David Blue


emend

Verb

  1. make improvements or corrections to; “the text was emended in the second edition”
    • Less specific
      • better
      • improve
      • amend
      • ameliorate
      • meliorate

emend - LookUp

verb

  1. make corrections and revisions to (a text) these studies show him collating manuscripts and emending texts

alter (something that is incorrect) the year of his death might need to be emended to 652

Origin

late Middle English : from Latin emendare , from e- (variant of ex- ) out of + menda a fault . Compare with amend

Thesaurus

Verb

  1. the journalistic practice of emending quotations in the areas of grammar and syntax

Similar Words: correct rectify repair fix improve enhance polish refine clarify edit alter rewrite revise copy-edit subedit amend change modify redraft recast rephrase reword rework rescript expurgate censor redact bowdlerize

Urban Dictionary

**1. Making amends through an email message, especially when applying the 9th principle of The 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  1. Saying sorry or trying to right a wrong through email.**

“Instead of directly facing me and clearing things up, the jerk sent me an emend. He’ll never make it through the program.”

verve

Noun

  1. an energetic style
    • Synonyms
      • vitality
    • Less specific
      • energy
      • muscularity
      • vigor
      • vigour
      • vim
    • More specific
      • sparkle
      • twinkle
      • spark
      • light
    • Related
      • lively
      • vital

verve - LookUp

noun

  1. vigour and spirit or enthusiasm Kollo sings with supreme verve and flexibility

Origin

late 17th century (denoting special talent in writing): from French , vigour , earlier form of expression , from Latin verba words

Thesaurus

Noun

  1. I played most sports with schoolboy verve

Similar Words: enthusiasm vigour energy pep dynamism go elan vitality vivacity buoyancy liveliness animation sprightliness zest sparkle effervescence fizz spirit spiritedness ebullience life dash brio fervour gusto eagerness keenness passion zeal relish feeling ardour fire fieriness drive forcefulness force strength determination motivation push vehemence fanaticism zing zip vim punch get-up-and-go pizzazz oomph feistiness

Urban Dictionary

**Originally called simply Verve until conflicts with the jazz label Verve caused the name-change to The Verve.

Famous for their hit songs Bittersweet Symphony, The Drugs Don’t Work and others.

The band split up after their final (and arguably greatest) 1997 album Urban Hymns, but still nothing quite equals them today. They don’t write a few hit songs and a lot of filler, they write a whole CD of great music.**

“Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony, that’s life.”

iPhone 4S

Working Copy App Store Review

Working Copy Icon

My absolute favorite Git client… on ANY platform.

I had the relatively unique experience of coming to Git, mobile-first, via this very application on my iPhone 8 Plus, almost exactly 4 years ago. Thanks to GitHub’s Education program, I’ve had access to unlimited repository creation since that first day, and it’s honestly quite a testament to the power of Working Copy just how much of a mess I made in those initial few months.

Now on my iPad Pro, I keep so many repos (89 as of this writing) that I have an automation that maintains a browsable index of the lot (which is, itself, a testament to Working Copy’s incredibly comprehensive and solid Siri Shortcuts support.)

Latest Color Names

Latest Colornames Palette
Latest Colornames Palette

This is an automatically-generated palette of the latest entries on colornames.org created by my Siri Shortcut. :)

265347

piedmont

Noun

  1. the plateau between the coastal plain and the Appalachian Mountains: parts of Virginia and North and South Carolina and Georgia and Alabama
    • Part of
      • South
    • Is a
      • geographical area
      • geographic area
      • geographical region
      • geographic region
  2. a gentle slope leading from the base of a mountain to a region of flat land
    • Less specific
      • slope
      • incline
      • side
  3. the region of northwestern Italy; includes the Po valley
    • Synonyms
      • Piedmont
      • Piemonte
    • Parts
      • Turin
      • Torino
    • Part of
      • Italy
      • Italian Republic
      • Italia
    • Is a
      • Italian region

piedmont - LookUp

noun

  1. Geography a gentle slope leading from the foot of mountains to a region of flat land

  2. a region of north-western Italy, in the foothills of the Alps; capital, Turin. Dominated by Savoy from 1400, it became a part of the kingdom of Sardinia in 1720. It was the centre of the movement for a united Italy in the 19th century

  3. a hilly region of the eastern US, between the Appalachians and the coastal plain

Origin

from Italian piemonte mountain foot

aberration

Noun

  1. a state or condition markedly different from the norm
    • Synonyms
      • aberrance
      • aberrancy
      • deviance
    • Less specific
      • abnormality
      • abnormalcy
    • More specific
      • chromosomal aberration
      • chromosomal anomaly
      • chrosomal abnormality
      • chromosonal disorder
      • deflection
      • warp
    • Related
      • aberrant
      • deviant
      • deviate
      • aberrate
      • aberrate
      • aberrant
      • deviant
      • deviate
      • aberrant
      • deviant
      • deviate
      • aberrate
      • aberrate
      • aberrant
      • deviant
      • deviate
  2. a disorder in one’s mental state
    • Less specific
      • mental disorder
      • mental disturbance
      • disturbance
      • psychological disorder
      • folie
    • Related
      • aberrate
  3. an optical phenomenon resulting from the failure of a lens or mirror to produce a good image
    • Synonyms
      • distortion
      • optical aberration
    • Less specific
      • optical phenomenon
    • More specific
      • chromatic aberration
      • spherical aberration
    • Related
      • aberrate

aberration - LookUp

noun

  1. a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one

they described the outbreak of violence in the area as an aberration | I see these activities as some kind of mental aberration | the decade was seen as a period of aberration in the country’s progress towards a democratic society

Biology a characteristic that deviates from the normal type

colour aberrations

Origin

late 16th century : from Latin aberratio(n- ), from aberrare to stray (see aberrant )

Thesaurus

Noun

  1. economists said the figure was an aberration

Similar Words: anomaly deviation divergence abnormality irregularity variation digression edge case freak rogue rarity quirk oddity curiosity mistake

  1. it is possible that, in a moment of aberration, the parent may strike the child

Similar Words: abnormality irregularity eccentricity deviation transgression straying lapse aberrancy

  1. the experience might have been no more than a temporary aberration of an exhausted mind

Similar Words: disorder defect disease irregularity instability derangement vagary

peradventure

Noun

  1. doubt or uncertainty as to whether something is the case; “this proves beyond peradventure that he is innocent”
    • Less specific
      • doubt
      • uncertainty
      • incertitude
      • dubiety
      • doubtfulness
      • dubiousness

Adverb

  1. by chance; “perhaps she will call tomorrow”; “we may possibly run into them at the concert”; “it may peradventure be thought that there never was such a time”
    • Synonyms
      • possibly
      • perchance
      • perhaps
      • maybe
      • mayhap

Keka for iOS/iPadOS App Store Review

Keka for iOS/iPadOS App Icon

The best compression/extraction utility on the platform.

By far the most delightful compression/extraction utility for macOS (imo) is somewhat diminished in delightfulness in its mobile form, though not in its pure functionality. From the perspective of a year one iOS user with plenty of experience exploring what alternatives have been offered since the introduction of the File Provider API in iOS11, Keka for iOS/iPadOS' shear speed is distinct enough from its few platform competitors to warrant the title of Best such utility on the platform.

Also unique/notable:

Extracting individual YouTube video URLs from Playlists with yt-dlp

Since I’m a longtime Raindrop.io user, I handle plaintext, line-broken lists of raw URLs a lot, though I’m used to having to get them to that state myself by some fiddling or another.

I was very delighted, then, to find that my very first attempt at the very first solution I found in a search engine on a journey to figure out what the fuck Rally Phonk is resulted in a plain text list!

u/werid’s reply to a original poster in the youtubedl subreddit asking “Is it possible to extract individual videos links from YouTube playlist using yt-dlp or youtube-dl” is to credit for my success:

yt-dlp --flat-playlist -i --print-to-file url file.txt "playlist-url"

thought I’d try taking the reflector out of this free Habor Freight headlamp and…

Close-up of a person's eyes with a bright light on their forehead, possibly from a headlamp, in black and white.

u ƃ ı s ǝ p

Promotional graphic for Apple TV+ with text that may contain inappropriate or altered content not officially associated with the mentioned service.

Craft Audio Sampler

Meta

Description

A comprehensive index of the audio notifications/effects found in the cross-platform “productivity app” Craft.

See their recent blog post about it: https://www.craft.do/blog/designing-sound-in-craft

And more details/the individual sound files on this public Craft doc: https: //extratone.craft.me/craftsounds

How we designed sound in a productivity app like Craft

Share

Whyp

Craft Audio Sampler

<iframe src="https://whyp.it/tracks/embed?id=165358&showUser=false&showArtwork=true&showWhypBranding=false&size=compact" width="100%" height="200" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Audio.com

Craft Audio Sampler Sound Effects by David Blue | Listen on audio.com

<div style="height: 228px; width: 600px;"><iframe src="https://audio.com/embed/audio/1794141050383087?theme=image"
    style="display:block; border-radius: 6px; border: none; height: 204px; width: 600px;"></iframe><a href='https://audio.com/extratone' style="text-align: center; display: block; color: #A4ABB6; font-size: 12px; font-family: sans-serif; line-height: 16px; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; white-space: nowrap; text-overflow: ellipsis;">[@extratone](https://micro.blog/extratone)</a></div>

Files

CraftSampler.wav

CraftCover.xcf

CraftCover.jpeg

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Social

David Blue ※ (@DavidBlue@mastodon.social)

Paste for macOS App Store Review

Though I’ve lamented recent changes to Paste’s iOS/iPadOS app, the macOS version remains just about perfect to use. It also remains the only application permanently bound to a global keyboard shortcut (`⌥``) on my aging (Monterey-limited,) Intel MacBook Pro, and its interface continues to delight as much as it did on first call, who knows how many years ago.

Paste Mac App Store Review

Finally got around to - once again - washing DAVÖD as thoroughly as I could last week. Discovered that the crud in all the door sills problem is not coming from car soap at the wash…

A blue hatchback car with its doors open in the foreground, parked at a car wash facility with "SOFT TOUCH" and "TOUCHLESS" service bays in the background.

why should he.

Bright yellow C-5 Corvette parked in front of a Casey's General store wearing the license plate "AARP."

Road Rage of The Deep

Below is an excerpt from my just-republished 2019 Volkswagen Atlas Review detailing my singular encounter with capital-r Road Rage in the entirety of my ~year driving for Uber/Lyft.


My only authentic Road Rage experience in some 5000 miles of rideshare driving occurred on All Hallow’s Eve when I stopped - no more illegally than usual - on the opposite corner from a popular downtown Mexican restaurant called The Nap with hazards and all courtesy interior lights shining. The car immediately behind me hesitated no more than necessary, but the Biggest Big Infiniti behind them (a QX80 - the Atlas' competitor) just… stopped. There was honking and frenzied, hoarse screaming of what the fuck are you doing? and such.

I responded with pleasantly amused but relatively-encouraging glances at the impersonal black mass of the Infiniti’s windshield through my mirrors. I rolled down the Atlas' driver’s side window and politely gestured that they go around me, but failed to coax any movement whatsoever from the ugly behemoth through at least two full cycles of the nearby traffic light. There must be some aquatic authority in the bulbous black ass of the QX80, for no one behind it seemed willing to pass either. The driver waited significantly longer than you’d imagine before emerging, huffy. She was wearing a classic poofy black North Face vest some sort of slate gray turtleneck. Nothing below these were stimulating enough to retain any memory of. Uggs?

How positive are you that the truth has absolutely zero consequence: contrasted silver-beige eyeliner and little eye contact, dirty-ish straight blonde hair over a spray-tanned face, exhibiting zero anxious tics or hesitation. She was obviously the New Matriarch, and she was obviously much more of an authority on traffic law than I. As she approached, she scanned the street as one naturally does when they enter a busy one… except it was completely empty, thanks to her blockade. She first informed me that I was “not supposed” to be stopped there. I tried to listen and respond with as much sincerity as possible as I realized all at once that my behavior had genuinely perturbed this woman - that her choice to leave the huge hideous warmth of the guppy wagon to speak as humans to one another required great courage.

I inserted the next logical question which I’d been screaming telepathically: can you not get around me? I began to pity her when I then saw in her face the distinct possibility that going around as a concept had not occurred to her whatsoever. She stuttered a wee bit in retorting “I could go around, but I don’t want to get a ticket.” Here, one of the most fascinating avenues of suburban psychology is explored: Guppy Mom is not being ingenuine with this expression, nor has she had an untoward experience with law enforcement, ever. Guppy Mom did know her excuse was bullshit - nobody has ever been written a traffic citation for carefully circumventing an obstacle in the road. Given the opportunity to interrogate this kernel of entirely uncompromising obedience to utterly delusional traffic law superstitions, I think we’d simply discover a life of unnaturally positive interactions with LEOs. We must conclude, then, that the source of her fear was either myself or the Atlas.

Granted, to her I am still a Young Man, and am therefore instinctively programmed to believe myself more informed than literally everyone - even the very foundational architects of modern civilization. Her Stucco Highness may have felt a representative of these builders (edgy take: she is in fact their servant.) Her own folks surely complain regularly about their distaste for disrespect, and my gig-economy, Austin Powers-looking ass was somehow disrespecting the order laid down by her would be (entirely fantastical) forefathers. Though her expression of her quaint fear of such “ugliness” (if you will) is hard-headed, an ugliest decision of hers (or her kin) idled behind me, its giant seafood-looking mouth gaping, unhinged.

At night, a yuppie middle-aged woman in a poofy vest screams and gestures at the parked uber in front of her gargantuan, whale-looking SUV.

concord

Noun

  1. capital of the state of New Hampshire; located in south central New Hampshire on the Merrimack river

    • Synonyms
      • Concord
      • capital of New Hampshire
    • Part of
      • New Hampshire
      • Granite State
      • NH
      • N
    • Is a
      • state capital
  2. a harmonious state of things in general and of their properties (as of colors and sounds); congruity of parts with one another and with the whole

    • Synonyms
      • harmony
      • concordance
    • Less specific
      • order
    • More specific
      • peace
      • comity
      • agreement
      • accord
    • Related
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • consort
      • accord
      • concord
      • fit in
      • agree
      • consonant
      • harmonic
      • harmonical
      • harmonized
      • harmonised
      • harmonious
      • harmonious
      • proportionate
      • symmetrical
      • consonant
      • harmonic
      • harmonical
      • harmonized
      • harmonised
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • consort
      • accord
      • concord
      • fit in
      • agree
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • reconcile
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • reconcile
  3. the determination of grammatical inflection on the basis of word relations

    • Synonyms
      • agreement
    • Less specific
      • grammatical relation
    • More specific
      • number agreement
      • person agreement
      • case agreement
      • gender agreement
    • Related
      • concord
      • agree
  4. town in eastern Massachusetts near Boston where the first battle of the American Revolution was fought

    • Part of
      • Massachusetts
      • Bay State
      • Old Colony
      • MA
      • Mass
    • Is a
      • town
  5. agreement of opinions

    • Synonyms
      • harmony
      • concordance
    • Less specific
      • agreement
    • Related
      • concordant
      • concurring
      • agree
      • hold
      • concur
      • concord
      • agree
      • hold
      • concur
      • concord
      • concord
      • consonant
      • harmonic
      • harmonical
      • harmonized
      • harmonised
  6. the first battle of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775)

    • Synonyms
      • Lexington
      • Concord
      • Lexington and Concord
    • Part of
      • American Revolution
      • American Revolutionary War
      • War of American Independence
      • American War of Independence
    • Is a
      • pitched battle
    • Region
      • Massachusetts
      • Bay State
      • Old Colony
      • MA
      • Mass

Verb

  1. go together; “The colors don’t harmonize”; “Their ideas concorded”
    • Synonyms
      • harmonize
      • harmonise
      • consort
      • accord
      • fit in
      • agree
    • Less specific
      • match
      • fit
      • correspond
      • check
      • jibe
      • gibe
      • tally
      • agree
    • More specific
      • coordinate
      • blend
      • go
      • blend in
    • Related
      • accordant
      • agreeable
      • conformable
      • consonant
      • concordant
      • harmony
      • concord
      • concordance
      • accordant
      • accord
      • harmony
      • concord
      • concordance
      • harmony
      • harmoniousness
  2. arrange by concord or agreement; “Concord the conditions for the marriage of the Prince of Wales with a commoner”
    • Less specific
      • arrange
      • fix up
    • Related
      • harmony
      • concord
      • concordance
  3. arrange the words of a text so as to create a concordance; “The team concorded several thousand nouns, verbs, and adjectives”
    • Less specific
      • arrange
      • set up
    • Related
      • agreement
      • concord
      • concordance
  4. be in accord; be in agreement; “We agreed on the terms of the settlement”; “I can’t agree with you!”; “I hold with those who say life is sacred”; “Both philosophers concord on this point”
    • Synonyms
      • agree
      • hold
      • concur
    • Antonyms
      • disagree
      • differ
      • dissent
      • take issue
    • More specific
      • settle
      • reconcile
      • patch up
      • make up
      • conciliate
      • settle
      • see eye to eye
      • concede
      • yield
      • grant
      • subscribe
      • support
      • conclude
      • resolve
      • arrange
      • fix up
    • Related
      • harmony
      • concord
      • concordance
      • harmony
      • concord
      • concordance
      • concurrence
      • concurrency
      • agreeable
      • agreement

Origin

Middle English : from Old French concorde , from Latin concordia , from concors of one mind , from con- together + cor , cord- heart

English ⇨ Gregorian

  1. noun Formal : თანხმობა

to live in concord თანხმობით ცხოვრება

Grammar : შეთანხმება

Thesaurus

Noun

  1. disputatious council meetings which occasionally ended in concord

Similar Words: agreement harmony accord consensus concurrence unity unanimity unison oneness concert

Opposites: disagreement discord

  1. a concord was to be drawn up

Similar Words: treaty agreement accord concordat entente compact pact protocol convention settlement

Champion's Online Review (GameTrack)

I’ve been trying GameTrack's premium tier for the past month and thought I should at least have one go at the review function… This isn’t actually substantial or useful in any way. You’re welcome.

SO you want me to review Champion’s Online, virtually unprompted, in 2024, eh?

Well, I loved and was very invested in Cryptic Studios at the time (see: Star Trek Online and Champions was already regarded - in a very misty-eyed, not very practical sense - reverently as very much their baby by the time I arrived in 2009.

I think it was 2011 or so that I decided to commit to Champions - despite how thoroughly uninteresting and unintelligible I found the whole idea of comic book superheroes. In contemporary language, yes it was absolutely super cringe, but I remember admiring how well-established (in a very practical sense) the identity of this title was compared to the product they were building on the same platform with identical tooling that was Star Trek Online at the time.

Audio Waveforms Visualized in a Snap via Siri Shortcut

Just wanted to highlight and demonstrate @verdictum’s absolutely incredible Visualize Audio Siri Shortcut.

ShowCuts source image export of the Visualize Audio Siri Shortcut.

Just stopping by on my way home this rainy morning and noting to myself to come back and set aside an afternoon to update “H-Town.”

Community Scoop Message Board

David Zipper on The War on Cars

Intrigued to both discover the existence of The War on Cars podcast this morning 1 and to hear from someone I’m positive I’ve read before 2 speaking reasonably about The State of the American Automobile. Also so pleasant to find that he’s present and active on Mastodon!

Edited Audio

I removed the introduction at the beginning of the episode and trimmed a wee bit of silence (pauses) out.


AI Transcript

Please be warned: this is entirely unrevised output from Aiko for iOS when fed my edited audio file.

So, with all of that out of the way, we can get to David Zipper, who is somebody that, as I said, we’ve wanted to have David on the show for a long time.

You may be familiar with David from his writing at Bloomberg City Lab, where he relentlessly covers road safety, climate change, the future of micromobility, and the connections among public transit, municipal policy, and rideshare.

David’s take on all this is informed by his experience as someone who has worked inside city government, as well as in venture capital and as a startup advisor.

For several years, he’s been visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government, where he examines the interplay between transportation policy, technology, and society.

David Zipper, welcome at last to the war on cars.

Thank you.

It’s good to be here.

So we could talk with David about anything and everything, because he writes about everything that interests all of us.

But I wanted to start by asking about this package of TV segments that you were part of in Dallas, Texas.

A local NBC affiliate did a series of reports on road safety in the Dallas area.

Let’s hear a clip.

Crossley says the state has long designed roads to accommodate speeds much higher than the posted speed limit.

This is what’s called the design speed.

He says, TexDOT designs have often prioritized wider traffic lanes on massive freeway corridors and six lane state highways running through urban pedestrian neighborhoods.

Designed for moving traffic fast, he says, more than keeping speeds at the safest levels in congested areas.

At some point, you have to make a choice of whether it’s more important to save lives or to facilitate fast car traffic.

So, David, maybe you could talk about how a city like Dallas balances those priorities, this trade off between speed and safety and what is wrong or right about the way they do that.

It was kind of an unexpected turn of events.

That whole project sort of started with randomly with an email in my inbox.

And it was from this NBC affiliate in Dallas that said, hey, we’re trying to understand road safety.

Can we talk to you about it?

And when I spoke with the main investigator, I was excited because a lot of the time when you see crash coverage, and you guys know this, the crash coverage is focused on, you know, why are drivers so crazy or why are people not obeying the rules they should be following when they drive?

And from the beginning, I was intrigued because these investigators with NBC in Dallas want to understand why is their city the worst in the entire country around road safety?

And they’re asking the right questions.

They’re asking about road design.

They’re asking about vehicle design.

And I had a couple of calls with them.

I live in Washington, D.C. I’d never actually been to Dallas.

I made very clear to them, I know nothing about your specific city, but I’m happy to help if I can because I frankly never seen a really good video investigation in American News into American road safety that reaches a broad audience.

And they eventually flew me out and they drove, it was kind of funny, they drove me around Dallas and would bring me these like terrible roads like Buckner Avenue.

If anyone knows Dallas in the east, it’s in a lower income, largely Latino neighborhood.

They’re like, you know, it’s just like the classic strode where you’ve got a bus stop across the strode and people are like running across it because the nearest crosswalk is a half mile away.

And they’d be like, well, what do you think of this?

I’d say it’s terrible.

What do you think?

Of course, it’s terrible.

This is designed for danger.

And I didn’t know what was going to come from it.

And it was a few weeks later that I saw the series that they put together, which I was so impressed by because they included not just a few snippets from myself.

I mean, I’m just one of a bunch of people they included.

They went all the way to Edmonton, Canada, to look at how road safety could be done much better with sort of bulb outs and with much better leading pedestrian indicators and things like that.

And they also cornered the head of TxDOT and sort of grilled him about the 85th percentile rule and how he was using that or his agency uses that to set speed limits too high.

That to me was like such a great moment to see that style of journalism deployed that way.

But maybe you could also explain what the 85th percentile rule is and why it’s such a messed up way to set speed limits.

Yeah.

So the 85th percentile rule actually was like developed as a concept in the thirties.

And the idea there was to figure out how to set speed limits in rural areas, but it just sort of got stuck.

It ended up being plastered all over sort of state DOT policy rules for cities too.

And that’s been a huge problem.

What the 85th percentile rule is to basically say, it’s pretty simple.

It’s like, just go to a given street, record 100 speeds of drivers, and then it doesn’t matter how many crazies you have that are blowing past that street far faster than is safe for anybody not inside a vehicle, regardless, you just basically pick the 85th person out of a hundred and they set the speed limit for the entire street.

And that ends up basically making it very difficult to lower speed limits to speeds that are safer for particularly the road users or street users who are outside the vehicle.

That’s what it is.

And the reporter confronted the head of tech dot on this.

Can you describe maybe a little bit of what happened there?

Sure.

Yeah.

And I myself wasn’t there for this, but I did, I was asked about it in the studio and I said, I don’t really understand how tech dot says they want to build safe streets, but they’re literally lifting the speed limit and some major roads and highways in Dallas, which invariably will make those streets more and roads more dangerous.

And the reporters in friend BC had concluded speed was going to be sort of like the main topic or the main sort of like pillar of their argument for why Dallas streets are so dangerous.

And they wanted to talk to the tech dot director, tech stop being in the Texas Department of Transportation.

And he kept avoiding them.

The press office was just like putting up a wall.

So eventually the reporters just went ahead to a public meeting where text that was going to be speaking and they just confronted the director and they forced him to talk to him.

And they asked him about the 85th percentile and said, oh, we’re moving away from that.

We’re not using that so much anymore.

And then the reporters to their credit investigated a bit and found text documents that clearly were using the 85th percentile to set the speed limit in Dallas.

So it was a bit of a gotcha moment that frankly, I enjoyed going to a hospital and asking them why they’re still using leeches.

Like it’s this thing that was set in the 1930s.

And I think very similar to our Donald Shoop episode where he talks about minimum parking requirements of just like this thing that was set and nobody’s ever really questioned.

And it’s a sort of pseudoscience that still guides the design of our cities.

It’s even crazier than leeches because it’s like the drivers are doing something illegal and dangerous.

They’re speeding and we’re basically saying like, okay, you guys who are doing something illegal and dangerous get to sort of determine you set the pace, you set the pace, like we’re going to base the whole system on the 85th percentile of this illegal thing you’re doing.

It’s just so nonsensical.

But David, I’m so glad that you were on that piece because sort of like you were saying, a lot of news, especially local news will focus on like crazy drivers and Dallas being as bad as it is, worse than Houston, worse than Phoenix, worse than Los Angeles in terms of road fatalities.

Does Dallas really have crazier drivers than Phoenix?

Does Dallas really have crazier drivers than Houston in the same state?

Seems unlikely.

What they have are worse roads.

Yeah.

And frankly, Dallas, I would argue probably has marginally worse roads than some of those other places.

Like Las Vegas is incredibly dangerous too.

So is Phoenix, so is Houston.

It’s not like they’ve solved the problem there.

But for me, part of the reason why I was happy to spend a couple days in Texas with the reporters and be part of the story, and I didn’t know what it was going to turn into.

It turned out frankly, like far more powerful and better than I expected.

I was happy to do it because I have the privilege of living in Washington, DC, which is a very expensive city.

Not coincidentally, it’s one of the handful of places in the US like New York, where walking and biking as a main mode of transportation along with transit really is possible.

Most of this country is more like Dallas.

And I try to always hold myself accountable and try to remember that most of the United States doesn’t look like the city where I live.

And if we really want to address the road safety problems that we have and solve our transportation issues, frankly, we have to think about the Dallas’s of the country first and foremost.

Yeah.

And that is what makes, I think, seeing this kind of thing on a mainstream news outlet so interesting and encouraging.

To me, I mean, you write for a lot of different publications.

Do you think that these issues are getting a different or better kind of coverage from the mainstream media than they used to?

And what effect do you think that that might have in the long run?

I think it’s starting.

Like I think it’s we’re at least asking some questions now that should have been asked a long time ago about the 85th percentile rule about right on red, which is insane.

I know you don’t have it in New York, but most of the country does.

And it was introduced in most of the country in the 70s when we had a gas crisis way of saving gas.

We don’t have a gas crisis anymore.

I’ve had it for decades.

We still have right on red in this country.

I’d like to think that I’m playing a role in that process of elevating some of these issues.

I think media is gradually coming around, but I actually think what’s really most encouraging when I look to the future and look to how narratives are shifting, it’s not so much how the media is changing.

It’s actually what I see among young people.

You mentioned, Sarah, my role at Harvard over the last several years in the Kennedy School.

I’ve gotten to meet a lot of bright, energetic, often, not always, but often progressive 20 something year olds.

And when I would have like hopefully counted myself among that sort of a cohort, I spent some time in Cambridge myself in my 20s.

Nobody was really talking about cars.

Nobody was really talking about transportation.

It wasn’t cool.

It wasn’t that interesting.

But now when I go and I give a talk about road safety or mobility as a service, Vision Zero, whatever it is, you know, there’s a lot of people who are super excited and asking, how can I be a part of this campaign?

I mean, you see that if you look at like the Reddit fuck cars community, it’s what 450,000 people or something insane like that.

It’s I think there’s something happening generationally, at least with a subset of younger people that I find really encouraging.

I think that’s going to eventually permeate media and national discourse in a powerful way.

David, one of the things I really love about your work is that, you know, we’re talking about this issue right now as road safety, but you actually focus a lot of attention on the cars themselves, you know, so it’s not just about street design.

It’s not just about the 85th percentile or whatever.

You’re really focusing on the size of vehicles, the design and engineering of vehicles, the actual products that the auto industry is putting on our streets.

They’re clearly not setting out to kill people, but their vehicles, their products seem to keep getting more and more dangerous.

So what is going on with the automobile industry?

What do you see happening?

So for this is a long term trend in 1977, 23 percent of new cars in America were SUVs or trucks.

And now that’s over 80 percent.

Just a stunning shift.

And in part, this is due to some federal regulations like the cafe loophole that allowed SUVs to be treated as like trucks and there’s some other federal rules.

But a lot of that is due to the car companies trying to figure out how to make more money from a given sale.

SUVs and trucks are more expensive and more profitable than smaller cars than sedans and station wagons.

That is a big part of it.

And I was talking recently with a woman who spent many years as a product developer in one of the big car companies.

I was asking her, like, how do you actually think about the models that you’re designing?

Because it’s not, by the way, just that SUVs and trucks are taking over the car market.

It’s that they themselves are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

And what she told me, I thought was really interesting.

She says, well, look, you know, we all sit down in the beginning of a model refresh process and we ask, you know, like, how do we actually differentiate ourselves from our competitors?

And the first thing you turn to usually is maybe we provide more legroom, maybe we provide a little more power, maybe we provide a little more trunk space.

And if that’s where you’re starting from, you’re naturally going to end up with a bigger, likely heavier vehicle.

And you just iterate that over 30 years, you can end up with cars becoming much bigger and much heavier than they were, you know, in a prior generation.

But the problem with these increasing vehicle sizes is not just about having more space in your trunk.

This has become an arms race on the road where people feel like they need to be in bigger and bigger cars.

And you actually wrote an article for Slate titled The Road Safety Feature That Kills the Other Guy.

Now, I don’t know if you wrote that headline, but it’s pretty accurate that these ever larger SUVs that everybody’s like, oh, I’m so safe in my SUV.

That is the exact thing that’s making pedestrian fatality rates go up or contributing to that.

So it’s not just cosmetic, it’s life threatening.

I think that that’s the other side of the coin of what this woman who worked in automaker for many years was saying, because she basically was saying effectively, like, nobody really cares about the safety impacts when they’re making these decisions.

We shouldn’t put it in those words, but that’s the flip side of her point about, you know, trying to figure out ways to get a leg up on the competition, the safety issues for those outside the vehicle just don’t factor in.

And you’re right, Sarah, that story that I wrote in Slate, I think, was my attempt to really highlight these gigantic blind spots that emerge as a result, leading to the problems with car bloat.

But what I was trying to really argue is that we sort of set ourselves up in the United States for this problem that we now have with car bloat because of two problems that have come together now.

One is that we have always in this country associated road safety with car occupants.

That’s what Ralph Nader wrote about in unsafe at any speed.

And that’s what we’ve always considered road safety to entail is like, how do we keep you safe on the road?

That’s the basis of our crash test ratings.

That’s what we have set up our entire infrastructure at NHTSA to care about for decades and decades.

Right.

It’s a consumer safety framework, right?

Consumer is the person who bought the product, bought the car.

It’s not the people outside the car.

They’re not consumers, including, by the way, people in other cars.

They don’t matter.

It’s you looking out for yourself.

And then on top of that, Aaron, the second point is that we have a road safety regime that is real, especially in the last 30 years has much to Ralph Nader’s frustration sort of moved away from regulation and towards education.

The idea of informing people with a crash safety rating, how it likes the stars for cars program, or even with like, you know, programs that we probably like, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, where we basically say like, who is your designated driver?

These are ways of sort of encouraging you to do the right thing as opposed to actually regulate.

So you just sort of let that dynamic play out for a while.

We’ve been telling Americans just for decades, you know, look out for protecting yourself inside a vehicle.

And we’re not actually doing anything from a regulation perspective, unlike a lot of other countries to force them as consumers or as car designers to think about the broader safety implications.

By extension, it’s intuitive.

You end up with a sort of national fleet of cars that’s going to be getting bigger and bigger and bigger, because people are looking out for their own self interest, even if overall, we would all prefer to be in a country with smaller cars.

That’s just not how we’re set up to drive.

Okay, David, I want to push back on something you said a little earlier, and I’m doing this in the friendliest way possible.

You said that you didn’t think people in the car industry were evil.

And I think that’s generally true, right?

Like, I don’t think anybody comes out of design school, you know, thinking, how can I kill the most people possible, they, they love cars, they think cars are cool, they grew up with like working on their dad’s Mustang or something like that.

But once you are in an industry and you find out that, you know, you’re working at the widget factory, and you find out that widgets are the leading killer of children in this country, or that 40,000 people die from using your products every year, what responsibility then do those people have to quit the industry, go find something else to do, change it from within, or be a whistleblower, let’s say, you know, I think it relies on an interpretation of evil as like a snidely whiplash sort of character, when in reality, it’s more the evil that we’re sort of seeing in government overall, right, not just in corporations, but a sort of like going along with the status quo, never questioning it, because there’s money to be made.

I mean, talking about looking out for ourselves, we’re doing it in our cars, but we’re also doing it in our livelihoods as well, right?

I know you don’t want to burn bridges with people that you’ve, you know, cultivated in the auto industry, and you are a sharp critic of those people as well, and have gotten into it with them.

I know some of that, but I think like we have to maybe reframe the idea of like what it means for someone to either be or not be evil, right?

If I were working in that industry, and I found out that like front over crashes were going up as a result of design that I created, I might reconsider my place in that industry.

Or you know, we confronted the Dodge folks at the International Auto Show and said, you’ve got this awful marketing that is just basically like a middle finger to everybody else who’s out on the road, and worse than that, like pointing a gun at everybody else who’s out on the road.

And what responsibility do these marketers have for kind of pulling back?

Granted, they’re not going to, if government’s not going to force them to, but I don’t know, when I hear like, oh, people aren’t evil, I’m like, no, I don’t think that’s true either, but they’re not great actors either.

Yeah, so I just would caution against painting everybody works at a car company with a broad brush.

One example I worked on for Slate about Carbloat, I quoted the CTO of Stellantis who said like, it is a huge problem that our cars are getting ever heavier and ever bigger, we need to do something about this as an industry.

And you know what, I really appreciate that, that sort of like that kind of candor.

And on the flip side, Doug, and you’ve probably seen this, I get pretty pissed off when I see car executives spouting bullshit, which does happen, to be clear.

There’s a little bit of a like, I think you should leave hot dog meme of like, we’re all trying to find the guy who did this when they said like, yeah, I think this is a huge problem, right?

Yeah, no, there’s that.

And then you get the people who was just sort of obfuscate and say, oh, bigger SUVs and trucks isn’t a source of people dying on roads, it’s street lighting, which was something I heard from an executive, you might have seen this was on Twitter, a fight a couple months ago, that’s ridiculous.

And we should call that out as being the baseless stuff that it is.

But I will say, Doug, and this is maybe where it’s weird, I don’t normally find myself in the position of defending cars.

But I think that tobacco, you could argue is a product that really did nobody any good.

It was just completely like we could have we could get rid of tobacco completely, we’d be better off as a society.

The unfortunate reality of the United States right now is if you just sort of poof, remove all the cars, or you don’t create any new cars, a lot of people in New York would be just fine.

I’d be just fine in Washington DC, I’m a bike commuter, I use transit, and I walk a lot.

But the reality is, we’ve built up a country now where most people are going to see a serious decline in their quality of life if they cannot have access to a car.

And that’s a very unfortunate reality, but it’s real.

Yes, I literally just said to someone like the most vexing part of this problem, when people do compare it to cigarettes, is that nobody ever wrote a cigarette to work, right?

Exactly.

That made it much easier.

But that doesn’t absolve the comp, just because people need a means, a personal mobility device, as my co-host Darren would say, to get their groceries, to get their little old lady grandmas to the hospital, to get to work, doesn’t mean they need like the child crusher 3000 to do it, right?

That’s right.

So I’m not saying that the CEO of Stellantis should be like, I’m quitting, and I’m going to join the priesthood, and I’m getting out of this business altogether.

I’m saying like, what responsibility do they have to design a better product?

And that it’s just this sort of cognitive disconnect when the guy running the corporation is like, yeah, I don’t know, like, how are we ever going to change anything?

I mean, you run the company that does it, my friend, and I understand that you have to answer to shareholders and all of that, but if not you, then who?

It’s almost like we need the reverse to happen compared to what normally happens.

Normally people leave government regulation jobs to go work for private industry to help private industry get around government regulations.

We need these people to like have their come to Jesus moment and leave private industry to get into government regulation, basically.

I just don’t see it happening, Doug, I’ll be honest with you.

Like yeah.

No, of course not.

I guess this is part of why I’m thinking through the questions that you posed and I’m struggling a little bit because having talked with so many people in the car industry, I think a lot of them would like to do what you and I would say is the right thing, which is design smaller cars with their backs against the wall in their own minds for a few reasons.

One is like, you know, Sarah just mentioned it, they are publicly traded companies, so they have to be responsible to their shareholders.

And relatedly, they are spending a ton of money on R and D right now on electrification and they need that money to come from somewhere.

And they, by the way, they all just signed these new labor deals.

They’re going to increase their labor costs.

So this is the other sort of like tough nut to crack with the car bloat problem is that SUVs and trucks are way more profitable than smaller cars.

It’s actually a whole other way of building a car when you are building sedans or smaller cars because you have to build like for quantity as opposed to like having a smaller runs with higher prices and more variation and fun add ons.

It’s really hard for them to make that kind of a shift.

In my view, the only way that really happens is not because they have this come to Jesus moral awakening.

It’s not going to happen.

I don’t think I think it’s going to happen when regulation forces them to, which is why I talk a lot about state and federal regulations or you have a popular backlash, a broad popular backlash like what happened in the early sixties, partly because of the blow up over Ralph Nader’s book, but also because of a whole variety of a number of us Senate investigation hearings, which we’ve sort of forgotten about by I believe Ribbinkoff is his name, the senator that were transformative.

Those are the two directions like grassroots work and popular pressure or federal regulations.

I don’t see a sort of like moral reason for automakers to change.

Oh, no, I don’t see it either.

And I think it gets back to what you were saying earlier, which is that not to offload every bit of responsibility to the younger generations, but they are maybe going to be part of this popular uprising that hopefully changes a little bit of what we’re talking about.

Yeah, I hope so.

OK, so things are not going to change because somebody has a moral epiphany and wakes up and devotes their life as the former CEO of Stellantis to to changing the world and the way that cars work in it.

I mean, if things are going to be solved by policy, what kind of policies are out there?

What kind of policies do you see?

I know you’ve written about the possibility of speed governors.

You’ve written about weight limits.

You know, where do you see positive policy change happening that’s scalable?

I tell you what I’m most excited about are the innovations I see at the state and local level as a growing number of elected leaders and transportation officials just get frustrated with what we’re all frustrated here.

The lack of action from Congress and from NHTSA, right?

So Sarah, you just alluded to a couple that I think are quite powerful.

One is in New York City.

I think it was a really smart move last year to launch a pilot with basically Intelligent Speed Assist, which is sort of like a smart speed limiter that adjusts to the speed limit on 50 vehicles within the city’s fleet.

If the results are strong and they’re doing research with the Volpe Center, a major research arm of US DOT, Mayor Adam said he wants to spread it across I think it’s 30,000 vehicles in New York City government’s fleet that are not emergency response.

And the reason why I’m excited about that is because I don’t see the US government adopting speed governors anytime soon, as insane as it is that we are able to buy cars that can go 40 miles over a speed limit.

It’s just no one needs to go 120 miles on a public road ever.

But if you focus on public fleets, they can provide an outsized benefit because not only are those cars going the speed limit or right around the speed limit, they actually slow down everybody behind or they prevent them from slowing them down.

They prevent them from reckless speeding.

So you don’t actually need every car to have a speed limiter to have a major improvement in street safety.

Hopefully, that at least is the aspiration.

So that Sarah is a policy idea fleet based speed regulators I think is potentially really exciting and I’ll give New York City credit for being at the tip of the spear on that one.

So another one that I really like and I’m going to take credit for this one because it’s my city that went first is weight based car fees.

Because if NHTSA won’t do anything about the car bloat and the risks it creates for everybody else on a street, then that’s a challenge.

But states and cities can potentially find workarounds by playing with their registration fees or even parking fees to make them dramatically scale on the basis of car weight.

And the District of Columbia where I live adopted weight based car fees that actually had a 7x differential between how much it costs to register like a Hummer, I think it’s $500 a year versus a small sedan.

I wrote a story for CityLab about this, which was a city fights back against heavyweight cars.

That is the headline I did write Sarah.

You’re asking about another headline I did not write.

This one I did.

And that story went nuclear and it was exciting to see because it showed me just how much enthusiasm there is in the US, far outside of the District of Columbia for tangible ways of pushing back against car bloat.

So DC now does this, New York has a bill doing it, Colorado has proposed a bill, California is studying it.

And it strikes me as a very smart way of potentially addressing the car bloat issues that our federal government just seems uninterested in tackling.

David, we’ve been talking a lot about cars and car design, but I want to take a detour to Peachtree City, Georgia, which is one of my favorite stories of yours that you went down there and you’ve written a lot about micro mobility and, you know, electric scooters and shared bicycles and things like that.

Let’s talk about golf carts for a little bit.

So Doug, can I tell you a secret about Peachtree City?

I have a special source there.

Oh, sure.

Here’s something nobody knows.

Show with your audience.

My girlfriend grew up there.

Well, there you go.

Oh my God.

That’s so cool.

So she’s been singing the praises of golf carts for a while.

And I’ve obviously gone down with her and I was just fascinated by it because I don’t know about you guys.

I would guess like before I wrote that story, what is the town that would you guys have golf carts in the US?

What did you think about?

First of all, I’m just curious.

You think of the villages in Florida.

Oh, I think of what is called Biscayne Bay.

Yeah, that makes sense.

It’s interesting.

You mentioned the villages.

That’s often what people what people say.

I’ve also heard a lot of examples of like of basically like resort towns like Catalina Island and stuff like that and like coastal places.

Yeah.

What’s so intriguing to me about Peachtree City is that it’s neither a sort of like resort area or retirement community.

It’s just an American suburb of, you know, 40 some thousand people with high schools and shopping malls and whatever else.

And that’s why I was really curious to sort of I got, you know, I was already spending time there because that’s where my partner’s family is from.

But to actually just like sort of learn about how life revolves around these vehicles.

And so, yeah, I spent some time down there, Doug, to say like, what’s different?

And it’s really kind of inspiring, actually, to hear the stories about how people’s lives have been enhanced.

You talk to the high schoolers who are like 15 years old and 14 years old and they’re like, yeah, now I can go out and see my friends and we can go to the mall or go if we want without a parental chaperone.

And I feel so much more free.

And also I feel like I’m a better driver in a car when I start doing that because I had the experience with a golf cart and parents don’t have to pick up their kids from after school activities in their ninth grade or something because they can get home on their own.

Or you talk to older people who are retired.

I talked to one gentleman who had a big operation on his leg.

I think this I can’t remember if this got cut from the story I did for Bloomberg Business Week.

But he said, like, look, I couldn’t fold myself into a car to drive, but I could sit in a golf cart and it helped me like maintain my social connections and get to the store.

And of course, people are saving a lot of money.

That’s another issue, too, is like those who have limited incomes.

It’s great in that way.

So I think the most inspiring part of that story was just talking to families who said, like, yeah, like, we still drive into Atlanta or we drive to our job at the Atlanta airport because Petri City isn’t far from it.

But when we’re at home, you know, we have this network of golf cart pads, which is really the sine qua non of the whole system there.

And when I’m with my family and we’re going to go out for a meal or go to a park, we never take a car.

We always get in the golf cart and it’s so much nicer and we get to know our neighbors so much more.

And it’s just so much better.

So I don’t know.

I hope you enjoyed that story, Doug.

I’m glad you said you did.

I love that story for exactly that reason, because it put mobility as a sort of tool and you’re using the right tool for the job.

So like you said, if they have to go long distances, they break out the SUV fine.

But for the trip to the grocery store or to see their friends, they’re just hopping in this little electric golf cart.

And when you when you go to a city like Oslo, Norway, and I believe you were there, right, David?

So you see cars on the street because they’re doing a lot to encourage electric cars for better or for worse, but you do see vehicles like the Renault Twizy, which I’ve often fantasized about like, man, it would be nice to start a Twizy dealership in Manhattan.

It basically is a golf cart.

It’s like a very fancy little golf cart.

You know, it’s like kind of looks cooler, but it’s it’s almost the same form factor.

And I mean, is there any way that you can imagine policy where cities are able to encourage and incentivize those kinds of vehicles replacing these big bloated, crappy, dangerous, dirty auto industry products?

I mean, they could still be auto industry products, just a different kind of product parking spots that are only six feet long.

Well, that’s interesting, Doug, because I imagine on street parking might be the best lever we have.

I don’t know what like what can cities do, David, to like start to discourage big, dirty, dangerous auto industry products and start to replace those products with lighter, cleaner, less expensive, more socially responsible personal mobility devices.

Skip the subsidies because golf carts like e-cargo bikes are already way cheaper than a new car in America.

Like it’s so unbelievably expensive to buy a new car in this country.

And instead.

But what do you mean?

What do you mean, skip the subsidy?

Like that’s not the place to focus the place to focus.

If you really want to move the needle on golf cart adoption, in my view, is to build safe places to use them separated from our behemoths of full size cars.

That could mean golf cart paths, ideally like you have in Peachtree City, but that’s not going to be feasible in a big city or even a built out suburb where we’d have to a retrofit.

What you do there is you build a network of slow speed streets that are 25 miles an hour so that the golf cart users can get wherever they want to go, even if they’re not using every street, every road in the whole region, they can get wherever they want to go without having to share a lane with an SUV that weighs like three times as much and is traveling three times as fast.

That’s what we need to do.

So you think we can’t really force change on the auto industry.

We can’t say like, Hey, you guys need to change your products to meet these specifications like lighter, cheaper, cleaner, safer.

Instead the onus goes on us, the public, the city with our stretched municipal budgets.

We have to go and transform our city like pour concrete, put up bollards, do all these, like build a whole new transportation infrastructure for the kinds of vehicles we want.

It feels a little bit like, you know, you’re sort of letting private industry off the hook.

Like you guys go continue to make your bad products.

We’re going to go bulletproof our city.

We’re going to armor it up and create this separate safe space in the hopes that these other products flourish.

I don’t know, Aaron, I guess I would say that it’s the right thing for cities to do regardless is to build safe places to travel that are no vehicles going faster than 25 miles per hour.

Not just to encourage golf guards, but to the people who wanted to, to use a bicycle or an e-bike or a cargo bike, don’t have to worry about being clipped and struck and injured or killed by the passing SUV.

But in what scenario, like we still have cars, we still have these.

So we’re out there on bikes as we are now here in New York city.

And it’s like how we all get around and we’re mixing with, you know, 5,000 pound SUVs that can go zero to 60 in four seconds.

Like why should that product, why should that personal mobility product be allowed to be used in our city?

Like, and how is it okay to encourage more of us to be biking and being out in golf carts when these incredibly dangerous products are on the street too?

But couldn’t the cities do something that doesn’t cost them a lot of money about that?

For example, we have congestion pricing coming.

So using DC’s example of a weight base beyond parking or registration, let’s say, couldn’t you say like, okay, the congestion pricing fee is $9.

But if your car weighs more than 6,000 pounds, it’s $50.

Yeah.

Like there are things that we could do that aren’t going to cost the city money and ultimately will be cheaper for preventing the death and destruction and infrastructure damage that these larger cars are doing.

And I think you can do that with parking too.

You could be like if you want to park a behemoth on the, you know, the on-street.

It’s $2 an hour for everybody except for you in your behemoth.

It’s $17.

But David, it just, I just feel like so I don’t mean to criticize you because I feel like this is the, the set of policy proposal, you know, we sometimes have called ourselves a livable streets movement.

We’ve been very focused on streets.

It just feels to me after 20 years of this, like it’s not working that well.

Like, like I don’t feel safer on the street on my bike.

I’m not super comfortable with my kids biking still.

And it’s because we don’t really focus on the cars and the car industry products and they keep getting more dangerous.

So it’s like, I really want a set of policies that does something about that.

So give it to me.

Give it to me, David.

I mean, there’s no single policy that’s going to fix this sort of like deep hole we’ve dug ourselves into with, with ubiquitous cars that are often too big and too powerful and too dangerous in this country.

It’s a matter of biting off little pieces of the puzzle and those solutions are going to be partial.

And they’re also going to depend on the environment in which we’re talking about.

Like Peachtree city is a wonderful example that could be emulated by new suburbs that are being built from scratch and master developed.

And let’s say like the excerpts of Phoenix or Orlando or something like that.

I don’t know that Peachtree city has a lot to tell us about what to do in Brooklyn.

Right.

It’s very different.

To be totally honest.

But I think what Aaron is saying is, you know, we were talking about Ralph Nader earlier and you know, the impact that his work had on road safety was just so tremendous.

So outscale.

It wasn’t little nibbles here and there, right?

Because we got seat belts, we got airbags, we got like saved thousands of lives.

And we did that by sitting down in front of the United States Congress and making it crystal clear to the members of Congress and also to the American public that there was a product safety problem that was at least in part motivated by corporate greed, right?

And unwillingness to put the money in to do these safety improvements without being forced.

And I guess, I mean, we’ve been talking about this.

Well, it’s like we need a Ralph Nader for the people outside the car.

That’s David.

And I always thought it was David.

I actually do think I would sometimes read your stuff and I’m like, oh, David could be the Ralph Nader for the people outside the car.

But it’s like what, you know.

So have you been invited to testify in front of Congress?

Are you going to run for president in 2024?

Is there some scenario in which you could see yourself testifying in front of a committee, you know, you or somebody else and really just opening people’s eyes to these, these products are unsafe at any speed?

At any size.

At any size, right?

Yeah.

I mean, Nader’s book was transformative for thinking about product safety of cars, right?

And how cars were endangering people inside of them.

Although I will add one thing, Sarah, to the little history you shared there.

When Nader’s book first came out unsafe at any speed, it was not immediately a hit.

I think it’s important to keep this in mind.

It was like, you know, some people read it.

It was okay.

It was fine.

You know what turned it into the sort of like breakthrough bestseller transformative book that we know of it?

It’s because General Motors hired detectives to sort of clumsily look for dirt in Nader’s background, like trying to like hook him up with prostitutes or whatever, got nowhere.

And then this, then this news got out.

And when that happened, you guys know this story?

No.

Oh, you don’t know this story?

Yeah.

I knew that they tried to dig up dirt on him.

I don’t know.

They found nothing.

They found nothing.

Like Nader is like squeaky clean.

The news of this investigation got out.

And now you have, I think the technical term is a shit show.

And GM, this is actually a really fascinating moment in American history.

GM backpedaled.

It was just one of the biggest corporate cell phones in American history, I would say.

And General Motors did a big payout to Nader, who then used that money not to buy himself a new house, but to actually fund these consumer advocacy organizations that basically made him a national here.

So I just, so I, first of all, I just think the story is fascinating is why I bring it up.

But also I just want to be clear, it wasn’t simply like Nader published the book and everything changed.

Nader published a book.

It did okay.

It built on some momentum is already coming along.

And then General Motors just shot itself in the foot in the biggest way possible.

So David, you need to write a book, Stellantis needs to like see if you’ve got any skeletons in your closet and then you’ll ride that Streisand effect to banning SUVs.

Done.

Problem solved.

Yeah, exactly.

No, but there’s a broader point you were making, which I didn’t address yet, which was like, how do you actually get the policymakers to care?

I mean, I live in DC. I’ve actually spoken with congressmen and representatives and people in power about this.

And it’s interesting, I was talking with Earl Blumenauer.

You guys may know him.

He’s about to retire.

Adam on the pod.

He’s a guest on the podcast.

That’s awesome.

Friend of the podcast.

Great guy.

Right?

Like a hero for people like biking in particular.

I asked him like, what’s the deal with car bloat and with cars?

You know, it’s a problem.

Is there any interest among your colleagues to do something?

And he basically was like, they’re scared shitless of doing anything like that.

Even if they know it’s a problem, because there’s this this conflation of cars and freedom in the American mind, which automakers have really built up with all their ads and so forth and so on.

And he was very candid with me sort of saying, like, look, there’s got to be a public push to force us to do something.

And this is a guy who wants to do something like there has to be a ground solo support.

And that’s, you know, just to bring it full circle, look, like you were saying nice things about me.

And I appreciate that, but I’ll say, like, look, I think you guys and podcasts like yours play an important role, because even if you are like a lot of people you’re reaching, I think are already on the team.

Not everyone.

I think there’s some who learn about the problems with cars through it.

But you really need deeper, stronger, broader organizations like this to sort of create the cover for elected leaders to make the decisions that they’re just not making right now in Congress and also in a lot of state governments.

That’s what I would say.

I think that’s a pretty good place to wrap it up.

Yeah, David, we really appreciate, you know, your output.

I think, you know, you’re writing so many of these and every now and then something breaks through to Dallas local TV news.

So we really, we really appreciate it.

Your pen is a sword.

Absolutely.

In the war on cars.

Yes.

And I think you’re right.

We just need to build a much, much bigger team.

And you’re a great part of that.

So thank you so much for coming on the war on cars.

No, it’s my pleasure to be with you.

I mentioned a few of my articles and if people are listening or curious to find them, they’re all available on my website, which is davidzipper.com.


  1. Thanks to Mammoth’s onboarding process, of all gosh darned referrers. ↩︎

  2. Considering he was already a member of my sadly-destined-for-oblivion-at-any-moment, quite prolific automotive Twitter list↩︎

Apple Music Live NYE 2024

and here I thought the video (Beat Breaker vs the Pony instrumental) was funny but then went to Picsart and “made”… this

brocade

Noun

  1. thick heavy expensive material with a raised pattern
    • Less specific
      • fabric
      • cloth
      • material
      • textile
    • Related
      • brocade

Verb

  1. weave a design into (textiles)
    • Less specific
      • weave
      • tissue
    • Related
      • brocade
    • Topic Members
      • handicraft
  1. Textiles a rich fabric woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread the quilt was of white silk brocade | a heavy brocade curtain

Origin

late 16th century : from Spanish and Portuguese brocado (influenced by French brocart ), from Italian broccato , from brocco twisted thread