A small battle erupted this week on the Montgomery County Road Runners Club online mailing list. Parallel to events three years ago (cf. BigAndStrong, 27 July 2004) the debate began on a jogging-related topic — in this case, the advisability of listening to music via earphones while on trail or track. It soon spread to political and social issues, and then evolved into ad hominem attacks on people's motives. Among the questions raised:

I found the whole fracas rather tempest-in-a-teapot entertaining, and somewhat reminiscent of the reaction to my April Fool's joke (cf. Runaware6kRace, 1 Apr 2007). When the war started to die down I couldn't resist forwarding a semi-humorous weird-news item about a jogger struck by lightning while wearing a headset. That started the food fight rumbling onward again.

What's the Right Answer? As usual, I recommend a nuanced approach. (Some might see it as a game-theoretic mixed-strategy, or simply mixed-up.) Three major principles interact:

  1. This is America — you can do whatever you want.
  2. So can everybody else.
  3. A Mensch takes responsibility for the consequences of his choices. (As does a Wensch for hers! (^_^))

So sure, run with headphones or without, but be mindful of what you're doing, eh?

(cf. SimpleAnswers (4 May 1999), WhateverYouWant (26 Feb 2007), ...)

TopicRunning - TopicHumor - TopicSociety - 2007-07-13

(correlates: AsimovOnHappiness, OldMasters, PointCounterpoint, ...)