[ExI] experiment regarding ethical behaviors vs status

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Mar 26 22:33:06 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg

>...So here is my counter-theory: maybe bad behavior from drivers of
expensive cars is partially due to the car itself acting as a power-cue.  --
Anders Sandberg,

Ja, could be that, but I have a still simpler notion.  It could be that the
zippy German sports cars are easier to maneuver into a small gap in traffic.
Being fast accelerators, fast stoppers and precise handlers, they can
accurately shoot for any car-length gap, where the pokey long pickup needs
to act a little more deliberately.

Here's an observation that might be helpful.  Back in the 70s, it was noted
that the minority neighborhood residents loved flashy expensive status-y
cars.  Cadillacs were the prized possessions.  There were many theories on
this, having to do with wanting to display wealth and so on.  

In 1973, when the Middle East oil embargo started, the local car dealers
were able to convince the proles that a huge war over oil was about to start
and that gasoline would be over a dollar a gallon etc.  People traded their
Caddies and Lincolns for little Japanese four cylinders.  Suddenly the big
status car was no longer the huge Cadillac, but rather the high-end German
sports car, the Porsche and the sporty Mercedes, which at least could get 15
miles per gallon, but when that happened, we noticed something strange.  The
minority neighborhood demonstrated exactly zero interest in the small
expensive cars.  They wanted the really big, suddenly inexpensive Caddies
and Lincolns.

My conclusion is that they never wanted expensive cars per se, rather they
wanted big cars.  They were perfectly happy if the cost went down, for it
was never about status, rather it was always about size.  Reason: in the
minority neighborhood, they tended to be big people with big families.

Likewise the zippy German sports cars race up front and cut in, not because
they have a 'tude, but rather just because they can.


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