Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Speed Vs. Armor, Academic Style

One of the classic tradeoffs in building weapons is the tradeoff between speed and armor.  The more protection a ship or tank or plane has, the slower it will go.  Put on a belt of armor on a ship and it will be able to take more punishment but will be less likely to evade attacks.  This was nicely illustrated in the Viper vs. the Mountain battle in last season's Game of Thrones. 
Why is this relevant today?  Because I am trying to figure out what I would be doing if I had remained at Texas Tech.  With students now being allowed to carry weapons in the classroom, the question for professors will become: do I wear armor or will that slow down my ability to dodge, dip, duck, dive and/or DRAW?  That is, should one practice a speed draw so that one can shoot students who reach for their pens phones gun? 

I guess profs will have to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.  If they do not have quick reflexes, then armoring up is probably the way to go. I do wonder if infrastructure grants will allow one to spend money on kevlar podiums.

Another lecturing conundrum: should one stand behind the podium or move around?  I tend to move around as I lecture, which means I wouldn't have the protection of a podium.  On the other hand, hitting a moving target is more difficult.  However, many of these students may have some hunting experience, and I would not be moving that fast.  

Hmmm, difficult choices.  Perhaps not letting folks walk around with guns might have been a better option?


agentX said...

In the case of modern warfare, go with armor. Targeting systems are too good and you'll inevitably take hits.

In the case of the classroom, speed. School shooters are notorious poor shots.
You could split the difference and go with an armored podium, from which you can exchange fire with
1)hostile students
2)other students from other classes
3) Chuck Norris wannabes trying to shoot the hostile students
4)police officers who are trying to shoot your black unarmed students because they think all blacks are a threat
5)angry armed moms who are shooting at you or other students because their obnoxious daughter got a F because she fell asleep in class
6)University sports fans from other schools. Usually this only happens in the Bay Area, but...
I think I've covered all the possibilities.

Steve Saideman said...

I don't want to diminish the comments made by others, but this might be the best comment the Spew has ever received.