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[P]
Jackass Four Sentenced to Read Books

By Anonymous 242 in News
Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:07:19 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

In a rare twist of fate, four Independence, Kentucky teenagers have been handed a punishment that fits their crime. These teenagers, known derisively as the Jackass Four, seriously injured one of their number in late April during the performance of a stunt loosely modeled on MTV's Jackass program.


In exchange for dropping charges of felony class wanton endangerment, the Jackass Four will need to agree to limit television viewing to only news programs for a period of six months. In addition, each boy will be required to read a total of twelve literary classics with written book reports submitted to the judge every two weeks. The Jackass Four will also have their driver's licenses suspended for twelve months, be required to do community service and pay restitution.

The intent of the stunt was for one of the Jackass Four to stand in the middle of the street while another one of the crew drove a car toward him at over 20 MPH. The Jackass in the middle of the street was to jump up and that last second and allow the car to pass underneath him. Two additional boys videotaped the stunt from inside and outside the vehicle.

The Jumping Jackass was unable to make it over the car and was struck. Extensive damage was done to the vehicle, as well as the Jackass. The injured Jackass was treated at the hospital and was still on crutches during his court appearance on the ninth of May.

In another interesting quirk, each of the Jackass Four has admitted to his own stupidity and has accepted responsibility for the consequences of their collective actions.

Further reading on the Jackass four

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Poll
The Jackass four are:
o Incorrigable Jackasses 23%
o Jackasses, but there is hope 39%
o Just kids being kids 28%
o Other 8%

Votes: 98
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Price of stupidity: Give up your MTV
o Rivals square off over teens' stunt
o MTV show gets blame for stunt
o Teach kids skills to avoid stupid stunts
o 'Jackass' stunts
o Teen Injured In Alleged 'Jackass' Stunt
o Teen injured in MTV stunt re-creation
o Real jackasses are MTV programmers
o Also by Anonymous 242


Display: Sort:
Jackass Four Sentenced to Read Books | 121 comments (111 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Will the real Jackass please stand up? (4.25 / 4) (#1)
by jabber on Thu May 10, 2001 at 09:49:42 AM EST

I'm glad to see a Court with a bit of creativity.
I'm glad to see stupidity punished with an attempt at education.
I'm not for censorship at all, but isn't MTV the real Jackass in this case? What sort of value do they provide with a show of idiotic stunts? It seems even more pointless than that Tom Green show..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

MTV to blame? (4.50 / 4) (#6)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:07:31 AM EST

The show is *called* "Jackass". They do things that are *self-admittedly stupid*. Anybody who copies them...words fail me. It would be like reading a Darwin Award about how some idiot killed himself and then running out and trying it yourself. There's just no helping some people.

I mean, what are we to do? Sue the History Channel for showing documentaries about concentration camps and thereby giving ideas to idiots?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
My point is more abstract (5.00 / 4) (#9)
by jabber on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:18:11 AM EST

How is the existence of the show justifiable?

I'm not talking about suing Judas Priest or Ozzy Osbourne because some kid killed himself while listening to their music.. That's ridiculous. I'm just wondering what in the world possessed TV execs to green-light this kind of show. But then again, I can't get my head around crap like Jerry Springer, Will and Grace, 90210 and Entertainment Tonight.

I guess it boils down to aesthetics, but I just fail to see the point of a show of people doing stupid and dangerous things.

I remember many years ago, how the guy (Woogie?) from Something About Mary would go on Letterman and sample dog food. At the time, that was the stupidest thing I had ever seen, and couldn't imagine things getting worse.

Last week, I went home for lunch, flipped on the tube and saw a 'Fatty Stripper' on Springer, getting guys from the audience to pour various kinds of foon on her while she jiggled like a 300 lb mound of Jello on a floor mat, as her 120 lb dork redneck boyfriend watched.. It took me about half a minute to reboot my brain in order to shut the TV off.

Are people REALLY that stupid as to WANT to see the sort of crap that Springer, Jackass and weeknight sitcoms shovel our way? Do these shows provide ANY value whatsoever beyond being Soma for the masses? Are they part of some bigger plan to keep the sheep working their daily jobs witout questioning their existence, or is it just a greedy algorithm approach to the sale of advertisements?

Inquiring minds want to know..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

I dunno (4.60 / 5) (#13)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:31:59 AM EST

Disclaimer: I've never watched Jackass in person, so I don't really know whether or not it is as horribly bad of a television show as so many people claim.

Consider this: I thought the Super Dave Osborne sketches on Bizarre were insanely funny. I don't think that those same sketches would instantly become tremendously unfunny just because some idiot was willing to do the stunts for real instead of for pretend. not to mention that part of the attraction (at least for me) of watching a Jackie Chan movie is knowing that he is really jumping from building to building and really falling out of the sky.

Of course, this has absolutely no bearing on whether the creators of Jackass are jackasses or not. Like I've said, I've never watched the show, but it does seem to me that the controversial content has created something of a tempest in a teapot. Obviously, given that people exist who are intellectually challenged to the point of attempting to imitate Tom and Jerry or Batman cartoons, someone will try to sooner or later to perform their own stupidity after seeing shows like Jackass.

Does that really say something about MTV? It seems to me that it says far more about those who watch MTV.

[ Parent ]

Good point. (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by jabber on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:05:02 AM EST

Seeing as MTV is simply a 24/7 advertisement anyway, I think that maybe it is a remarkable tool to speed human evolution.

This week on Eloi Central: Jackass, Brittney Spears and Lesbian Nazi Sluts and the men who love them.

This week on Channel Morlock: Applications of Pannem et Circus for the Subversive Mind, How Things Work and dead air so you could actually get something done.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Philosophically speaking (none / 0) (#66)
by cbatt on Thu May 10, 2001 at 04:26:49 PM EST

Does that really say something about MTV? It seems to me that it says far more about those who watch MTV.
MTV reflects it's audience. That's how it maintains an audience. It's audience in turn reflects MTV.

They are two parts of a whole.

-----------
Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

[ Parent ]

Oh well... (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:33:36 AM EST

The existence of the show is easily justifiable: people want to watch it and it isn't illegal to show it. Why people want to watch it (your second question) I don't know. I watched part of one segment once (using mugger deterents on each other, pepper spray, tazer, etc) and never watched again. 250 million people doing the same could keep a show going quite a while...

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Yes, they are stupid enough to want to see it. (none / 0) (#38)
by error 404 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:56:43 AM EST

Check out the ratings.

Free speech + market economy.

As it happens, it cranks out Soma for the masses, but it isn't a master plan, it just works that way. Although I suspect that if the same formula got people asking hard questions and rebelling authenticaly (rather than being the kind of James Dean rebel that The Man wants you to be) it would be shut down.

Ugly. Vile. Bad. But unavoidable the way the game is played.

Until aesthetics becomes important to lots of people, to the extent that they are willing to spend money because something is beautiful (beauty including more than just the visual, and having nothing to do with prettiness) and refrain from spending money when it isn't, expect more of the same. Sure, there are a few people who value aesthetics, and even spend some money on it, sometimes lots of money. But there is more money to be made in ugliness.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Darwin Awards vs. MTV (4.80 / 5) (#10)
by Hillgiant on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:26:06 AM EST

There is a small but crucial difference between the Darwin Awards and MTV's "Jackass" series. The Darwin Awards portray these people as stupid. They do dumb stuff and get killed. MTV portrays these people as stupid and cool. They do dumb stuff and get on TV.

Mildly off topic:
Now that they never play videos any more, what does the `M' stand for? Money? Morons? Monkey?


-----
"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
[ Parent ]

Comparison (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by Devil Ducky on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:31:44 AM EST

The History Channel shows documentaries about some horrible things in our collective past. They show these things in order to get ratings yes, but also in the vain hope that if we learn our history we will not repeat it. By understanding how evil and ruthless some people/regimes can get maybe we'll stop the next Hitler/Milosevic earlier.

What possible reason could MTV have to show Jackass? To teach their audience that there are excessively dumb people out there, or to find out who in their audience matches that description?

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
laughs (none / 0) (#105)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat May 12, 2001 at 02:19:33 PM EST

What possible reason could MTV have to show Jackass?

To make viewers laugh, making them distracted and happy, so they will sit contentedly in front of their box and keep it tuned to MTV long enough that they might absorb the content of the commercials, from which MTV derive all their revenue. Don't forget that advertising revenue; the guys running MTV sure don't.

Anyway, you might find, as I do, that Jackass, TV in general, is too stupid and obvious to provide entertainment to your high tastes, but sometimes it's fun to look at, or even participate in, something that's real real dumb. For example, dja ever even once disco-dance (sheesh, polyester, the '70s were awful), or listen to Green Day, or get bombed on keg beer?

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

breathe deep, breathe high, breathe life, don't breathe a lie
[ Parent ]

Re: Will the real Jackass please stand up? (none / 0) (#34)
by slambo on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:39:38 AM EST

It seems even more pointless than that Tom Green show..

Gee, and I thought it was reminiscent of SuperDave.
--
Sean Lamb
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." -- Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]

stupidiy is illegal now? (none / 0) (#91)
by jovlinger on Fri May 11, 2001 at 09:38:25 AM EST

I'm still a bit unclear as to why they were infront of a judge at all. They fucked up and got hurt, yes, but it wasn't like anyone was victimised. Not even the insurance company, which as the Stainless Steel Rat points out, will just increase the rates for these guys to compensate for stupidity.

What exactly did they do that was illegal?

[ Parent ]

Since when? (none / 0) (#98)
by esch on Fri May 11, 2001 at 06:44:45 PM EST

Last time I checked, there wasn't a requirement that TV programming needed to have value or benefit people in any way... I mean, people use TV as a sort of escape, a vacation in the living room if you will...

Value or not, alot of us seem to know what it is. Obviously someone's doing something right.

[ Parent ]
Possibly better punishment (4.00 / 3) (#5)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:01:51 AM EST

News and "literary classics"? On the one hand, this is a step in the right direction. On the other hand, can (or should) a judge do this? Maybe he should have told them about the Darwin Awards--just the concept might scare them straight.

I'm with Heinlein: Before you can pull the lever in the voting booth, you have to factor a randomly chosen quadratic equation. If you can do it, you can vote. If you can't, a trapdoor opens...

Anyway, back to my comment, already in progress: I don't think the problem with these kids is "culture", therefore I doubt dropping MTV and picking up "classics" will solve their problem. Make them read some books on logic, math and science to develop their reasoning skills.

Play 囲碁
WTF? (2.00 / 10) (#8)
by spiralx on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:12:43 AM EST

I'm with Heinlein: Before you can pull the lever in the voting booth, you have to factor a randomly chosen quadratic equation. If you can do it, you can vote. If you can't, a trapdoor opens...

That's a pretty dumb fucking idea.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

NO!!!! (3.00 / 5) (#17)
by Devil Ducky on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:41:09 AM EST

I'm with Heinlein: Before you can pull the lever in the voting booth, you have to factor a randomly chosen quadratic equation. If you can do it, you can vote. If you can't, a trapdoor opens...
That's a pretty dumb fucking idea.

It's not a dumb idea. It's brilliant. If you're worried that there won't be enough people left over to get a consensus (and there wouldn't) then we can make sure that all of the equations were easily factorable and did not require the quadratic formula.

Before you are allowed to reply: factor x^2 + 2x - 3

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
Yep (3.00 / 3) (#19)
by wiredog on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:50:53 AM EST

(x+3)(x-1)

Another thing to remember is that, under his proposed system, there is no minimum voting age. So you could have bright 10 year olds voting. Which would be interesting.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Hmmm (3.33 / 3) (#30)
by Devil Ducky on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:20:28 AM EST

Probably most eligible voters would be those bright ten-year olds, kids who just learned factoring in Algebra, college students in calculus, and senior citizens who complain that no one uses a slide rule and abacus anymore. :)

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
gerontocracy (none / 0) (#104)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat May 12, 2001 at 02:04:32 PM EST

...and senior citizens who complain that no one uses a slide rule and abacus anymore.

Now ya talkin'! Pickett aluminum and K&E bamboo-core, Peters eight-place log-sines, Curta rotary calculators! antique technogeek nostalgia meets megalomania, and I begin to dream of myself as dictator!...

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

breathe deep, breathe high, breathe life, don't breathe a lie
[ Parent ]

nope, its dumb, accept it (2.50 / 2) (#33)
by codemonkey_uk on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:23:58 AM EST

Another thing to remember is that, under his proposed system, there is no minimum voting age. So you could have bright 10 year olds voting. Which would be interesting.
No it wouldn't. It would be disasterouse. You'd have "bright" kids with no understanding of politics voting for candidates that pander their childish whims at the expense of socity in general.

If you have test, especially one with no connection to the real world .... oh fuck it. This is so stupid I can't even be bothered to type a reply.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

One point (4.33 / 3) (#43)
by wiredog on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:48:21 PM EST

no understanding of politics voting for candidates that pander their childish whims at the expense of socity in general

How's that different from the current system in the USA?

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Childish voting (4.66 / 3) (#62)
by Tsuraan on Thu May 10, 2001 at 03:30:09 PM EST

No it wouldn't. It would be disasterouse. You'd have "bright" kids with no understanding of politics voting for candidates that pander their childish whims at the expense of socity in general.

I hope that this is meant to be a cynical remark, because if you think that the world doesn't currently work that way, you need to open your eyes. When was the last time a short/ugly/smelly (well, it's pretty hard to smell someone over the TV, but you get the point) person was elected to an important public office? People already use pathetic, childish methods to vote, and I doubt that opening the polls to four-year olds would change a thing. IMHO, of course...

[ Parent ]

One has to wonder. . . (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 03:43:25 PM EST

When candidates for any given office fight over whose name gets listed first simply because whoever gets listed first will get a certain number of votes simply because his or hers is the first name on the ballot.

[ Parent ]
Mo Molam (4.00 / 2) (#88)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri May 11, 2001 at 05:00:24 AM EST

Mo Molam, Labour MP, is an unattractive, yet popular, politition. Too popular actually, the Labour elite have done a bit of a hachet job on her within the party because of her outspoken opions.

Or what about Anne Witcombe, again, in my opinion an unattractive indiviual, and yet very influntial in the Tory party.

Just because the electorate is undereducated does not justify an arbitary, irrelevent, and frankly elitist "test" of eligability.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

As opposed to what we have now??? (4.66 / 3) (#69)
by SvnLyrBrto on Thu May 10, 2001 at 05:08:46 PM EST

>You'd have "bright" kids with no understanding of politics voting for candidates
>that pander their childish whims at the expense of socity in general.

Here in the US, the most active block is a bunch of old people who consistently vote for candidates who pander to them, promising them the most social security (world's largest ponzi scam), tax breaks, medicare, and the like at the expense of the rest of us.

How is this any better than handing the reigns over to the future generations.


john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Excuse me? (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri May 11, 2001 at 04:54:15 AM EST

Are you saying that care for the elderly is not a reasonable policy?

Socity is getting older. There are more people of retirment age now than there was a generation ago. Are policies that assist this group pandering or are they social responsability?

We all age, so whats good for the aged is good for you.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

The current system is almost the best (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by zakalwe on Fri May 11, 2001 at 11:12:15 AM EST

No way - the current system is almost the ideal voting system. It determines the people most qualified to control the fate of the country far better than any question does. This is because the ideal voters are those who care enough to vote

All we need to do is stop encouraging voters to turn out. Maybe even make the process of voting more effort (though ideally equal regardless of physical location etc) Fundamentally, the ultimate test of whether you're qualified to have a say in the country is whether you're prepared to make an effort to have that say.

[ Parent ]

Hot damn... I LIKE that idea!!! (none / 0) (#97)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri May 11, 2001 at 03:25:30 PM EST

>All we need to do is stop encouraging voters to turn out. Maybe even make the
>process of voting more effort (though ideally equal regardless of physical
>location etc) Fundamentally, the ultimate test of whether you're qualified to
>have a say in the country is whether you're prepared to make an effort to
>have that say.

That's PERFECT!!!

Instead of announcing the polling locations in advance, you'd have to FIND them... like raves. We could have an info line you call on the day of the election to get directions to a map point. From the map point, you go to another map point or to a shuttle point... and only after you've expended considerable effort finding and getting to a polling location do you get to vote.

And to make it so much the better... polling hours would be 12am to 6am. That way, hunting for the polls wouldn't interfere with work, and you'd have to expend the additional effort of finding the map points and shuttle points in the dark as well!

I like it!!!

john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Math People (4.83 / 6) (#20)
by spinfire on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:04:03 AM EST

Don't forget that not everyone is a Math Person. Some people are incredibly brilliant but are simply not interested in math. Consider many writers or artists who are very intelligent yet perhaps cannot factor a quadratic equation.

Life isn't based on factoring, I see no reason why it should be a requirement to vote. However, I also have a problem with the straight-18 limit. Though, a workable solution has not presented itself yet.

Freelance Hacker. spinfire on FooNET.
[ Parent ]

Alternate question. (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by Devil Ducky on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:22:54 AM EST

Perhaps you can suggest an alternate question that we can ask in the booth. One that uses the other side of the brain. Some grammar questions perhaps?

Interesting sidenote, we could use the grammar question to make sure everyone speaks English before voting...

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
Voter Perl (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by spinfire on Thu May 10, 2001 at 04:26:21 PM EST

Why not have the voter type a few lines of perl before voting in a poll on scoop.kuro5hin.org? After all, it will mandate perl literacy =).

Freelance Hacker. spinfire on FooNET.
[ Parent ]
Too true (2.00 / 1) (#68)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 04:47:10 PM EST

Obviously, k5 would be a much better weblog if people had to answer random programming questions before voting a story up or down, rating a comment, or voting in a poll.

[ Parent ]
New Meta (2.00 / 1) (#74)
by Devil Ducky on Thu May 10, 2001 at 09:50:06 PM EST

We'll let's bring it up then, first we have to make perl the official language of K5. Then we just get hurstdog to quickly add a random perl programming question. No Problem.

Of course you're vote should count more depending on how much per line of code your program accomplishes. I would like a sidenote on tear though, it may be long but it is about half-documented.

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
Alternate Questions. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Alarmist on Fri May 11, 2001 at 10:12:31 AM EST

Perhaps you can suggest an alternate question that we can ask in the booth. One that uses the other side of the brain. Some grammar questions perhaps?

Better still: ask five questions (drawn at random from a large pool) about the struction and function of the government, or history in the country up to about the mid-19th century.

Plenty of people who can do math or diagram a sentence don't know enough to be responsible voters. If you make sure that they actually know something about the way the government works or the issues that are currently facing it (no cheat sheets!), then you'll get a better class of voter.

Even if someone were to compile a list of answers to the questions, putting together a cheat sheet would show that somebody at least cared enough to cheat, which is more than we can say about a lot of voters in the United States right now.


[ Parent ]

Putting the quote in context (3.75 / 4) (#36)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:45:57 AM EST

Elsewhere, Heinlein said that math, history and languages are all necessary (and sufficient) for understanding the world. Therefore anyone who doesn't understand math, doesn't understand the world. And if you don't understand the world, maybe you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Anyway, I meant it semi-facetiously. Don't really have the trapdoor, just sterilize them.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Heh... (3.50 / 2) (#32)
by Glacky on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:23:55 AM EST

And if you're on the Government's list of "subversives", you get to factor x^2 - x + 2 into rationals :-)

Perhaps a better test would be a Rorschach test - anybody who said 'it just looks like an inkblot' gets the trapdoor treatment...

[ Parent ]
A Ranting we will go.... (3.75 / 8) (#24)
by Elkor on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:09:07 AM EST

Instead of simply decrying an idea as "dumb fucking" how about providing an explaination for WHY you feel it is a "dumb fucking" idea.

Do you think Heinlein is, in general, an idiot, therefor all his ideas are dumb?

Do you see problems with the implementation of this concept as spinfire does?

Do you feel that you wouldn't be able to complete the task, therefor decry it out of a sense of self-preservation?

Or are you just flaming it for general purposes?

In any case, your comment, as it stands, doesn't appear to contribute anything to the conversation.

Regards,
Elkor
"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Well it should be obvious (4.20 / 10) (#28)
by spiralx on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:18:48 AM EST

Given that I've quoted a specific piece of text expressing an idea in my comment, I think it should be pretty clear exactly what I am saying is a dumb fucking idea.

As for why I think it's a dumb fucking idea, well why should the ability to complete a certain class of problems determine whether or not you are eligible to participate in the democratic process? There is no correlation at all between solving a quadratic equation and being a productive member or society.

And given that the idea expressed the idea of retribution for being unable to complete this task, it's an even dumber fucking idea.

Happy?

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Yes, Thank you. (3.66 / 3) (#59)
by Elkor on Thu May 10, 2001 at 03:03:00 PM EST

There wasn't a doubt as to WHAT you were talking about, just a question of WHY you felt the way you did.

That is what I was inquring about.

Regards,
Elkor
"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
It's dumb because my wife barely passed algebra (3.87 / 8) (#42)
by georgeha on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:36:12 PM EST

and that was 9 years ago. She has her strengths, and math is not one of them. Should she then be disenfranchised?

Let me think of a few, better poll tests.

Make a quiche. Everyone needs to eat, if you can't make a simple meal like a quiche, perhaps you don't deserve to have a say in society.

Dissect a cat and name the muscles and bones. Everyone has a body, and they should be reasonable familiar with it if they want to have a say in society.

Suckle a baby. Really, RAH proposed that only soldiers vote, since they've proven that they will sacrifice their life for society. I propose only mothers vote, as they're the only ones who intuitively know how hard it is to bring forth life, and how precious it is.

George

[ Parent ]

Only mothers vote (4.33 / 6) (#48)
by wiredog on Thu May 10, 2001 at 01:27:46 PM EST

RAH mentioned that idea in the same story as the math problem. What he (or one of his characters) was trying to do was show that there might be more rational methods of selecting voters than age. I've been in AA for several years and believe me, age does not always correlate with maturity. I know 16 year old girls with more "life experience", and common sense, than some grandmothers I know.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Selecting voters (4.33 / 3) (#78)
by sigwinch on Fri May 11, 2001 at 01:40:05 AM EST

It's dumb because my wife barely passed algebra and that was 9 years ago. She has her strengths, and math is not one of them. Should she then be disenfranchised?
I agree. Testing with esoteric symbolism would be the equivalent of a literacy test, which is a classic tool used to oppress an uneducated class. This is doubly evil: not only is the class immediately disenfranchised, but their lack of franchise reduces their ability to become educated and gain enfranchisement in the future. Being descended from barefoot Arkansans and American Indians, I'm very suspicious of this.
Really, RAH proposed that only soldiers vote, since they've proven that they will sacrifice their life for society.
Do you recall in which story he said that? All I can remember is Starship Troopers, where the requirement for franchise was (IIRC) 3 years of voluntary Federal Service, which was not necessarily military and not necessarily dangerous, and you could leave many positions at any time if you decided it wasn't for you. I like it because it doesn't take much skill, education, or physical ability -- only the willingness to work hard for a few years. About the only flaw I can find is that it would tend to disenfranchise people with dependents, although since this describes most people at some point in their lives, it doesn't tend to create a permanent underclass.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

The case for oppressing the undecated... (none / 0) (#114)
by marlowe on Wed May 16, 2001 at 10:03:30 AM EST

If we make life difficult enough for the ignorant, maybe some of them will get a clue and start reading more. And those that won't get a clue deserve what they get. It's their choice...

...unless it isn't. If the ruling class is actively preventing the uneducated from educating themselves, then we have an entirely different situation.

Obligatory conspiracy theory: could it be that U.S. public shools are bad on purpose?

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
The Graves of Academe (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by sigwinch on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:47:25 AM EST

Obligatory conspiracy theory: could it be that U.S. public shools are bad on purpose?
This comment pointed me towards the Underground Grammarian. The Graves of Academe basically says that the schools *are* bad on purpose, though out of runaway bureaucracy and politics rather than conspiracy. I found myself agreeing with most of what he says.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

On voting (3.80 / 5) (#27)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:14:24 AM EST

Immigrants have to pass both an oral and written test when applying to become US citizens. Perhaps it would be good to extend this to mean that simply being born within the territory of a country, does not automatically make one a citizen of that country. Citizenship would come only after being earned through passing a standardized test on civics and history.

OTOH, such a test would be ripe for abuse by whoever was currently in control of making the test, so maybe in practice it really isn't that good of an idea.

[ Parent ]

and continuing the theme... (none / 0) (#99)
by ciaran on Fri May 11, 2001 at 07:44:25 PM EST

...of Heinlein references, that is something he considers in Starship Troopers...

Basically, when people are born, they are not considered citizens, until after they have performed a service for the government or shown themselves worthy of it. In the book, military service is seen as the main way to get citizenship. Non-citizens are afforded normal rights but they are 'second-class citizens' in some respects. (Sorry for not providing more details, it's a while since I read it)

This is an interesting approach, and one that strays somewhat from the foundations of just about every modern democracy - the basic principle is that a person is not automatically entitled to protection from the government - not until the government is in debt to you will it provide you with the benefit of its cover.

The fundamental principle of a modern democracy is that all people are created equal, and that the government should represent them equally. The practicalities may stray from this ideal, but that is the idea on which democracy is founded. The government represents the people, serves the people, and is the people.

The alternative approach proposed by Heinlein is that the government exists to protect the people, but the people do not automatically have any input into this. The concept of a two-tier society is obviously fundamental to this. The government makes no pretence of representing the people it protects, nor does it claim to serve them. The government is a group of the societal elite, citizens in this case, which watches over the non-citizens.

The main difference between the two is the question of whether all people are equal, or if there exists a sub-section of society which has the right to rule over the rest. (It should be noted that in the book, this power is not abused, the non-citizens are not badly treated, just not as well treated as citizens)

It is difficult to view this objectively, since we are taught that democracy and equal representation are absolute truths from a very early age. It is interesting to consider how our society does lean in that direction in some ways though - how likely is it that someone from a ghetto, or a poor farming family will be elected as a representative - realistically ?

[ Parent ]
elitist, borderline fascism (3.33 / 3) (#47)
by fuzzrock on Thu May 10, 2001 at 01:06:55 PM EST

I agree with your main point: It is only a step in the right direction, and it might actually end up backfiring. If these kids start associating quality literature with punishment, then they might read the first 12, and then never read again. That would not be a positive outcome.

OTOH, I take major issue with Heinlein's opinion, even in the forms clarified in other posts in this thread. There should absolutely not ever be any requirement for voting past being 18, and I'm actually of the opinion that the age restricition is also a bad idea. Let's allow anybody who can walk or talk vote. (Insert suitable provisos for the handicapped here).

The whole point of democracy is to allow the people to decide their own fates. The thought here is that the more people we enfranchise, the less likely it is that a small group of people will attain power over the rest of us. Any restriction on who votes, even a well-meaning restriction, increases the probability that we'll end up with some kind of totalitarianism. And nobody wants that.

Yeah, sometimes I disagree with the majority. Sometimes I think the majority of voters are idiots. But I don't think restricting who can vote will ever be a good idea - let's make the idiots not be idiots, instead.

Please don't interpret this as a slam on Heinlein - I think he's a good author, a fun read, and that he often has interesting and/or good ideas. This one falls into the "interesting" category, but not the "good".

[ Parent ]

maybe you should read mein kempf (1.03 / 28) (#77)
by mushroom on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:27:28 PM EST

might scare you out of your idiotic hatred of the 'ignorant masses' when you realize that you are JUST LIKE HITLER. PS: Heinlein aint no literary classic, LOSER. and if they read Fucking DOSTOYEVSKY they might READ NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND and guess what that fucking says? "WHY DOES 2+2 have to EQUAL 4. WHY NOT 5" then they will get into goedels theorem, then they will piss of 90% of the math fuckheads, and probably most of the holier than thou pseudo intellectual naive nazified darwin award loving half-fascist heinlein/rand worshippers like yourself. pleas put down 'stranger in a strange land' , stop fantasizing about having sex with 12 women and large pythons at once, and go have a look at hotornot.com, then go read 'total terror', the account of lithuania under communists & nazis, and then you will understand that hotornot.com is the ultimate triumph of a democratic and free society,

[ Parent ]
Hilarious (1.66 / 3) (#79)
by ubu on Fri May 11, 2001 at 01:49:37 AM EST

I could be naive, but this strikes me as a remarkably funny troll.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
dang buddy, thought I could rant! (2.00 / 3) (#103)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat May 12, 2001 at 01:44:50 PM EST

"mushroom" sez, quote:

maybe you should read mein kampf

might scare you out of your idiotic hatred of the 'ignorant masses' when you realize that you are JUST LIKE HITLER. PS: Heinlein aint no literary classic, LOSER. and if they read Fucking DOSTOYEVSKY they might READ NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND and guess what that fucking says? "WHY DOES 2+2 have to EQUAL 4. WHY NOT 5" then they will get into goedels theorem, then they will piss of 90% of the math fuckheads, and probably most of the holier than thou pseudo intellectual naive nazified darwin award loving half-fascist heinlein/rand worshippers like yourself. pleas put down 'stranger in a strange land' , stop fantasizing about having sex with 12 women and large pythons at once, and go have a look at hotornot.com, then go read 'total terror', the account of lithuania under communists & nazis, and then you will understand that hotornot.com is the ultimate triumph of a democratic and free society,

...beautiful, just beautiful, "twelve women and pythons," not even pausing to breathe, and stopping dead on a comma! I know, the dread slippery slope down to troll heaven and all, but still, I smile a lot reading K5 but it's not all that often that I get to laugh out loud!

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

breathe deep, breathe high, breathe life, don't breathe a lie
[ Parent ]

arrrrh no no not the quadratic ordeal (5.00 / 2) (#102)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat May 12, 2001 at 01:33:35 PM EST

I'm with Heinlein: Before you can pull the lever in the voting booth, you have to factor a randomly chosen quadratic equation. If you can do it, you can vote. If you can't, a trapdoor opens...

No vote for Shakespeare then; the oubliette instead. Nor Plato, or Aristotle - quote out of that link:

...When Plato died in 347 B.C., Aristotle left the school. The reason he gave was that he disapproved of the growing emphasis on mathematics and theory in the Academy and the continuing decline in natural philosophy...

Nor Homer nor Virgil nor Dante nor Chaucer nor Blake. Raphael, go, Michaelangelo, go; Titian, go. OK, OK, so I'm cheating a bit; back in their day, the algebraic notation with which one expresses a quadratic equation didn't even yet exist, so if, having traveled back in your time machine, you scribbled one out and thrust it in front of them, unless they could divine its meaning independently, none of them could have balanced that ball on their noses. All right then, even if we only consider folks from the eighteenth century on, I'd bet that at least a quarter of history's luminaries - to enumerate them for practical purposes, suppose we simply take everybody who's made it into the encyclopedia, and then exclude the notorious criminals out of that set - a quarter of those famous names, and a third at least of the greatest artists, wouldn't survive the quadratic ordeal.

And today I asked my wife. She says, annoyed, "What exactly is a quadratic equation, and why should I want to solve it?" You know, that is a good question. I myself practically need to know quadratic equations, being a land surveyor. We occasionally have to lay out vertical curves for roadway construction, which commonly follow either a quadratic or a cubic graph in plan view. You automobile drivers probably aren't aware of how carefully we civil engineering types lay out roads for your comfort and safety. Horizontal deflections in the road are laid out carefully along circle arcs so you can whoosh down the center of your lane holding the steering wheel steady in one position, rather than having to constantly maneuver through turns, and hills and valleys are graded so that as you drive at steady speed over the arch or through the dip your vertical accereration remains precisely constant, so no up-and-down jolts and bounces; the one continuous differential equation that satisfies those boundary conditions reduces to the simple quadratic. To do all this for you, dear clientele, we do need to be handy with ax^2 + bx + c = 0.

My wife, on the other hand, is a nurse. A very good one. Over the decades, while she was insensibly forgetting the fluff she half-learned in those hot, drowsy, boring math classes in High School so long ago, during all that time, using her resource and experience and generous goodwill, she has personally saved hundreds of lives, and eased the suffering and sped the recuperation for thousands more - have you ever been in a hospital or nursing home? maybe even you! She's not "innumerate" (I think that's the word that guy Paulos uses), she can for example do ratios just fine, so-and-so milligrams of medicine per so-and-so pounds of body weight, you don't lose math you use daily, but right off hand I can't think of any application of polynomials of degree > 1 in nursing. Did I mention that she is also a mother who has raised up lovely and intelligent children, so full of virtue and so responsive and successful at school that once they reach their majority even Mr. Heinlein would let them vote? Now you - no not you really, I'm sure you have more sense than that, you just haven't thought it out, it's Heinlein's original idea, Heinlein proposes to disenfranchise her. Think about that! It's absurd, it's mad. Hell, wise and good as she is, she should get two votes.

Except now, if you could practically do it, it would have the effect of discriminately purging the voter rolls along economic class lines. Probably most college graduates could unravel a quadratic, even if they majored in something non-mathematical like art or business. You just pick stuff like that up in passing, especially if you have an eye on college entrance exams sooner or later. Whereas that class of people who staff the Wal-Marts would have a pretty low success rate with that simple algebra prob, would be purged off the voter's lists pretty thoroughly. Economic-class-wise, who gets to go off to college? Yes, that's a graph, with colored lines and labeled with numbers along each axis, that I offer for your enjoyment, knowing you love math! Anyway after the voter's reg folks start subjecting citizens to Heinlein's quadratic ordeal as a prerequisite to voting, what does that do to the distribution of voters with regard to economic classes? Gee, a phenomenon like that could be of some sinister use to certain political parties. You never know when it may come in handy to sneakily and selectively purge certain groups off the voter rolls.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

breathe deep, breathe high, breathe life, don't breathe a lie
[ Parent ]

The Power of the Classics (4.87 / 8) (#16)
by kostya on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:34:58 AM EST

While I am unsure of the odds of the classics having much impact on these kids under compulsion, this is a very good idea.

Some would argue math or logic books, but that isn't surpising considering K5's engineer/scientist slant on all issues ;-) But this would be missing the point of the better pieces of literature out there--the speak to the human condition. Good literature captures the mind and makes you think. Sometimes it captures you enough to make you think from a different perspective. It explains much of the thought-control practiced by oppressive regimes--books can be dangerous ;-)

I'm not going to say that these kids will be radically changed and suddenly become reasonable human beings. But don't underestimate the power of the narrative--it has had a lasting effect on our culture ever since we started telling stories around the camp fire. And if they are reading the best we have to offer, maybe, just maybe, something will stick.

I write this as a English Literature major. Which could be considered as a blinding bias or as credentials that I might know something about what good literature can do to people's minds and hearts ;-)



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
What we'll probably end up with... (3.75 / 8) (#23)
by kwsNI on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:08:57 AM EST

...is 4 jackasses with just a little more culture and a fear of jumping over cars.

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]
bias (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by alprazolam on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:19:56 AM EST

Just because there is an occupational tendency towards technical professions, there's no reason to assume that there isn't a good reason books about logic were suggested. Although 'literary classics' (by whose definition) do speak to the human condition, they won't push them to think through a situation or action to its logical conclusion.

I've found that the more technical a person is the better the chance is that they've read some 'classic' or at least american classic literature. I've known plenty of business, art, and drama majors who've never read anythign but Danielle Steele novels. We know just as well as you do what good literature can do to people's minds and hearts. We just don't care to discuss in agonizing details the significance of lights as a metaphor in the scarlet letter.

[ Parent ]

Lights in the Scarlet Letter (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by Bunyap on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:06:50 PM EST

"We just don't care to discuss in agonizing details the significance of lights as a metaphor in the scarlet letter."

Oh c'mon, that's interesting!!

[ Parent ]

!(Logic xor Classics) (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by kostya on Thu May 10, 2001 at 03:28:02 PM EST

I wasn't necessarily implying that anyone who is technical has, by the very fact of being technical, not read the classics or appreciated them.

What I'm saying is that several here are saying "Classics? Why? Clearly these morons can't think logically--that's their problem!" And the suggested solution is that math and logic books would be better than the classics.

Which I would say is silly. Narratives, while not as "obvious", relate the same truths. They just go about it in a more round about way.

I'm reminded of a lot of my friends who quote movies. I mean, they quote them ALL the time. For everything, because it seems that so much of life's experiences can be related through metaphor or through the narrative. You don't hear them quoting philosophy books or scientific sources. Perhaps this just shows how uneducated my friends are :-)

But I think in addition to that, it shows the power of the narrative. The power it has over our minds and hearts. And so I think it has a BETTER chance than a book on mathematics or logic. Let's face it, if these morons couldn't see this coming, they might not be the best canidates for math and logic education--especially in self-reading form :-(

OTOH, perhaps a story could get through to them. Yes, a logic book might be more direct, but a narrative might be a better medium. They would remember the story and remember the characters. Maybe they would even admire the way a character handled something and try to emulate them? I'm just saying that the narrative is a powerful form of communication--one that might be more effective than a straight-forward math or logic book. Effective because it might actually sink in.

But I think the discipline of sitting down, reading, and thinking would immediately be a welcome improvement :-) Perhaps just the act of having to read anything of worth would help them become more wise individuals. Logic book or Moby Dick--anything that made them sit down and think would be a good start.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Why Not Physics? (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by Brandon Edens on Thu May 10, 2001 at 01:50:23 PM EST

Don't you think a lesson in physics might profit these teens more? If they would've waited another year or two and taken high-school physics (one was 16 putting him as a Sophmore) they might've known the outcome of their "stunt" before they even attempted it. In turn they could've figured out what it would've taken to make this stunt a reality. Sure beats trial and error especially when you've got a half-ton automobile bearing down on you.

Of course if we're looking to possibly alter their future behavior, the classics will do just nicely.

Brandon

[ Parent ]
Logic, Physics, Whatever (none / 0) (#64)
by kostya on Thu May 10, 2001 at 03:53:47 PM EST

As I said in my response to alprazolam, I'm not saying logic or physics or math would not be helpful. What I am saying is that the classics might be just as effective as a more "practical" book.

My issue was that many seemed to be discounting the classics in favor of a logic textbook or a math textbook. As I said in my original post, I think that is missing the point of the classics--the power of the narrative.

Additionally, I am also saying that the classics might be more effective than a more "practical" book. As I said in the other post, there is a serious question if a "practical" text book would make it through to these guys. While the narrative is more round about and not as direct in its lessons, it might have a greater chance to stick.

Again, reading anything would probably be an inmprovement for these guys. I just think the classics might have a broader range of appeal (to the math/physics/logic inclined and the not inclined). I say this as someone who reads both, so I do believe in both mediums/types.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
To prove Kostya's point, consider my friend Jeremy (5.00 / 2) (#67)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 04:43:55 PM EST

Brilliant fellow Jeremy was, at least when I knew him. Honors student all the way around. Good interest in science. Ended up getting a degree in mathematics from the local university before going on to work on a master's degree in physics. (That was the last I heard of him.)

Of course, there was a little incident in high school where he went roof surfing in a parking lot. Basically, he stood up on the roof of another friend's old beat up Chevy Nova (and not the new re-designed Nova) while that other friends drove around the parking lot doing donuts.

Jeremy managed to avoid the hospital, but the scrapes on his face took months to heal. This incident took place at a time when Jeremy could have solved quadratic equations in his sleep.

My point being that being a math or physics geek doesn't guarantee someone has common sense anymore than not being a math or physics geek guarantees someone doesn't have common sense.

[ Parent ]

The problem isn't that they did it wrong (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by error 404 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 05:59:45 PM EST

it is that they did it at all.

I doubt that book physics would do them any good. This wasn't a case of building apparatus that didn't work due to poor understanding of physics. What would the physics book have taught them? That in order for the stunt to work, the jumper would have to apply force F to the ground at time T while the car was moving at velocity V? That the stunt is possible?

Good literature shows that actions have consequences and thoughtless bravado can lead to tragedy and what exactly (to the extent that the imagination can simulate it) that means.

On the other hand, studying physics involves thought, and thinking tends to lead to rational action. Although, unfortunately, the correlation between technical thought and good judgement is weak.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Re: The problem isn't that they did it wrong (none / 0) (#82)
by sigwinch on Fri May 11, 2001 at 02:06:52 AM EST

I doubt that book physics would do them any good.
I'm as engineering/science gung-ho as anybody, and I have to agree with this. Learning the equations *and* how to apply them *and* how to design variations that satisfy the equations better *and* properly implementing a design variation takes too much effort and is too indirect. Most math and physics books are painful even with the assisstance of a great teacher.
Good literature shows that actions have consequences and thoughtless bravado can lead to tragedy and what exactly ... that means.
*Exactly*. You want a few books they can identify with and are fun to read, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Captains Courageous, and The Rolling Stones (and which incidentally have good examples of how arrogance and stupidity can hurt). You want a few more serious and depressing stories, say some Vonnegut, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and the like. And some practical science books wouldn't hurt, like an illustrated book on industrial accidents from the pathologists perspective (i.e., something gruesome).

Although I'm not sure that they need many more object lessons in the laws of physics: having your car and friend get smashed ought to make a pretty big impression.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

forcing people to read is horrible horrible (1.25 / 8) (#76)
by mushroom on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:22:22 PM EST

the only thing you learn by being forced to read is that you hate being forced to read, and quite a lot of people get mixed up and think 'oh, i hate to read too'. well, at least they are forcing them to read 'classics' and not anything worthwhile.

[ Parent ]
Jumping Cars (and other non-sense) (4.60 / 5) (#26)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:13:42 AM EST

In addition to this "Jackass" show, I've also witnessed this car-jumping stunt in a Reebok commercial. Supposidly after these guys tried to perform the stunt, Reebok said they were going to take the commercial off the air - the thing is that I watched it less than 2 weeks ago! Obviously someone isn't following through with their promises...

In any case, I would like to comment on a few things.

These guys are jackasses - but are they really that stupid? Obviously they attempted to do a stunt. Maybe they never thought it out properly. As a teenager, me and my friends would often do relatively stupid things, simply for the thrill of putting something to the test. Take a personal activity like skateboarding.

We would roll at fairly high speeds, and attempt to jump down sets of 10 stairs, doing tricks in the air. Most people would likely end up with broken limbs doing this kind of thing, however for us it was a skilled activity that brought a kind of rush to us. No harm done (if you knew what you were doing! some people did get hurt). And professional skateboarding videos depict such things as jumping from one buildings roof to another - 2 stories up, riding a skateboard! I know that these videos generate a lot of "irrational behaviour".

Besides skateboarding, look at all the extreme sports. Watch Hoffman hurtle himself 30 feet into the air on a bicycle off a ramp. Watch dirt bike riders take 50 foot drops off of sand dunes like jumping down a curb. Watch snowboarders do double backflips down 80 foot cliffs. These people take serious risks all the time, purely for the sake of their activity and the personal feeling they get from it.

Yes, these guys are jackasses - if they knew what they were doing, they would have jumped the car.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.

extreme sports (5.00 / 2) (#60)
by Locus27 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 03:24:04 PM EST

why is it that every time someone begins a littany about 'extreme sports' they leave out two that have been around long since before skateboards or bikes? how about rock and ice climbing? now... here's an extreme sport that takes inhuman amounts of strength, skill, and dedication. many rock climbers will agree with me. climbing isn't about doing tricks and looking flashy. it's not about your l33t ski||z. it's about two things. it's about beating the rock, and beating yourself. your sole mission is to beat a piece of rock that's been around for centuries, even millenia longer than you have. it's stood the test of time, and taken the pride, even the lives of others, but it's yours to beat. and you have to beat yourself. you have to conquer all your doubts and fears and get up the wall. beat yourself, and beat nature. so you can do a kickflip into a 50/50 on a 4ft high rail and land it. climb a 5.12a and i'll be impressed. climb a 5.13a and i'll be awed. climb a 5.14 and you'll be one of few in the world that can claim such a thing. when you climb you climb for no one else but you. you're not out to impress anyone, you're not out to best anyone. you're out there to improve yourself.

climbing's not extreme people say. it is. you get cut, you get bruised, you get beat and battered. you can break bones, and you can die. and that, my friends, is harsh reality. if being able to do immense damage to yourself to the end of amusing, inspiring, and aweing others, then there is nothing that is not extreme. life is extreme.

as for the jackass four, and all the other fucknuts that chose to swallow goldfish and end up with impromptu sushi, light themselves on fire to see if it burns, and do whatever else they can, i say go to it. go out and embrace this stupidity, and do it whole heartedly. be not afraid to put your frail body on the line in the hopes of making an impression on others. fear not, you will.

besides, the gene pool could use a little chlorine.

"You're one fucked up cookie."
-Shawn R. Fitzgerald

[ Parent ]

Punishing the foolish (4.50 / 12) (#35)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 11:41:06 AM EST

I find the reaction to this situation to be typical of the North American view on behaviour - if it isn't supported by the majority, punish the people involved.

How in the hell can these "jackasses" face criminal charges for an activity which they undertook on their own accord? They did not affect anyone else with this stunt. The only way it will affect other people is by showing the tape to others. Since their failure will illuminate the fact that jumping a moving car is dangerous, how will it be detrimental to society?

Obviously it will encourage other people to attempt this stunt - but isn't that what the MTV show did? How come these people are being punished while the people who introduced the stunt are not being dealt with?

If I want to inflict pain or injury on myself, how does that merit judicial punishment? I think the fact that this issue made it to court only displays the triviality of the justice system. Having one's bones broken is punishment enough. People learn their lessons from what actually happens to them - reading books and not watching t.v. is not the answer.

This is absolutely rediculous. I better not try to run down the stairs - if I slip and fall someone will accuse me of wanton endangerment and I might face criminal charges.

Taking risks with physical activities is a personal choice. I will pay the consequences for my actions personally. Authorities have no right to dictate what "proper" behaviour is. In bringing this issue to the public domain society has determined that we should be punished for not properly gauging our physical abilities.

Yes, these guys were foolish, but does that merit legal punishment? I don't think so. This is a classic case of the "authorities" believing that they know what is best for you. Pretty soon they will ban any activity which has the possibility to endanger. Lock yourself in your room and don't move - you never know who will be ready to take you to court.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.

three things to consider (4.50 / 4) (#39)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:10:37 PM EST

  1. The incident took place in the middle of a city street, where the incident was a danger to other passerby. If it were done on private property, that would not be the case, though, certainly the owner of the property would have legal recourse if the property was in any way damaged by the act of idiocy in question.
  2. Public dollars were spent because one of the kids needed an ambulance and a trip to the emergency room. Most people would probably do not like the idea of funding rescues for stupidity with their tax dollars.
  3. Damage to the private property of other individuals occurred. This is why the judge ordered restitution.
Aside from that, doing somebody harm is (and should be) illegal whether or not that somebody literally asks for it. This, however, is admittedly a moral stance and is quite arguable by someone with a different system of morality than myself.

[ Parent ]
Good Points (3.33 / 3) (#41)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:24:03 PM EST

You have brought out good points as to why this involves the public, and I can't argue over them.

I think moral stance here is one of negligence. This is something that is continually brought up in the extreme sports sphere. Most communities do not want to provide facilities for people to partake in these sports since they find them to be too dangerous, and most projects fall through the cracks of liability.

While I agree that doing someone harm intentionally should be illegal, I do not think that someone should be punished for negligent behaviour by the judicial system. If someone does not realize that they are potentially harming another person, or if they are intending not to harm someone, then how can they be punished for it?

I am fairly certain these boys were not trying to hit their friend with a car.

It's nice to see that you have openly stated that it comes down to a matter of morality, and I would agree. If people are going to rate my parent post then I would appreciate it if they would add their stance.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

negligence (4.33 / 3) (#45)
by fuzzrock on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:52:50 PM EST

While I agree that doing someone harm intentionally should be illegal, I do not think that someone should be punished for negligent behaviour by the judicial system.
I'm gonna have to disagree with you here. Negligence should absolutely be punished by the judicial system. Not as severely as intentionally harming someone, but it should still be punished.

As a citizen, I have a responsibility to not do stupid things that could potentially hurt others. If I'm driving my car, I have a full responsibility to be sober and awake, and to not carelessly hit random pedestrians. Whether or not I mean to hit them doesn't really matter - I'll still put them in the hospital.

[ Parent ]

The essence of negligence (4.00 / 2) (#50)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 01:48:20 PM EST

I agree that every person in society has a responsibility to act reasonably in all situations. The problem with this is that different people have inherently different concepts of what is reasonable and what isn't. Since it falls into one of those grey areas, using an absolute system to punish negligent action is nothing more than punishing those people who society deems as "foolish" or "stupid".

The problem is where we draw the line on what can be considered negligent or not. For me, I would not consider someones inability to assess a situation as being a punishable offence. There is no "right" answer to anything.

So where do we draw the line? Do we take it to be the mean of what society believes to be negligent? In many cases I think this is the approach used. If the average joe acts a certain way in a given situation, that is what we'll take as being sufficiently "responsable".

In any case, I don't think negligence can be so cut and dried. It is something that must be dealt with based on the situation and the nature of the people involved. If we used an absolute system then we would have to make assumptions as to what the absolutely proper action is for a given situation. Imagine enforcing that... everyone would be guilty of negligence every day in some way shape or form - no one is perfect.

You can't punish a child for doing something that they do not understand. You can help them learn why they should make good decisions, but I believe that punishment is not the right way to make someone learn something.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

IANAL but... (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by jayfoo2 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:10:17 PM EST

As I remember from my freshman law class (taken as a junior) the difference between negligent and stupid is reasonableness, not intent.

If the 'Reasonable Man' would know that their actions would have a significant possibility of causing harm then to perform that action is negligent.

A resonable person would know that their friend could very well get hurt trying to jump a moving car.

I'm sure you are right, their intention was not to hit their friend, but they should have known there was a good possibility they would.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the clarification -here's a good story! (4.66 / 3) (#57)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:37:55 PM EST

I think this just opens up another can of worms though - how do we judge the reasonableness of someones actions?

I believe that I have a certain level of confidence in doing certain things. While possibilities exist for failure, I will not let that prevent me from attempting these things.

In the case of the car-jumpers, they must have had a good idea that possibility existed for their friend to get wacked - but they were fairly confident that they could perform this stunt.

Think about stunt men in general - they take risks all the time, but since we believe they are calculated risks we marvel at their stunts instead of punishing them.

A very good example of this is the story of the White Knight. I strongly suggest that people read this story if they really want to see Darwinism in work!

A couple years back there was a motorcycle enthusist in my home town (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada) who strongly felt that he wanted to be a daredevil - evil kanevil (sp?) type.

He managed to set up an event at the native reserve outside the city and he invited people to watch him carry out his first stunt - jumping 8 (approximately - I can't remember for sure) cars.

He didn't have any background in stunts. His "friends and family" supported him though. They made people pay 5 bucks to come watch. They built the ramps themselves (no calculations involved!) and one of the local car dealers even lent them the cars to jump! They also taped the event.

Well, the event was anything but a stunt - it turned out to be more of a public suicide. This fellow had a normal, worn out looking bike. The ramps were not built correctly. He didn't even know how fast he had to go....

So he got on his bike, raced to the launch ramp, and flew through the air. About halfway over he realized he wasn't going to make the landing ramp, and he dropped his bike. It smashed through the base of the landing ramp. He went head first into the top of the ramp and was almost decapacitated instantly. Suffice to say there were quite a few traumatic shocks in the audience - of which a fair number were only children.

Anyways, they put this guy on the news (seeing as they taped this whole affair) and we all got to observe this fellows inability to reason the situation. It was a stunt gone bad. I feel very sorry for him, he really didn't know what he was getting into. Would you consider him to be negligent? What about the friends and family? Even the car dealer? (who was in it for advertising)

In any case, no one was punished - I guess they figured the loss of life to the family was enough. But this clearly illustrates just how far people will go to be daring in the public eye - no doubt a similar situation to these "car-jumpers".


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Punishment (3.50 / 2) (#83)
by sigwinch on Fri May 11, 2001 at 02:24:30 AM EST

Good story!
In any case, no one was punished - I guess they figured the loss of life to the family was enough.
In that case, he set up a venue where no one else was likely to be hurt, and had had ample opportunity to consider the risk he was exposing himself to. This differs from the Jackasses case in that they put the safety and property of others in danger, and were active agents by driving the car. Moreover, since the jumper was not an adult, he could not give informed consent to the risks.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

No one else was likely to be hurt? (none / 0) (#113)
by marlowe on Wed May 16, 2001 at 09:53:22 AM EST

I wonder about that. This guy wasn't smart enough to ensure his own safety. How could he ensure the safety of others?

He didn't think to calculate the proper height for the ramp. By dumb luck, he made it too high instead of too low. If it had been too low, he might easily have plowed into some spectators.

Negligence is negligence. If by sheer luck bystanders escape injury, that's no credit to the negligent.

At least here the law of averages doesn't kick in for the individual, because he's in no shape to try this again. But he could give other morons ideas. And each moron he inspires has a nonzero chance of hurting bystanders. Add `em up.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Bystanders (none / 0) (#118)
by sigwinch on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:38:45 AM EST

I was assuming that the spectators were off to one side and a good distance back. That's were they'd get the best view anyway; behind the landing ramp is a pitiful view of the action. With that done, it's about as safe as a stock car race or a truck and tractor pull.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

I asked that question myself (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by jayfoo2 on Fri May 11, 2001 at 08:49:17 AM EST

I also remember asking the professor how (and who) determines reasonableness. I can't remember exactly what he said (it was several years ago) but I do remember not being particularly pleased with the answer.


[ Parent ]
Negligence is perfectly simple. (none / 0) (#111)
by marlowe on Wed May 16, 2001 at 09:43:06 AM EST

It is the failure to take responsibility for the possible consequences for others of one's actions.

If you are negligent, and no one else gets hurt, that's not to your credit in any way. That's just dumb luck. And if you are habitually negligent, the law of avergages kicks in to make you a menace to society.

Ergo: no excuses. We all have a moral responsibility to *think*, dammit.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
While many communities dislike the idea of (3.33 / 3) (#46)
by ZanThrax on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:59:10 PM EST

paying any medical expenses (and rescue expenses in some cases) of 'extreme sports' aficionados, I liked an editorial comment I saw on the letters page of my local paper a few months ago after some mountain climbers got injured and trapped in the Rockies. Basically, its probably cheaper to fix the few people who injure themselves while keeping fit then it is to fix the inevitable health problems of the many people who stay inside where its safe.

 
When you don't feel like thinking, quote!


[ Parent ]
so so point (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 01:47:48 PM EST

Basically, its probably cheaper to fix the few people who injure themselves while keeping fit then it is to fix the inevitable health problems of the many people who stay inside where its safe.
I know a tremendous number of people that manage to stay fit without being involved with extreme sports. I could be wrong, but there just might be something to the assertion that the cost of helicopter rescue parties for trapped mountain climbers exceeds any benefit that society receives from recreational mountin climbing.

I had a discussion with a friend once. The discussion came about because I thought that an individual should have a right to decide on whether or not to wear a seat belt while driving an automobile. My friend was of the opinion that the state had a compelling interest in saving money and so should be allowed to force people to wear seat belts. I dropped the discussion there, but five minutes later my friend mentioned in passing a friend of his who was involved with rock climbing and slipped off of a cliff while not using any safety gear. (The cliff in question was typically scaled by people using ropes and harnesses, we're not talking hiking in the hills, here.) I then asked my friend how that was any different from situation with seat belts.

I didn't get any answer.

Anyway, I don't really know where I'm going with this. I'm just spouting off, so feel to ignore me.

[ Parent ]

How to deal with personal freedom... (none / 0) (#55)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:15:45 PM EST

The way I like to think about it is that most people wear a seatbelt out of fear. What is it that they truly fear though?

Do you think that they fear the possibility of being badly hurt in an accident? Or do you think that they fear punishment by authorities for not adhering to the rules?

I think the problem here is that while the state manages to get to the end result (people wearing seatbelts) they do not follow the right path. We are so focused on the end result that we often give up our personal freedom to attain the desired end.

The seat belt / mountain climbing situation is parallel. People should use safety equipment because they should fear for their own physical well being, they should not be forced to using it because the state knows what is "right" for them.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

We agree on this much (none / 0) (#56)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:22:32 PM EST

The seat belt / mountain climbing situation is parallel. People should use safety equipment because they should fear for their own physical well being, they should not be forced to using it because the state knows what is "right" for them.
Correct.

But the flip side of that coin is that the state should not be responsible for cleaning up our messes. And if a helicopter rescue is needed for a mountain climber, the state is funding that climber's stupidity.

I'm not entirely certain how the state ends up cleaning up the mess of someone that doesn't wear a seatbelt.

[ Parent ]

Personal Freedom -> Personal Responsabilities (none / 0) (#58)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:41:19 PM EST

You are bang-on with the states role in cleaning things up. If you are negligent, the society shouldn't pay for your mistakes - you have to learn the lessons yourself!

On the side, I just thought I'd give you my highest regards with respect to the stories and comments you post - I really enjoy them, thanks man.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

I agree with the sentiment, (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by ZanThrax on Thu May 10, 2001 at 05:23:32 PM EST

but I wonder if we don't have to extend it to the fat bastards (like me) who can't be bothered to make an effort to maintain some semblance of health? If my weight at some point leads me to a coronary, its as much my own damned fault as the fool who's climbing rocks without gear. Also, what if the climbers are using proper gear and still get hurt, especially if they get hurt due to equipment failure?

 
When you don't feel like thinking, quote!


[ Parent ]
Messes. (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by delmoi on Fri May 11, 2001 at 01:57:56 AM EST

I'm not entirely certain how the state ends up cleaning up the mess of someone that doesn't wear a seatbelt.

Quite literally in some cases.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Seatbelts (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by sigwinch on Fri May 11, 2001 at 02:37:46 AM EST

When the driver is wearing a seatbelt, they stand a much better chance of retaining control of the vehicle after a minor collision. Ditto for the other passengers not flying around the vehicle and becoming projectiles or distractions. Therefore there is a compelling -- or at least arguable -- public safety interest in enforcing the use of seatbelts.

That said, I don't see any public safety interest in things like helmet laws. A helmeted motorcyclist is not appreciable less hazardous in a crash than an unhelmeted one. The argument that they present a great cost (in medical expenses) to society is a red herring. They didn't force society to help them -- it's a gift freely offered by society -- and if society doesn't want the expense, well, it should have thought of that before signing the check. Ditto for mountain rescues.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

I know one thing... (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by cr0sh on Thu May 10, 2001 at 06:17:43 PM EST

Yes, I do wear my seat belt, out of fear...for my life!

I had the interesting experience of being in a car accident with a friend of mine - at the time he was driving. Basically, a bad left hand turn was done by another driver as we were going through the intersection, and the car shoved the truck we were in sideways, where it got hung up on a fire hydrant, stopping us briefly to fling us forward, then flipping us around 180. I was on the passenger side, where the fire hydrant hung us up (just behind my door, damn near ripped the bed off).

I was flung forward against my seat belt - it held. My friend, meanwhile, wasn't wearing his, and faceplanted the windshield, leaving a very nice mold of his face. We both walked away, but he had to be taken to the hostpital for a concussion, and stitches. He had cut his head pretty bad, and we later found out that he had hit his knee so hard on the transmission stick that you couldn't get it out of gear! He was in the hospital a few days. Me?

I was driven home by another co-worker (my friend was a co-worker, and we had gone out to get lunch) who came to the scene. I went to bed, the next week I was sore as hell - but I wasn't dead.

[ Parent ]

Aren't there safer ways of keeping fit than (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by hjones on Mon May 14, 2001 at 01:07:41 PM EST

jumping out of a plane on a skateboard? Idiocy vs. flabbiness is a false dichotomy.
"Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
[ Parent ]
Why exactly shouldn't the negligent be punished? (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by hjones on Mon May 14, 2001 at 01:04:24 PM EST

Don't we want to discourage negligence? It does harm as surely as malicious intent, so why should it be treated differently? Negligence is bad. We want less of it, not more. Therefore we should discourage it. And what better way to discourage than by punishing? Have you got a better idea?
"Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
[ Parent ]
Discourge yes, punish no. (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by Mad Hughagi on Mon May 14, 2001 at 04:01:41 PM EST

Punishment is not a proper way to discourage an activity. I can start by showing all the situations where punishment fails to accomplish it's end goal, but that would probably open up a whole new can of worms (drug policy, death penalty, etc etc).

The point here is that negligence is not a black and white concept. Sure, the government can decide what you should and shouldn't know (in terms of being negligent about things) but is it the role of society to dictate how much knowledge you should have about certain situations?

The thing is that you can be negligent about something in a way that you truly did not forsee the consequences, and you can be negligent to achieve some desired result. In the latter, you know you are being negligent, while in the former you truly did not understand the situation. That is why there is such thing as criminal negligence.

Here is the better idea:

Instead of making people fear a certain course of action by implementing a punishment mechanism, you teach them how to arrive at the correct course of action through reason. Education, not enforcement. They may end up with the same answer, but in this case it has nothing to do with where you end up, it has to do with how you get there.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Reason doesn't work on jackasses. (none / 0) (#112)
by marlowe on Wed May 16, 2001 at 09:47:40 AM EST

And the vast majority of negligent people are jackasses.

Therefore, punishment is the closest thing to communication that can be acheived in the general case. You may not like it, but it works, when nothing else does.

Then there are people so stupid that even negative reinforcement won't get through to them. These are the ones we lock up in mental institutions. Not for "punishment," but for the sake of public safety. That's like jail, but with soft cushiony cell walls.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
I guess it just becomes a problem... (none / 0) (#117)
by Mad Hughagi on Wed May 16, 2001 at 01:48:22 PM EST

... when you have to decide where the cut off is between varying degrees of jackassess.

By your concept of things, the person who is the least negligent should be allowed to do whatever they want.

Your utilitarian view about things works, I agree, but that doesn't neccissarily mean that it is the best way to deal with the situation.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

The person who is least negligent... (none / 0) (#120)
by marlowe on Thu May 17, 2001 at 08:01:57 AM EST

won't do whatever he wants. A responsible adult restrains himself. An irresponsible person must be restrained by others.

Doing whatever you want is a fantasy for children and sociopaths. It's not a viable option in the real world. Actions have consequences, and there's no getting around that.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Bad argument. (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by pallex on Fri May 11, 2001 at 11:24:59 AM EST

"Aside from that, doing somebody harm is (and should be) illegal whether or not that somebody literally asks for it. This, however, is admittedly a moral stance and is quite arguable by someone with a different system of morality than myself."

This happened in the UK. Some S&M people got charged (and convicted) for something which they all approved of and agreed to, at home. Once again the issue is shifted away from personal freedom, and onto health. Why are governments so afraid of freedom per se?

So, we ban boxing? Ear piercing? Smoking? Really, this is the silliest idea i`ve heard since the one about cannabis leading onto harder drugs!



[ Parent ]
"Oooh, it costs the taxpayers money." (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by IHCOYC XPICTOC on Fri May 11, 2001 at 08:41:01 PM EST

Actually, this line is getting old. It does turn the question of who gets screwed with "responsibility" and criminal charges, and who gets rescued for free, into a question of the political clout you wield.

No hobby costs the taxpayers more money than private planes. Look at what you spent looking for that Kennedy who steered himself into the drink. Look at what you spent on the search for that pro golfer who died in a private plane accident. Nobody is going to take on these people. They are upscale, well organized, and politically connected. Their dangerous hobbies don't get made into a crime.

Motorcyclists who like to ride without helmets project a far less upscale image. About all they have is votes; they have no money to throw around in the state capital. So in the legislatures, they get screwed. And nobody feels sorry for them if they are injured or killed.

This was obviously a moronic stunt. But I suspect the DA probably had to do some creative thinking to find something more than a traffic offence to charge them with. The real problem is the uncharitable attitude with the notion that "since they did something reckless, and public money was used to take them to the hospital, of course it ought to be a crime." That's just a game about political power and image. If the injured kid was hit by, say, a golf cart, do you think they'd ever wind up in court?
Is treise dúchas ná oiliúint.
[ Parent ]
Uh, what are you arguing here? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
by hjones on Mon May 14, 2001 at 01:01:13 PM EST

The priviliged don't get punished for their stupidity, therefore no one should? Wouldn't it make more sense to say the privileged should be punished for their stupidity? Or at least billed for it? If the problem is that the stupid are draining the public coffers, then draining the coffers some more hardly seems like a solution.
"Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
[ Parent ]
Another consideration (4.60 / 5) (#44)
by error 404 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:49:39 PM EST

Probably not one people here will like much.

The guy who got hit wasn't old enough to agree to the risks. At that age, risk analysis tends not to be real rational. Not that it necessarily ever is, but there are plenty of rational adults who were unbeleivably stupid at that age. Hell, I have no idea how I managed to survive to the age of 25. An incredible amount of dumb (and I do mean dumb) luck is the only explanation I can come up with. People mature at different rates and there is no magic about 18 years, but people do mature. Most 20 year olds are more mature than most 17 year olds.

I'm thinking that kid learned a whole new concept of pain that day, one he had never imagined before. No realistic concept of what was at stake, no reasonable concept of the odds. Therefore, no way to rationaly consent to the risk.

I can see an argument that adults should be allowed to risk their own lives, but that isn't what happened here. People risked a kid's life, and thats a problem even if other kids do it.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

yeah (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by enterfornone on Sat May 12, 2001 at 05:50:55 AM EST

I had to mature quite a bit before I realised that if you get hit by a car you get hurt.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
What about the owner of the car? (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by delmoi on Fri May 11, 2001 at 01:52:17 AM EST

Of course, it's not like they stole the car or anything. They should probably be required to pay for the damage to the car, but I doubt this would be much of an issue, since the owner was probably either one of their parents or their own. (I would be nice if the article stated who's car it was)

But I agree. What they did was stupid, but if people claim that the government can't legislate morality, I really don't see how it should be able to legislate stupidity...
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
perfect example of natural selection at work (4.33 / 6) (#40)
by pookieballs on Thu May 10, 2001 at 12:12:22 PM EST

Being a technologically advanced species, and relatively free from the effects of "natural" selection (owing to our ability to control our environment and our biology), it seems that elimination of the inferior (read: stupid) by allowing them to kill themselves is the only available avenue to ensuring some quality DNA is passed on, aside from eugenics.

nazi (1.18 / 16) (#75)
by mushroom on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:20:17 PM EST

your social darwinist eugenics smacks of nazi racial theory. Go read a book.

[ Parent ]
Heh (4.33 / 3) (#89)
by RangerBob on Fri May 11, 2001 at 08:32:55 AM EST

Your lack of a sense of humor smacks of inexperience. Go watch Comedy Central ;)

[ Parent ]
I read one. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by pallex on Fri May 11, 2001 at 11:17:14 AM EST

Its called `Goodwins Law`. You wanna try it!

[ Parent ]
the stupid gene (none / 0) (#121)
by mgwr4 on Mon May 21, 2001 at 03:09:25 PM EST

I agree. This is an example of the "stupid gene" weeding its way out of existance. Too bad all four idiots were not killed in this stunt. We can only dream...

[ Parent ]
What a load of crap. (2.80 / 5) (#54)
by Kasreyn on Thu May 10, 2001 at 02:10:29 PM EST

EVERY such TV show has a disclaimer saying something like, "Trained stuntmen. Do not try this at home." There is no way you can say this is MTV's fault. This is just a bunch of ignorant and credulous kids who for some reason didn't have a PARENT or big brother around to ask them what in god's name they thought they were doing. But of course, like Columbine, everything will be blamed on MTV (parallel to DOOM) rather than on the parents who weren't there to talk them out of it. Blah. -Kasreyn
"Intolerant people should be shot." - the best one-sentence troll I have ever seen.
placing blame (none / 0) (#72)
by ttfkam on Thu May 10, 2001 at 06:16:24 PM EST

Does anyone else think that there would be a sudden surge of teenagers doing dishes if MTV popularized it? But I digress...

I believe the assertion was that they were simply ignorant individuals. There are worse "punishments" than limiting TV and being forced to read a bunch of books. Whether or not it will change their behavior or outlook on life is anyone's guess. Doubtful that it will hurt and it beats putting them in jail.

If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Dishes (none / 0) (#86)
by sigwinch on Fri May 11, 2001 at 02:42:13 AM EST

Does anyone else think that there would be a sudden surge of teenagers doing dishes if MTV popularized it?

LOL! Do you mean, like, Britney Spears dishes with, like, lots of bubbly neon glitter soap? Oh, yeah, like totally.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

There was a lot of dishwashing going on... (none / 0) (#115)
by marlowe on Wed May 16, 2001 at 10:06:05 AM EST

amongst housewives who watched Lawrence Welk.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
The fact remains, MTV is absolute crap. (none / 0) (#116)
by marlowe on Wed May 16, 2001 at 10:07:34 AM EST

It may or may not cause stupidity, but it sure as hell isn't helping to cure it any.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
They accepted responsibility for their actions. (4.66 / 3) (#85)
by Wayfarer on Fri May 11, 2001 at 02:39:44 AM EST

Despite the fact that they actually tried a 'Jackass' stunt (and failed), I've a tiny bit of respect for these teens. Instead of trying to displace every tiny inch of blame onto MTV, parents, and peers, they accepted responsibility for their collective actions.

I'd say that takes more guts than jumping a car.

-W-

"Is it all journey, or is there landfall?"
-Ellison & van Vogt, "The Human Operators"


Why do we punish these people? (4.50 / 2) (#96)
by Jman1 on Fri May 11, 2001 at 12:18:57 PM EST

I don't understand why we as a society have to punish people for doing things that don't hurt others. "Felony class wanton endangerment???" Endangerment of whom? Each other? So we PUNISH them?

Meanwhile, auto racing is allowed. Boxing is allowed. The XFL and NFL are allowed.

So let's force them read classics. Maybe now the kids will fight with swords (Shakespeare,) bum around the country stealing things (Kerouac,) try to spear other kids (Lord of the Flies,) and hit on preteens (Nabakov.) Hey, the classics are good for a lot of things, I just don't think they're going to help keep kids from being kids.

The fact that they were punished at all is just ridiculous.

Not punished for hurting each other (none / 0) (#110)
by briandunbar on Mon May 14, 2001 at 10:25:41 PM EST

Not really.

I don't know for sure, but I'll bet they were charged with something worse than Felony class wanton endangerment, and then The Man (love that phrase), in light of the publicity, decided to let them plead the case out at the lower charge.


Feed the poor, eat the rich!
[ Parent ]

Jackass Four Sentenced to Read Books | 121 comments (111 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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