This morning I was walking and listening to Humankind. I learned about an experiment in which people were given different cars to drive down a street. A person would surprise the driver by stepping off the curb into the path of the car. When the driver had been given a beater, any kind of inexpensive used car, they would nearly always break for the pedestrian, to allow them to cross the street. The newer and fancier the car was that the subjects got to drive the less likely it was that they would stop for the pedestrian. Perhaps they would honk and drive by, perhaps they would just swerve a little but they wouldn’t stop. BMW drivers were least likely to consider the pedestrian stepping into the street. Why BMW I wondered. Did they try every car brand? What about Cadillac or Bentley?
We are not very good with power. The fancy car in this experiment made the drivers feel special, gave them power. They should have read the Tao.
I have been wondering about cars and drivers. Drivers are becoming more and more aggressive, I find. I think there may be a correlation between unhappiness and aggressive driving. Well, it’s more than unhappiness, I’m sure.