Monday, March 1, 2010

Lowering the probability of insanity

As I was driving home I wondered if off ramp 1 or 2 would be faster. From off ramp 1 there are two routes, getting off to head North then West or continue on the freeway West, off and North. The distances are probably about the same.

Remaining on the freeway allows for a faster rate of travel West (65-75 mph vs 40-50 mph) but it seems like the trip North is faster if I use off ramp 1. I started counting the non-right turn intersection traffic signals. 1,2,3 both ways. It seems like the 2nd off ramp's signals are longer (due to higher traffic volume). I decided I would begin counting in my head the average time it took both ways then write it down when I arrived.

I got to 23 seconds of the first trial then thought, "Does this sound like something a crazy man would do? I mean, is knowing which route is faster (if one even is significantly faster) on average or if one has a lower standard deviation, how much time would I ultimately save per trip upon gaining this knowledge. (It is about a 2 mile trip from point A to B.)"

I decided that yes, counting in seconds was a bit neurotic and that I would probably be happier not knowing. So I decided to lower my risk of insanity and enjoy the drive home.