16 thoughts on “Episode 6 – 23rd October 2009

  1. Well, count me as another one!

    I have no idea how they managed to carbon offset the Singapore race – is Brazil big enough to hold all the rain forest they’d have had to plant? And some things like the green wristbands last year are just silly. But it’s good to be reminded of all the genuine advances and advantages.

    However I fear this one, like Ming’s Jaguar, is not something that can defended with logic, strong though the logic is.

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  2. Hmm. About the music thing, I’m tempted to attempt a Moorean definition by finding a suitably large collection of records and CDs – a decent second-hand record shop would do – then point at it and say “that’s music”. G.E. Moore did just that when someone asked him what philosophy was – he just pointed to his bookcase and said “It is what these are all about”.

    The problem splits neatly down the middle though: everyone can identify music. I mean, even if you abhor Nazi hate-metal, you still recognise it as music. When you find out it’s peddling racism, you don’t suddenly start believing that it’s not a rock band playing music, you just find yourself revolted at the concept and reconsidering your taste in it. The problem of identifying what music does not coincide with the problem of figuring out the basis for our opinions of music.

    I guess I better confess to my admiration of black gospel music, in spite of being a British, white atheist. I find it inspirational, uplifting and honest despite not agreeing with the basic premises of gospel music (“Jesus, without you, I’m nothing” etc.). One of the few things I like about being around religious people – they don’t wrap all their Jesus stuff in seventeen layers of insufferable Nathan Barleyesque “Sugar Ape” postmodern irony.

  3. “the last fatality in Formula 1 was in 1994.”
    Um, that was the last driver fatality. A marshall was killed since then (2001 or 2003 I think).

    The crash structures that make up an F1 car are not unsuitable for road cars because of the exotic materials, but because F1 structures are designed to withstand one impact only. A road car in a motorway pile-up must take several bumps without allowing the occupants to become injured. It is less about choice of fancy materials, more about how they are designed.

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  4. Andy,

    Truth be told, I’m not too sure about the FIA Foundation’s carbon offsetting scheme. Reliable outlets ran with the story in 2007. But there has been little mention of it before or since and I haven’t been able to find anything about it on the FIA Foundation website. It’s also interesting that the FIA itself now feels as though it needs to have its own carbon offsetting policies.


    You are quite right about a marshal dying. In fact, two marshals have been killed since Ayrton Senna’s death — Paolo Ghislimberti in 2000 and Graham Beveridge in 2001. I hate myself for neglecting to mention that.

    Thanks also for the clarification re the unsuitability of F1 materials in road cars.

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  5. Count me in as another liberal F1 fan. Some good points about the comparison between F1 and other sports…and I honestly don’t think working to address global warming means we need to lead a joyless life. When I’ve attended the US Grand Prix we’ve always driven rather than flown…and go as a family so there are four of us in the car…thus reducing our carbon footprint while attending :- ).

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  6. “more than 2½ times as many people have died while competing in the Great North Run than have died in F1”

    This year I think there were 54,000 competitors in the Great North Run. How many people compete in F1? Even when you add up all the races and practice sessions, I suspect the figure falls somewhere below that.

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  7. Duncan2,

    You are of course right about the number of competitors. But I brought it up because it is counter-intuitive. Motorsport is supposed to be dangerous, but running is supposed to be safe or even good for you. Which it is. But the point I was making is that there are very few activities where the risk of death is zero, and motorsport is perhaps closer to zero than many believe.

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  8. […] efficiency, run-flat tyres and KERS, or its potential to promote tourism and regional growth. Read this excellent post by Duncan ‘Doctor Vee’ Stephen for more ideas on presenting F1’s achievements […]

    (via Duncan’s Blog)

  9. Just got introduced to this show.

    Streaming only? Unfair. You can’t call it a pod cast, put ‘pod’ in the name, unless we have an mp3 to download. Not cool.

  10. Hi Aerik,

    You can download the show using a podcast aggregator such as iTunes – and it’ll mean you get all of the latest episodes delivered directly to you.

    I’ll work on getting some direct links up, but I’m not sure how ipadio would feel about me promoting links directly to the file – though you can find these links by looking at the RSS feed anyway.

    The direct link for this episode, for reference is https://ipadio.s3.amazonaws.com/mp3/3452_20091023000033.mp3

    Hope this helps.

  11. Hi Duncan (& Duncan2),

    Your comparison of the Great North Run with motorsport was extremely poorly thought through – your justification of it above is little better. To compare things so obviously different makes your argument sound a touch hollow.

    “But the point I was making is that there are very few activities where the risk of death is zero, and motorsport is perhaps closer to zero than many believe.”

    You don’t know if that’s true (neither do I, FWIW) and your analogy tried to show it was true but didn’t, so we still don’t know if it *is* in fact a dangerous sport, apart from your surmising above!

    Similar logical fallacy : Iceland has fewer murders than USA, therefore it is a safer country.


    Perhaps so, but you made no effort to demonstrate it.

  12. I think the comments so far have been about right – to show that running is more dangerous than motor-sport (or Formula 1 in particular) you’d have to do a per-capita or even per-capita-per-active-hour comparison.

    That said, if it turned out that Formula 1 was especially dangerous, that wouldn’t make it unethical, in my book. There are plenty of sports which are quite dangerous – mountain climbing, skateboarding, skiing/snowboarding, rodeo, caving, diving with sharks and so on. Also, if you compare F1 to motorcycle racing, it’s no contest. Isle of Man TT has had tons more people dying – 200+ if I recall correctly. But the point is safety does not equal ethics. If you want to be utterly reckless, that’s your prerogative. Maybe if people were being seduced into riding F1 cars without adequate knowledge of the risks they run doing so.

    You might be able to make a case that F1 makes reckless driving more attractive – I’m not sure it does. I spent countless hours in my youth watching Schumacher, Mansell, Irvine et al. and it has been said of my driving that it’s more Volvo than Ferrari. But if you could show that F1 caused people to drive recklessly, you’d have a good opening point for an argument against F1 or motorsport.

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