Re: poly: Altruism? and Cutting queue delay

From: Peter C. McCluskey <>
Date: Sun Nov 22 1998 - 07:41:33 PST (Hal Finney) writes:
>This is a specific case of the general rule that when traffic merges,
>the side with more cars/people stacked up behind it should get priority.
>Unfortunately most people don't follow this rule. They are polite and
>let the other side merge in, forgetting that their politeness is also
>impacting everyone behind them (whom they can't see, I guess).

 I think this is mainly a preference for simple rules with minimal
computational requirements.
 People who ignore the simple rule of alternating equally between the 2
lines are being unmistakably rude under normal traffic conditions, and
people act as if they expect social retribution for this rudeness even
when dealing with strangers.
 People don't think social retribution would be reasonable in the case you
mention because there is no obvious Schelling point for deciding how
much of an imbalance justifies switching rules, and because it's quite
easy to believe that someone misjudged the imbalance rather than deliberately
follwed the wrong rule. And if people in the 2 lanes disagree about which
rule to use, the results can be at least as bad as using the wrong rule.

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list
Received on Sun Nov 22 15:45:12 1998

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