For the Sake of Arguing

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Piano

Automobile touring, White River Valley

Automobile touring, White River Valley (Photo credit: UW Digital Collections)

People argue. You probably agree (but maybe you would like to argue about that).

Imagine it is 2313. What would the world be like? Confine your answer to one aspect of life. Let’s say that starting tomorrow, cars will no longer be used. It is now 2313. The demise of the car has been coming for a long time. Tomorrow is the official day when cars will no longer be permitted.

How did society get to that point? The easy answer is “It just did.” The more difficult answer can be illustrated if we imagine that instead, it is 2013 (which it is). Tomorrow, cars will be illegal.

If that is possible (which it is not), how would people respond?

1-10 years of age – No response.

10-15 – “Do you mean I have to WALK to school FOREVER?”

16-26 – “Do you mean I have to take the BUS FOREVER?

27-40 – “I’ll have to work closer to home or take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FOREVER?”

40-49 – Anyone over 40 will never be able to adjust to a new mode of transportation. They will complain for 20 years.

50-59 –  This group will have better arguments, for and against, but they will never adjust emotionally.

60-69 – This group could care less.

70-79 – This group will tell you what it was like before cars were invented. (They have pictures.)

80-89 – This group will tell you how long they have been waiting to see a doctor.

So everyone under 40 can adjust. Everyone over 40 cannot. By the time you are 60, you really don’t care. That leaves 20 years of whining and complaining that the rest of us have to put up with.

Jump forward to 2033

That also means that in 20 years (2033) the 40 years old will be 60 and they won’t really care anymore. The 50s will be 70 and will tell you what it was like when cars were outlawed. The 80s will be waiting to see a doctor. So for twenty years, people have been arguing about why there are no cars any longer.

Drop and Gimme Twenty More!

Jump ahead 20 more years (2053). Everyone who was 30+ when cars were outlawed is now 70+, or waiting to see a doctor. Everyone who was 10-29 is now 50-69. Many in this age group are people who never drove a car, never owned a car, and who spent their whole lives using public transportation. We know one thing about these people: they aren’t happy. Everyone who remembers what it was like to own a car (and drive it) are close to dying, dead, or they are waiting to see a doctor.

It has now been 40 years since cars were banned. People have argued about every conceivable aspect of driving a car. Along the way, the arguments for banning cars prevailed.

Seventy Years and Counting

After 70 years, in 2083, no one will have any firsthand experience using an automobile. Anyone older than that might remember something about it, but it is unlikely they will remember anything. They might have a photo of one. But they won’t tell you about it. Do you know why? It is because they are waiting to see a doctor. (Are you paying attention?)

The Centennial Celebration

In 2113 there will be a celebration to mark the one hundredth anniversary of not using a car. There will be a big celebration at the parks but no one will come. Why not? It is because people under 40 won’t want to go to a celebration with a bunch of old people (40+) that do nothing but whine, complain, say they don’t care, or ask if you are a doctor.

As many people would show up to that celebration as they would today if we had a celebration of 100 years of using cars. That must have already occurred. I missed that party.

So you see, that is just 100 years – and during that time, a lot of people argued about every topic related to their interest in the topic, based on how the change affected them, which depended largely on how old they were.  After 100 years, no one really cares what life was like 100 years ago. The only people who really care are already dead.

The Importance of Arguing

Now think about this.  If it was the year 2113 and you went to the celebration, how different would your opinions about cars be, compared to what they would be tomorrow if cars were banned in 2013? (You’ll be dead then, but try to overlook that for the sake of argument.)

Your opinion would be much different. And the reason it would be different is because you would have adjusted to the way things became. In addition, you would UNDERSTAND why life was better in 2113 than it was in 2013, because as each argument was resolved, you understood why one side won, and the other side lost. (If not, you were over 40 and no young person cared about your opinion anyway.)

But if you think there is no way that cars could be banned tomorrow, because people would not go for that at all, then that just shows you how important 100 years of moaning, complaining, whining and arguing are. Arguing is better than looking for a doctor, or talking about the past, or not caring.

Keep on Truckin’

So if someone tells you that you argue too much, or that you complain too much, you just look at them and say, “I am evolving faster than you,” and get right back to arguing. We can’t change until we argue about stuff. So keep on arguing because we need to change some stuff pretty soon.

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