RE: changing traffic lights by the force of your personality

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 17:39:16 MST

Damien wrote:

> I don't know the answer, but I assume most traffic lights are
> just not the
> kinds of mechanisms that can be influenced from the outside, except by
> pressing a button on the street corner.

Perhaps they are affecting things at a higher level... maybe the influence
comes earlier in a temporal sense, and just subtly alters the world so that,
at the point in time when the Magick practitioner sails through the lights,
they just happen to all be green. Also, maybe it only works for serious, not
very numerous magickal type people, thus not causing a fairness problem.

Chesh, if you want to try to accumulate a bit of proof, try logging the
exact amount of greens vs reds, maybe with a measurement of how long you
wait at the red. Get some non-magickal friends in the same area who use
similar routes to do the same. Compare notes. You could even try turning
them red vs turning them green to see if you can get a measurable

> But of course a
> *huge* proportion
> of pedestrians act is if they believe traffic lights can be coerced or
> propitiated by hitting the button repeatedly. That might not
> be magical
> thinking, though, just displaced frustration. I found a woman
> at a busy
> intersection the other day hammering repeatedly at the
> button, and asked
> her politely why she was doing it. `Because I'm frustrated,'
> she said with
> a grin. `Yes, but you don't actually think that it affects
> the--?' `No, but
> it makes me feel better.' `Okay.' It also wears out the mechanism more
> rapidly, I suppose. But I suspect that she was smarter than
> many people; I
> really think that many people believe that if you slam the
> button ten or 20
> times the lights will change more quickly.

A related thought... I use a lift (elevator) every day to get to work. On
almost every trip there are multiple people in the lift, and, after everyone
has entered but before the doors close, almost without fail, someone will
press the "doors close" button. The thing I notice about this is that there
is no observable difference in how long it takes for the doors to close
(although I've never timed it; I should try that), if people press that
button or not. I even have a vague feeling that I've heard of lifts with
"doors close" buttons which are fake.

Internal locus of control... it's a bitch, ey?


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