[LMB] OT: HANDEDNESS

John Hallam bujold at j.hallam.dk
Thu Sep 22 11:24:49 BST 2011


Recently, Ed Burkehead wrote:

> It seems to me that in most of the left-hand/right-hand discussion of using
> objects, the left hand has the high dexterity task on an awfully lot of
> those cases.

  Yup.  When I did rowing in my University days, I chose to row on
stroke-side (with the blade sticking out to my right) so that my more
precise right hand would have control of the attitude of the oar while
my less precise left would merely have to pull very hard.  This was
exactly the opposite of the "normal" choice of side, but made good
sense to me.

> On the other hand (pun intended), the airliner copilot flies right handed
> and uses his left hand for a lot of the switches and knobs and adjustments.
> Then, when s/he becomes a captain, now in primary control, s/he has to
> suddenly use the opposite hands to do things.

  I drive drive-on-the-left cars when at home in the UK, and
drive-on-the-right cars when at home in Denmark.  Switching between the
two is easy (as long as I am not daydreaming about the other country,
in which case I tend to behave according to the other rules!).

  However, I noticed to my surprise a year or so back that the foot
controls are always in the same order, irrespective of the handedness
of the vehicle: for stick shifts, they go clutch, brake, accelerator
from left to right.  Interesting...  Is it really harder to learn
mirrored foot skills in the separate contexts than mirrored hand
skills?

  (On the other hand, I think I drove my US hire automatic
left-footed a couple of years back...)

Cheers,

	John H




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