[extropy-chat] SUV versus sedan versus motorcycle

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Thu Aug 19 23:26:12 UTC 2004

 > Hopefully this makes the real calculus more apparent; most 
> people seem to be arguing from personal preference or ideology
> rather than addressing the underlying calculus of personal 
> transportation choices.

Most people are naturally going to be biased of course but I am
not clear what you mean by "underlying calculus of personal choice".

Obviously roads are shared spaces not private spaces and if
one chooses to drive on them with any vehicle then one chooses
to venture out and to take risks in a world of other drivers. 

So far that's just another instance of being alive and living in nature
with other animals. 

Clearly people choose a variety of vehicles for a variety of reasons
(function, enjoyment, their own safety) and most would agree
(I think) that they ought not be constrained by laws from exercising
any choices that harm or increase the risk to no one else and (I think)
they should be permitted choices that harm themselves if they want
to trade-off enjoyment or their own safety for their own reasons
thats entirely their business and good luck to 'em.

But IF there are statistics that show that some peoples choices
actually ARE increasing the overall risk on public roads to people
other than themselves, then what could be the possible grounds
for either making or declining to make laws aimed at shifting the
hazard away from that class of road users who are being placed
at increased risk through no fault of their own?

I think there may be some folk that don't want any laws at all
even ones that were based on good statistics and sound public
policy - this seems irrational to me.  

Obviously we all have private interests, preferences, sunk costs in
particular vehicles etc that are going to bias us - thats a given. 

But still a public road is something that is constructed as part of
a public policy which requires some sort of legal framework to 
make it work. If we think only in terms of someones ox will always
get gored then it seems that we are denying our personal opportunity
to influence what public policy gets formed. That seems to me to be
a stance that works against the person that holds its own self interest.

If there has to be some public policy and some minimal set of laws 
or rules to make it work then what could be wrong with considering
what that public policy (what those laws) should be?

Have some "libertarians" become so anti-law that they are actually
settling for less net freedom than they'd get if they argued for good 
statistics (or good science) and good public policy? 

Brett Paatsch


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