random memes }

On adults and responsibility

TechKnow Times » Why mandatory E-911 for VoIP is a very bad thing But hey, this is America, we don’t expect people to take personal responsibility for anything.

One thread in the cloth of which our civilization is built - or in this case a thread that should be re-thought.

Should not a "responsible citizen" be, well, responsible? This meme bears repeating. Should adults be expected to be responsible for their own choices?

Let us re-visit some assumptions...

Speed Limits

Why do we have speed limits? To protect the driver? Should that not be up to the driver? To protect others? In crowded areas this makes sense. By the same notion in remote or less-travelled areas the need for speed limits is less or none.

If you hop onto the local freeway what portion of cars are at or under the speed limit? Around here that would be few or none. What purpose does a law serve that practically everyone breaks?

Signs with recommended speeds are always a good idea, if the speed recommended is based on the actual road. When you are driving across the country and the sign indicates a recommended speed of 35 miles/hour for an upcoming curve, any good driver is going to take notice. For the driver that does not take notice, if they only harm themselves, why should we have laws to prevent this?

What brings this to mind is a mildly diverting local road through a small canyon. This road regularly claims the lives of drivers (mostly teenagers) that choose to drive too fast through the canyon. Either for this reason, or because this once-remote canyon is turning into high-priced suburbia, the speed limit on the road has been lowered to 35mph. This limit is ridiculously low, (you can hold 55mph through almost the entire road without difficulty) so of course now practically every driver on this road is in violation of the law. At the same time young (mostly) drivers still drive well in excess of both the posted limit and safe speeds.

This is silly. The lower limit accomplishes nothing, aside from create a revenue-generating opportunity for the local police.

Without speed limits what do you do if someone drives without regard to risk to others? You do the same as now. An officer can give you a ticket if in their judgement you were driving recklessly. Posted speed limits are a bit silly in the opposite sense, as there are times (in rainy or foggy conditions) when even the posted limits are too fast for safety.

You should drive at a speed you consider safe. Signs should help you make this judgement. Officers can cite you if in their judgement you were driving at an unsafe speed for the current conditions.

If someone gets killed driving too fast - Think of this as evolution in action.


The local wilderness area has a sign detailing a list of harm that might come to you in the park, and disclaimers. They also close the park after the rains. At first I thought this was to protect the trails, but later realized that single strong rainfall does far more damage than an entire year of hikers and bikers. The county has a $500 fine for entering a closed park. The rationale is that people might hurt themselves on the muddy trails, and sue the county.

This too is silly. Adults should be responsible for their own behavior -- and their own mistakes.

Responsible is the definition of Adult

I believe that we should encourage and rely on adults taking full responsibility for their decisions.