I just took a driver improvement course whose central organizing theory was that we can each drive with one of three kinds of persona in charge: child, parent, adult. While adult is the unemotional calculating persona who should be in charge, we are sometimes run by a child who wants to have fun and show off, or by a parent who want to punish or reward other drivers for driving the way we think they should.
As a third example, consider common business norms against too quickly imposing intuitive fairness norms on business deals. If a price you pay was lower, but is now higher, you are usually advised to not get too worked up about such price hikes violating your fairness norms. If you can’t find a better deal somewhere else, you may just have to take this one. It’s all “just business”, you see.
There's a lot of circumstances where a rational agent should want to self modify into an agent that will not pay above certain price (to limit the extent of / discourage exploitation by a monopolist or locked-in vendor).
As a "road rager" seeking to find a method to cope, I can hardly see what the comparison of enforcing some personal moral ideas about sex and marriage have to do with dealing with problems on the road. What people do with their genitals or in their personal relationships has nothing to do with me and ultimately has no effect on my life, whereas sharing the road with folks who feel they are the only ones there ex; cutting me off, slamming on brakes for no reason, driving 5 miles an hour on the fwy or 40mph zones in morning traffic on the way to work, does.
I wonder what this "I'm sorry" sign would be. I can't think of any action you could take to calm me down after cutting me off. Except perhaps pointing an assault rifle at me.
It's also a sort of Americanized, cartoon version of Freudian metapsychology (id, ego, superego), FWTW. In any case it's absurd to say it "suggests just how far respect for fertility has fallen".
I interpret the evidence about sex differently than Dirda (and probably Dabhoiwala). It sounds to me that the Puritans tried to make actual rules match nominal rules and the reaction was to make nominal rules match actual rules.
I'm curious about why you chose to take a "driver improvement" course. Are you a better driver now? Do you now get a break on your car insurance rates, or something?
Transactional Analysis was super popular in the 1970s.
The class also told folks to give an “I’m sorry” sign to drivers who seem mad at you, even if you don’t think yourself at fault.
Did they teach you a canonical "I'm sorry" sign for drivers? I've always tried to do a shrug-and-a-wave, but I'm not sure how easy it is for other drivers to interpret that.
This is a very paternal comment.
The child/parent/adult framing sounds like it's almost certainly based on Transactional Analysis, a type of neo-Freudian psychotherapy from the 1950s which is still surprisingly popular, especially in couples therapy.
There's a short and surprisingly entertaining book on the subject by its founding figure, Dr. Eric Berne, called Games People Play.
Back when WE grew up, our Parents drove amongst OTHER Parents.
Now, no matter how much of the Parental/Adult mindset you adopt from your new training.
YOU still will be driving amongst (mainly) children.
We (ever since the first ape to pass moral judgement) have always been a society where people feign heightened morality as a central part of their lives. It only seems like we've _become_ that way because the present is more salient than the past.
Come on, give him a point. You are right that there is a difference between the two, but (i) I would put it at p=.8 that before the comments you had not made a connection between the framework of the driving course you took and transactional analysis; (ii) only slightly lower p that you had not heard of transactional analysis beforehand; and (iii) only slightly lower p still, that had you made the connection (i.e., (i) had been false) you would have written the post differently. If you assess (iii) to be materially probable yourself, you should at least give Joe a nod and a thanks here.
The stringency of the Puritans — who reintroduced the death penalty for adultery — gradually backfired. Their overharsh principles appealed only to zealots. Instead of a culture based on neighbors watching neighbors and calling them to task when necessary, sexual policing was outsourced to paid professionals and mercenary informers.
Bring the war on drugs to mind. The punishments are so harsh that only a few would turn a person in so paid law enforcement are on their own.
I think it's a matter of protecting one social status rather than enforcing morality: we don't usually get mad at motorists behaving badly towards other motorists.
In the evolutionary environment, if somebody publicily disrespects you and you don't immediately react in a hostile way (using anything from sarcasm and insults to threats or even physical violence, depending on the severity of the offence and the social norms about appropriate retribution), you'll get a status penality while the other party gets a status bonus.
Of course, in a modern setting, behaving submissively while you are driving alone among total strangers won't lower your status, but our brain is wired for living in a society where everybody knows everything about everybody else.
>This also offers a vivid example of a problem of too much, not too little, morality.
Totally agree. We've become a society where people feign heightened morality as a central part of their lives. Just yesterday I came upon a piece where a woman derives her sense of importance by rehabilitating fighting roosters. She teaches them to live "peacefully".