In a previous post, Sneak mentioned Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford. Rummaging around at the good doctor's home page proved very interesting, dealing as it does with issues such as whether the visible universe is a computer simulation, what we should do when computers become smarter than us, and the likelihood of imminent human extinction. As well as these trifles, Bostrom has also pondered one of life's really important questions and come up with a surprising answer: yes, traffic in the other lane really does go faster.
He starts by considering the counter-argument: that sitting stuck in the slower lane is just an illusion. To date boffins have suggested several mechanisms: that only slow-moving drivers bother to compare speeds; that cars overtaking you are more visible than cars you leave behind; and that our losses count more than gains when we tot-up life's injustices.
Poppycock, says Bostrom, noting simply that slower lanes tend to have a greater density of cars, so by the law of averages you can expect to be sitting in the slower lane. Changing lanes BMW-fashion (ie barging into the first available non-gap) is therefore a sensible strategy for making better progress.
Of course in the future, there will be no traffic jams, as we will all telework and telecommute, and will therefore sit in telejams as the BMW packets breeze by.
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