Roadrage

A   
s I was driving back to Texas from my Colorado vacation, I had some time to think about this topic and was further prompted in that direction by minor traffic incidents such as the "bitch" driving 5 feet off my bumper when I'm doing the speed limit (75 mph on southbound I-25 north of Colorado Springs). No, not the first bitch ... the second one in the freakin' pickup truck.

Given that the traffic situation is moderately dense and no one is going to go much faster than the limit, I see no legal, ethical or moral reason why I should have to yield to another driver who happens to want to go 85 mph. But for practical safety reasons one must give up the fight. The consequences of using your car as a weapon even in mock battle can be horrific. I have obligations to my family and so must defer to ... the bitch ... but I do so with extended digit of course. She just went up to the next sucker and started tailgaiting his ass. I suppose after such manuevering she might have gained a hundred yards every two miles or so.

I didn't try to get even. But why do some people? I mean men not women. As far as I know there are no significant numbers of women roadragers.

I believe this its the cause ...

In one day you may endure up to three adverse traffic incidents without a counterattack. On the fourth, it's time to take the gloves off. When two such driven drivers meet ... there is open warfare. A joust on the interstate. The odds of this happening are very small. Hence, the number of such incidents are proportional to the amount of traffic. The greater the traffic the more chance that two "three time losers" will encounter one another.

Why three incidents?

Because it requires three data points to fairly well define a "trend'. The trend to be verified is "They're out to get me!"

Let me elaborate.

If you find a dollar on the grass, what is the first thing that you do? Right. You stupidly look to see if there are any more lying around. Of course, there rairly is. If you found some more you might thank the gods of chance or something like that. Let's say you find some more money somewhere else that day. Wow! What luck. Now try three money finding incidents. You're thinking "I've been selected by the gods for some reason". This is what keeps Las Vegas going. By the fourth incident you're delirious.

What are we doing here? We're naming a trend based on a few data points. A good trend. But such randomly generated "trends" are generally bad trends for it is much easier to lose money that to find it. Just ask my brother (the stockmarketeer).

Bad trends are much more prevalent than good ones. Things fall apart much more easily that they "self-construct".

Each incident in traffic is a "bad" data point. It takes two to begin to indicate something. We're subconsciously on notice to watch for more data. The third data point allows us to plot a curve rather than the straight line from two data points. A curve is much more "natural" and so is more believeable as a "trend". Most of the operations of nature are represented by curved lines in geometry or math. The fourth data point "confirms" the validity of the trend and so is acted upon even though it is manefestly NOT a trend. It can't be a trend because the data points are not logically correlated.

They're random. They can't correlate.

Try telling that to your subconscious which is softwired for recognizing just such correlations. That's how we survive. By seeing what other animals can't detect ... because their brains can't draw broad inferences from sparse data.

NOTE : If you plot the 'importance' of the incident on the "y" axis and time on the "x" axis, each incident (data point) will seem more important as time goes by because we are expecting them ... anticipating further offenses against us. The anticipation increases our animosity and thus the importance of each successive incident increases on the "y" axis yielding an upward bending curve which is the hallmark of an emergency situation.
When a man sees such a trend (real or imagined) his approach is to use his subconscious mechanisms to deal with the "emergency" issue of "They're out to get me". No calmly, reasoned thought is given to the matter. He just reacts on automatic.

And this is a good thing in general. If you have to think about every punch you're going to throw in a fight ... you're gonna' lose. Thinking is way too slow for action. To be effective, action must be automatic, reflexive ... mindless. I'm talking about emergencies here not protracted warfare where reason allied with action (force) is the winning combination.

When two such warriors meet in the field of battle (the road) neither is calmly reasoning out the options. They're primed and ready for action and ... they go to it with gusto.

It's all quite natural. There's nothing you can do about it. It does no good to say what a man SHOULD HAVE DONE in hindsight. He can't do that in that type of situation and still be himself ... a testosterone driven fighting dynamo.

And if he were'nt testosterone driven ... civilization wouldn't be here. It was ripped from nature by such fighting machines. Maybe some day we'll all be effeminate and there won't be such problems ... but I'm sure worse problems would crop up if it came to that.



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