Everybody tells me I think too much, and in fact this article is in the "Guido thinks too much" category, but Erica often has to listen to by baffled rants about some new topic involving how people just don't think anymore. Now, maybe they never did think, and I'm just too young to know better, but they sure don't think much now. There are plenty of examples, and I'll go into a few.
First up is the naming of things. We live in the "Oak Meadows" housing development. Can anyone tell me what an oak meadow is? Is it a meadow, and thus free of trees, or is it full of oaks, in which case it's no longer a meadow at all and more like a grove or forest? Sure, it sounds pretty to the yuppie idiots that probably buy houses around here, but it makes absolutely no sense. I see things named like this all the time, but apparently nobody stops to think about what these names mean, least of all the creators.
Other examples are some of the gun control laws people try to pass. Without being overly political, lots of the laws just don't make sense, despite the best of intentions (who doesn't want to reduce crime?). Take for instance gun waiting periods, like having to wait 7 days to pick up a gun after you purchase it. It's designed to combat crimes of passion, but the logical problem is that if you have enough time to go down to the store and buy a gun, you've long eclipsed any imminent rage, and have moved along into premeditation. Assuming people know there is a waiting period, and are already determined to get a weapon, I'm sure they'll find some way. The only hope would be that the lawmakers are counting on people not thinking, and just going "Oh well, I don't want to wait 7 days to shoot this guy, I'll just give up and let him off the hook this time." Makes perfect sense.
Next up is divided roadways. It seems all the roads in the suburbs these days have a divider down the middle. I'd love to see some "road planning theories" that say this is the way to keep traffic moving, but it sure doesn't seem to make much sense. Combined with the trend of putting a stop light at the intersection of practically every two roads, regardless of size, these just bog down traffic and keep cars on the road longer. It becomes significantly more difficult to reach a destination, because you have to turn right, which also adds people doing u-turns, going around extra blocks, cutting through parking lots, etc. Having driven in both types of areas (divided / stoplight heavy, undivided / few stoplights), it's my opinion that traffic moves considerably faster where it is less complicated by dividers and lights.
Another one that I always catch is people using acronyms that are equal or longer to say than their full counterparts. I don't know how many times on CSI, or other crime dramas, you gear someone cry out, "We have a G S W here!" Newsflash, the letters G-S-W are three syllables just like the words Gun-Shot-Wound are, yet nobody is going to misunderstand Gun-Shot-Wound.
I'm also a Boy Scout leader, and practically every document or teaching they have on building a survival kit includes adding matches. Why matches? This isn't the early 1960's anymore. Guess how many fires you can light with a box of 50 matches? Guess how many you can light after they are wet, broken, damaged, you lose the striker (for non-strike-anywhere kinds), etc? Why not use LIGHTERS? For $5, you can buy a half-dozen pack of mini Bic lighters. Each one would light hundreds of fires before it ran out of fuel, and then you could probably light a few dozen more before the sparker gave out. They are waterproof, fairly difficult to damage, work after being dried out, etc. The first Bic lighter was made in 1973, and over 35 years later people still haven't stopped to think if it's a better solution.
These are just a few examples, but it seems like every day I look around at some situation, and say "What were you thinking?". Unfortunately, I think the answer is they weren't.