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Dumb Techies Face Fine, Four-seated Baby Carriages Still OK   :  Published February 2007 All Rights Reserved


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Dumb Techies Face Fine, Four-seated Baby Carriages Still OK

New York state senator Carl Kruger (Dem. Brooklyn) wants Manhattanites to unplug their ears when crossing a city street. Kruger proposed legislation 8 February 2007 that would carry a $100 fine for technophobes caught crossing streets in the city with electronic devices feeding their brain.

“People are tuning in and tuning out” to the world around them, Kruger said and cited two deaths in Brooklyn related to iPod-plugged pedestrians crossing the street without noticing approaching automobiles.  “People are oblivious to the world around them,” he said.

And he is correct.

Will legislation end the practice? No. It is even doubtful such legislation will pass the state senate. Kruger understands the up-hill battle in a society that increasingly opts-in for being tuned-out to their surroundings; nonetheless Kruger is satisfied with the media attention his bill found.

This writer is pro-ban...it is annoying to walk a sidewalk airing side chatter of conversations one has no business hearing in public spaces. If Kruger was smart though he would tack-on some other bans to the bill, including banning public farting, overweight pedestrians who take-up too much space on a sidewalk (especially in construction zones,) and banning baby carriages larger than two-seaters. For those outside the United States, the popularity of fast-food-style fertility treatment in the states has lead to a boom of twins, triplets, and quadruplets in Manhattan, which later require SUV-type baby carriages. Indeed people in the states must be regulated to end practices of excess living to protect those who opt out of trendy gimmicks.

“This legislation is seeking that people take a few seconds of their time to stop using their electronic devices while crossing the street. A few seconds that can save a person’s life,” Kruger noted. If such a bill passed it would hit joggers and bicyclists who use iPods or Blackberries to keep in touch while they are supposed to be taking a break.

Kruger declared he is not anti-technology, just as he is not against good booze. Although too much booze "makes you an alcoholic," he said.

Technophobes disagree of course in reviewing their blogs. The outrage to the bill was more apparent than that condemning the United States for invading Iraq. CNET's editor Kent German called Kruger's plan odd and overzealous, and compared being plugged-in to "talking with a friend" while crossing a street.

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