Empirical evidence

Yesterday I drove across about 150 miles of nearly straight road through a boring desert in central and eastern Washington. I was able to empirically determine my alertness level was better while listening to the works of Van Halen over that of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn.


12 thoughts on “Empirical evidence

  1. I’ll have to try that at the end of the month, we are heading North to see the family…

  2. sir:

    nothing boring about the eastern washington desert.

    some awfully drab towns in the middle of it, but the desert is very pretty if you pay attention. like an attractive girl who is not spectacular, the desert wears well over the long run.

    you just have to know how to look

    john jay

    • You might have a different opinion on that after you have driven that same stretch of straight road a couple hundred times.

    • I have driven that stretch so many times it isn’t even funny. While yes it may be enjoyable to go for a horseback ride out off to the side, it always looks the same and you’re driving so straight that you can drive for 30 minutes at 70mph without ever turning the wheel much more than enough to pass a semi.

      Doing that once a week eventually causes Joe’s behavior because I have the same attitude now. If there were more twists and turns it would be miles better.

  3. Audiobooks are more distracting than podcasts, though both should be avoided in heavy traffic. I can remember specific instances of missing an exit while listening to specific books or podcasts. Music doesn’t seem to use the same parts of the brain and doesn’t take much from driving alertness.

  4. I’ve experienced the same thing on long drives. Talky podcasts tend to make me start yawning and then I have to flip over to the rock playlist to wake up.

  5. Van Halen’s pretty good for the long trips, how do you feel about the Eagles? “Hotel California is almost the official Highway song for 395 north of Mojave.

    • I could have played The Eagles. I like them better but my scan for something high energy resulted in a hit on Van Halen first.

      • I used to love Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Meatloaf, and super funk (Rick James, the Commodores, Gap Band, etc.). Willie Nelson is actually pretty calming though. He’s good for traffic jams.

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