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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Book review underscores America’s need to hold national conversation on beach privilege

As pressing as the 2016 election might seem, whichever candidate prevails will confront an America in many ways more divided than ever before. Consider, for example, the Beach Boys. Some may remember when the country unified behind President Reagan to demand that the band be allowed to play the Independence Day concert on the National Mall, despite a caution by Interior Secretary James Watt that rock bands attracted the wrong element to the festivities.

Those were simpler times, and the idea that the Beach Boys were ever a national treasure shared by all has been challenged recently in the New York Review of Books[1]. Ben Ratiff made his own waves by exposing the ugly truth: the Beach Boys’ biggest hits were nothing more than “poem of unenlightened straight-male privilege, white privilege, beach privilege” that played no part in helping anyone achieve their social rights. What was that again, after straight-male privilege and white privilege?

Definitely putting the s/t debut by Beach Privilege on my year-end list.

— Steven Hyden (@Steven_Hyden) October 29, 2016[2]

@Lachlan[3] “Next up, a 5K tome on why Jimmy Buffet’s music is problematic and lacks recognition of beach privilege” — 4th Class Officer (@4thClassOfficer) October 31, 2016[4]

Oh wow, just saw a three year old boy crying. I asked why.

He simply responded, “beach privilege.”

— Mark Maxwell (@MaxwellRBR) October 31, 2016[5]

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Volvo’s driverless cars will be unmarked to prevent them being bullied

Volvo is gearing up for a driverless car trial involving 100 cars that will be unmarked due to fears that motorists will bully the vehicles. The trial is set to get underway in 2018 in London, and will use versions of the Swedish company’s vehicles that look like normal Volvos. The firm’s precautionary approach is the result of research which found that motorists were likely to overtake and cut off driverless cars.

Related: Who’s to blame when driverless cars get it wrong?[1] A London School of Economics study of 2,000 drivers over 11 countries revealed that “some see autonomous vehicles as a potential nuisance, while others see an opportunity to take advantage of, or ‘bully’, AVs.” Erik Coelingh, Volvo’s senior technical leader, told The Observer: “From the outside you won’t see that it’s a self-driving car.

From a purely scientific perspective it would be interesting to have some cars that are marked as self-driving cars and some that are not and see whether other road users react in a different way.” “I’m pretty sure that people will challenge them if they are marked by doing really harsh braking in front of a self-driving car or putting themselves in the way.” The trial will be the first to use volunteers from the public, who will sit in the driving seat of the 4x4s and activate the self-driving technology on relatively simple roads.

Earlier this year Volvo announced a joint project with Uber, where both companies would invest £300m (?250m) to create self-driving cars, with Volvo producing the vehicles and Uber using them as part of its service. Volvo has already been testing autonomous cars in Gothenburg, Sweden, with H?kan Samuelsson, President and CEO, saying: “Our vision is that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.” WATCH: Tesla Model S Review – The Ultimate Rental Car?

Let us know what you think of Volvo’s plans in the comments.


  1. ^ Who’s to blame when driverless cars get it wrong? (

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