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Education Government Politics

RIP: Tech Advocate and Obama Advisor Jake Brewer 142

SpaceGhost writes: The BBC reports that Jake Brewer, a 34-year-old senior policy advisor in the White House Chief Technology Office, has died while participating in a charity bike race on Saturday. Some of his work included global policy and external affairs at change.org, the White Houses TechHire initiative, and the administration's efforts to expand broadband connectivity. Brewer's death has triggered emotional tributes from many in the worlds of politics and technology. Brewer was well known for his work on Change.org, and in his role at the White House as an advocate for education, access to technology, and intelligent use of data to make government more effective.
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RIP: Tech Advocate and Obama Advisor Jake Brewer

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  • Cause of death (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @11:46AM (#50566947) Journal
    According to the article, he lost control and got hit by a car.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sucks that the man died during a charity event but there's an old adage among cyclists..

      Its that triathletes have poor bike handling skills. It's really not a myth. When I'm out on rides I give those guys on their tri bikes wide berth because they really don't behave well for the speeds that they're traveling at. Cycling is sport that demands tremendous technical skill in addition to fitness and the tri guys usually treat the cycling portion of their sport as a necessary evil. (Ever notice how world class c

      • Sucks that the man died during a charity event but there's an old adage among cyclists..

        Its that triathletes have poor bike handling skills. It's really not a myth. When I'm out on rides I give those guys on their tri bikes wide berth because they really don't behave well for the speeds that they're traveling at. Cycling is sport that demands tremendous technical skill in addition to fitness and the tri guys usually treat the cycling portion of their sport as a necessary evil. (Ever notice how world class cyclists are in their mid-upper 30s and sometimes in to their early 40s? Well past the average male's peak athletic prime?)

        So you're saying that the 'bad' cyclists don't make it to their 30s, because they die to stupid errors? And it takes those extra years of riding to get to be world-class? Interesting theory.

      • Cycling is sport that demands tremendous technical skill in addition to fitness and the tri guys usually treat the cycling portion of their sport as a necessary evil. (Ever notice how world class cyclists are in their mid-upper 30s and sometimes in to their early 40s? Well past the average male's peak athletic prime?)

        I'd say about half the triathletes I know (I'm one of them) are stronger on the bike than the swim (I always assume everyone can run okay). The issue with triathletes is that they often ride their aerobars in places where they should be on the hoods.

        I feel bad for the man's family, more than likely he just made a mistake.

    • He hit the car, the car was where is should have been, it is no different from riding into a brick wall, or off a cliff.

      The Washington Post reported Saturday that he was killed in Howard County, Maryland, during a bicycle ride that raised money to fight cancer. Brewer apparently lost control of his bicycle at a sharp curve along the race course, crossed the double yellow line and had a collision with an oncoming vehicle.

      I think that the driver of the car must be feeling bad enough without people misrep

  • How? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Summary reads like natural causes.

    TFA reads like:"Obama 'heartbroken' as White House employee killed"

    Was he dead before or after the car hit him?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      His fixie bike hit a car in a charity bike race. No, I am not kidding.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    At the risk of coming off as hopelessly pedantic: The event that this gentleman tragically died while engaging in was not a 'race', it was a non-competitive charity bicycle riding event. It was not a sanctioned, ranked USA Cycling event requiring a valid racing license, it was open to anyone, which includes purely recreational riders that very often have not have done any specific training of their bike-handling skills. This is in contrast to competitive riders, who, even at the amateur level, typically tra
    • You'll find that people often abandon details for the larger picture.

      Especially in the case where a 34-year-old guy who died when he was too young to.

      Which...that's pretty sad. RIP to that guy, and condolences to the family.

      Not that I'm calling you wrong, because you're right: it absolutely sucks to see someone die or get seriously hurt doing the thing that you love doing, and use it to justify their preconceived notions of it so they can try to warn you away.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        To be pedantic: no one is too young to die. You can die at any age.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rei ( 128717 )

      But it raises an important point. Per mile travelled, cyclists are far more likely to be injured or die where cars are present than car drivers/passengers, and even where you only look at bike accidents classified as cars not being involved, cyclists are still more likely to die or be injured per mile. People who do "training of their bike handling skills" may be better off than the average cyclist, but - on a per-mile basis - bike travel is more dangerous than car travel.

      I live in a place where the city ke

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Would you PLEASE just shut the hell up? Some noteworthy person dies, and you're using it as a springboard for your personal agenda? Just shut the hell up!
      • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @01:57PM (#50568039)

        A person who gets half their calories from a meat like beef increases their caloric load by biking wherever they go instead of driving; they'd be better for the environment driving a large SUV without any passengers.

        So much fail here.

        Let's see. A 190 lb. person riding a bicycle at 15 mph uses about 58 calories per mile. [livestrong.com]. Gasoline contains about 31,000 calories per gallon. [wikipedia.org]. Suppose the large SUV gets 20 mpg. That's 1550 calories per mile, or more than 26 times as much.

        See also here [ucsd.edu].

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Because, all energy sources are equally efficient, right? Because I didn't just write "Which is very inefficient in terms of energy in (oil, natural gas, etc) per unit energy of muscle power released from burning said food", right? 58 calories of beef per mile is about 600 grams of CO2 per mile. Which is a terrible rate of CO2 emissions per mile.

          See this post [slashdot.org] for a breakdown. Yes, there's a lot of fail, but it's in your post.

      • I live in a place where the city keeps trying all sorts of ridiculous ways to force people out of cars and onto bikes, such as spending small fortunes to shrink down roads and doing nothing particular with the space on the sides, putting up all sorts of obstacles in the road (such as constant turn lanes, alternating between left and right) to turn 3-4 lane roads into effective 2-lane roads, building new buildings without any parking, tearing down existing parking, etc. And among their reasons for trying to force people off of cars is "safety for cyclists". But even if they succeed at making their goal of forcing a dozen or two percent of the population to switch from cars to bikes, they're only going to increase the total number of transport deaths.

        I think I know the Silicon Valley city of which you speak, if you are referring to the recent changes in the road where I live. Especially if said road has a hill that is over 10% grade in spots.

        See this link on bike statistics [grist.org], based on what it says it looks like the risk may be doubled (if 2% of the deaths are accounted for by 1% of the trips), but those could be misleading. I'm guessing the better metric is time on the bike, not miles traveled.

        As others have noted, a person burns about 3000 joules extr

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Never said cyclists don't use less energy. They use less energy, but they use it terribly inefficiently. And no, nobody burns "excess calories that they would have already eaten". The reason you get hungry after exercise is because you're burning calories. If you start burning an excess of calories and never eat more to compensate, you will starve to death. There's a small amount of exception to that rule, in as you lose weight, your baseline metabolism drops. But it doesn't drop anywhere near the amount th

          • Never said cyclists don't use less energy. They use less energy, but they use it terribly inefficiently. And no, nobody burns "excess calories that they would have already eaten". The reason you get hungry after exercise is because you're burning calories. If you start burning an excess of calories and never eat more to compensate, you will starve to death.

            If you ride your bike an hour, you'll burn about 500 calories. If you drink two beers worth drinking, you'll consume 500 calories. The average person has a pretty large variance in caloric intake and an hour exercise isn't going to change the food distribution of the world. So it's not a stretch to say that extra food consumption from cycling isn't going to affect the environment at all, when comparing to moving a 1000 kg car with the 90 kg person inside it going the exact same distance with the goal of

    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      There is no qualification required to join the USCF other than paying the registration fee. Anyone can do so and race in category five races. Some of those, you can just enroll with the USCF for the day. The training you speak of only happens once the cyclist joins a team or they choose to do some self-directed training.

      Even with team training, it's still not a particularly safe sport. One only has to watch a grand tour and note how many cyclists get taken out per stage by some accident or another. But

      • Sure, anybody can get a one-day Cat-5 authorization for a few bucks. But if you've done zero training of any kind, the vast majority of riders are going to be off the back in short order, riding alone or with a few other stragglers, and therefore not even racing anymore -- at which point it becomes more like a small group ride than an actual race. Guys who actually get an annual license, starting out as Category 5 (Category 4 if you're female) may then be 'racing', but under USA Cycling rules there is no pr
        • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

          I think we're mostly saying the same thing? The AC I replied to seem to be saying the opposite, that racers are highly trained and would be less likely to be harmed because of that. Commuting, recreational riding, and competition are all different and not all that comparable to each other. Racing is a higher risk since it involves a bit of risk taking to win, and you're pushing everything to the limit. The other two may not be as safe as travel by motor vehicle, but they're not dangerous. Of course a v

          • I think we're mostly saying the same thing?

            Sure. Being in disagreement with someone is not a requisite for posting a comment.

            I sometimes find it disturbing how many people will avoid any number of things because there's any kind of risk to their safety in engaging in it. Honestly, if people avoided all risk, however small, nobody would ever do anything other than sit quietly in a room with no sharp angles on anything, surrounded by nothing but soft pillows, scared to death of every little noise. You can get killed crossing the street, for cryin' ou

            • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

              Yea. I'm cynical, but.. it is easier to sit on the couch and come up with reasons not to do any physical activity. It's too bad too, because the select few that manage to get past that end up having a great time. It's one of those chicken and egg things.

              I did have a pretty spectacular crash years ago that almost ended me, but I was back riding in less than two weeks. Wasn't easy, but like you said.. there are things you have to get past in order to a live a life that was worth living. If you give up al

              • Having been over 300 pounds at one point in my life, with ruined knees, weak, sickly, depressed, and neurotic as hell, to now, having low bodyfat (~10%), strong, healthy, extremely active, and happier overall than I've ever been? Couldn't ever go back to being what I was. Can't fathom why anyone would want to, either. I'd rather drop dead than become what I used to be again.
  • >> intelligent use of data to make government more effective

    Well, that didn't work. How about just trying to make it more efficient?

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @12:22PM (#50567209)
    Our society relatively healthy and safe compared to previous generations. So early death is rare and tragic. I myself never directly witnessed a death until my 40s and I know some older people still havent either.
    • you've led a sheltered life.

    • In the USA early death is not that rare, compared to other countries,, we have alot of it due to adventuring and dare taking. It is the 2nd major factor into why the USA has a low life expectancy.
  • we the assholes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zlives ( 2009072 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @12:41PM (#50567401)

    young guy dies, which is tragic at the least. and most comments are smart ass or asshat...
    fuck this place has really gone to shits

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't let the car hit you on the way out.

    • Its sad, I clicked the comments almost just to see the what the comments would be. I fully expected "If you don't want to die don't ride a bike. Why is this news." or something blaming the government and/or surveillance practices.
    • fuck this place has really gone to shits

      You must be new here. Gallows humor has always been de rigueur on Slashdot.

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