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I suppose it takes one to know one, but I see foolish behavior almost constantly. It is most noticeable when driving because the actions of the people I see are physically visible and obviously dangerous in almost every move they make. Perhaps the actions I am witnessing are only injurious in one of a million occurrences of a specific act but why take even that tiny risk when a much safer action, accomplishing the same thing, might be done one second later?

Because I am a person and therefore compelled by my nature to be interacting with other people, it is imperative that I compute their dangerous behavior into my actions. To maximize my own wellbeing I must leave space around those other people’s dangerous behavior so they can make their little mistakes without endangering me. But when they see that little space they immediately take advantage of it, which requires that I make a little more space for them, which means they take advantage of that too. But it then appears to them that I am planning to go somewhere that I didn’t intend to go, and they take advantage of their perception of the new opportunities opening up to them and move into that space too.

Generally speaking, it doesn’t come to any of those things but that is the trend of the interactions. I mentioned this yesterday to some friends and was criticized for being the one to obey the traffic laws and impeding traffic. That was spoken with a bit of irate bitterness. It has become criminal in the public’s mind to be law-abiding.

What’s the sense of having laws, social conventions, and polite behavior if everyone violates them?

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