Culture, Satires

Survey: What Are You Doing on BART?

What exactly do people do when they are riding BART?

To save you the trouble of counting for yourself, ace reporter Luke Hauser recently conducted a secret scientific survey of over 1000 BART riders to see exactly what they were doing on BART.

Here’s a synopsis, with the numerical tallies below.

In a sign of the times, half or more were doing something with their phones. In addition to 7.5% (83 people) listening to audio and 16 people trying to carry on a conversation, 489 (44%) were fiddling around with a touch-screen device. We could see a variety of uses: facebook, newsgroups, web pages, text (perhaps a book?), maps – and of course endless digital games.

Surprisingly few kids – 13 out of over 1000 riders.

Reassuring to see that only two out of over 1000 people were acting in a manner that disturbed other riders. Twice that many were working old-school crosswords.

25 people were working diligently on laptops. On the other hand, 36 were napping or meditating.

Nine percent (101) were reading paper. Virtually all of these were reading books, and most of those seemed to be novels. A few people read magazines. The few who read old-style newspapers seemed like the sort of folks who might cling to older ways in other parts of their lives as well. (Note – up to the mid-2000s, BART was littered with newspapers, and reading them was probably the highest rated activity among riders.)

About 12% (132) were talking to someone besides themselves – slightly fewer than the number (159) who seemed simply to be spacing out.

A few stray notes: one person drawing in a sketchbook; three people knitting or doing needlepoint; one biting fingernails; one being a cop; and one taking a survey of what other riders were doing.

TOTAL = 1095

– fiddle with phone/palm device- 489 = 44%

– space out – 159 = 14%

– talk to someone besides themselves – 132 = 12%

– listen to music/audio – 83 = 7.5%

– read – 101 = 9% – almost entirely books – few kindles

– nap/meditate – 36 = 3%

– work/write/laptop – 25 =

– try to talk on phone – 16

– be a kid – 13 – one kid out of first 300+ people

– eat – 6

– video – 5 – ie, watch video on phone or laptop

– chew cud – 5 – or possibly gum

– put on makeup/haircombing – 5

– do crossword on paper – 4

– knit/needlepoint – 3

– act in disturbing manner – 2

– act oddly but bother no one else – 1

– take survey of other riders – 1

– roll cigarette – 1

– smoke weed inside car – 1

– draw – 1

– be a cop – 1

– panhandle on train – 1

The margin of error is +/- 4.3%, depending on how distracted we were.



Guns – Strict Constructionist

I’m not a gun nut or anything, but I support the Second Amendment in its strictest, most conservative scope.

As a strict constructionist. I believe in honoring the precise intention of the founding fathers, and not slathering on accretions, addendums, and contingencies. Just the precise intent of the original law.

This means that I absolutely support the right to bear any and all arms that were in production in 1791, when the amendment was adopted.

This includes muzzle-loading muskets, flintlock dueling pistols, blunderbusses, and even cannon of the sort you load through the barrel.

What about later developments such as breach-loading rifles, anti-aircraft weapons, or automatic and repeating weapons of any sort?

Sorry – you’ll need a new amendment to cover those.

activism, Satires

Luke Hauser Denied Free Speech Rights!

Berkeley activist and author Luke Hauser has cancelled his planned Free Speech Event at UC-Berkeley after university officials failed to meet his demands.
Hauser‘s press agent denounced the “outrageous and unconstitutional denial of free speech” in Berkeley, long an alleged mecca for democracy.
Demands included:
  • scheduling of event on two hours’ notice
  • event to be held during peak class hours
  • use of a large, centrally-located auditorium
  • professional quality free-speech sound system
  • police protection from airport to campus and back
  • $20,000 speakers fee
  • campus Republicans to shine shoes, carry bags, etc
  • distilled water in glass carafes
  • catering by Chez Panisse
  • two tickets to Hamilton
Hauser‘s attorneys decried the failure of UC officials to comply with the free speech demands, and threatened to bring a lawsuit demanding that all conditions be met upon 48 hours of any future free speech requests.
Luke Hauser is author of Direct Action: An Historical Novel, which is set in Berkeley in the early 1980s. Free download at <>