Walter’s Theory of Police

As a matter of definition Walter’s Theory of Police primarily states:

If you are traveling by car and see a police patrol car, the odds of you seeing another police car before your trip is over goes up by some tangible amount. If you see a second police car, your odds of seeing a third police car before the end of your trip increase again.

Basically, there’s a pattern of grouping of police cars in a particular area and during a particular time period. So, when you’re on the road, be careful when you see the first cop; expect to see another one.

I came up with this theory in 1976. If it’s ever in print somewhere else, fine. I don’t have a problem with other people having the same idea. I just thought you’d like to know.

Everyone who knows me knows my theory. I don’t particularly obsess over it, but everyone who travels with me knows this pet theory of mine. I realize of course that at some point in your journey, seeing a police car won’t invoke conditions where my theory can be tested. Naturally, if you’re pulling into your driveway and you see a cop car down the street, the theory won’t do much for you. Additionally, if the first thing you pass out of your driveway in the morning is a police station filled with cop cars, this theory also will not help you.

See a flaw in the implications of this theory?
Of course you do. There has been many questions asked of this theory :

  • What happens when you see a fourth? (Yep, the chance of seeing a fifth cop go up again.)
  • Eventually (if you keep seeing police cars on your journey):

    • That you’re a cop yourself? (Smarty-pants)
    • Does this mean your under arrest?(What, you have something to hide?)
    • You’ll pull down your street and see fifty cop cars all waiting for you?(Dude, chill out.)
  • What about funeral processions? Do cop cars escorting official processions count? (No.)
  • Do fire engines count? (huh?)
  • “I just saw one cop car on my trip today! Your theory sucks!” (Hey! It is my theory. Your mileage may vary.)

I’m not really obsessed with the theory, but I am convinced that at its core, the theory rings true.

What made me think about this was a TV show. There’s a new CBS network show called “Numbers” or “NUMB3RS” (It’s a geek thing) where the hero of the show is a mathematician. The mathematician works with his brother in the FBI to solve cases. (Hey, it’s TV, it could happen!) I enjoyed how, in the first (pilot?) episode, the FBI brother provides FBI provided statistics about criminalist cases, and the mathematician brother converts real world observations into seemingly abstract mathematical formulas.

It’s been obvious to me that there’s a definite pattern behind whatever parts of “Walter’s Theory Of Police” that work. (I don’t even call it “my theory” anymore. I really do refer to it as “Walter’s Theory of Police”). I’ve speculated that there’s a relationship that’s pretty obvious — that right around 8am, there’s a large flux of police, probably coinciding with a shift change. While this may vary for the areas involved, it certainly makes sense. Fluxes in observed occurrences of police cars on the road in the areas I traveled would certainly match up with some sort of duty assignments. So, any mathematical equation that would account for an otherwise (seemingly) “random” observation of a police car on the street might remove travel of the police cars due to shift changes and other related activity (The “donut shop” as cop attractor concept — in my observation, the donut shop is replaced for the most part by selected – not random – convenience stores)

Remove the grouping and normalize the baseline percentage chance–
Once the “organized grouping” is taken out, what would then explain seeing more than one police car on your path in one day, when (for example) you wouldn’t normally see any? Walter’s Theory of Police generally implies that a traveler would normally NOT see a police car going from point A to point B, and the chance of seeing one on any particular day would be some small fraction, multiplied by the number of miles traveled. The baseline of that chance of seeing a police car is regionally dependant. If you’re driving around New York City, there’s a high number of cops you might see on the street, and a high baseline would be established. If the person lives in a rural area, the number of police/state troopers etc are lower, and a lower baseline could be assumed.

Once you remove the grouping and normalize the baseline, you’re left with the seemingly random “grouping” in time and location. In a perfect world, you would have intentional grouping of police coinciding with the grouping of crimes, but for the most part, I’m discussing cops that are on patrol and are looking to pass out tickets. In that regard, I’ve found that Walter’s Theory of Police seems to hold true for a majority of roads where I travel. Many days, no cops on my travels. But when I see one, there’s a good chance I’ll see another on the same trip.

Now, it would make sense on some days before a holiday that there are generally fewer patrol cops on the street. For all I know, they might get the day off before a big traffic flow where they’re all working. Cops that know to be out at night around closing time for the bars probably take a break around 10pm. I’m sure there’s some local predictability in the way cops police the streets, but that actually goes to reinforce the Theory rather than detract from it.

If Walter’s Theory of Police is generally correct, what does that tell imply? It implies that some days most police are doing non-traffic stop related activity on side streets that aren’t normally traveled, and some days nearly every cop is traffic duty. In large metropolitan areas, there will be a full time squad dedicated to “Traffic Enforcement” and those fine peace officers are probably a bit more “random” than most. But when the other cops are charged with bringing in more tickets, you seem to see cops everywhere, all at once. Thus, Walter’s Theory of Police was born.

Finally, if Walter’s Theory of Police is generally correct, it implies one more thing.

On the whole, if the positioning of traffic cops isn’t random, than the traffic stops they make are not random either.

Star Trek : The Next Idea

Okay, now that STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE has been cancelled, I think there’s a few things I’d like to get off my chest.

What I wanted to see in “STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE”

  • Scott Bakula doing a very good impression of James T. Kirk on a relatively primative space going vessel.
  • Showing off the early days and backstories hinted at by ST:TOS and other ST shows and movies.
  • How the technology evolved from merely advanced to the cool stuff in the later ST shows and movies.
  • Nothing about that pesky “Prime Directive”, especially when dealing with hot sexy alien babes.

What I got in the three-plus seasons in “Enterprise” was:

  • No red shirts. Goddamn it, I want to see red shirts, and I want to see them dying! I was convinced that having red shirts around was a terrible and hackneyed cliche’ — until I saw the alternative.
  • Yet another cold heartless sex kitten in a catsuit. The “barely supressed smoky lust” just kind of laid there, undiscovered. Here’s the thing. If you DO HAVE a space sex kitten whose libido is illogically suppressed through disease or other creative mismanagement, there just HAS to be a slutty one nearby showing up once in a while to make the sex kitten jealous as hell. I REFUSE to believe that the future of space travel will be without playful sex kittens.
  • A forgettable captain. Dammit Jim, he’s dead! Capt. Archer’s dead! Wait, he’s not dead? Well, he may be breathing, Archer is dead on the screen.
    –While I realize that noone can replace a captain with a ego the way William Shatner portrayed James T. Kirk, unfortunately Scott Bakula refused to show any spark of life whatsoever as Archer. I don’t blame Mr. Bakula for this as much as I blame the people who wrote his character. If YOU were in charge of the fleet, would YOU give a command to Archer? The safe, sane, sensitive choice? Of COURSE you would! Now, would I watch YOUR OWN show on TV? Of COURSE you wouldn’t! It would be boring as hell! In the mythology of Star Trek:TOS (the original series), we find that James Kirk got to where he was not by playing by the rules, but by bending the hell out of them! Now THERE’S an interesting thought! Bakula’s a much better actor than the part that has been given to him. I know, the creators of the show went with the “Safe Reliable Captain” and the character of Captain Archer fills the bill nicely. After all, you do want the ship home safely.
  • Rogue Element Quotient = Zero. Every good adventure show on TV has one or more rogue elements in or near the starring role. While Archer is the safe choice for a captain, and perhaps the pilot would be the natural choice for “upstart pilot who can charm the ladies all night long and the next morning fly a shuttle through an asteroid storm blind drunk using just his feet,” I need to have some outlandish character somewhere near the front of the screen. Yes, I realize it’s a cliche’ of sorts. If I wanted safe and reliable, I’d turn on MTV.
  • The shortage of Romulan Ale: too little, too late. What comes with a good Romulan ale? Why, Romulans, of course! This bit of interplay should have been front and center of the first season. But nooo! The creators had to wait until I was bored with time travel in order to come up with the evil Romulans. Listen, I don’t care about your Star Trek Klingons as bad guys… I want my Romulans! I want them fully developed, I want them back stabbing and I want them to corrupt any human they see, get it? I want them politically astute, and I want them to be very effective. And goddamn it, I want them organized! None of this, “Oh, here’s one bad apple that wants to sully the good name of the Romulan Empire by misusing his position to secretly making deals to amass his own private island empire! No! I want a revolution on Romulus that spills out and threatens to disrupt their corner of the galaxy, taking the Vulcans with them! We got to see Archer become the repository of Vulcan religious knowledge, but Archer came away with nothing other than good feelings about saving the Vulcan mythos. That was it? No divine inspiration? No lingering hatred for the rivals of the Romulans, those that split off from the Vulcans over that very Vulcan religious issue? Maybe the creators are just now getting around to that… Well, too little, too late.

Frankly, I’m quite surprised to see that this show made it to four seasons. (Four entire seasons? Wow. If it was on the Fox Network, it would have gone about three successive Friday nights in March before it got pulled.)


What’s next for Star Trek

You mean, how could they screw up any worse?

It’s been suggested that the show/mythos be laid to rest.
Bollocks, I say! ( I always wanted to say that… Bollocks!!)

No, the next show should be about Star Trek: Space Pirate!
Listen, on every show of Star Trek I’ve ever seen, nobody talks about money. Like there’s no money in the future or something. I mean, I know the men in our military these days don’t get paid much, but in the future, apparently they don’t get paid at all. It’s like there’s some sort of reason that they’re happily serving in outer space for the pleasure of being zapped by space lasers. Screw that. I don’t know about you, but in MY future, there’s space treasure all over the place. The whole concept has been effectively fleshed out with FIREFLY, but that’s another franchise. Another space pirate (of sorts) was ‘Beka’ Valentine over on ANDROMEDA but she wasn’t a working pirate for very long. ‘Beka’ was there on the show to be the “rogue element” I chatted on earlier in this post.

No, I want a good Harry Mudd, only with more adventures and less hot robotic twin robots. (Did I say less hot robotic twins? No, I meant more twins, but not in that weird “We’ll take care of you, Harry” sort of way. Yes… More Hot Twins, please.
(Hot Twins!! Is this the first screen appearance of hot twin space babes? Harry Mudd had the concept of Hot Twins years before Hot Twins ever posed for Playboy Magazine!) … I digress —

Yes, Star Trek: Privateer is the title I saw recently, and that has stuck with me for some reason. This is the future of the franchise, I believe. You combine all the elements I want in a show:

  • Rogue Captain/Pilot. I want someone jailed for insulting the local mayor’s wife, and I want our captain to break him out of jail. You can have our captain romance the jailor’s hot wife into showing us which barred window to yank out with our space chopper.
  • Hot Alien babes and/or buff built wrestler dude characters
  • Carrying out barely legal missions, sometimes sanctioned by the Federation/ProtoFederation
  • NO TIME TRAVEL
  • Broken Down Transporter Unit – make the damn thing unsafe as hell, please.
  • Make the fuel for super Light Speed expensive, if you please. Cargo ships shouldn’t be fast.
  • Banter. Please. I want conflict on the bridge where there’s snarky remarks flying through the air. There was a REASON for Bones to rile up at the inhumanity of the impassionate Spock.

Well, you get the idea. I realize that I’m describing portions of “FIREFLY”, but that can’t be helped. Perhaps I’ll post on that show another day. And if you haven’t purchased and seen the DVD collection of “FIREFLY” and you’ve read this far in this post, you’re really missing out.


And, just so you don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t watch much of “ENTERPRISE”. I’m certainly not impressed with this particular version. It’s just that the concept of the show is good, the production values are certainly worth watching, but the characterizations and the interplay just laid flat. I figured that I had to complain about the lack of good characters and their interplay. (A theme you will most likely see me revisit on a regular basis)

So much for my first blog post.

Pop Culture Assassination Project Begins

Mission statement:

TO BOLDLY GO, WHERE POP CULTURE HAS NEVER GONE BEFORE, AND THEN PROMPTLY ASK FOR DIRECTIONS

Seriously. I’m tired reading the same old crap, and decided to start composing some of my own.

I’m looking for some good quality content. You know. Something that can bring up my average.