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PS: Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: Ward excited his vehicle presumably means to say Ward exited his vehicle.

I’m not sure. I don’t speak NASCAR.

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8 Responses to “Guns, Germs, Steel, and …”

  1. adam Says:

    Or we could say Stewart excited his vehicle, causing Ward to exit.

  2. Greg Says:

    Not so fast. It could have been auto erotic.

  3. adam Says:

    Greg, LOL here.

  4. Greg Says:

    I am surprised and sorry to learn of the death of a driver in this accident. Judging by the late evening news over the years, there are many high-impact NASCAR accidents, so few deaths — most just walk away. I had no idea. Whatever one thinks about extreme sports — car racing, risky mountain climbing — something like this is always lamentable.

  5. Greg Says:

    This is my last post on this matter, but you might find this Slate article interesting:


  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Greg: It wasn’t necessarily an accident. I think – having read this, by a sports law expert – the best word at this early point would be “incident.”

  7. Greg Says:

    So I was wrong: one more post. Of course it’s possible that it was worse than an accident, though I’m sure we both hope not.

    Imagine (probably contrary to fact) an intent to hit Ward for a physicists’ yoctosecond* — ok a short time but much longer than that — and that that’s determinative of legal consequences– actually life changing for both of them. As for some sort of recklessness, within the framework or a reckless sport, that’s a pretty fine category distinction. Aside from sad, this is really interesting; how much responsibility and blight should we have might have for a few bad neuron firings. Would that be the “real” him? I have no idea what I conclude as to a variety of hypotheticals. And that’s after a career of spinning those fictions, though I never taught criminal law.

    *A trillionth of a trillionth of a second, about what it would take for a photon, moving at light’s speed, to cross the diameter of an atomic nucleus. “

  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Greg: I think it’s worth thinking about, in trying to get hold of this event, the fact that Stewart has a long history of recklessness and rage on the track. And off. You might argue that a guy like Tony Stewart always carried within himself the possibility of this sort of catastrophe. An actual intent to hit Ward might have lasted a yoctosecond; but it certainly looks as though a general intent to damage people and machinery has lasted, for this guy, much longer than that.

    But of course you’re right – this is all in the context of a reckless sport, a spectacularly risky and destructive sport by definition.

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