The Patchwork Road Surface

The Patchwork Road Surface17This is possibly going to start with a bit of a rant about the quality of surface on the roads near where I live.

I live roughly 25 minutes from where I work.  Two weeks ago there were three sets of roadworks between home and work.  If I was lucky I didn’t need to stop in any of them but, if I did, delays were about 14 minutes.  Yes, I timed it!

The thing that annoyed me the most about them was that whenever I would drive past, there was no one actually doing any work.  In 2 of the 3 sets, there was no-one there.  Most times when I drove past the other set there was a guy there watching the traffic and, when you’ve been sat in a queue for what seems like ages, it takes a lot of restraint not to tell him to do something useful!

The first set of roadworks were on a stretch of road which is regularly dug up.  As a result, it’s surface looks like a patchwork quilt.  From my experience, it’s these patches that cause potholes and so are dug up and resurfaced again.  Before you know the road surface is made up a load of patches of tarmac, none of which are the original.

It’s like that joke about having an amazing ancient broom that’s had 9 replacement heads and 4 replacement handles.  It’s still the broom you bought in essence, but has none of the original parts.

I’ve sometimes wondered if this can be the same as surface traits in psychology.

Surface traits are a concept developed by Raymond Cattell whose work concentrated on personality traits. He theorized that there are 16 source traits that are the building blocks of personality. All these traits form part of an individual’s personality. When you put the source traits together along with other variables in the environment they make up the surface traits, which are the traits we see and think of as personality. Surface traits are considered one construct of multiple traits that go together.

For example, being altruistic would be a surface trait while source traits that comprise this would be being unselfishness, not greedy, sharing, and being thoughtful. A surface trait is comprised of the source traits that can be observed in an individual and are easily observable and common clusters of behavior. Cattell considered source traits to be more influential than surface traits in studying personality.

Read more: http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Surface%20Traits#ixzz4H1xbVyyL

It’s interesting that people can recognise how much they’ve changed in the past but actually, according to some 2013 research, think that they’re pretty set in their beliefs, identity and personality for the future.  Change does slow, but the research by Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University who did this study with two colleagues, says that it doesn’t slow nearly as much as we think it does.

I’ve wondered recently myself about people’s flexibility for the future and whether they are experiencing the “end of history illusion” or whether they’re just scared of things not happening the way expected.  They have certain life goals about their job or where they’ll live that they’re set on, and then someone or something else comes in to their life who means a lot to them.  That person or thing is great, but they / it doesn’t fit in with the plan to live elsewhere which creates uncertainty.

So how much of a plan has to change before it’s still the same plan? How much of your personality has to change before you’re no longer you?  I think it depends how big a picture you take.  On the surface everything still looks the same.  It’s only when you go down to the tiny details that you see the difference.

We’ve established this is where we stand
We said after this we’ll just be friends
But my heart don’t really know my head
But my heart don’t really know my head

We built this wall to keep out complications
We built this wall so we won’t have to drown
In the depths where we can gratify temptation
And claim that love will only slow us down

These are not the words that I would like to be saying to you, be saying to you
And I hope that in the morning you will feel the same way that I do, same way that I do

We never talk about the strings and the attachments
We just slam the brakes before it crashes
Will we ever take the chance to see what happens
What we really want we failed to mention

These are not the words that I would like to be saying to you, be saying to you
And I hope that in the morning you will feel the same way that I do, same way that I do

I need you to wake up, cause I need to talk to you
I need you to wake up, before we let this go
I need you to wake up, I need you to wake up

These are not the words that I would like to be saying to you, be saying to you

I need you to wake up, cause I need to talk to you
I need you to wake up, before we let this go

Surface by Shorelines End

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