Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cascading consequences (rant against road ragism)

Decision tree analysis.

Context: Filtering left on the PIE onto the CTE off-ramp (don't we love acronyms?!).

New factor: Aggressive taxi driver. Decision: Give way.

Action: Start filtering left towards off-ramp.

New factor: Random aggressive car driver. Out of nowhere. Driving very fast up the left, trying to 'break free' from the filtering lane (wonders why she couldn't wait just a second more). Collision in 1/2 second.

Decision pathway:
1. Drive right into her. (I think it was a her...) crumple the front left bumper of my van, leave huge scratch/dents along her right side. possibly cause her to lose control and create huge wreck.
2. Avoid. bear right, and pray nobody else to run into.

Decision taken: Avoid. Split second check of right mirror. no cars. Should not run into anyone else on the right. Hard brakes. Collision avoided.

No crashing sound from the rear. Nobody ran into the hard breaking maneuvre. Stupid aggressive car that started the problem drives off.

Random Beeping on the rear. Random aggressive lorry driver starts gesturing and trying to make me stop. Cuts me off and forces me to come to a halt on the off ramp. Lorry driver gets out, and starts screaming about me being a bad driver.

almost exact words " wah lau bu long tio tau... yi ai long leah, then le long lo ke.... Wah lau bo long tio tao siang peh?? Le chun lai.... " (asking me to step out of the vehicle).

Decision path:
1. Step out - let him be aggressive. be physical. ruin his life by ending up in jail for road rage. (bare fists, no weapons, odds of dying not that high). His mother will really be worried if he ends up in jail. Maybe he already has been in before... as the classification goes "Kim moh" and that bluetooth borg-type earpiece.
2. Wait, let his aggression wind out...

Pause.... apologize for his mother's injury. (presuming it cannot be a case of her flying out of the lorry's cab, or fracturing the lorry's glass, else, he would have been smashing the van already in a violent rage.)

Ah-beng-wannabe commits fatal sin of argument - he demands that I take my mother out and let him bang head. Mother long dead. not much for him to bang, goes the reply.

Ah-beng's violence-logic goes "splot". says nothing else, turns around and goes back to his van.

Stupid woman who created the whole chain of cascading consequences drives merrily on somewhere else.


Moral of that story: We are an impatient society. Stupid, unthinking, only able to react primally without thinking of possible consequences. I could have had him end up in prison, and me in hospital for his stupidity in road ragism.

We are also terribly bad drivers. (blinking turn signal is an invitation to drive faster and cut the person off rather than to give way.) Its really a case of drive as if you own the road (well, 0.000001% of it mebbe with the road tax you pay)... and damn everyone else who gets in the way.

This society is doomed....