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Watching videos while driving: Yes, guilty.

I have a confession to make. I love watching videos while driving.

Howard will probably kill me for this. I mean, he has been known to rant about “idiots who text while driving” (and I’m guilty of that too… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…). So watching videos while driving must be total lunacy and sheer recklessness.

Well, not exactly.

The trick is to find the right kinds of videos to watch while you’re on the road. Here are my principal do’s and don’ts:

  • DO choose videos that are heavy on the verbal or audio content. Talking heads, documentaries, news, video podcasts, perhaps even concerts.
  • DO NOT choose videos that are highly visual, such as action movies, cartoons, or anything with Rowan Atkinson in it.

Audio-dependency is the secret to having a healthy and happy car video experience. That way, you can just focus on the road and mostly listen to the videos, glancing just now and then to keep track of what’s going on.

So here’s my typical watch list while on the road:

  • TED talks. There are over 900 of them on TED.com. And each one is a mind-blowing idea that you can often rave and think about long after. Yes, they’re free for the downloading. And they’re talks, which is why they fit our video criteria so well.
  • The Daily Show. Fantastic writing, amazing research, all wrapped up in crazy humor and terrific hosting by Jon Stewart. It’s practically how I keep abreast of US news these days.
  • The Colbert Report. Of course if you watch The Daily Show, then Stephen Colbert isn’t far behind. More a spoof than just a “fake news” show, Colbert often comes up with brilliant, postmodern affronts to politics-as-usual, such as his actually running for President in 2008.
  • Conan. I’ve been a Conan fan for ages, and his latest incarnation has less visual jokes than his previous gigs. But it’s all fun just the same.

Okay, I’m not exactly encouraging you to watch videos while driving. But I am just laying out how to watch videos responsibly, that’s all.

So… any suggestions on what to watch while on the road?

Update: Yes it looks like it’s a stretch for me to even ask for video recommendations at this point. I will do the morally correct thing and end with this statement: If you plan to bring videos along, don’t watch. Just listen.

Art

Art

Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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    • mobiusmike|

      This gives me a headache. But for my suggestion since your a tech guy, I recommend TWIT.com netcast. I recommend TNT, TWIT and iPad Today (although this show is more visual because they showcase their apps).


    • mobiusmike|

      oops wrong url. It’s twit.tv =D


    • dakilang_waiter|

      Commutes to and from work are long (1 hour) and dreary. I’ve already tried watching a free lecture from iTunes U. Feels good to make good use of the time to learn something.


    • spidergrrl|

      Audiobooks, maybe?


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