Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Tuesday, 2017.03.28
The Ten "Cannots" of Political Economy:

 1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
 2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
 3. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
 4. You cannot help the wage-earner by tearing down the wage-payer.
 5. You cannot further the brotherhood of mankind by encouraging class hatred.
 6. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
 7. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
 8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
 9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative.
10. You cannot help man permanently by doing for them what they could do and
should do for themselves.



From the College-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Department

As a self proclaimed act of public obedience, some students from Atlanta took it upon themselves to drive down the highway, four cars abreast, at 55 miles per hour.

In my view, this was a poorly thought out stunt. Alan, Esq has indicated this is far from being an act of public obedience, rather it was against the law (Follow the link for an excellent discussion on the stunt.) Without the consent from all the other “participants” in this stunt, their act was certainly unethical. Without a plan in place to respond to the dangerous situations that were likely to arise, their act was reckless. Watching the video leaves the distinct impression the plan was to just do it and see what happens. There is no sense they considered when things were getting out of hand and what they would to de-escalate the situation they created.

The lives and well being of real people were put at risk because of the irrational response from a few drivers this stunt provoked. What will never be known are the extended consequences of the delay this group imposed. How many appointments were missed or meetings and deliveries delayed? What other unintended consequences may have resulted from this stunt? There my have been no emergency vehicles involved during their 10 minute stunt, but the video shows how they almost created the need for one. How much safer, and less sensational, would they have been driving single file, convoy-style, in the far right lane?

The objective was “follow the rules and show them how stupid those rules are.” In the end what did they really prove? That some drivers are assholes? This bit of insight is about as profound as revelations the sky is blue. What they demonstrated is that assholes can take it upon themselves to run unethical and dangerous experiments at the expense of everyone else. Lets hope their next project doesn’t involve guns.