May 4, 2016 pg13 commented on Why I'm Glad, But Not Psyched, About Bernie Sanders' Comeback Victory in Indiana.
@5 @3 Actually, you're both right.

Five Thirty Eight said that there was a 90% chance of Clinton winning the Indiana primary based on the results of the various polls that were out there.

However, they also released a demographic report, independent of the polls, suggesting that because Indiana is both predominantly white and holds an open primary, that Sanders should win by 7%.

So, this wasn't a case of lies. Or damn lies.

Just statistics...counting different things.
May 2, 2016 pg13 commented on In 5-4 Vote, City Council Kills Street Vacation for New Sodo Arena.
Is the gender breakdown of the vote irrelevant? Not sure. (Had the vote been five men saying yes and four women saying no, would it be irrelevant then? Again...not sure.)

But, lest it be thought that only boneheaded men have had thoughts about the gender breakdown of this vote--it's worth taking a read of comedian Monica Nevi's reaction:…
Apr 26, 2016 pg13 commented on Game of Thrones: Tear Down That Wall!.
"A Song of Ice and Fire"
"A Song of and Fire" (The Dan Savage edit)
Apr 14, 2016 pg13 commented on Off-the-Charts Music Nerdery Happens Tonight at EMP with Record Store Showdown.
Kind of glad this didn't happen when Orpheum was still around...we'd be insufferable.

(Or, more insufferable than many remember us being...but honestly, we were actually really nice! And we had to take a really tough music quiz just to work there...)
Apr 6, 2016 pg13 commented on Calvin Trillin's Nostalgia for a White Planet.
"So honey...
Don't you fret
'Cause you ain't seen
'Nothin' yet."
Mar 30, 2016 pg13 commented on My Philosophy.
I love the idea that "most people born before 1988 know at least 75%" of "Scenario" if for no better reason than because it doesn't have an upper range.

Sure, my '65-year-born lily-white ass probably can still manage 75% of "Scenario" (being an ex-dj helps) but I'm digging the image of my parents picking up the mic.

"You know I did it"--Mom
Mar 30, 2016 pg13 commented on Seattle Must Learn Public Transportation.
CATEGORY: Petard, hoisted myself upon.

I claim to be factual and then I mess up the identify one information source.

The information from did not come from the Pew Research Center (I was thinking of information cited in another Slog thread.) There are footnotes sourcing the individual statistics on that link given earlier in this thread.

Doesn't impact the arguments made...but always good to be accurate (especially when touting one's accuracy.)
Mar 30, 2016 pg13 commented on Seattle Must Learn Public Transportation.
@40 I live to entertain...but I'm saddened to learn that your entertainment is based on a basic inability to absorb factual information.

So, let's review.

1) Escalators are designed to be ridden...not to be walked on. (Evidence posted above from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Ron Holzer on

2) Escalators injuries are going up dramatically. (Evidence posted above from Pew Research Center via

3) In order to reduce escalator injuries, Japan is encouraging people to stop walking on escalators. (Evidence posted above from the Toronto Star.)

I don't see any straws being grasped here. The points that I'm making are backed up by science and research.

And I don't see this as concern trolling (I have no particular investment in preventing you from hurting yourself...go for it.)

The discussion was about how people should ride escalators and the commonly held assumption is that people should stand on one side to let other people walk on the other. (Which started with the "Squirrels" designation in Charles' original post and the repetition in the comments section of arguments made here on Slog when this topic has been debated before...)

4) Studies (especially the Transport For London study that has been linked above) show that in high volume situations, this is inefficient--that more people can be moved faster if people stand on both sides...that it makes no sense to "save" 50% of an escalators capacity for the 10-25% of people who walk while on escalators.

People that ignore that...people who only care that they, as individuals, have unfettered access to use an escalator incorrectly and possibly dangerously...are more honestly described as selfish. (Independent assessments would be necessary to determine how much of an asshole said persons might be.)

At no point did I suggest that people purposefully stand on the left to stop people from walking up or down escalators. At no point did I even suggest that I, myself, always stand while on escalators. I didn't make my personal behavior part of the argument. I don't see how you can make the assumption that I am lazy based on my pointing out facts about escalators. I don't know how you can say that I'm selfish when I'm discussing how to use escalators in the most efficient way for the masses.

Am I an asshole for pointing out the facts about how escalators should be ridden based on scientific research and design instead of commonly held (but ultimately incorrect) beliefs?

Maybe. That one's not my call.

I just get tired of the arrogance of people who cling to ignorance, smug in their belief that whatever lets them do what they want to do is the right way to do things, regardless of other people or new information. (Check out Hamilton Nolan's Gawker article where he opines that people who don't walk down escalators, on either side, deserve to be pushed down said escalators...and the number of people who agree with that sentiment in the comments there.)

Sometimes, you have to change your mind in the face of actual facts. Sometimes, we all do.

I can think of a specific example where I did. I read the book "Traffic" by Tom Vanderbilt. In it, he describes the situation of what happens when a traffic sign alerts drivers to a lane closure happening two miles ahead. The commonly held belief is that is a signal to start forming a single lane of traffic...and that people who continue driving in the lane about to be closed are looked upon with disdain and often are blocked from merging at the actual point where the lane ends. Vanderbilt shows how incredibly inefficient that is...that single file lane quickly backs up with two miles of unused but perfectly drive-able road in the other lane. The correct approach in this situation is to fill both lanes and then to "zipper" at the merger point--but because so many people cling to the outdated and inefficient method, it can even be dangerous for individual drivers to try to unilaterally effect change. There are states that are now teaching the zipper method in driver's ed and others that are spending money on ad campaigns designed to change the entrenched habits of veteran drivers. Veteran drivers like myself--mea culpa.

The escalator topic is directly analogous to the lane closure example. The entrenched habit in both is inefficient and potentially dangerous. The entrenched habit should be changed.

Not because it would directly benefit me. Not because that's the way that I personally want it to be. Not even because that's what I do in every situation I find myself in.

It should be changed because it is the better way to do things for everyone concerned.

And your desire to shave a couple of seconds off your own personal travel simply isn't a strong enough argument against the common good.

Escalators are designed to move mass numbers of people safely and efficiently. That is best done by people standing (and in high volume situations, by them standing two abreast)...not by leaving half of the escalator empty for the statistically small number of people who would choose to walk on something meant to be ridden.

It's not terribly entertaining...but it's factual.
Mar 29, 2016 pg13 commented on Obama Wants the Media to Elevate the Substance of the Presidential Race. Will He Ask the Same of Social Media?.
@8 According to a Pew Research Center study, this so-called "golden age" of information is not making anyone better informed.

There may be diverse sources of knowledge. Do people use those diverse sources to form a nuanced and informed point of view or do they only seek out those sources they already agree with?

What about the credibility of these sources? For example, a "source of knowledge" once posited that vaccines cause autism--and because that was easily accessed and easily linked, that thought is now widely spread...even if it is totally incorrect and based on a fraud.

I'm with you in doubting there can be a regulatory/curatorial mechanism for social media. I'm not even sure who can be considered a "trusted agent" in a time when the government, media and science are all significantly mistrusted (and often for good reason.)

I just can't agree with you about this being a golden age for anything other than confusion.
Mar 29, 2016 pg13 commented on Obama Wants the Media to Elevate the Substance of the Presidential Race. Will He Ask the Same of Social Media?.
@5 Not only is it ratings, but it's also cutting costs.

It costs money to find out the truth...or for science to determine facts...and, in the end, people seem quite capable of ignoring or disbelieving the truth or facts if they happen to be inconvenient to their beliefs.

You know what is cheap? Instead of sending reporters, investigators or scientists after the have people argue about what they've heard. And not only is it cheap...anybody can watch those kind of shows because no one is ever proven wrong--nobody ever has to change their mind, no matter how much they argue.

People are used to, they're not terribly surprised when government seems to be exactly the same--two sides yelling at each other with no effort to come to a consensus.