Saturday, April 01, 2006

THOU SHALT NOT BE A TRAFFIC OBSTRUCTION

This is the first and only commandment of modern life. All considerations of morality are subordinate to it. Here are some examples:
  1. If you stall on a busy bridge (like I-80 Bay Bridge or the 520 bridge across Lake Washington) during rush hour, the ill-will and loss of productivity poured into the universe by the traffic jam that you thereby create is probably a lot worse for society than if you had just stolen a car or committed some fraud.
  2. People who block the aisle in airplanes when de-boarding because they're fiddling with their stuff or can't get it down from the overhead bin. Can you not feel the laser beams of ill-will boring into the skulls of such violators?!?!?
  3. If there is a long line of people behind you, it is inconsiderate to make non-standard requests from the clerk at the window. It's a bureaucracy, for cryin' out loud! Don't try to interact with the person as if they're an autonomous being capable of solving your problem. They're a funtion in a computer program, and it's unfair to treat them as anything else. Especially if the person doesn't speak your language. It's unfair to them because THEY CAN'T HELP YOU and it's unfair to us because you are WASTING OUR TIME which basically the equivalent of murder under the new moral code which I am outlining.
  4. I don't know if this is true or not, but I've heard that in Japan there are public service announcements specifically discouraging people from committing suicide by throwing themselves under Tokyo subway trains, becaue this causes the whole delicately timed system to shut down, inconveniencing an entire metropolis.
  5. Osama Bin-Laden not only killed thousands of Americans with his attacks, he managed to inconvenience tens of millions of us who travel on planes. Every time I have to take off my shoes at airport security I send a little bit of ill-will his way.

"Time is money" doesn't even come CLOSE. "Time is morality" is the ethos! If time is money, you should be able to compensate me for wasting my time by paying me. But I will not accept that, because time is not a renewable resource, at least until Ray Kurzweil's dream of immortality comes to fruition.

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