Herding Cars

Herding Cars

Previously, I wrote about us being a herd animal.

I got the idea from Monty Roberts, who is known for his skills in riding wild horses without violence in about half an hour or so.

The “conventional”, cruel method takes about two weeks to break the horse.

One of the ways that he communicates with the horse is through body language.

He believes that horses have a universal body language.

I’m wondering if the same thing is true for motorists. Watching cars on a freeway is much like watching a bunch of cows following a chute in a slaughter house.

I know that behind that metal and glass is a human being who is most likely partially distracted at best. Their main motivation is to not stop and to get in front of as many other cars as possible.

I believe that each time a motorist is able to pass a car or to cheat a red light, there’s a little burst of pleasure in the reward center of their minds. When they have to stop–especially if someone gets in their way–there’s a little twinge of pain.

I realize that knowing an organism’s pleasure and pain or reward and punishment is the simplest way for operant conditioning, but I am wonder if there’s not a higher language on top of this simplistic view.

Monty learned to build rapport with horses by watching the horses in the wild. I wonder if we might be able–by observation and experimentation–to tame the automobiles of the wild west.

A strange, thought, true, but perhaps the start of a beautiful journey. 🙂

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