On the surface, driving seems like a competitive activity. Yes drivers cooperate to avoid accidents, but aside from that other cars mainly seem to be in your way – if they take a road space you wanted, it will take you longer to get where you wanted.
But appearances can be deceiving. I’m a relatively aggressive driver, i.e., eager to get places fast, and overall it seems to me that other aggressive drivers are more my allies on the road than my rivals. My main opponents are slow pokes – being stuck behind them slows me way down.
So when I choose lanes I’m mainly looking to avoid lanes with slow drivers. I avoid trucks and most anything weird – those have more chance to be extra slow. Yes I might feel a bit rivalrous seeing an aggressive driver jump before me to grab a choice spot. But mostly I’m relieved to find a good person to get behind – they are unlikely to slow me down, and they tend to choose faster lanes.
This seems a decent metaphor for the rest of life. Yes when you associate with competitive aggressive folks you may have to keep on your toes more, and expect them to sometimes grab stuff you want. But overall associating with them will help you to move fast – they will tend to go places, and take you with them.
Added 9a: Folks, I’m not talking about going much faster than traffic, I’m talking about avoiding cars going much slower:
The risk of having a crash is increased both for vehicles traveling slower than the average speed, and for those traveling above the average speed. (more)
There are now 1.13 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. At 30 miles per hour, this means a fatality every 337 years of constant driving. So if driving 1% faster gave you a 1% greater risk of death, for most folks that would be a good deal time trade. Anyone know what the actual speed-death elasticity is?