March 13, 2003

· Sociology

Scene: In a parking lot, a few hours after renting a car for the week (much nicer than my regular car).

Teeny Tech: The car’s headlights turn off by themselves about 30 seconds after you move away from the car.

Tiny Norm: If you see someone’s left their lights on, you tell them.

Teeny Tech meets Tiny Norm:

Helpful Person: “Hey, you left your lights on!”

Me: “No, they go off by themselves.”

HP [looks slightly embarrassed]: “Oh. Sorry.”

Inside the mind of HP: “Well that’s the last time I ever do that.”

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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