Road rage article
This one sounds like a racially motivated spree murder, but it could be an example of somebody losing his shit while driving and becoming violent.
My theory (and that of others) is that outbursts of violence stem from alienation (memetic destitution), the inability to engage with the hegemonic ideology (Slavoj Žižek).
As a driver, all you have is turn signal, headlights, flashers, and horn. A weak tea ☕️ 🫖 as I’m sure anybody would agree. After that it’s tailgating, brake-checking, driving like a 💩 douchbag, giving other drivers the finger, and firing a gun 🔫 at others. In other words, all the driving 🚗 🛻 🚙 behaviors we hope to circumvent.
Drivers are profoundly stressed out and alienated. Resorts to violence are thus not surprising. My idea 💡 is that adding memes, adding memetic interactions, by itself would relieve this. One easy way to accomplish this may be to add more horn 🎺 sounds to all cars 🚗 I call it the “see-and-say steering wheel” and would contain familiar animal sounds, things like fart 💨 noises, wha-wha-whaaaaah, and so on. About a half dozen should be good (but I have no theoretical basis for this number as yet). The ability to flash brake and headlights side to side (to indicate “I did that” and such) would also be good. The implementation would most likely be such that the sounds would be downloadable.
What this would enable drivers to do, and groups of drivers to do, is a whole huge thing, requiring a deep dive into memetic theory (which I hope to illustrate in comic book form).
It may seem stupid and irrelevant (as most memetic engineering approaches do—people favor the nonsense they know over the nonsense they don’t know), but I believe it would alleviate the underlying alienation.
It may even make traffic flow better, but I think it would lower stress and curtail this kind of road rage 😤 violence.
To answer one obvious question, how to pick the sounds? A default setting, and then drivers on a given stretch of road would converge on a set of sounds and what sequences (“chords” loose usage) of these sounds mean for that “community” just like every other “consensus” on meaning and behavior in every other communal group of humans anywhere ever.
For instance, fart-fart-moo could indicate “that guy going slow in the fast lane bugs me” and the same meme (or another, say moo-moo-fart) could indicate “I see him too, and I’m also annoyed” or “cluck-wha-whah” combined with light 💡 flash 🚘 could mean “I need to get to the exit lane” and “cluck-cluck-bleat” could indicate “I heard you and will try to get out of the way”. Neigh 🐴 whoop-whoop could mean “let’s all get together in a ‘speed pod’”. A series of memes of a certain count could trigger everybody to blast 💥 their regular horns to wake up the slow-in-the-fast-lane guy.
If Disney licensed things like lightsaber sounds and other, they could include suggestions for use. Plus, I think I heard about this thing called “social media” (did I get that right?) which could also serve to build community, assert horn conventions in given areas.
Notwithstanding all that, I believe that drivers could learn these conventions from others on the road, and a prescriptivist approach might actually be detrimental to the convergence process.
PS. I offer apologies since as I write this, I’m imagining giving a presentation to the Big Three automakers and State and Federal Departments of Transportation and making snarky and sarcastic replies to their stupid questions and objections. More the reason I need to get my ducks 🦆 lined up in cogent comic book 📖 form.