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Old 11th November 2007, 07:39   #46
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How very perceptive and humble of you, Sparkie!

You hit the nail on the head, when you suppose that
we always nurse the false-confidence,
that our ability to judge distances, clearances, speeds and times-to-impact
are perfect! The other guy is always wrong!

We are taught that from infancy.
Don't we see this everyday? An Indian toddler who's barely learned to walk stumbles against a chair and comes crashing to the ground.
His elders never fail to run to sympathize and justify to him everything he did.
They scold the chair, the carpet, the floor, even slapping these in his presence, for doing wrong to the toddler.

Then what's so surprising if the toddler grows up thinking, "I am the world's best mover.
If anything ever goes wrong, it's never never my own fault"!

While living in Rotterdam, Holland, I once paid a social visit to a Dutch colleague's home.
He lived with his wife and under-three daughter.
During her living room antics, the toddler stumbled against the coffee table and crashed.
When a loud cry began, my friend and his wife went, ""Wees! Stand opnieuw! Stand opnieuw!" -- "Be careful ! Stand afresh, Stand afresh!"

The cultural difference from what would be common in India, was striking!

Ram
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Old 11th November 2007, 17:41   #47
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Pardon the irony Ram, but I dont agree with your example either.
A toddler needs sympathy and affection when s/he's affected; there's no reason to be strict and chastise them in such a situation. One can do that later, when they are better. I find nothing wrong with our culture on this count.

In fact, this rudeness and aggression is what's plaguing our roads; if somebody hits the other, they immediately go on the offensive - irrespective of whoever's mistake it is. If we showed half the affection, patience and concern that we're taught as children, our roads would be much better to drive on.
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Old 12th November 2007, 12:36   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballkey View Post
A toddler needs sympathy and affection when s/he's affected;
So do you show your sympathy by beating the chair or table?

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there's no reason to be strict and chastise them in such a situation. One can do that later, when they are better. I find nothing wrong with our culture on this count.
Who's talking about being strict? We're talking about being logical and sensible and teaching it early in life.

Our culture teaches emotion and nostalgia first, leaving the child to learn logic, sense and rationality from harsh happenstance rather than from well-wishing elders.

That's why we burn buses and throw stones when a retired film actor dies his natural death. We let some twisted politicians manipulate our immature emotions and lead us to storm into a 5-star hotel and manhandle tourists. Jobless and lazy, we waste time on the street-corner smoking, spitting betel leaf, teasing girls, and watching cricket on nearby electronic stores.

Somehow we've become a nation of immature, emotional, spoiled brats.

And I think it all comes from the misplaced love that blocked our elders from shaping the clay when it was pliable.
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Old 12th November 2007, 13:13   #49
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Mate the idea is that the toddler needs to be coddled because he does not understand. Try out logic with an infant and you will get a blank look back. Logic comes at a much later stage. What is important is to grow up. Acting like a toddler when you are 30 is a sin and when you are three is a treat. Is it sensible to starting beating the crap out of the infant because he stumbled? Because he made a mistake which he does not understand?

And what kinda theory is this? Are we sure that this coddling does not happen in other cultures(??).

So what do the Americans do? If a toddler stumbles on a chair they pick up the toddler and explain logically to him? What happens? Some of the toddlers grow up and go to college with a gun and gun down ten people?

It is too complicated a problem to be solved this easily or blaming things on one aspect of the society. Probably the most important thing is to educate people. Also remember that we are still a very young democracy. I am sure we are learning and things will gradually improve. Today you and me can think more logically and I am sure there are many more citizens like us. As this number grows the nation becomes better and better.

PS: All views are strictly mine and if I have offended anyone then I am sorry.
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Old 12th November 2007, 13:49   #50
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Is it sensible to starting beating the crap out of the infant because he stumbled? Because he made a mistake which he does not understand?

So what do the Americans do? If a toddler stumbles on a chair they pick up the toddler and explain logically to him? What happens? Some of the toddlers grow up and go to college with a gun and gun down ten people?

Just where did you pick up the idea about beating toddlers? Nobody's so far mentioned that, I'm sure.

And who said anything about Americans?

After living a few years in each of these continents, one got to observe much more culture and pedigree in Europe than in America.

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Also remember that we are still a very young democracy. I am sure we are learning and things will gradually improve.
What has democracy, plutocracy or autocracy, anything to do with everyday culture? Or with the overall maturity of the common man?

I agree however, that the mental age of our average resident is much lower than that of many other countries, except maybe the backward African ones.

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Probably the most important thing is to educate people. Today you and me can think more logically and I am sure there are many more citizens like us. As this number grows the nation becomes better and better.
Amen to that!
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Old 12th November 2007, 13:50   #51
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The freeways of the USA abounded with crummy pickup trucks, motorhomes and tasteless SUVs, bouncing along the freeways indisciplinedly in any lane that suited their fancy.
Other artifacts were: a fat physically unfit population, paunchy rural donuts-and-black-coffee highway cops with "I own my town" attitude, I could go on and on... The USA's so uncool.

But give me anytime, the finesse of Europe,
To me it looks like a sweeping generalisation. I have seen as many superbly fit people as unfit ones in US and an equal number of paunchy unfit population in Europe. The worst racism I have come across was in Europe and not US. Germany , France and UK , for all their talk of Culture have the worst record in assimilating immigrants compared to USA.

It is uber cool to brand USA uncool , but the number of Visa applications to US , paints a different picture altogether.

My personal views based on my experience and absolutely no offence meant to anyone.

Last edited by w 12 : 12th November 2007 at 13:52.
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Old 12th November 2007, 16:04   #52
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So do you show your sympathy by beating the chair or table?
Have you seen this little advertisement Ram? It shows a little boy and a girl; the girl falls down and hurts herself and starts to cry. The little boy gets down on the floor and pounds on it, and finally gets up, smiles and says "Sorry bol diya". (The floor said sorry).

That's how we are; and I dont want that to change. I have nothing against teaching logic, sense and responsibility; there's nothing in our culture that prevents us from teaching that. But a little compassion and tolerance towards others goes a lot towards improving our lives.

BTW, we are almost in off-topic territory now; the point I'm trying to make is there's nothing inherently wrong in our culture that prevents us from having a better driving experience. If you think there is, let's just agree to disagree.
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Old 12th November 2007, 17:44   #53
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Originally Posted by thefreak View Post


It is too complicated a problem to be solved this easily or blaming things on one aspect of the society. Probably the most important thing is to educate people. Also remember that we are still a very young democracy. I am sure we are learning and things will gradually improve. Today you and me can think more logically and I am sure there are many more citizens like us. As this number grows the nation becomes better and better.

PS: All views are strictly mine and if I have offended anyone then I am sorry.
I was not surprised when my highschool going daughter told me that she wouldn't burst crackers this Deepavali because it causes pollution. I also saw her telling her cousins the ill effects of bursting crackers. Did you notice that this year the noise and smoke was less and the roads had less of Diwali Garbage? I think the statement ' As this number grows the nation becomes better and better.' is very true.
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Old 12th November 2007, 18:14   #54
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Have you seen this little advertisement Ram? It shows a little boy and a girl; the girl falls down and hurts herself and starts to cry. The little boy gets down on the floor and pounds on it, and finally gets up, smiles and says "Sorry bol diya". (The floor said sorry).
I've seen that ad. And it's cute, considering that it's a very small boy with a baby voice (the brother) who is willing to get his clothes dirty to improve his sister's mood.

For a grown man to beat chairs, tables or the muddy slushy monsoon ground for his children/grandchildren, is another matter altogether -- it then drifts into the realm of setting the wrong example to them (as in defective upbringing).

As this attitude affects the way drivers and the driven behave on the street, it's still relevant to the topic.

It's about justifying burning a city bus, just because a student stepped off the moving bus in the wrong direction and got killed. This happened years ago in Surathkal, KA.

It's about always blaming the bigger vehicle and justifying my stupid behavior, moreso, if I'm underage, female, disabled, poor, just a scooterist, or whatever...

I've actually seen a man of questionable intelligence, risk his life and that of his family, to overtake another maniac in a Scorpio, just to put a smile on the face of a cranky child in the car. "Daddy beat the big car, daddy beat the big car!" Can we do without that "culture"?
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Old 12th November 2007, 18:17   #55
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I didn't see the car turning across the road in front of me in time(and I thought he probably turned suddenly) but my friend following me at the back said the car was there in advance, you didn't see it in time. The mistake was mine.
I confess I do not know Indian traffic law. But I do know what is Indian traffic custom. Traffic law ignorance did not prevent me from passing a rather difficult road test and getting an Indian license however. (Doesn't that figure?) In every country I have driven in if a driver makes a turn across lanes of traffic HE must yield right of way to oncoming traffic. It does not matter whether his car was there in advance. Yes, I know what the Indian custom is, 'he who gets there first may proceed' but I doubt that is what Indian traffic law says. Similarly it is Indian custom that if a vehicle must go right of center to get around an obstacle like a parked bus then whether or not there is oncoming traffic, whoever gets to the lane open around the bus first is the one who proceeds. But, I'll bet Indian traffic law says he must yield right of way to oncoming traffic without obstructing it.

My point? I am thinking that there is probably a huge difference between what Indian traffic law says and what is the custom. And also a gap in what is enforced for that matter. This is one ground for confusion. As long as we all can predict accurately what the other guy will do we will muddle thru. Just.
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Old 12th November 2007, 20:00   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
An Indian toddler who's barely learned to walk stumbles against a chair and comes crashing to the ground.
His elders never fail to run to sympathize and justify to him everything he did.
They scold the chair, the carpet, the floor, even slapping these in his presence, for doing wrong to the toddler.

Then what's so surprising if the toddler grows up thinking, "I am the world's best mover.
If anything ever goes wrong, it's never never my own fault"!

While living in Rotterdam, Holland, I once paid a social visit to a Dutch colleague's home.
He lived with his wife and under-three daughter.
During her living room antics, the toddler stumbled against the coffee table and crashed.
When a loud cry began, my friend and his wife went, ""Wees! Stand opnieuw! Stand opnieuw!" -- "Be careful ! Stand afresh, Stand afresh!"

The cultural difference from what would be common in India, was striking!

Ram
Ram, I see the point you are trying to drive home. Yes, the cultural difference is striking indeed. But applying your own theory, if we are brought up with compassion and always taught to obey and respect our elders, why do we not replicate the same in other areas of our lives...like in our road & driving habits for example.

I am all for stricter traffic rules and getting people to adhere to it. We all are very quick to point out traffic conditions in the developed world. But have any of us talked about traffic conditions in similar developing nations? People who have driven in Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and even a G-8 country like Italy will tell you that driving is pretty similar to what it is in India. Untill we have hard-as-nails traffic rules and enforcement agencies, basic civic sense and restraint will have to come from within.

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My point? I am thinking that there is probably a huge difference between what Indian traffic law says and what is the custom. And also a gap in what is enforced for that matter. This is one ground for confusion. As long as we all can predict accurately what the other guy will do we will muddle thru. Just.
True. For instamce, the custom of flashing ones headlights to assert ones right of way is a common practice in India. Same in the case of truckers who flash their right indicator to let you through. Imagine my plight when in Europe, I flashed my xenons and found oncoming traffic advancing towards me. In those day I was using my Indian International DL. RTOs should atleast issue a booklet on International Driving rules along with it. It would suffice to say that I had to first unlearn and then learn driving abroad. In the end it has made me a better driver, at least a more considerate one.

These are not traffic rules/laws, yet it is the norm. In countries with advanced traffic systems, you just follow the rule of law and do things by the book, else be heavily penalised.
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Old 13th November 2007, 12:24   #57
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American children are the most pampered ones with a lot of sense of entitlement. "I can do whatever I want" attitude.

And about flashing headlights. It started off as a warning signal for someone coming from the opposite side. At least it was <y2K. When I came back in 2007, it became the symbol of ultimate aggressive selfishness!!

On the 2 lane road, a moron in my oposite lane tries to pass a stream of cars in his lane, and flashes at me, and I am in my own lane. He expects me to swerve onto the left shoulder to save myself. Happens EVERY DAY during my commute.

And my commute is exactly 3.2km one way on the main road.

Being pissed, I play the game of chicken now. I flash him back more and stay in my lane. Of course I will make sure that I have swerve space to my left, just in case. Mostly the moron will give up. Otherwise I will yield him the last moment. After all, I am not crazy to crash.
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Old 13th November 2007, 14:05   #58
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The mirror can only say "no". It can't say "yes"
If you see something in the mirror that would delay you changing lanes, then the mirror is telling you, "no". If it looks all clear in the mirror, you still don't have a "yes" until you actually turn your head and look. This is what we were taught in California.
Well, thats exactly the reason why I don't have sun-control films in my car. I have been driving in the Gulf (Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) for the past 16 years and I am used to head-checks before changing lanes, turning on free-right (here free-left), watching through the corner of my eyes for careless driver's blind entry to the roads from sideways.

And sure it helps here too, to be safe and be aware of all kind of 'attacks' on your car...!!! from 360 Deg. while driving through the City...!!!
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Old 13th November 2007, 14:48   #59
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I do exactly the same Dileep. When the guy behind me flashes on me, I stay on my lane and even slow down a bit, which frustrates him. He now starts honking at full bore and I still do the same. move slower and stay on the lane. Then after few moments, he moves to the left lane afte scaring away some poor old man driving Maruti-800 and comes in parallel to me. Then I ask him 'whats wrong' by sign language. He, seems beaten, just gives an offensive look and goes his way...
I am sort of enjoying this lessons.
Same way, I sometimes stop my car right in front of the guys who come on to me with HI-BEAM on a single road. Wherever possible I ask him to dip his lights. Of course they never understand why I did that, but, they seemed to be uninterested in finding out the reason.
Well, I am only hoping that by educating the ignorant drivers this way, by 3007, we will be driving like the europeans do...
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Old 13th November 2007, 15:31   #60
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So you are blocking the fast lane by driving slow. Great driving practice there.
Fast lane is for overtaking vehicles. I hope you are aware that if you are in fast lane and somebody comes from behind, you are supposed to yield. thats how driving is done all over the west.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th November 2007 at 15:33.
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