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Digital Dice by Paul J. Nahin

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18. Waiting for Stoplights

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. . . .

—Raymond Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder” (Atlantic Monthly, December 1944)

 

Yes, but even Philip Marlowe, Chandler’s quintessential hard-boiled, tough-gay private eye of 1940s Los Angeles, waited (usually) for red traffic lights to turn green before crossing the street.

This waiting problem first appeared in the early 1980s. With reference to Figure P18.1, imagine a pedestrian starting out on a shopping trip ...

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