Look up in the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Moron Derbyshire…Wait…where the hell is he?

Ana Marie links to John Derbyshire who informs us he would know exactly how to react in chaotic life and death situations. Hey he has big brass ones and Timing unlike wusses

At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him.

Hey Derbyshire has practice in imagining how he would do better and never be such a damn victim. Not long ago he slapped New Orleans around in a piece on his visit there to recieve an award from the Mathematical Association of America. In that piece he was critical of a young couple that had recently been shot by an intruder into their home. Helen Hill was killed in the intrusion. Here is what Derby said…

What happened to this young couple was unspeakably horrible, and there
is of course no excusing such barbarism. It is hard, though, not to
shake your head at the couple’s unworldly naivety. What kind of people
did they think they were going to encounter when they got down and
dirty with “the community”? The Times-Picayune story quoted a
neighbor of the couple saying this: “They would never do it, but they
should have answered the door with a gun.” Hard to disagree with that —
either part of it.

Yeah we should all listen to the fearless, cocked, loaded, always ready and impeccable timing of John Derbyshire who also related this…

Most mathematicians are academics, and most academics are left-wing, so I anticipated some discomfort there.

As it turned out, I was worried about the wrong thing, which is usually the case. Arriving at the President’s Dinner (at Arnaud’s in the French Quarter —
great food, by the way), I was scolded by Martha Siegel, the MAA
Secretary, for having missed the award ceremony. It had been held that
Somehow I’d not received, or had misplaced, the notification
for the afternoon event.


After dinner we walked back to Martha’s hotel and she went and got my
award, and presented it to me in the lobby. Thank you, thank you, thank
you, MAA. I can’t think of any prize I ever won that has meant more to
me.And thank you, Martha, for being so nice about my incompetence. (my emphasis)

Distracted by scary mathematicians he is too incompetent to pick up his award but I’m sure we’d all agree with our lives on the line we’d want Derby and his great after the fact imagination in our foxhole.

Wanker. Moron.

14 thoughts on “Look up in the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Moron Derbyshire…Wait…where the hell is he?

  1. Am I the only one noticing a big change: As I was growing up, the mantra was to let the police do it. If you jumped into an armed robbery, the odds were that you’d end up dead. In the last couple of years, I seem to be seeing more and more reports lauding someone that beat off an attacker (and also of people killed by jumping in).

  2. Maple, I’ve always thought it was more of a simple blame the victim response. If the victim doesn’t do anything to defend themselves and gets hurt/killed, then it’s their fault. If they do something and get hurt/killed, then it’s their fault, too. I think often, people hear these stories and try to wrap their heads around the circumstances and make it somehow “controllable” or understandable because the randomness and chaotic nature of violence makes them (understandably) so insecure.
    In my opinion no one (with the possible exception of law enforcement personnel) can ever truly know with certainty what they will do in a given emergency situation.

  3. Well, it’s not like I needed convincing that Derbyshire’s a total ass…
    Anyway…aside from the fact that Cho was also carrying a 9mm Glock, i.e., a fairly large caliber handgun, Derbyshire is also incorrect in dismissing a .22 caliber handgun as insignificant. That’s simply not true.
    John Hinckley used a .22 caliber revolver when he attempted to assassinate Reagan. Reagan lost several pints of blood, and I think a major artery was severed. James Brady suffered debilitating, permanent injuries. A DC police officer and Secret Service agent were also wounded.
    Derbyshire is a wingnut Water Mitty, minus any of the comedic charm.

  4. Wait…a MATHEMATICIAN saying that panicked students should COUNT the shots”
    Hey, it’s simple. Pi – R – squared gives you the circumference of a bullet fired from his gun at your head, John D. That means that a .22 bullet, for instance, is only .22 inches in radius, so the total area is a scant square half inch, give or take. You only have to move a square half inch to the side of the projectile in order to avoid the shooter’s best shot! Any idiot can move a square half inch!
    You simply gauge the shooter’s angle of incidence, make a quick calculation of the vectorized projectile’s probable variation from the abscissa, and then it’s a simple matter to dodge the bullets using your invisible forcefield and a handheld GPS.
    And if those students were too freaked out to use the GPS, one could be fashioned with a broom handle, a pound of pot from the dorm rooms, and three easy-to-find capacitors from Radio Shack. How hard is that?

  5. Oh, wait, check my results professor — what, you can’t? You’re DEAD? — well, then it’s a good thing John Derbyshire wouldn’t have made such a stupid mistake during a crisis.
    It’s DIAMETER, not radius, as any bullet-dodging idiot would know.
    If you got this one wrong, you can end up BLEEDING.
    So, kids, mathematics is not for the faint at heart. Learn your equations, or get killed by crazy Korean kids. C’mon, that’s a no-brainer.

  6. I’m probably a little bit weird, but what depressed me the most about the VT episode was knowing that one lone gunman should never have been able to walk around shooting 30+ people before one or two brave students tackled him and stopped him. But, then I realized that I would never have had the courage to try that – stay low and quiet and maybe survive, vs. jump up, launch yourself at the guy and almost certainly die. I’m one who I am sure would be laying low and hoping to live, as much as I would like to believe I would be courageous and offer my life to save others. That is depressing, but it’s how it is.
    I’m sure that the students couldn’t believe it was really happening to them, so before they could grasp that it was it was too late. Real life just doesn’t give us a script in advance.

  7. The intrepid Derb, implacable scourge of armed evildoers would benefit from talking to a few experienced soldiers and cops. He might then find out that it takes months to prepare an ordinary person to react quickly and effectively to an unanticipated physical threat. Even those who have been trained often freeze or succumb to fear. Soldiers are able to act capably in terrifying situations, not because they have innately superior physical courage (few do) but because they have the emotional armour that comes of their bonding with fellow soldiers. Cops have some of this and also a powerful “serve and protect” ethic that inspires them to act in the face of extreme danger.
    But the mighty Derbyshire reckons that he has the rare valour gene that would inspire him to assault and destroy an heavily armed psychopath in full manic attack mode. Worse, he declares that a gaggle of stunned undergrad males are less than manly because they failed to respond in a way consistent with his puerile macho fantasy.
    My current fantasy is being back in the Canadian Airborne and having “Rambo the Derb” to train. I would put him through multiple changes of underwear without ever subjecting him to a seriously life-threatening situation. Perhaps the experience would extract him from the teen years in which he is so obviously mired.

  8. from the AP:
    Liviu Librescu, 76, an engineering science and mathematics lecturer, tried to stop the gunman from entering his classroom by blocking the door before he was fatally shot, his son said Tuesday from Tel Aviv.
    “My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said. His father, a Holocaust survivor, immigrated to Israel from Romania, and was on sabbatical in Virginia.

    • Works for elementary school students.

  10. I think Derbyshire sums things up best with this line from the scribbling about New Orleans:
    “As it turned out, I was worried about the wrong thing, which is usually the case.”
    See, he told us we should ignore his hysteria, insanity and inanity. Let’s.

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