Saturday, June 10, 2006

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert has recently said that not having to commute to work (he walks to campus) is one of the three best things in his life. He quotes economist Bob Frank who says, "that commuting in traffic is one of the very best ways to lower your overall life satisfaction."

Lest you think that he's just 'blowing smoke', Gilbert is generally considered the world's foremost authority in the field of affective forecasting, the scientific study of predicting our future emotional state. We usually search for happiness or seek to avoid situations that we think will cause us angst and frustration, such as the Oilers losing the Stanley Cup or the Heat losing the NBA championship.

I really haven't had to 'commute' to work for many years, and have had the opportunity to either walk or ride my bike significantly. Traffic has always given me the 'heebie-geebies', and obviously for good reasons.

Heed the words of Sweet Baby James Taylor....

Damn this traffic jam
How I hate to be late
It hurts my motor to go so slow
Damn this traffic jam
Time I get home my supper'll be cold
Damn this traffic jam

Well I left my job about 5 o'clock
It took fifteen minutes go three blocks
Just in time to stand in line
With a freeway looking like a parking lot

Now I almost had a heart attack
Looking in my rear view mirror
I saw myself the next car back
Looking in the rear view mirror
'Bout to have a heart attack I said

Now when I die I don't want no coffin
I thought about it all too often
Just strap me in behind the wheel
And bury me with my automobile

Now I used to think that I was cool
Running around on fossil fuel
Until I saw what I was doing
Was driving down the road to ruin


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