Saturday, April 7, 2007

Friday Night Open Mic report: Slow

We had a new musician come in, she plays 11 instruments, sings, and writes her own songs. All at the same time! :) (not really) Anyway, if you're reading this, and you aren't coming to open mic, you're missing some fun. Tomorrow is the Chess Simul, and Rene's finally letting me mow the lawn. WooHoo! I was driving around this week, and saw lots of people running red lights. I noticed that the highway department has increased the time between the light turning red and the green light for the other direction. The longer this time gets, the more people run the red light! Humans respond well to positive stimuli, adapt quickly, and figure out how to 'game the system'. Increasing the time between the red light in one direction and the green in the other actually encourages running the red light. Reward without punishment. The problem is not the people running the red light. The problem is the people getting the green light are not looking for traffic before pulling out. We've become complacent, mindlessly obeying the signals in our hurry to get somewhere. How to fix this problem? Cycle through the yellow light before switching from green to red. The sequence would be: Red, Yellow, Green, Yellow, Red, Yellow, Green. . . . When the driver waiting to go gets a yellow light, they will look both ways, and proceed safely on the green. This would improve traffic flow, too. Drivers are much better at regulating the flow on their own than people think. Ever seen a traffic jam with a policeman directing traffic? It's because the policeman is directing traffic that traffic is screwed up. Just my 2¢.

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