People are tools

I don’t mean it in a bad way, and I’m definately not excluding myself from that comment. But besides the ever great push towards trying to be a thinking and rational being we can’t deny that we are strongly controlled by emotions and instincts.

Theres an article that discusses why SUVs are so popular by Malcolm Gladwell that has been getting some “time” on the net recently. It was a pretty long read. But, it had some interesting points that I will use in my protest against them. Mainly, SUVs are not really safe, but rather are percieved safe. Just because drivers sit far up, are surrounded a thousand pounds of steel around them and are detached from the driving expereince by quite engines and all well drive they feel they are safer. Don’t forget cup holders, the cars and trucks with the most cup holders are the safest.

So why do we think the big chunk of steel is safe? Because thinking like the animals we are, they are.

“There should be air bags everywhere. Then there’s this notion that you need to be up high. That’s a contradiction, because the people who buy these S.U.V.s know at the cortex level that if you are high there is more chance of a rollover. But at the reptilian level they think that if I am bigger and taller I’m safer. You feel secure because you are higher and dominate and look down. That you can look down is psychologically a very powerful notion. And what was the key element of safety when you were a child? It was that your mother fed you, and there was warm liquid. That’s why cupholders are absolutely crucial for safety. If there is a car that has no cupholder, it is not safe. If I can put my coffee there, if I can have my food, if everything is round, if it’s soft, and if I’m high, then I feel safe. It’s amazing that intelligent, educated women will look at a car and the first thing they will look at is how many cupholders it has.”

On another side of the spectrum, the choice of getting an iPod is also very emotional. In this interview with Wired, professor Bull explains some reasons why the apple and new personal music players are so popular. The reason: it gives us control of our day.

The thing I noticed between these two articles, besides the inner emotions of humans and how it affects them with the different objects and something which is explained in detail in the first article, is that we think this world is too much for us and need to find ways to tune it out and turn in to our own world. Mind you with music there are more reasons to tune out the world, but with the increasing numbers of SUVs I can’t help but connect the dots and think that the SUV folk are taking this attitude outside of just driving. Because that’s pretty sad. The greatest country in the world, and half its population can’t willingly live through the day because its to hard for them.’

And, I don’t think this made any sense…

February 26, 2004 10:23 AM Random


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