Sitting at a red-light the other day, I was staring at the back of the truck in front of me which was obscuring my view of the traffic signal, and I had a thought: there is a lot of trust between this truck and I. How easy would it be to clog an intersection for hours, to make people late for work, by simply not going at the green. I sat there and watched the perpendicular traffic go and then stop. The truck vented air from whatever esoteric breaking system he used and lurched forward. The switch from red to green worked perfectly… all was well. But how long would I have waited behind that truck? Would it be the next iteration of cross traffic, the one after that? Would I honk for awhile before finally getting out and seeing if my truck driver friend was ok? Would I be angry?
Or, what seems more likely; it would become akin to a surrealist film from the late 30’s. The once angry cars behind me ceasing there horns, as curiosity takes over and they join me in checking on our now trucker friend. The cars line up to the light many blocks down. The traffic from the other direction slows and slows as they pry up their respective necks to catch a fleeting view of what has stopped the truck. The cross traffic has stopped, with some sympathetic strike of box vans, halted on red with no explanation. It would take hours, and days, and weeks to sort out what went wrong, to clear the roads of the once occupied rebel trucks, sitting their lonely vigil to the now archaic Red, Amber, Green cycle.
It’s a small example, but I find it telling, of the amount of social trust that goes on unnoticed in our every day life. I mean, really imagine if we, as a group, decide to ignore traffic lights, park on sidewalks, block the box, run across the road against signal, use terrible language in front of children/bosses, just take products from the shelf and walk, and it goes on and on. I just thought it was interesting whilst sitting waiting for a light to change.
I’ve seen this many times, but I re-found it the other day. It’s a video from July, 2001, by Alex Jones. He, using freely available evidence, predicted the September 11th attacks. Check out the clip: