Today, walking down a slushy, snowy, side street, I walked past a guy in his car trying to get out of his driveway. But he was stuck. What did he do? He kept gunning his engine—literally, spinning his wheels. And even though it was obvious that his just-overpower-the-problem approach was not working, he continued to push his foot on the accelerator. Like maybe something magic would happen the two-hundred-twelfth time he tried it that hadn’t happened before?
Where does such stubborn inability to accept the obvious come from? My guess is that guy—middle-aged, white, flabby—doesn’t have much experience with problem-solving without some machine being involved. Something comes up, something needs to be fixed or changed, he uses a computer, grabs a power tool. And, I’m also guessing, that means of problem-solving works for him so much of the time, the idea that he should give up on the mighty power of his car engine and do something low-tech like shoveling or throwing sand under his tires simply doesn’t occur to him.
Or maybe he just loves the smell of burning rubber.