Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pushing buttons

I try not to waste energy sometimes.  So, sometimes, when I'm walking along the road, and waiting at the lights to cross, I won't push the button if I see another person waiting there.  It makes me wonder though, do other people think like me?  Is there someone out there who will wait at the crossing and not push the button at all... without considering if someone else pushed it?  I came across someone like that the other day, we got to the lights at the same time, neither of us pushed it.  A stalemate.

So I guess I now wait to see if someone on my side or on the other side pushes the button.  Of course, if I arrive late and there are heaps of people there, I just assume that someone has pushed the button.  Unless I have a pretty good reason to think that the other person has pushed the button.  Some people just look like the type that push buttons.  People who are kind of fidgety.  

The other day, the person across the road from me was a blind person.  I was kind of stumped, because I wasn't paying attention and didn't see if she'd pushed the button.  If the blind person is thinking like me, there's no way she would know if I've pushed the button, right?  So she'd have to push it all the time, unless she was really sure that someone pushed it... probably someone close to her.  

Then I was thinking, wouldn't it be really hard for her to push the button? Does the dog push the button?  If the dog pushes the button, does the dog also wait to see if someone else has pushed the button?

I guess, sometimes it's just the illusion of control.  Does it really matter if anyone pushes the button on busy city roads?  I think they just work automatically.  I used to think that the pedestrian crossing calculated how many people there were by the button pushes, but I'm fairly convinced that's wrong now.

Of course, there are some people who don't even bother to push the button at all.  I think jaywalkers kind of have that attitude of being smarter than the pedestrian crossing system.  That's fine to have, but most of them stuff up a lot of the time, like they don't look properly, or they forget that there are other lanes of traffic turning in.  

Then again, you can't really have your trust in the green man, he's not that smart either.  Sometimes he tells you to walk, but he's also letting the cars turn left.  It's all just quite a bit of effort sometimes.

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