Patterico's Pontifications


The Constitutional Vanguard: The Reaction to the Shooting of Adam Toledo

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:13 pm

This week’s free Constitutional Vanguard newsletter is up, and it addresses the shooting of Adam Toledo in Chicago.

[W]e are talking barely over .8 seconds total.

Try this experiment: grab a phone and open a stopwatch app. Hit “start” and think to yourself — as fast as you possibly can, but without speaking out loud — the words “oh shit he’s got a gun I’d better fire” . . . and then stop the stopwatch. Do it several times. When I did it, I tended to get between .75 seconds and around a second or so. Racing my mind as fast as I can, I can’t even think those words much faster than 839 milliseconds.

The people opining about this on Twitter appear to have absolutely no concept of a thing often called “perception-reaction time”: the time between perceiving a need for action and the time it takes to take the action. I’m not an expert on this topic, which comes up a lot in auto accident reconstruction cases, and Web research does not reveal any completely consistent standard length of time between perceptions and reactions. Unsurprisingly, perception-reaction time can depend on a number of factors, like whether the event is expected, distractions, visibility, cognitive impairment, and the like. This discussion, which seems to be but one of many available, seems to suggest a widespread consensus that the average time between perception and reaction is slightly over a second, but it can certainly be quicker or longer than that. The point is: it’s not instantaneous. There’s a reason you’re advised to leave a fair amount of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you on the freeway; namely, it will take you a certain amount of time to perceive that the car in front of you is slowing or has illuminated its brake lights. Then you will have to react to that perception and hit the brake with your foot. All of this takes time.

Read it all here, and subscribe here.

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 134

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:51 am

It is the third Sunday of Easter. The title of today’s cantata is “Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß” (A heart that knows its Jesus is living).

Today’s Gospel reading is another record of the appearance of Jesus among the living. Luke 24:36b-48:

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

The text of today’s cantata is available here. Number 4, a duet aria, contains these words:

the Savior appears and comforts us again
and through Himself strengthens the struggling Church

Number 5, a recitative, has these words:

May your Hand enclose us,
so that we behold your powerful potency,
which your death and victory has earned us,
and that now, through your Resurrection,
a person does not die, even when he dies in the world,
and that through this we enter into Your glory.
Whatever is in us exalts You, great God,
and praises Your mercy and love;
your Resurrection makes them new again,
your great victory makes us free from the enemy
and brings us to life;
Therefore let thanks and praise be given to You.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

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