The Coming of the Driverless Car …

Recently, my manual transmission Passat suffered reverses such that it made no sense to continue with the car (I loved it).  Since TLOML has wanted a Prius for quite a while … we got one.  We traded in the Passat as part of the deal, and my primary car has become what was formerly “her” Nissan Altima.  Keeping in mind that my most conservative instincts involve either foreign policy or driving, a few impressions have emerged over the last few weeks:

First, the most obvious:  as a condition for buying the Prius, she had to check a box that provided, “I agree that I will always drive this vehicle so cautiously that I am a danger to me and to all vehicles around me.”

As to the Nissan:  we’ve had it for a good number of years.  I obviously have driven it from time to time.  I’ve always considered it a “good” car – reliable, not terrible pickup, good gas mileage – in short, the perfect car for my spouse, who derives no satisfaction or fulfillment from driving.  Now that it has become “mine,” I’ve become acutely aware:  that I don’t have to put a key in the ignition to start the car; that it unlocks itself when it knows I’m nearby; that it knows whether it is light or dark, and turns its own lights on; and that – most importantly – once it starts down the road, I don’t have to do anything as we accelerate.  I have become superfluous.

For those that decry the coming of the driverless car … count me amongst your ranks.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m already subjected to one …

General Principles

This site was spawned in October, 2017, from my overriding interest in public affairs [as well as in the Catholic Church and the Green Bay Packers 😉 ].  Anyone viewing this knows how I relish reading and talking about the listed categories, and that I love to write (reducing thoughts to writing also helps illuminate the gaps in one’s thinking on a subject).  My original notion was to record my thoughts on one long Word document; a number of our family and friends kindly indicated that they enjoy our conversations on these topics and encouraged me to maintain a blog instead.  This site will be just words — no visuals, sound or the like — because I have neither the aptitude for nor the interest in adding them.

There are no highfalutin designs for this blog.  A good friend of ours – who sometimes agrees with my pontifications — suggested (a bit tongue-in-cheek) “McCoy’s Noise” as the site name; we immediately loved it because it was catchy, unique, and – most importantly – it conveys what is intended to be the site’s predominant spirit:  that we not take ourselves too seriously.  It’s fairly doubtful than any earthshaking insights will emanate from here.  This is to have fun while recognizing that any content will simply be part of the crescendo of commentary crossing our nation and world every minute.

Although I invite anyone to enter a comment (which, for the uninitiated, is done by clicking on the given post’s title and then scrolling to the comment box which appears at bottom of the post), there are two rules that I intend to cover all content of this site:

  1. That anyone entering content (and this absolutely applies to me) needs to do so with the internal awareness that whatever s/he is asserting, no matter how fervently held, may be … ALL HAYWIRE.

 

  1. That concepts be expressed in a civil tone. Respect needs to trump fervor.  Disagreements need to be expressed agreeably.  I do my best to maintain the measured (many would say, “boring”) tone of op-ed pieces in major newspapers.  There are limits – for example, I see no way to charitably describe the sentiments of marchers wearing white sheets, carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans – but I expect such instances to be pretty rare.  A comment will never be deleted because the commenter takes issue with the substance of something I’ve posted (as like as not, s/he, not I, will be right); comments that are venomous or disrespectful in tone or language – even if they support what I’ve posted — will be removed.

Just as Seinfeld did a “Show About Nothing,” this is very likely the “Blog That Makes Nobody Happy.”  I am more conservative than my ardently liberal friends, and more liberal than my staunchly conservative friends.  We’re all aware of the studies showing that people gravitate to sources that reinforce their own views.  I consider the toxic tribalism that has overtaken us to be the single greatest threat to our wellbeing as a nation.  Although I abhor President Trump’s tone and disagree with the vast majority of his policies, as of this writing I believe his actions are a major cause of the movement we’ve recently seen on the Korean Peninsula.  Likewise, although I have the utmost respect for President Obama as a person, I consider his second term foreign policy to have been largely a failure.

From time to time, there will be periods in which I make few posts.  It won’t be because I’ve lost interest in the blog, or the subjects covered; it’ll be because I’m engaging in other activities (or getting chores done at the behest of TLOML).  We need to manage technology, not let it manage us.  I would suggest that it’s not in the best interest of any of us to spend too much personal time in front of a screen.  There are a number of books that address this; we may make some Noise on this in the future :).