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Showing posts from December, 2012

How to solve the distracted driving problem
Is talking on the phone while driving illegal? [Part II]

Photo Credits: Flickr user Lord Jim Humans are cognitive beings, we instinctively get attracted to actions which involve thinking, perception and interaction with others. And the  crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals [Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Tanya Behne, and Henrike Moll (2005),  Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition ]. Hence, as I argued in the first part of this post  - given a chance, any human will prefer talking and interacting with others, even if it means talking or texting on the phone while driving! Making laws declaring mobile phone usage illegal is probably the easiest but the most difficult to implement solution to this problem. The solution lies in using technology to circumvent the problem. Humans today do not engage in several non-productive tasks such as those involving physical labou

Is talking on the phone while driving illegal? [Part I]

Photo Credits: Flickr user  OregonDOT Short Answer: Yes . Long Answer - read below . Depending upon which source you trust [ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ] - anything between 88 to 30 percent of people admit to using mobile phones (talking, texting and using apps) while driving. Several cars (even those not so pricey) available now integrate your mobile phone with the car stereo systems acknowledging that usage of mobile phone while driving is not just acceptable but also to be encouraged and aided with technology. Given these stats, is it really worth having laws which prohibit mobile phone usage while driving? These laws are similar to the sermons of the 16th century Church which decreed the Copernicus system of astronomy to be false. I remember one of my maternal grandfathers telling me that is mother never allowed him to ride a moped or a scooter in his youth because she was afraid of accidents. (Ironically, he got injured on the road was when someone else hit him while he was walki

Why Best Places To Work lists are wrong!

Image Credits flickr user chippenziedeutch "A Director of Human Resources for a federal agency told me I was looking at the (Best Places to Work for) lists all wrong. 'I think they're great!' he said. Just not for employees. I was looking at the wrong consumers." Traditional companies (like the government), offer solid benefits like a great retirement plan - That quote above is so true. The last 2 decades of rapid economic growth across the globe, the coming and going of recessions and rallies has created a lopsided environment about the importance of 'work' (and its derivatives 'job satisfaction', 'learning', 'growth' etc.) in an employment relationship. Prior to the 90s, when the old economy jobs ruled, trade unions (and even officer unions) controlled what went into employment contracts - the important things were job security, retirement benefits, fixed work hours etc. Today, most workplace surveys and i