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Why do you follow traffic rules?

 
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If you don't follow traffic rules, go away. Take an illegal 'U turn' or something

Why do you follow traffic rules while driving? Fear of getting caught? It is the correct thing to do? God is watching? Momma told me to? Anything else?

I am trying to understand what is it that makes India drivers so notoriously bad. I refuse to believe all of them are morons.
 
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Because I don't want to get hurt or have my car damaged, ofcourse.

If you don't feel like following the rules, you can have your car follow the rules for you.

 
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Because not doing so is dangerous for you and everyone else on the road.
 
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Nearly all traffic rules/laws are designed to keep cars from running into things. We have developed a social contract and its in all of our interests to keep to the rules. Most are fairly obvious. Some like an occasional "no U-turn" are not.

There is one set of traffic laws/rules that I do not agree with and do not follow: speed limits. In town, I tend to drive more slowly than the legal limits, its too easy for a kid to dart out into the street. On the open Interstate, most of the speed limits are way too low and serve mostly as revenue collection for the local communities.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote: On the open Interstate, most of the speed limits are way too low and serve mostly as revenue collection for the local communities.


Way to low for what exactly?
 
Pat Farrell
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They waste time. Modern cars can safely cruise at much faster speeds than many states allow. 80 or 90 is easy, but the limits are often 65.

Now, before we can make for safe, efficient and timely travel, we will have to re-educate the American driver. Left lane bandits are a serious problem. I so wish we had driving practices of the Germans.
 
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What Jesper and Bear said! And also followign the rules makes everypone go faster

The rules of the road are somewhat like a Prisoner's dilemna.

FOr people who don't know what this is:- Let's say you are the police, and you caught 2 prisoners. You put them in seperate rooms and you tell them "Snitch on the other guy and we will let you go scot free". If one snitches, he goes scot free, and other one goes to jail. If none of them snitch, they both get reduced sentences. If both snitch, both of them go to jail.

Traffic rules are like that. If everyone cooperates and follows the rules, then everyone "loses" the same amount, but the total loss is minimized The traffic moves smoothly. There are no jams.. However if a person defects, then he gains a lot more, but there is a chance that total loss in the system is high. You might be able to cut in line, but there is chance that you will have a crash. However, if everyone defects, everyone loses, because there are such a high chance of crashes occuring that everyone drives slowly. Look at the free for all that happens on the roads of Bombay. It's a mess, because everyone uses defection strategy. The speed on the roads is half of what the roads can manage.

In a game of Prisoner's dilemna with truly independent actors, the strategy that theoretically works is Tit for Tat. You start cooperating. If the other person defects, you defect next time. Otherwise you cooperate. However, this works for 2 people who are play8ing with each other for a long term. However, if you look at the strategy that actual prisoners use, where there are large number of semi anonymous players, they use the "Snitches get stitches" strategy. That is, there is a strong cultural bias against defection, and it's even enforced by using physical violence. Generally prisoner's cooperate unless there is a really good advantage in defecting

You see the same thing happenning on the road A(tleast in the US). Generally people coperate unless there is a really good advantage in defecting. You follow the traffic. You merge nicely. Until you see cutting off a car gets you from a really slow lane to a really fast lane. In that case, screw the other guy.
 
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Indian here, in Bangalore. Driving from about 10 years now.

I'm one of those people who tries to follow traffic rules to the T.
Why do I do so?
To be honest, I can't think of any compelling reason as such, other than that's how my brain seems to be wired.
Fear of getting caught? No I don't think so; I follow them even when there's no enforcement around to catch.
God is watching? Nope, non-believer here.
Parents told me to? No they didn't - atleast not explicitly - but yes their conduct has been a guidebook. They would consider that it's a given that traffic rules (and other rules in life) are something to be followed.
So brain wiring it is. I'd feel guilty if I broke it, even if nobody was watching.

But is it the correct thing to do? Are rules for our safety? Surprisingly, for me, the obvious answer to that has become less convincing with time.
In theory, it's the correct thing to do, of course. They are logical and for our safety.
Provided everybody follows the same rules!

But in practice, when 90% of people around me are breaking traffic rules, I've observed that it can actually be *more* hazardous, especially for myself.
This is just one example, but a common thing seen here that at night time is jumping red signals once the cops have left their traffic posts.
In such cases, if 90% of people jump signal - some of them at high speeds - does it make sense for just me to wait for the green?
Although in every such situation I have waited for the green, I must confess it's always been with a VERY nervous feeling (symptoms: lump in throat, anxious eyes on rearview mirror, faster heartbeat).
I can't help feeling that I'm putting myself in extreme danger from some retard - high on either booze or testosterone - who'll crash into me from the rear. I almost always move to extreme left slowest lane in such situations,
and blindly hope that I'll come out of it still alive and kicking!

So, I guess of all the correct things to do in life, following traffic rules in Bangalore is one I do rather hesitantly. Because it may forever take away any further chances of doing the correct thing!
 
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Pat Farrell wrote:They waste time. Modern cars can safely cruise at much faster speeds than many states allow. 80 or 90 is easy, but the limits are often 65.


I honestly don't know the answer to this, but are American highways designed for cars to be travelling at 90 mph? Are the on/off ramps long enough to let people accelerate to the appropriate speed safely? are the turns gradual enough? Are people eating, drinking, applying makeup, shaving, texting, talking on the phone, or even changing their clothes while driving?

I'm not sure 65 is really all that safe the way I see people behaving behind the wheel.
 
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Karthik Shiraly wrote: is jumping red signals once the cops have left their traffic posts.



In parts of Washington DC, there are a lot of people who run red lights. It makes me shudder, its so dangerous.

I will admit, that its tempting late at night when there are no cars on the road, and the light is making you wait. But even then, I wait.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Well, there are rules and there are laws. Hopefully, both should be same, but in India, sometimes that's not true. Rules are basically enforced social conventions, by not following the social convention, you are breaking the rule, even if you are following the letter of the law.

One of the problems in India is that the law isn't dependent on common sense. In the US, at night, the lights turn into flashing orange on the main road and flashing red on the side road. You can proceed through the flashing orange with caution, and yield on flashing red. It makes no sense to continue having the red green cycle when traffic is light. So, the law adapts to what is common sense. Basically, the law simply codifies common sense and safe behavior. In India, OTH, when the rules don;t make sense to most people, people just make up their own rules. When enough people think that a particular rule makes sense, everyone just follows that rule. The problem is that the law doesn't catch up.
 
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If you throw in all sorts of vehicles on US roads (from 2 to N wheelers, from self propelled to animal propelled to petrol, diesel, keroscene driven), not a single vehicle will be able to move
Given the width of Indian roads and the amount of traffic that plys on them, they are probably the most efficient transportation channel in the world. Of course, nothing is for free. So the cost of that effiency is pollution and accidents. Indian drivers are not bad. They are super efficient in navigating Indian roads

Life, in general, itself is tough in India. As they say, there is too much "maara-maari" (translation : fight for everything). Let alone driving. Everone is basically trying to make ends meets and driving is one of the many opportunities where we are able to cut corners with instant reward but uncertain (albiet sever) punishment.
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:I honestly don't know the answer to this, but are American highways designed for cars to be travelling at 90 mph? Are the on/off ramps long enough to let people accelerate to the appropriate speed safely? are the turns gradual enough? Are people eating, drinking, applying makeup, shaving, texting, talking on the phone, or even changing their clothes while driving?



Well, if you want to be 100% safe, you have to set the speed limit at zero. I am not suggesting that high speeds are good everywhere or at all times. I think 55 in Manhattan NY is often insane. But on the open road, US speeds are way too low. You can tell that simply by paying attention to the speeds that people travel. Humans naturally travel at speeds that they feel are "correct". The old (pre-politician) rule was that you set the speed limit at the speed of 85% of the people, making the 15% going faster the exception. On many roads, 85% of the people are exceeding the posted limit.

I don't have current experience with highway engineering standards, but the old Interstate design rules were to allow no G-forces at 70MPH in the turns.

One of my basic assumptions is that the driver is actually driving and paying attention. Clearly if you are applying makeup, you need to de-rate your speed by 40 or more MPH. If you are texting, you should have your drivers license revoked. If you aren't going to drive, let Google do it for you.

Except for the very cheapest cars, modern cars are much safer than older ones, they accelerate, turn, and brake much better. If the old cars (say a 74 Chevy) was "safe" at 65, then a modern car is as safe at 85 or 90.

Part of my requirements for speed on the highway is that the TSA has ruined air travel. In the 80s, I lived in Washington DC and often would fly to NYC for a morning meeting, and fly back in time for lunch. Now it takes two hours to get through the TSA lines for each flight. So a morning business trip now takes all day. For me, trips under 5 hours of driving are driven, not flown.

In many parts of the US, (notably the Western states, Texas, etc.) there is nothing to hit on an Interstate. Speed limits of 70 or even 80 are common.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Paul Anilprem wrote:

Life, in general, itself is tough in India. As they say, there is too much "maara-maari" (translation : fight for everything). Let alone driving. Everone is basically trying to make ends meets and driving is one of the many opportunities where we are able to cut corners with instant reward but uncertain (albiet sever) punishment.




That's a cyclical argument. You are not following the rules because you have to fight for everything. but you have to fight for everything because everyone else is not following the rules. If everyone followed the rules, you wouldn't have to fight for everything. It's kind of stupid how everyone in India is trying so hard to get ahead that they are dragging everyone behind. It's not just roads. I took my wife, son , mom and dad for a vacation. Now, my dad is paralyzed on the right side and walks slowly. We were in the hotel, and we had finished the buffet and we were waiting at the elevators to go upto the room. The elevator doors opened, and because my dad is slow we generally walk slow. 3 women with kids came from the buffet. Didn;t even see that there are other people waiting for the elevator and cut us off and filled the elevator. I was so frickin mad. They are in a vacation, ok. Everyone there is on a vacation. There is no real rush. You are not late for work. Elevators are not in short supply. You wait the elevator comes back in 2 mins. You can afford a room at a 4 star hotel, so you are supossedly part of the Indian class that is educated and all enlightened and shit. But, the attitude of doing maara-maari:- That I get mine and fuck the other person who was here before me or is invalid or disadvantaged is so ingrained into the Indian mindset that they do it without thinking about it.

It was not just this. I spent most of my vacation being annoyed at people who are doing maara-maari. Starting from the airport, people push you to get to the baggage belt even though their bags are not there yet. DOing maara-maari is not going to make your bags appear faster. They behave like my cats do when they are expecting food. This is not civilized behavior. This is not how humans are suppossed to behave. You cooperate and everyone comes out on top. You push people and they push other people and pretty soon everyone is pushing each other and patting themsleves on their back on how great they were at pushing that 65 year old man who can barely walk! That is not something to be proud of!
 
Paul Anilprem
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote:

Life, in general, itself is tough in India. As they say, there is too much "maara-maari" (translation : fight for everything). Let alone driving. Everone is basically trying to make ends meets and driving is one of the many opportunities where we are able to cut corners with instant reward but uncertain (albiet sever) punishment.




That's a cyclical argument. You are not following the rules because you have to fight for everything. but you have to fight for everything because everyone else is not following the rules. If everyone followed the rules, you wouldn't have to fight for everything. It's kind of stupid how everyone in India is trying so hard to get ahead that they are dragging everyone behind. It's not just roads. I took my wife, son , mom and dad for a vacation. Now, my dad is paralyzed on the right side and walks slowly. We were in the hotel, and we had finished the buffet and we were waiting at the elevators to go upto the room. The elevator doors opened, and because my dad is slow we generally walk slow. 3 women with kids came from the buffet. Didn;t even see that there are other people waiting for the elevator and cut us off and filled the elevator. I was so frickin mad. They are in a vacation, ok. Everyone there is on a vacation. There is no real rush. You are not late for work. Elevators are not in short supply. You wait the elevator comes back in 2 mins. You can afford a room at a 4 star hotel, so you are supossedly part of the Indian class that is educated and all enlightened and shit. But, the attitude of doing maara-maari:- That I get mine and fuck the other person who was here before me or is invalid or disadvantaged is so ingrained into the Indian mindset that they do it without thinking about it.

It was not just this. I spent most of my vacation being annoyed at people who are doing maara-maari. Starting from the airport, people push you to get to the baggage belt even though their bags are not there yet. DOing maara-maari is not going to make your bags appear faster. They behave like my cats do when they are expecting food. This is not civilized behavior. This is not how humans are suppossed to behave. You cooperate and everyone comes out on top. You push people and they push other people and pretty soon everyone is pushing each other and patting themsleves on their back on how great they were at pushing that 65 year old man who can barely walk! That is not something to be proud of!



I agree with all of the above. I experience the exact same thing every time I am in India.

But there is another factor that I think is at play here. That is the competition for resources. I think that due to the presence of cut throat competition for meagre resources at every walk and stage of life, our mindset has become like that. I am sure you have seen the videos of people rushing through the doors of walmart for thanksgiving sale in US. I think it is like that every second for every thing in India. Laws can't and won't work in such situation.

I am not saying this as an excuse but as a reason. I don't see any solution to this madness untill the population density goes back to what it was 50-100 yrs ago, which is unlikely.
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote:Laws can't and won't work in such situation.


You have it backwards. First you have a social consensus, then you write laws and people follow them.

You don't write a law and expect the people to follow it just because its a law or because there is a policeman watching right now.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote:Laws can't and won't work in such situation.


You have it backwards. First you have a social consensus, then you write laws and people follow them.

You don't write a law and expect the people to follow it just because its a law or because there is a policeman watching right now.


I don't think there can be any social consensus at this stage of competition other than every man for himself. That's exactly what happens at the doors of walmart on thanksgiving.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Right, decent people don't follow laws because there is a law, or there is policeman standing nearby. Decent people follow the law because the law just happens to be decent thing to do. Cooperative behavior is the foundation of all civilized behavior. Without voluntary cooperation, we don;t have a society

If you have majority of people in a society who not only engage in non-cooperative behavior, but also are proud of how good they are at getting theirs, then you have a big problem in society You are fundamentally undermining everything that humans have worked for for the past 80K years. It;s nothing to do with the amount of resources. Resources are always going to be limited. Human need is always going to be unlimited. It doesn't matter how rich the country is. You always want more. Civilized behavior is curtailing your natural instinct to get as much as you want so you can share equally. Civilized behavior is recognizing that the person next to you might have a need that is greater than yours.
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote:I don't think there can be any social consensus at this stage of competition other than every man for himself. That's exactly what happens at the doors of walmart on thanksgiving.



No civilized man goes to WalMart on the day after Thanksgiving. Its idiotic, and people will get hurt, they do every year.
 
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Right, decent people don't follow laws because there is a law, or there is policeman standing nearby. Decent people follow the law because the law just happens to be decent thing to do. Cooperative behavior is the foundation of all civilized behavior. Without voluntary cooperation, we don;t have a society

If you have majority of people in a society who not only engage in non-cooperative behavior, but also are proud of how good they are at getting theirs, then you have a big problem in society You are fundamentally undermining everything that humans have worked for for the past 80K years. It;s nothing to do with the amount of resources. Resources are always going to be limited. Human need is always going to be unlimited. It doesn't matter how rich the country is. You always want more. Civilized behavior is curtailing your natural instinct to get as much as you want so you can share equally. Civilized behavior is recognizing that the person next to you might have a need that is greater than yours.


I am just saying that it is not possible in reality when there is a severe resource crunch. This is not a question of being proud of it or not. It is just the way it is. People don't become "uncivilized" just for the heck of it. It has everything to do with the availability of resources as is shown by the walmart example above.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote:I don't think there can be any social consensus at this stage of competition other than every man for himself. That's exactly what happens at the doors of walmart on thanksgiving.



No civilized man goes to WalMart on the day after Thanksgiving. Its idiotic, and people will get hurt, they do every year.


But people do go to WalMart for that sale. Do you mean that they are "civilized" on other days but "uncivilized" on that day? Or they are basically uncivilized people kept in check by the law on other days?

 
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I reject your claim that laws keep people in check. I mean that folks who got shopping on Thanksgiving Friday are looking for a fight. That is not my definition of civilized.

I am so civilized that I do 99% of my shopping using Amazon Prime. I rarely go to any shopping center ever, let alone on the Lions vs Christians day.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote:I reject your claim that laws keep people in check.


Where did you see me making that claim???

Pat Farrell wrote:
I mean that folks who got shopping on Thanksgiving Friday are looking for a fight. That is not my definition of civilized.

I am so civilized that I do 99% of my shopping using Amazon Prime. I rarely go to any shopping center ever, let alone on the Lions vs Christians day.


I am not sure if that was meant as an answer to my question:


But people do go to WalMart for that sale. Do you mean that they are "civilized" on other days but "uncivilized" on that day? Or they are basically uncivilized people kept in check by the law on other days.



Your statement raises another question: Do you think everyone who goes for thanksgiving sale at walmart is looking for a fight?
 
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Claim that laws keep people "in check" below

Paul Anilprem wrote: Or they are basically uncivilized people kept in check by the law on other days.

 
Paul Anilprem
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Pat Farrell wrote:Claim that laws keep people "in check" below

Paul Anilprem wrote: Or they are basically uncivilized people kept in check by the law on other days.



Sorry about that. I meant to write it as a question. I have edited it.


But people do go to WalMart for that sale. Do you mean that they are "civilized" on other days but "uncivilized" on that day? Or they are basically uncivilized people kept in check by the law on other days?.

 
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Pat Farrell wrote:I reject your claim that laws keep people in check.


So do you mean that the people present on thanksgiving sale at walmart are decent civilized people who turn into "uncivilized" people suddenly for no reason?
 
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Interesting discussion. I'm going to posit another theory just for fun. People are not civilized. What we call "civilized" is a very thin and very fragile veneer subject to collapse at a moments notice. It's a social contract that people will adhere to only for as long as it benefits them personally. Watch the food supply collapse and the grocery stores empty out and see how long our civilization lasts. In about 3 days people will be killing each other for any food available. In about two weeks they will be killing and eating each other.

People are largely motivated by two things; fear and greed. When either of those things outweighs the benefits of maintaining the contract of civility, the civility goes out the window. It doesn't matter if you are talking about road rage, starving survivors after hurricane Katrina, or riots in the streets. Their fear or greed becomes paramount and any semblance of civilization disappears. Shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving are looking for a bargain, a $150 television or whatever, and their greed shows them for what they really are; uncivilized savages with a "me first and me only" attitude.

 
Paul Anilprem
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J. Kevin Robbins wrote:Interesting discussion. I'm going to posit another theory just for fun. People are not civilized. What we call "civilized" is a very thin and very fragile veneer subject to collapse at a moments notice. It's a social contract that people will adhere to only for as long as it benefits them personally. Watch the food supply collapse and the grocery stores empty out and see how long our civilization lasts. In about 3 days people will be killing each other for any food available. In about two weeks they will be killing and eating each other.

People are largely motivated by two things; fear and greed. When either of those things outweighs the benefits of maintaining the contract of civility, the civility goes out the window. It doesn't matter if you are talking about road rage, starving survivors after hurricane Katrina, or riots in the streets. Their fear or greed becomes paramount and any semblance of civilization disappears. Shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving are looking for a bargain, a $150 television or whatever, and their greed shows them for what they really are; uncivilized savages with a "me first and me only" attitude.


Isn't that another way of saying civility depends on availability of resources?
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote:
Isn't that another way of saying civility depends on availability of resources?



I'm not sure it's that simple. Certainly a shortage of resources can lead to a breakdown, but there are also times when people have pulled together and treated each other civilly in spite of a lack of resources, and times when resource-rich societies because very uncivilized.

I think anonymity also plays into it. It's easier to be uncivilized to a stranger than someone who is a member of ones own family/clan/tribe. Perhaps the size and anonymity of our modern society has made the situation worse, that is, made our civilization more fragile.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Paul Anilprem wrote:

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Right, decent people don't follow laws because there is a law, or there is policeman standing nearby. Decent people follow the law because the law just happens to be decent thing to do. Cooperative behavior is the foundation of all civilized behavior. Without voluntary cooperation, we don;t have a society

If you have majority of people in a society who not only engage in non-cooperative behavior, but also are proud of how good they are at getting theirs, then you have a big problem in society You are fundamentally undermining everything that humans have worked for for the past 80K years. It;s nothing to do with the amount of resources. Resources are always going to be limited. Human need is always going to be unlimited. It doesn't matter how rich the country is. You always want more. Civilized behavior is curtailing your natural instinct to get as much as you want so you can share equally. Civilized behavior is recognizing that the person next to you might have a need that is greater than yours.


I am just saying that it is not possible in reality when there is a severe resource crunch. This is not a question of being proud of it or not. It is just the way it is. People don't become "uncivilized" just for the heck of it. It has everything to do with the availability of resources as is shown by the walmart example above.



No that's not true. People is resource crunches behave more cooperatively than when they have resources. The perfect example is look at any local train in Bombay. People in Second class compartment behave a lot more cooperatively than in first class compartment. People are packed like sardines in the second class compartment. First class compartments are full but atleast you have breathing room. If you try to get inside a second class compartment they will make place for you. They will let you slide in. They will give you that one inch of foot and hand space so you can hang on. If you look like you are going to fall of, they even hold you. If you are inside the train and you have to get off the train, they will figure out a way for you to slide by, even if it means that they might face some personal uncomfort. In the first class apartment, that is full of "supposedly" middle class managers, they will actively stand in ways that will block you from entering. They will scowl at you if you ask them to move so you can get to the door

A second class compartment in any Bombay train is much more civilized than a first class compartment in the same train. There's no policeman in the second class compartment. There is no law that says that you have to let people in and out of the train. People come up with ad-hoc rules and everyone follows them. People do the decent thing because they all know they are in the train together.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote: On the open Interstate, most of the speed limits are way too low and serve mostly as revenue collection for the local communities.

Indeed, one of the motivations for not violating speed limits too flagrantly is my selfish and greedy unwillingness to contribute towards the public good via traffic fines, or to help lighten the load of other auto-insurance customers by providing a larger share of the insurance company revenue.
 
Paul Anilprem
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote:

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Right, decent people don't follow laws because there is a law, or there is policeman standing nearby. Decent people follow the law because the law just happens to be decent thing to do. Cooperative behavior is the foundation of all civilized behavior. Without voluntary cooperation, we don;t have a society

If you have majority of people in a society who not only engage in non-cooperative behavior, but also are proud of how good they are at getting theirs, then you have a big problem in society You are fundamentally undermining everything that humans have worked for for the past 80K years. It;s nothing to do with the amount of resources. Resources are always going to be limited. Human need is always going to be unlimited. It doesn't matter how rich the country is. You always want more. Civilized behavior is curtailing your natural instinct to get as much as you want so you can share equally. Civilized behavior is recognizing that the person next to you might have a need that is greater than yours.


I am just saying that it is not possible in reality when there is a severe resource crunch. This is not a question of being proud of it or not. It is just the way it is. People don't become "uncivilized" just for the heck of it. It has everything to do with the availability of resources as is shown by the walmart example above.



No that's not true. People is resource crunches behave more cooperatively than when they have resources. The perfect example is look at any local train in Bombay. People in Second class compartment behave a lot more cooperatively than in first class compartment. People are packed like sardines in the second class compartment. First class compartments are full but atleast you have breathing room. If you try to get inside a second class compartment they will make place for you. They will let you slide in. They will give you that one inch of foot and hand space so you can hang on. If you look like you are going to fall of, they even hold you. If you are inside the train and you have to get off the train, they will figure out a way for you to slide by, even if it means that they might face some personal uncomfort. In the first class apartment, that is full of "supposedly" middle class managers, they will actively stand in ways that will block you from entering. They will scowl at you if you ask them to move so you can get to the door

A second class compartment in any Bombay train is much more civilized than a first class compartment in the same train. There's no policeman in the second class compartment. There is no law that says that you have to let people in and out of the train. People come up with ad-hoc rules and everyone follows them. People do the decent thing because they all know they are in the train together.



I have very little experience with Mumbai local. But I have seen similar phenomenon happening in buses in other states as well. However, it is not the same situation. People are willing to let you board because they know that they will still get to be on board. But observe what happens among the people who are on the platform and are trying to get on the same train. No one helps anyone get on board. Observe what happens when a water tanker comes in to deliver water in any neighborhood. Observe what happens during Railway Recruitment Board exams. I don't see any difference between that and the behaviour of people on thanksgiving sale.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote: Humans naturally travel at speeds that they feel are "correct".


That doesn't mean it IS correct. Humans are fantastic at being so wrong about so many things while being CONVINCED they are right.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Paul, you made the claim that selfish behavior only happens because of resource crunch. I am merely disproving that claim . I gave you one example where there is higher cooperative behavior inspite of shortage of resource. There are countless examples of this in Indian society. I've been a poor student in Bombay, came to America and gone back frequently as a stinking rich American. I've lived in a world where I would come into contact with the working class going back and forth between college, and now when I go back I behave like a typical Seth, going to nice restaurants, travelling by taxis, etc. I've seen instances of selfish behavior in both worlds, however, overall the poorer classes behave more civilized in India than the middle class. The poorer class has much severe resource crunches. People in my class, my cousins, their friends have this attitude "I've worked hard, so I'm going to grab life by both hands, even if it means I'm going to grab it from someone who is disadvantaged as me". The claim that resource crunches lead to selfish behavior is incorrect.

My parents' generation put all their hopes in our generation. They got our generation educated in the hopes that education will lift the Indian society up. They forgot to teach us how to be good citizens. Really, that's literally true. When have you heard any school curriculum talk about good citizenship. Never, right? It didn;t even cross your mind that school should teach good citizenship, right? In the US, OTH, the first thing they teach in kindergarten and pre-K is to share. Next thing they teach is how to ask nicely. That comes before everything else. People of my generation and class have turned out to be selfless gits who need to learn to respect an invalid person who is trying to get into an elevator.
 
Paul Anilprem
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Paul, you made the claim that selfish behavior only happens because of resource crunch. I am merely disproving that claim .


Not only because of resource crunch but primarily because of resource crunch.

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:
I gave you one example where there is higher cooperative behavior inspite of shortage of resource. There are countless examples of this in Indian society. I've been a poor student in Bombay, came to America and gone back frequently as a stinking rich American. I've lived in a world where I would come into contact with the working class going back and forth between college, and now when I go back I behave like a typical Seth, going to nice restaurants, travelling by taxis, etc. I've seen instances of selfish behavior in both worlds, however, overall the poorer classes behave more civilized in India than the middle class. The poorer class has much severe resource crunches. People in my class, my cousins, their friends have this attitude "I've worked hard, so I'm going to grab life by both hands, even if it means I'm going to grab it from someone who is disadvantaged as me". The claim that resource crunches lead to selfish behavior is incorrect.

My parents' generation put all their hopes in our generation. They got our generation educated in the hopes that education will lift the Indian society up. They forgot to teach us how to be good citizens. Really, that's literally true. When have you heard any school curriculum talk about good citizenship. Never, right? It didn;t even cross your mind that school should teach good citizenship, right? In the US, OTH, the first thing they teach in kindergarten and pre-K is to share. Next thing they teach is how to ask nicely. That comes before everything else. People of my generation and class have turned out to be selfless gits who need to learn to respect an invalid person who is trying to get into an elevator.



I agree with all of the above except "The claim that resource crunches lead to selfish behavior is incorrect. " I believe it is a big reason for selfish behavior. May be I am wrong but I haven't seen any evidence that proves otherwise.
 
Paul Anilprem
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J. Kevin Robbins wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote:
Isn't that another way of saying civility depends on availability of resources?



I'm not sure it's that simple. Certainly a shortage of resources can lead to a breakdown, but there are also times when people have pulled together and treated each other civilly in spite of a lack of resources, and times when resource-rich societies because very uncivilized.

I think anonymity also plays into it. It's easier to be uncivilized to a stranger than someone who is a member of ones own family/clan/tribe. Perhaps the size and anonymity of our modern society has made the situation worse, that is, made our civilization more fragile.


Good point.
 
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Pat Farrell wrote:
In parts of Washington DC, there are a lot of people who run red lights. It makes me shudder, its so dangerous.



Guy hails a taxi, asks to go to the airport. The first intersection they get to, the cabbie drives right through a red light. Customer gets a little upset, but the cabbie just says "Don't worry about it, my brother does it all the time!"

Soon, the cabbie drives right through another red light. The customer again gets a little upset. The cabbie just says "Don't worry about it, my brother does it all the time!"

A few blocks later, they come to a green light, and the cabbie stops dead. The customer says "Hey, the light is green! Why are you just sitting here?"

Cabbie says "My brother lives around here."
 
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That is the competition for resources. I think that due to the presence of cut throat competition for meagre resources at every walk and stage of life, our mindset has become like that.



I agree with this, although not the way it framed right now. The context of a resource crunch is different based on who it touches and how they take it. Like Jayesh said, some poorer classes are more civilized despite their resource crunch. Upbringing plays a huge role in how the crunch is dealt with.

Traffic for example is a crunch where aggressive group behavior can spread quickly like a virus. Depending on how much the pinch is and how you take it, your civility varies.

I'm not sure it's that simple. Certainly a shortage of resources can lead to a breakdown, but there are also times when people have pulled together and treated each other civilly in spite of a lack of resources, and times when resource-rich societies because very uncivilized.



True. Natural disasters come to mind as an example. But then civility varies wildly even in those cases. Again it comes down to who you are.
 
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I think Jesper nails it. I (as well as other people) assume that other folks will follow the rules - that figures into the decisions I make. For example, if making a 'U turn' somewhere is not allowed, I will drive as if I am certain that people will not make a 'U turn" there. That may mean going faster, or paying less attention to that possibility, than I otherwise would - which may result in an accident if someone actually does do a 'U turn' at that location. And since car accidents frequently result in serious injuries, or worse, that's something folks should think about twice.

Now, if you ask if I always obey red traffic lights at 2am when no one is around... that's a different question :-)
 
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