Reader Question: Digital Narcissists?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Perry writes: Hey Eric – fellow driving enthusiast here… read all your stories every single day. We’ve also cross-posted a few too (with links and attribution of course). But here’s a story for you along the same lines as many of your Clover rants. The goddamn cell phones cause so many “delays” at competitive intersections – often causing massive backlogs because of dumb cat videos or whatever. We often blow around these people too – even after the light turns (if we have space). I wish these people would stay at home. This is why we love “off-peak” driving. Big fan and keep up the great work!

My reply: I stand in awe of your brilliant neologism – and will spread it far and wide! Digital narcissism indeed! I would only expand on your theme by suggesting it’s entirely deliberate. What I mean is, “drivers” are being encouraged not to – in order to eliminate driving altogether. Or at least, to justify severe restrictions, including such coming things as cars that speed police themselves as well as “assist” when it comes to braking and keeping the car in its lane.

Ultimately, the problem of digitally addled narcissists will create the “need” for automated cars – for ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssafety, you see. And all of us will be opted-in. Including the non-addled who can drive. It will work just the same as sssssssssssssssssssssaaaaaaafety checkpoints, which presume we’re all drunk drivers and are treated accordingly.

Also for sssssssssssssssssssssssssaaaaaaaaaafety.

There’s no end to this, the principle having been established – and generally accepted by all too many people.

The only antidote is to challenge the principle – and insist on respect for a different one. That our “safety” is our business and- its corollary – that it’s everyone’s business to not impose their business on others.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Nissans new smart assist commercials are so sickening. It’s like happy go lucky family is absolutely thrilled that a robot is taking over driving and paying attention to other humans on the road for them. Next they will be smiling when they get in their moving proletarian pod that has no drivers wheel.

  2. I attribute a lot of this to millenials. They don’t know how to drive. Instead of moving up into the intersection when there’s no left turn lane, they continue to sit. You could possibly do this for hours when traffic is high. Those who know how to drive, move into the intersection and turn across as the traffic allows from that better vantage point or when the yellow comes on and cars begin to brake or even when the light changes to red since you can get across before the stopped traffic begins to move but these kids don’t know that because they haven’t been taught to drive.

    You can pass a driving test, failing that part of it and still get a license. People simply don’t teach their kids to drive. I was steering in my dad’s lap when I was 4 or 5. I could drive alone when I was 10 and my aunt taught me to drive a big rig soon after with me sanding on the floor, leaning against the seat and trying to clutch and do all those myriad things you don’t have to do in automatic cars. Luckily, I got taught to drive running a tractor, a jeep and a pickup on dirt roads.
    The first time my grandfather let me drive his pickup was with a load of cattle and a bad road with a big mud puddle. I got bogged down and needed a lower gear and he was saying “double clutch it”. It was right after that I learned to double clutch. But I watched my parents roll into the intersection on green and then turn when it was clear….enough. I can see how kids riding in the back seat and facing backward might not have caught onto that. Another gummit dumbing down.


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