Wednesday 29 February 2012

Not selfish: more important

One of the socialist papers has an article saying  "Higher social classes more likely to lie, cheat, cut up other road users and not stop at pedestrian crossings".

Looking at the study in more detail, they looked at the behaviour of drivers, and the so-called scientists ranked the driver's class on a scale of one to five according to the model, age and appearance of the car. They noted that people driving more important cars were less likely to give way to pedestrians or wait their turn at junctions. Then they made a wild inference -that the importance of the car was a metric of social class -and therefore that "Upper class people are more likely to behave selfishly".

That's what we want to critique. If look at our Range-Rover dataset, you can confirm that yes, range rover drivers do appear to park more selfishly than anyone else, putting BMW and yes, even Audi to shame, though Audi does seem to have the worst drivers.

What you can't do is jump from that fact to "social classes", whatever that means. All it says is "people with the money to own expensive cars drive and park selfishly". Or more precisely, as not everyone with the money may do so, "people with expensive cars drive and park selfishly".

Expensive cars are a visible display of wealth and hence success in our society. Owning one is measure of importance. Important people drive Range Rovers and Audis. Everyone else is unimportant. It doesn't matter whether you are a hereditary peer in the house of lords or as a schoolboy at Eton you lost your virginity to David Cameron -if you are waiting to cross a zebra crossing you are, by the very act of walking, showing that even you consider yourself unimportant -so of course everyone driving does to.

Value of car is only a metric of importance, and important people are in a hurry. That's all the study shows. And that's nothing to be ashamed of. Some of us are important. And you, the little people who read this site in an attempt to discover what it is like to be important -you aren't. We'd feel sorry for you -except we don't. Because you aren't important enough to feel sorry for. Sorry.

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