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The Apple 'MappleGate' Tragedy Nobody Wants to Talk About

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tuesday on CNBC, I described MappleGate as a symptom of bigger long-term problems at Apple (AAPL - Get Report).

Until something significant happens to warrant further discussion of the topic, I'll leave it there. However, there's something bigger than Apple that needs to come to the forefront of the hysteria.

I did some thinking on the 20-mile drive from CNBC's LA bureau to Santa Monica. A journey that took 90 minutes, thanks to perpetual construction.

First, I looked back on 13 years of being carless.

It's been a great run. But now, for several reasons, I need to join the not-so-silent majority. Chances are, before the year is out, I will buy a car.

For more than I decade, I have walked, cycled and taken transit instead of driving. While I have mellowed, I still lean toward an anti-car sentiment.

Cars kill people. Certainly drivers share the blame. But, ultimately, that thing we call "car culture" deserves a lion's share of responsibility.

We have an unrealistic expectation in society. This idea that we can put human beings into chaotic, unworkable and inherently dangerous situations and expect them to avoid death or serious injury to themselves and others.

It's like blaming victims in coal mine disasters for their fate. When you put people in dangerous situations, it's foolish to expect anything but disastrous results.

Human error doesn't "cause" car crashes, human nature does.

MappleGate put turn-by-turn directions on the front page. When he offered mapping alternatives in his apology letter, Tim Cook raised the profile.

Tongue in cheek here because we all know that correlation does not equal causation, but I wonder how many additional traffic accidents Tim Cook "caused" since he told customers to get their mapping services from another store.

He likely helped increase the number of idiots who figured they would give the startup map application Waze or something similar a whirl while traveling.

On Tuesday, I was one of those idiots.

As much as I despise distracted driving when I see it -- and as illegal as it is in California -- I am one of those people who cannot keep myself from taking part. I'm not too proud to admit it. I am human; therefore I am flawed. And I have damn good company.
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