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That Tech CEO Road Rage Story Is the Ultimate Ink Blot Test
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Google Maps via SFGate | April 25, 2014
What you see depends on where you stand.
This much we know for certain: A "Marin County technology executive was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he got off his bicycle and beat a motorist unconscious during an alleged act of road rage in Mill Valley."
But after that everything sort of wanders off into the territory of interpretation. So, with that in mind, here's your field guide to the talking points surrounding the case:
If you're a unreconstructed Critical Mass type: Sure, beating a motorist into unconsciousness is a suboptimal outcome. But Jeffrey Smock, the tech CEO, claims that the truck's mirror had struck his bike. Just another example of the daily violence that car drivers inflict on innocent bicyclers.
If you're one of those Top Gear people: Entitled bicyclists think they own the road—and are just looking for any excuse to fly off the handle at car drivers.
If you're a Google bus protestor: Is it any coincidence that theis story breaks on the same day that we're talking about the other tech CEO who beat up his girlfriend but avoided jail time and the wife of a tech CEO who wore a fake bib at the Boston Marathon. We're not saying you have to drive them into the sea—but there's pretty good evidence of a culture of entitlement here.
If you're a Mill Valley homeowner: This will probably not hurt your home values. Probably.
If you're 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "It is only by means of forgetfulness that man can ever reach the point of fancying himself to possess a 'truth.'"
If you're a journalist on a deadline: It's always easier to write a think piece than figure out the facts yourself.