Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 06/19/17

I saw a woman in the lane next to me texting as she drove at about 45 MPH. I was behind her at first and watched her driving on the shoulder and at erratic speeds. I didn’t want to be behind her and, as I passed, I saw what she was doing. I’m sure she felt she was so adept that she could multi-task like that. I don’t object to her being personally foolhardy, but I do object to the crass indifference that could harm and maim others.

Last week a US Navy destroyer, the Fitzgerald, collided with a huge container ship off the coast of Japan. I don’t know whose fault it was—it was certainly someone’s—but I do know that both ships had millions of dollars of sophisticated computers, well-trained officers and sailors, and collision avoidance warnings, not to mention radios, radar, and so forth. The destroyer is designed to operate in open warfare and avoid being damaged. Yet, on a clear early morning in calm seas, seven sailors died.

If the investment and talent in these modern vessels are subject to a catastropic accident when everyone is presumably paying attention, what happens when a 20-year-old in a car decides to chat with a friend about a boyfriend or club surrounded by traffic?

Here’s the next investment: Software that prohibits phone use except for 911 while an engine is turned on. If my iPhone can track airplanes, it can certainly do that.

My idea of a superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors. —Bette Midler

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