This blog will frequently offer personal analysis and social commentary on the status quo and the rather obvious de-evolution of the human species into automatons and quasi-conscious consumers. Maybe humans are not evolving into zombies wherever you’re from, but I having lived in many places and many cities, such as New York City, New Jersey, Indiana, Los Angeles; California, and Houston/Dallas; Texas, and currently Southern Florida, my own observations have led me to conclude that there is something definitely wrong with the direction in which humanity is headed; and the change is NOT for the better.
I am not a fan of traffic rules and especially red lights, but I generally comply due to the “social contract” for what its worth, particularly in heavy traffic. Because I don’t trust those around me to drive safely I generally drive slowly and carefully, at or below the speed limit, and I am keenly aware that no matter how fast I drive there is a red light in the near vicinity that will force me to stop and waste gas and time.
Most places I’ve lived, save for Houston, I have noticed an incredible lack of foresight on the part of the vast majority of drivers around me, who seem to have some unconscious motivation to floor their cars in the short amount of time between movement and red lights, and then crush the brake pedal, so they can be first at the light to wait… And stare into space.
What can be the reason(s) for this odd behavior? Because if they were just to look up into the distance they would clearly see the light about to turn red, or is red, and yet they still feel the drive to slam the gas either racing past me or riding my bumper behind me, trying to get me to join their baffoonery.
I often wonder as I look at them at the red light, “do you have any conception of your own behavior and is there a thought process behind it?”. You were just trying to get me to go faster by tailgating me and now you’re not going anywhere. They usually avoid all eye contact and get on their phone or stare straight ahead.
The drawbacks of such style of driving are rather obvious: first, you waste far more fuel. By injecting fuel and then quickly hitting the brakes one clearly uses up a great deal of gas unnecessarily, but if you happen to have extra funds, well that’s fine, it may not be an issue.
Second, one wears out their brakes much faster. The way I drive is I accelerate the minimum amount needed to get me to the next red light, and as soon as I see a light changing in the distance I take my foot off the gas, no matter how far away I am and I will coast my way to the light, using the absolute minimum gas by allowing the CVT engine to slow itself.
By jamming the brakes after accelerating needlessly, the brakes undergo far more wear and tear than necessary. Of course some people with money to burn for gas may not care about a few hundred dollars in brake costs every few months, and that’s fine also.
The final issue, and probably most important is safety. By tailgating, or riding a bumper, or just stepping on the accelerator whenever there is road in front of you really begs the question: what are your chances of not totaling your car and not being injured at the speed you’re going?
Driving past accidents almost every day in my area, I personally have no interest in combining my speed with another vehicle’s speed and causing untold damage to my body or vehicle. Therefore, I limit my speed, and thereby I maximize my chances of being able to avoid an accident, and in the event of one, I minimize the damage done, since damage is directly proportional to the velocity of both vehicles.
Finally, the relevant psychological analysis obviously stands to reason that the de-evolution of humanity has made looking ahead into the distance unpalatable, inconvenient, cumbersome, or just unnecessary for a large percentage of the population. This phenomena is the literal manifestation of a psychological problem.
Is our instant gratification society so entrenched in our patterns of satisfying our desires within the shortest amount of time possible, that we ignore the fact that a red light, in the instant situation and a “price to pay” at some point, in the metaphorical analysis, will ultimately prevent us from getting where we want? Have we been programmed to suppress our common sense of foresight? Is this situation merely a metaphor for a larger refusal of humanity to address its own future, on an individual and collective basis? Social commentary such as this is necessary in order to point out our collective shortcomings, so that we may step back from our daily struggles and asses our individual position within the whole.
Yes, I believe we have failed as a collective, to see, to acknowledge, and to understand the not too far off future. I believe the masters of our civilization have no need for the masses to understand that which is being planned for them, or to be a part of the planning, and have provided short-term distractions for us to play with: reality TV, sports, Ebola one day, race riots the next, beheadings another, celebrity scandals next week… Food; fast, cheap and toxic. Entertainment; in your face shocking, fast and unoriginal.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes… Secret meetings are held, plans are drawn up, people are assigned to carry them out, and those people head out to more meetings, draw up more plans, assign them to downstream degrees and so on until the lowest person in that hierarchy knows exactly what he is supposed to do, but has no idea why. And then he gets into his car and steps on the gas full throttle so that he can get to wherever he needs to go as fast as possible, notwithstanding the red lights, to carry out his special plans…