Archive for the 'Counterintuitive Things' Category

A Zen Paradox Commuter Allegory Thingy

Question: Would I get to work faster by driving faster, or by driving slower?
Answer: That doesn’t fully depend on me.

Every morning when I drive to work, I am surrounded by drivers who believe that they will get to work faster by driving faster. These drivers repeatedly zip past me, only to hit the brakes shortly thereafter because they have to stop at the stop lights that are spaced only a few hundred yards apart.
If traffic is light enough, I can let them pass, choose an open lane, and cruise past these drivers who haven’t yet grasped the futility of “hurry up and wait”. If traffic is heavier, and therefore all the lanes are clogged by people who have just rushed past me, I can ease-in behind the shortest line after it has begun to accelerate, allowing me to pass a decent percentage of the people who had recently barged past me–but using less gas and brake pad than those drivers, who are now, I’d like them to grasp, behind me.
It is counterintuitive: by driving slower, I could use less gas, put less wear-and-tear on my car, and get to work faster than those who believe that they can get to work faster by going faster. But by rushing ahead of me and clogging up all the lanes, the majority who accept the dominant belief system (that one gets to work faster by driving faster), create conditions under which the more rational paradigm is rendered less effective and has the appearance of foolishness.

Question: This is not really about driving, is it?
Answer: No.