Bad Manners? Not Silicon Valley's Invention : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

An article on what is probably the leading cause of stress and violence today ~ Rudeness.

People get violent over the rudeness of others, people die over the rudeness of others so self involved in their own desires that they kill and maim people when they get distracted by their cell phones, changing music and other toys while driving.

I am adding some of the feedback to the piece too.,10738,2569397,00.html

Bad Manners? Not Silicon Valley's Invention

By 133, AnchorDesk

May 14, 2000 9:00 PM PT


If you happen to live in the greater Bay Area, it's only a matter of time before some yuppie jerk driving an SUV cuts you off.

That used to send me into near homicidal rages.

But I now simply accept aggressive driving behavior as just one of the natural hazards associated with living in dot-com dominated traffic zones.

San Francisco and its environs are flush with folks who have profited mightily by working for Internet companies. And judging from the mix of road traffic, a lot of them prefer autos that could double for armored personnel carriers.

You'll see much the same thing in Cambridge, Mass., New York City and the suburbs around Washington, D.C. -- all regions where the Web has put a lot of cash into peoples' pockets -- where rules of road courtesy are, well, optional at best.

But the SUV has become portrayed as the emblem of the national media's fascination with the doings of dot-coms. The picture being drawn is one of a bunch of cell-phone toting, beeper-ridden, cyber-selfish toads who get off by comparing the size of their PDAs. At best, they are congenital cads; at worst, simply rude beyond belief.

One day soon I expect some enterprising headline writer will dub this the Me Generation on DSL.

This is curious stuff.

The dot-coms surely make inviting targets for ridicule. But as with all generalizations, there's the hype and then there's the reality. Are the new cyber elites really more ill-mannered than other people in this great, big country?

Last time I checked, Meg Whitman wasn't calling any business rival a "scumbag." And yet that's what a certain Congressman -- a Congressman! -- publicly said about the president of the U.S.

The most insulting thing I recall Bill Gates ever saying was that a certain so-and-so he disagreed with just wasn't "technical." Maybe that rates as a "yo mama wears army boots" among geeks. The rest of us civilians would shrug it off.

The simple fact is people with disposable income are going to buy the latest toys, a fact that gets under some peoples' skin. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal quoted a certain Darlene Lutz, who was particularly bent out of shape by selfish cell-phone users. "People walk down the street glued to their cell phones, their beepers and their Palm Pilots," she told the newspaper. "They don't care who is around them."

Lutz, identified as a New York art adviser, has obviously spent too much time in the `burbs. As a born-and-bred New Yorker, I can tell you I don't want people walking toward me to start cheery conversations about water lilies. Maybe that stuff is a nice way to break the ice in Marietta, Ga., but that'll only elicit incredulous stares in the Big Apple.

The real issue is better taken up by psychologists. There's something particularly American about rooting for obnoxious hotshots to fail.

`Fess up: Weren't you thrilled beyond belief when the New York Mets gave Rickey Henderson his walking papers last week. And for a while, didn't you believe celestial justice was back in style after The Donald's fortunes (temporarily) went south?

Arrogant dot-commies there surely are. But bad manners didn't get invented in Silicon Valley or the other pockets of cyber good fortune around the country. Civility may be going out of style. But you'll have to probe much deeper to find the real answer.

And if you don't agree, go stuff yourself!


And here is some of the feedback.

Rudeness is self agrandizing violence against others. If you believe, like a two year old, that the world revolves around you and your emotional needs of the moment you maim and disdain others who don't give you what you want or let you do what you want to do. Adults are responsible to teach toddlers what's OK and what's not.

You seem to be saying that arrogant, rude and often dangerous behavior is OK beacause... what? Because the rich have always been that way and the NEW nuevo riche are the same with high tech toys? Sorry, their right to do loud, or unsafe things stops where it affects me and my family.

Self-absorbed hubris hurts everyone. Occasionally it kills and often the people killed are not the rude jerk who created the problem. As the very least it makes life harder and more stressful.

I think you're on the wrong side of the issue. Take another look?


Bad driving is a non-issue. The question SHOULD have been "Why has the Internet failed to create real communication and intimacy among it's participants?"

Given the incredible range of communications tools the Internet placed at our disposal -- newsgroups, e-mail, chat rooms, etc. -- you might think there would be tons of conversations about important human issues between people all over the world.

But there isn't. In fact, there is almost NO real discussion or discourse unless it's about safe technical issues.

There IS however, lots of arguing, insulting and name-calling. Some people defend this as "no-holds-barred" discussion, but it's not ANY kind of discussion. It's just amateur wrestling.

If you want to know how to have a real conversation with other people which has the CHANCE of actually resolving something important, read a couple of Socratic dialogues

-- the Dialogues of Plato.

They show that real conversation is two or more people HELPING each other to attain the truth, not two or more people calling each other idiots and trying to prevail by verbal terrorism.

It's the diffeence between Mountain-Climbing and King-of-the-Mountain. In mountain-climbing people HELP each other attain the summit for their mutual benefit.

In "King. . " one person tries to prevent others from attaining the summit, and no one benefits.

The Internet will have achieved it real potential (in human terms) when there are civil conversations by people everywhere, NOT about technical issues like which hard-drive has the fastest seek-times or pseudo-issues like "Are SUV drivers the worst?"

We tecchies and Internet junkies didn't invent incivility but we have often increased it.


Bad manners are common, this does not mean they are acceptable. Some are a matter of course, the "I" and "ME First" syndrome, some are a matter of non-thinking acts, the total concentration on the last act (ringing phone) not the first (driving) or second (thinking)

The sterotypes are used because "sterotypes" do exist in many familiar forms.

As for cell phones, beepers and PDA's, people will act as they always have, in their percevied best interest.

Does this mean they will endanger themselves and others, just look around the answer is obvious.

Remember, "Common Sense" isn't. If it were, more poeple would have it.


Arrogance and bad road manners are worse than ever.

But like you said, the Dot Coms did not invent it. Hollywood keeps up that tradition in its presentations which it is full off, even among their heroes.

They think it is "cool stuff" to be rude and this generation bought it and imitates it.

Anytime and anywhere a person takes to the wheel, is in danger of being the target of road rage.


For me, chronic cell phone usage in public places is only a bit less obnoxious as thumping boom boxes. It's inevitable--people with loud boom boxes are always listening to music I hate. It's inevitable--people who talk LOUDLY on cell phones are always the ones carrying on the most inane, pointless conversations. Cell phone turn some adults into teenagers--addicted to silly, unnecessary calls. Go further and substitute 2000 for anytime in the mid-to-late 1980s and "Wall Street-er" for "dot-com" and you'll see the same complaints. Only then the Beemer was the road terror of choice.

Are dot-coms worse than the Masters of the Universe?

Young people with more money than imagination are more or less interchangeable no matter what profession they're in.


Hooray for you! In today's world, it's difficult to find people who give a damn about anything or anyone but themselves, In fact with the proportion of self-aggrandizing idiots increasing daily it's becoming more difficult for those of us who care to give a damn either. In addition to the SUV drivers, check out some of the contestants on "So You Want to be a Millionaire", look at the "meat hunters" who are depleting our planet of rare species, the profiteering gasoline companies, the lumber barons, who are only too quick to sell our natural resources overseas and wipe out the rain forests, the politicians who will argue any side of any question at any time for any constituency to garner a few votes and those who have adapted Admiral Dewey's famous quotation for to suit their greed or personal ambitions or whatever

"Damn the Populace, full speed ahead!"


Well, the proliferation of cell phone "don't know where I am and don't care when I am talking" situations temps me to wear a cell phone "jammer". This is a device that can be used in restaurants and similar places to enforce "don't use cell phones here". The would-be user of the cell phone just gets the message "out of range".

Similarly, I feel that the US Transportation Safety board missed a bet by NOT making it illegal to use a cell phone in a MOVING vehicle... just as it is illegal to have a TV set in view of the driver as it is a potent diversion of the driver's attention. Had that law been in place, we could have had "shoulder stopping points" for people who want to use their cellphones on busy freeways.

-- Cherri (, July 20, 2000


I was worried that that would happen, Sorry.

-- Cherri (, July 20, 2000.


Interesting; still red in IE but not in Netscape.

It isn't that the existance of rude people is new thing, it is that [with the exception of NYC] we haven't had such a high concentration in the past.

They show that real conversation is two or more people HELPING each other to attain the truth, not two or more people calling each other idiots and trying to prevail by verbal terrorism.

I really appreciate people who can tell me what is universially correct. I wouldn't be smart enough to define these things myself.


-- DB (, July 20, 2000.

Cherri: I refuse to get mad driving anymore. I just point my rear view mirror to the ceiling and drive *at most* 5 miles above the speed limit (in town).

I use to get mad when I looked over to the *other* side of the road and see some driver doing something idiotic/rotten to another driver that I dont even know.

But I cant be mad all the time. No. I refuse to be mad all the time (grin).

(Okay, once every blue moon Ill play chicken with some, errr, jerk?, but hey, Im only human!)

And, if there is some person driving ahead of me, going 25mph, I just sit back, relax and figure "hey, at least hes keeping me legal"

When I was young, the rule in my house was "children were meant to be seen and not heard." And if I got out of line in the slightest bit, there was always a hand waiting to smack me across the face. I *had* to respect my elders.

I had to say good morning, good afternoon or good evening. I was not allowed to just say "hi"

Would I raise my children like this? Not in a million years. But I would teach them good manners and to respect people until they prove otherwise.

Some parents, imho, arent teaching manners anymore. I dont know if its because they, themselves, werent taught them, or if they just think good manners "wont get you anywhere in life." Shrug

(I suppose it doesnt matter whythey just arent and this is what we get)

People on cell phones dont bother me (too much). When I see them walking down the street, glued to their phones, I think: gee, I bet he works hard, makes a lot of moneybut, Ill bet he has NO time to spend it.

Ive seen this first hand. Some of my clients are extremely rich, having all kinds of custom work done to their houses.

But They are only home on Sunday afternoons. So whats the point? Spend 200,000 on your house only to have to work 95 hours a week to pay for it?

These people are no richer than I am, percentage wise. Living up to their limit and all.

You know that quote (sorry, forget who said it) "I love mankind, its people I cant stand" Well, thats pretty much my motto.

But I dont treat people badly; Most of the time I keep my mouth shut and try to be "kind, rather than right." (Its a whole "let go of the ego" philosophy that Im working on*smile*)

Another thing about cell phones. If someone is using them in a restaurant or wherever, I will sit as close to them as possible and eavesdrop. Some may think its rude. I think its fun. Hey, dont talk so loud and I wont listen. kay???

The people this article is talking about, fall into my category of luggage losers. Its just a term that means all kinds of minor annoyances happen to people who act like asses.

They lose their luggage. They sprain an ankle. They get in fender- benders. They lose important papers. They have spinach stuck in their teeth at the most inopportune time Im sure you get the point.

Ahhhh, Its late in the day and I dont know if Im even making any sense. Sorry if I wasted anyones time


-- Not now, not like this (, July 20, 2000.

"If you happen to live in the greater Bay Area, it's only a matter of time before some yuppie jerk driving an SUV cuts you off."

Actually I find that BMW drivers are the rudest and most aggressive by a wide margin here in SV. Followed closely by adolescent punks in VW Jettas. Many of the SUV's are driven by women who have substituted them for the out-of-favor family van. It is very irritating to have one of them cut in front of you and restrict your view, which they seem to do with great regularity. Karma is satisfied when they get their bills at the gas pumps. Out here we have non-CPR gas prices.

-- SV Driver (-@yuppies.are.jerks), July 22, 2000.

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