Practical, everyday, applied philosophy, as Nietzsche suggested

Speed, seat-belts, and BBC´s ´Top gear´: television license fee payers forced to subsidise the undermining of efforts to reduce road carnage, and the superior ideas of the South Korean authorities

How dare the presenters of BBC´s ´Top Gear´ deliberately undermine the government´s attempts to reduce the carnage on public roads by advertising, for free, a book showing how to avoid all speed cameras in the U.K. Further, they undermine attempts at educating people about the risks of speeding. These presenters and their producers should be charged with the criminal act of sedition, and for assisting with the performance of criminal activities.

Speed itself is not dangerous. It is like falling out of an aeroplane. The speed is fine, until you have to stop suddenly, a.k.a, ´you hit the ground´.

Braking distances increase non-proportionally to speed. Hence, by doubling your speed, you much more than double your braking distance.

The faster you are going when you do have an accident, the more damage you and other participants are likely to suffer.

The distance you cover before you can actually react to an incident is of course proportional to your speed. The faster you are going, the futher you will travel in the same time.

You cannot increase your reaction times by paying greater attention. That is a myth. Everyone´s reaction times are more or less equal, all other things being equal. The difference between a successful driver and a less successful one is a product of anticipation and planning ahead.

So often I have overheard people claiming that they pay greater attention at higher speed. It is infuriatingly frustrating to hear that people do not pay due attention to the road conditions and other drivers AT ALL TIMES.

In the U.S alone 119 people die in road accidents EACH DAY.  Around the world 1.2 MILLION  people die on our roads. Many many more are horribly injured and go on to suffer for the rest of their lives. The economic costs are mind-blowing.

Or is is mind NUMBING?  Do people just ´switch off´ to the real dangers of operating motor vehicles?  Accidents are things that only happen to OTHER people, right?

How dare the presenters of such a popular show, one that has brought them wealth and fame, contribute to the poor driving attitudes, ther denial,the smug complacency of the average driver!

I have written much about ´defensive´ or ´active´ driving in my TROONATNOOR books. You will also discover how to massively reduce your petrol bills, no matter what model of car you drive.

I can imagine the response on ´Top Gear´to the measures introduced in South Korea to reduce the road carnage.

I was pleased to learn, during my stay in that scenic land, that any citizen can take video footage of people breaking the traffic laws, including the use of speed cameras. They earn commissions for each violation successfully prosecuted. Now THAT  is what I call progress!

These are the kinds of measures that we desperately need, to avoid becoming the victim of other people´s hubris, denial, and self-over-estimation. Yes, it is often the most considerate and defensive drivers and their passengers who must pay the dreadful price for the ´accidents´ of others. But really, people, how can you call such pre-programmed carnage ´accidental´. 

In a fair world it would be these BBC Top Gear presenters and their producers, rather than decent, law abiding people,  who would be the next victims of speed related ´accidents´.  That would be poetic justice. More constructively, at least they should be forced to pay. They can afford it. Their ´cavalier´attitudes to cars have made them popular and rich.

Of course I do not wish such suffering upon anyone or anything. For of course millions of animals also die on our roads each year in speed related ´accidents´.

I myself was once a major contributor to resourcing the N.S.W Police, by way 0f speeding fines.  They work on most reasonable people. Fines provide a cost in our cost-benefit analyses.  All our decisions are motivated by emotions, not reason. We merely rationalise our emotion-driven decisions after the fact, to make them consistent.  Further, we wish to maintain definitions of ourselves as good, reasonable, rational creatures.

Psychology shows that if you can first change a person´s behaviour, they will then, afterwards, change their opinions, values, and beliefs to correspond to these behaviours. First comes the changes in actions,and only  then come the changes in values and attitudes. Get someone to help or hurt someone, and they will find a love or hate value, attitude, or opinion to justify having done so.

Thus we fine people, and their attitudes to speeding tend to change. Or at least this works with the more reasonble and rational among us. As with all criminal activities, some people fail to respond appropriately. They require ´behavioural correction´.  So, what are we to do with those ´Top Gear´presenters who do not accept the laws of the land, or those of physics?

We must constantly reinforce the fact that driving on public roads is a privilege rather than a right.  All such privileges come with obligations. Those who cannot meet these obligations, forfeit such priveleges.  Those who cannot or will not obey the traffic rules need a ´time out´. Those that chronically prove unable to observe such rules must lose their driving privileges , in the interests of themselves and the general public.

Official U.S studies indicate that around 78% of all car crashes are due to human error, and thus are not ´accidents´ at all. None of them would have occured if a human had not made some poor judgement.

The sort of defensive or active driving required is detailed in my  TROONATNOOR books, in which I also consider the politics of road safety and car design.

One of the key factors after speed, in determining the severity of accident damage is whether or not the passengers and drivers are wearing seat-belts. Many people still resist the legal requirement to ´belt-up´. Passengers as a result can become projectiles, killing other passengers. Remember your force is your speed times your weight. This means an adult will hit another person, or the windscreen or dashboard (in this case aptly named!) with the force of  up to a tonne. Yes, just like having a small car dropped on you.

Many people assume that air-bags negate the need to belt up. In fact they are wrong, often with fatal consequences.  Drivers commonly ´sub-marine´under their inflated airbags, hitting the dashboard with the full force of impact, and suffering fatal injuries as a result.

Airbags only assist us in surviving crashes. The primary passive safety device is the seat-belt. And remember that those who deny the laws of physics, or imagine ´it could not happen to them´, often become the projectile that kills others, their loved ones, their friends, their children.

So even if you have a guardian angel and are free of the laws of physics, take a moment to consider others in your car. Do you really want to be responsible for their deaths?  You may be a blessed exception to the laws of physics, but, statistically speaking, your passengers probably are not.

It is completely inexcuseable for people to refuse to wear seat-belts. And we all pay the price for their denial and narcissim, in terms of medical expnses, higher insurance premiums, and all the other ´collateral damage´produced by road carnage.

Refuse to drive with anyone who refuses to belt-up. Remember as a passenger it is you they will end up ´dashing´ to death.

´The Peopleś Princess´, Princess Diana,  would probably still be with us today if she had not, as  a princess, imagined herself immune from the laws of physics, and had instead humbly put on a seat-belt. Of course her fellow passengers would need to have ´belted-up´as well, to avoid becoming projectiles. And no amount of wealth and power could make Dodi Fayed immune from the same laws of physics. Please, people, learn something while you are capable of learning.

Read more about The Reality Of Our Natures And The Nature Of Our Realities in my TROONATNOOR books.

 Read more about my experiences in South Korea in Sung Seng Nim.


How I envision the cover for my books will look like: can you realise it?

Imagine the following image.

People mingling about in daily life. There are many mirrored images of these people, on table-mirrors, in windows, and in full-mirrors placed on various walls. Each of them is a puppet, and their puppet masters, various popes, priests, Immans, and even a Plato, Marketing executives, Military figures, business executives, media executives, and so on, can be seen one level above them, pulling their strings. The people, however, are oblivious of this. In every reflection and mirror, these people appear without the strings. This hints at their self-perceptions.

While a few smug and self-satisfied people in this picture do notice some of the strings, and the puppet masters above the other puppets, none note the determinism present in their own lives. They are really pleased with themselves for being so superior, these few.  And so all are smugly complacent about enjoying their own free will, while some are self-congratulatorily noting that others do not enjoy the same independence they do. Others are being tricked and manipulated, by the media, by big business, by marketing, by their military-industrial complex, and by the various religions.

We, the viewer, then note something strange about the puppet masters. We have been given x-ray vision (as in comic book drawings) and can see into the heads of the puppet masters. If we look closely we can make out little people inside their heads. They are sitting at what appears to be crude control desks. And these little men also appear to be puppets. We can see the strings, and intuit the controls just out of sight. Yes, it appears that our puppet masters are merely the slaves to other puppets, inside their heads.  The puppet master has no more free will then the puppets they control.  Well, to be more precise, the puppets they feel they are controlling.

The strings of these little people inside the puppet masters´heads lead off into regions of their brains clearly marked with the names of various emotions and desires: sex, power, money, food, status, security, and so on.

And so this image speaks of the absence of free will among the puppet masters as much as their puppets. The few do note any level of determinism in others, consistently fail to note it in themselves.

Alternate images, or for different volumes.

A simpler image of one person looking at their own reflection. In the reflected image, the strings leading off their limbs up to a hand holding the puppeteers wooden manipulators are not visible. However we see the large hand or hands holding the puppetteers tools. The person in the image is completely unaware that all their actions are determined. As far as they experience their own wills, these wills are free.

A more complex alternative.

We have, as in comic-book depictions, X-ray vision. We see the X-rays emanating towards the back of the head of the person in the image. The person´s limbs are connected to various puppet-strings. We see the puppeteerś large hand holding the control bars the strings are attached to. Most people can accept that they are being manipulated to some degree by others in the world. And hence the strings are not too challenging. However when we look closer, we see, inside the person´s head, another person sitting at a control desk. Their limbs are connected, by strings, to areas of the brain marked with the names of various emotions and desires.

Personality profile and resume

My Briggs-Meyers personality profile

I did the Meyers-Briggs Personality Profile on Facebook and I think anyone who has dealt with me would agree with the personality profile it produced.

The Executive
Extroverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Assertive and outspoken – they are driven to lead. Excellent ability to understand difficult organizational problems and create solid solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they usually excel at public speaking. They value knowledge and competence, and usually have little patience with inefficiency or disorganization.

As an ENTJ, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments. They are “take charge” people.

ENTJs are very career-focused, and fit into the corporate world quite naturally. They are constantly scanning their environment for potential problems which they can turn into solutions. They generally see things from a long-range perspective, and are usually successful at identifying plans to turn problems around – especially problems of a corporate nature. ENTJs are usually successful in the business world, because they are so driven to leadership. They’re tireless in their efforts on the job, and driven to visualize where an organization is headed. For these reasons, they are natural corporate leaders.

There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people’s feelings, and more than likely don’t believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people’s feelings. ENTJs, like many types, have difficulty seeing things from outside their own perspective. Unlike other types, ENTJs naturally have little patience with people who do not see things the same way as the ENTJ. The ENTJ needs to consciously work on recognizing the value of other people’s opinions, as well as the value of being sensitive towards people’s feelings. In the absence of this awareness, the ENTJ will be a forceful, intimidating and overbearing individual. This may be a real problem for the ENTJ, who may be deprived of important information and collaboration from others. In their personal world, it can make some ENTJs overbearing as spouses or parents.

The ENTJ has a tremendous amount of personal power and presence which will work for them as a force towards achieving their goals. However, this personal power is also an agent of alienation and self-aggrandizement, which the ENTJ would do well to avoid.

ENTJs are very forceful, decisive individuals. They make decisions quickly, and are quick to verbalize their opinions and decisions to the rest of the world. The ENTJ who has not developed their Intuition will make decisions too hastily, without understanding all of the issues and possible solutions. On the other hand, an ENTJ who has not developed their Thinking side will have difficulty applying logic to their insights, and will often make poor decisions. In that case, they may have brilliant ideas and insight into situations, but they may have little skill at determining how to act upon their understanding, or their actions may be inconsistent. An ENTJ who has developed in a generally less than ideal way may become dictatorial and abrasive – intrusively giving orders and direction without a sound reason for doing so, and without consideration for the people involved.

Although ENTJs are not naturally tuned into other people’s feelings, these individuals frequently have very strong sentimental streaks. Often these sentiments are very powerful to the ENTJ, although they will likely hide it from general knowledge, believing the feelings to be a weakness. Because the world of feelings and values is not where the ENTJ naturally functions, they may sometimes make value judgments and hold onto submerged emotions which are ill-founded and inappropriate, and will cause them problems – sometimes rather serious problems.

ENTJs love to interact with people. As Extroverts, they’re energized and stimulated primarily externally. There’s nothing more enjoyable and satisfying to the ENTJ than having a lively, challenging conversation. They especially respect people who are able to stand up to the ENTJ, and argue persuasively for their point of view. There aren’t too many people who will do so, however, because the ENTJ is a very forceful and dynamic presence who has a tremendous amount of self-confidence and excellent verbal communication skills. Even the most confident individuals may experience moments of self-doubt when debating a point with an ENTJ.

ENTJs want their home to be beautiful, well-furnished, and efficiently run. They’re likely to place much emphasis on their children being well-educated and structured, to desire a congenial and devoted relationship with their spouse. At home, the ENTJ needs to be in charge as much as he or she does in their career. The ENTJ is likely best paired with someone who has a strong self-image, who is also a Thinking type. Because the ENTJ is primarily focused on their careers, some ENTJs have a problem with being constantly absent from home, physically or mentally.

The ENTJ has many gifts which make it possible for them to have a great deal of personal power, if they don’t forget to remain balanced in their lives. The are assertive, innovative, long-range thinkers with an excellent ability to translate theories and possibilities into solid plans of action. They are usually tremendously forceful personalities, and have the tools to accomplish whatever goals they set out for.

ENTJs put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into their relationships. Since their major quest in life is to constantly take in knowledge and turn that into something useful, the ENTJ will try to turn everything into a learning experience. Within the context of relationships, that means they will constantly seek knowledge and revise the rules and definitions of their relationships. They value their relationships highly, especially those relationships which present them with new challenges and stimulate their learning. Such exchanges promote genuine affection and satisfaction for the ENTJ. Relationships which do not offer any chances for growth or learning hold no interest to the ENTJ. As in other areas of life, the ENTJ likes to be in charge of their relationships. In conversation, they are very direct and confrontational, and can be highly critical and challenging towards others. People involved in close relationships with the ENTJ need to have a good amount of personal strength. For those who do, the ENTJ has a tremendous amount to offer.

ENTJ Strengths

● Genuinely interested in people’s ideas and thoughts

● Enthusiastic and energetic

● Take their commitments very seriously

● Fair-minded and interested in doing the Right Thing

● Very good with money

● Extremely direct and straightforward

● Verbally fluent

● Enhance and encourage knowledge and self-growth in all aspects of life

● Able to leave relationships without looking back

● Able to turn conflict situations into positive lessons

● Able to take constructive criticism well

● Extremely high standards and expectations (both a strength and a weakness)

● Usually have strong affections and sentimental streaks

● Able to dole out discipline

ENTJ Weaknesses

● Their enthusiasm for verbal debates can make them appear argumentative

● Tendency to be challenging and confrontational

● Tend to get involved in “win-lose” conversations

● Tendency to have difficulty listening to others

● Tendency to be critical of opinions and attitudes which don’t match their own

● Extremely high standards and expectations (both a strength and a weakness)

● Not naturally in tune with people’s feelings and reactions

● May have difficulty expressing love and affection, sometimes seeming awkward or inappropriate

● Can be overpowering and intimidating to others

● Tendency to want to always be in charge, rather than sharing responsibilities

● Can be very harsh and intolerant about messiness or inefficiency

● Tendency to be controlling

● May be slow to give praise or to realize another’s need for praise

● If unhappy or underdeveloped, they may be very impersonal, dictatorial, or abrasive

● Tendency to make hasty decisions

● Make explode with terrible tempers when under extreme stress

ENTJs as Lovers

ENTJs make aggressive, enthusiastic partners who take their commitments very seriously. As in other aspects of their life, they want to be the leader in the relationship, and take on responsibility for making things work. They are creative leaders, and are likely to have relationships which promote constant growth and learning. Since they are constantly scanning the environment for new ideas and things worth learning, the ENTJ may frequently re-define the “rules” of the relationship, although their commitment remains constant. If it becomes very clear to them that the relationship no longer offers any chance of growth or learning, the ENTJ will leave the situation, and not look back.

ENTJs are usually very successful in their careers, and usually very good with money. This is helpful in that it may remove a lot of the conflict which couples generate over money matters, but it may become a problem if the ENTJ is too much of a workaholic to spend time on the growth and development of the relationship.

The ENTJ is not naturally in-tune with the feelings and emotions of their partners. ENTJs who allow themselves time to be alone and develop the introspective “feeling” side of their natures will be generally “softer” individuals, who are more aware of their partners’ emotional needs. However, this awareness is almost always a conscious attempt on the part of the ENTJ, rather than a naturally occurring characteristic. ENTJs who do not make the attempt to be aware of others and to value their feelings and opinions may find themselves in unbalanced relationships where real communication does not take place. These kinds of situations present a two-edged sword to the ENTJ. They want to be in charge, but if they become so much in charge as to stifle their partners, they will eventually become bored with the relationship.

Sexually, the ENTJ is robust, imaginative and enthusiastic. Their natural instinct to lead will be apparent in this arena as well as other areas of life, and they will lead their partner on creative lovemaking adventures, where the focus is on mutual learning and affection sharing. They’re likely to expect sex on a relatively scheduled basis.

The ENTJ does not usually have a problem with self-confidence and is not especially emotionally needy. Although they enjoy being told that they are loved and appreciated, they don’t need to hear these types of avowals as often as most other types. If they are partnered with a Feeling type, they are probably not likely to fulfill their partner’s needs for intimate words without conscious effort. Even with effort, the ENTJ may have problems being aware of other’s emotional needs, and they most likely won’t understand those needs even if they are aware of them.

ENTJs approach conflict as an opportunity for growth and learning. This is a very healthy outlook in general, but may be a problem in a close relationship with a Feeling type. Individuals with the Feeling preference generally detest conflict and criticism, and avoid it as one would avoid a deadly snake. The ENTJs tendency to be confrontational may be very threatening to a person with a Feeling preference – especially so if they are an intimate partner of the ENTJ. An ENTJ who has a well-developed Feeling side may work well with a partner with a Feeling preference. Otherwise, ENTJs will probably have the most successful intimate relationships with types which prefer the Thinking process naturally, or who are not extremely strong on the Feeling preference.

In general, the ENTJ has a lot to offer to their intimate relationships. They’re dedicated and enthusiastic, and willing to put forth a lot of effort to make things work out. They take on responsibility and accountability, and expect to be in charge. Their relationship will be one based on mutual respect, constant growth and development.

Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENTJ’s natural partner is the INTP, or the ISTP. AN ENTJ’s dominant function of Extraverted Thinking is best-matched with a personality type that is dominated by Introverted Thinking. The ENTJ/INTP match is ideal, because it also shares the common Intuitive way of looking at the world, but the ENTJ/ISTP match is also very good.

ENTJs as Parents

ENTJs take their parenting role very seriously. They consider the task of passing on their values and goals to their children as an objective fact – it is something which will be done. They consider it their responsibility to make sure that their child is constantly developing and learning in the most optimal way. The ENTJ parent is usually rather strict, and has very high expectations of their children.

As a parent, the ENTJ continuously promotes learning and independent thinking. They pass on their love of knowledge to their children, and challenge them at every turn to thoroughly understand their positions and perspectives. They expect that their children will follow their lead. The ENTJ is in charge – there can be no doubt about that. They expect their children to honor their parents and to follow the rules and procedures which are set forth for the household. There is little room for error in those expectations, and the ENTJ will be a harsh parental authoritarian when the rules are broken. The children of an ENTJ usually know their place, and have a lot of respect for their ENTJ parent.

During the teen years, we are likely to see a child rebel from their relationship with the ENTJ. Although this situation is common with almost all of the types, it is especially true for parents who are Extraverted Judging types. Children growing into adults do not want to be controlled, and adults who are used to controlling their children have a difficult time letting go. The ENTJ parent would be wise to “loosen up” their hold a bit, as long as they can do so without compromising what they feel to be right.

ENTJs who have not given themselves introspective time to develop the feeling side of their nature frequently develop harsh, aggressive tendencies. Such an ENTJ parent is prone to be something of a dictator – giving out orders arbitrarily, and expecting them to be followed to a “T” without any “back-talk”. If continued over a long span of time, this kind of behavior creates an oppressive environment for the child. An ENTJ can address such tendencies by making time for introspection, and remembering to consciously be aware of people’s feelings.

ENTJs who have managed to avoid many of the problems associated with their type are wonderful parental figures. They are remembered fondly and valued by their children for challenging them at every turn, and thus promoting growth and development. This type of knowledge seeking usually becomes a life-long habit for their children, who turn into responsible and independent adults.

ENTJs as Friends

ENTJs are bright, energetic, sociable individuals who are keenly interested in other people’s ideas, theories and perspectives. They love nothing better than to participate in quality conversation with other people who share similar views to their own, or who have something new to teach the ENTJ. They make stimulating, interesting, and dynamic friends and peers.

The ENTJ thoroughly enjoys lively, intellectual conversations – welcoming such interaction as a learning opportunity for all parties involved. They have a tendency to be direct and challenging when interacting with others, which tends to put people on the defensive. This is in fact exactly what they’re after – the ENTJ wants to learn what you know, and understand as many of the nuances of your knowledge as the context of the conversation will allow. They go after this knowledge in a very direct, confrontational manner. With this approach, they will learn not only the facts of the knowledge, but also the background of the individual’s stance on that piece of knowledge. How well does the individual understand the topic? How invested is the individual in their stance? This method of “unsettling” people has the effect of livening up conversations and stimulating learning, when the other conversationalists are able to easily withstand the interrogations of the ENTJ. People who are uncomfortable with being challenged, or who are less than confident in the topic being discussed, are likely to be subdued into not expressing themselves with the ENTJ. This is a bit of a shame, since many people have valuable things to offer, but are not always willing to stand on top of a mountain and strongly shout their views to the world.

The ENTJ is likely to seek the company of people who have similar views and interests to their own. They have no patience with people who have very different lifestyles and perspectives from their own. However, as individuals with a great deal of personal power, ENTJs are highly attracted to interacting with other individuals with a powerful presence. They admire such people, although they may not agree with them. ENTJs are likely to form their closer friendships with other iNtuitives – especially Extraverted iNtuitives, such as ENTJs, ENTPs, ENFJs, and ENFPs. The ENTJ will enjoy the other iNtuitives’ stimulating company, who share their enthusiasm for ideas and learning.

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