, it's not *proof* of driver distraction.
not only that, but everyone has stuff on their mind while driving
because driving is boring.
if all you have are call logs with no exact time of the crash, you
can't be sure what happened.
I did not say proof, but a possibility.
If you left the house in a rage, driving is not boring. My only point
is, had you not used the phone and got into (or continued) the argument
you'd have a different frame of mind.
Another false argument is talking on the phone is no different than
talking to a person in the car. It is. Also depends on the
conversation. To give a quick call "I'm on my way home" takes away less
brain power that to try and give technical instructions on how to
install a piece of equipment.
When talking to the person next to you it is easy to stop talking if
traffic suddenly needs your attention but not as easy on the phone.
Human nature of how we work.
I'm not against using phone while driving, but you have to be careful
and at times NOT use it. Every situation of both traffic and call are
different. Most of us have seen distracted driving from phone use.
Like the driver in the left lane going 10 under the speed limit with
phone in hand.
you can't charge a person with a crime based on a possibility. you
can't base statistics on possibilities either.
you *must* have proof.
driving is very boring. people sometimes fall asleep while driving.
it's not false at all.
talking to someone sitting next to you is exactly the same as talking
to someone through a phone. in both cases, your mind is focused on the
conversation more than it is the traffic.
same with a phone call.
simply say "can't talk" and toss the phone on the seat.
just like anything.
who is to say he woudn't have done that without a phone?
stupid drivers have existed since long before there ever were
what about the person driving with an unfolded paper map, or reading
the newspaper, or eating breakfast and drinking coffee?
they even made pads of paper to stick on the windshield so you could
*take notes* while driving.
In support of that perfectly valid argument, notice this sentence
from an abstract titled "Examining the Impact of Cell Phone Conversations on
Driving" ( http://hfs.sagepub.com/content/48/1/196.abstract ).
"There was a similar pattern of results for passenger
and cell phone conversations"
Even the NHTSA says that the additional distraction of cellphones is just
another distraction added to an already long list of distractions that
drivers handle every single day.
The only reliable measure is the real world, where the accident rate hasn't
been affected one bit by the explosion in cellphones (and their use) while
The most obvious question to ask is if adding the cellphone distraction is
so bad, how come the accident rate in the real world is entirely unaffected?
NOTE: Rod Speed's fantastic allegations of alien influence notwithstanding.
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