Rude drivers (was Re: tad williams (was Re: : fantasy monarchies))

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Feb 8 14:32:37 EST 2003

Hallie, then Mellisa:
> >Oh, bad drivers are RUDE, IMHO.  Well, except for Tom, of course.  I
> >think I'd classify rudeness as a serious disregard of other people's
> >feelings, so bad drivers are generally somewhere in a continuum from
> >rude to homicidal.
> That's Jacob's definition, but mine narrows it to an *intentional*
> of others' feelings.  Hence the arguments, mine being that he can't
> tell whether someone deliberately cut him off or was just oblivious.  I
> can't remember where we started with this any more....

This suggests a rather binary notion of intention, I think - either on or
off. And hence a rather univocal notion of consciousness, which is
experienced (by me, anyway) much more as a competition between various
sensations, fears, appetites, all of them shouting each other down. Or, to
say something similar in a different way, you don't need to be paid-up
Freudian to believe that obliviousness is often more than half a choice in

ALSO... whether one is oblivious or not depends on a whole history of moral
choices, doesn't it? You don't need to be a paid-up follower of Thomas a
Kempis either to believe that your habits are not just a dispensation of
fate, but also reflect the way you've chosen to live your life up to this
point, so that even if obliviousness (for instance) were not a matter of
present intention it still might be considered the cumulative result of a
series of past intentions, and hence culpable.

In short, bad drivers are indeed rude. Very rude. And expensive too, if they
don't stop when they've dented your fender but drive obliviously away, as
happened to me not long ago (or perhaps you guessed that?).


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