Saturday, March 21, 2009

Traffic and Philosophy

Often, the case is made that the modern world is more fragmented and alienating that previous periods. On the contrary, I would argue that, while perhaps physically alienating, human beings are working together in a manner never before imaginable. For one thing, the internet simultaneously makes its user anonymous and connected to numerous others. They all enjoy an element of privacy that enables many to lower, or even completely shrug off, their inhibitions. It may be this sordid view of humanity that people don’t truly like: a simple, reptilian brain that still functions beneath the deep recesses of the complex cerebrum in all of us.

My favorite example of the modern dichotomy of anonymity and interconnectedness is traffic. Imagine the complexity of it all: the multitude of human beings sitting behind a large engine within which numerous tiny explosions are being converted into the power to reach speeds often exceeding seventy miles per hours, faster than any other land animal on earth. With the use of a modest system of signs and lights, hundreds of thousands of people pass daily with little effort over distances greater than many people two-hundred years ago would venture in a lifetime.

Traffic, with its thankless courtesies and required patience, might seem an impossible feat to someone who has never seen it. Philosophers for millennia have debated the capabilities of the average human being. Traffic appears to disprove the pessimists who would say that most people are incapable of… did you see that? He just cut me off! I’m gonna speed up and pass HIM, then slow down and see if he likes it. Oh what the fuck, let me in you faggoty ass semi. Goddamn butt-fucking truckers, I swear to God; they can all just eat my ass raw. Jesus Fucking Christ! What’s this asshole doing? GET OFF THE PHONE YOU JACKASS! Ahem, sorry.

Shit, what is the hold up here, why are we stopped? Looks like some kind of accident… God I wish they’d just scoop up the wreckage, corpses and all, with a snow plow and go sort it out someplace else. This is fucking ridiculous. I knew I should have taken the surface roads.

3 comments:

  1. Hee Hee,

    I rather enjoy the anonymity that the internet has given me these days.

    > human beings sitting behind a large engine

    Sort of reminds me of a doc I saw on the human face. Road rage may have a lot to do with not being able to see a driver's face. You don't get to see the visual cues that help you see that maybe they didn't mean to, as apposed to if you almost bumped into another pedestrian while walking down the street.

    I guess underneath it all, we're still primitive in a whole lot of ways.

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  2. I am offended by the statement, Goddamn butt-fucking truckers, I swear to God; they can all just eat my ass raw, since I am one of those truckers. Damn think you hit it right on the head with the things that go though drivings minds when behind the wheel. Just kidding about being offended know enough drivers that are real assholes.

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