Confrontations In Conditioning

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My fourth floor office overlooks Wilshire Boulevard in LA. I just heard the angry horn-honking and siren of a large fire-truck outside my window. I looked out to see the fire-truck stopped in a lane behind three cars. The three cars had stopped at an intersection for a red light. The firemen wanted the cars to get out of the way, which would have necessitated the motorists going through a red light (gasp!). I may be presuming too much in assessing the thinking of the motorists – I have no way of getting inside their heads – but there was every appearance of a conflict in political conditioning: should we move aside to let a fire-truck pass (as we have been trained to do) even if that involves running a red light (which we have been trained not to do)? The little problems that can arise when conditioning runs head-on into the demands of thinking!

6:34 pm on February 23, 2006