5.b) The driver and technology of the automobile
In this traffic lights metaphor, a car driver represents the will of the individual. The driver has his inherent quality, which influences the results of the vehicle’s activity.
Likewise, the driver will be responsible for the car’s maintenance, the one who can choose to train to a greater or lesser extent and who can decide on some of the conditions of the trajectory. However, to know the effect or influence on the quality and goodness of the car, we will have to specify what we mean by the goodness of a car and how we measure and compare it. In other words, we need to use quality indicators.
Now we are in a better situation to understand one of the principal reasons for the polemic about the genetic structure of intelligence and environmental influence.
If by intelligence we are referring to the time that it takes an automobile to go from one specific city to another, it will depend on the type of highway, curves, the meteorological conditions, whether it is daytime or nighttime, and the driver; all of these environmental conditions are more relevant than the car's power.
On the other hand, if by intelligence we are referring to the goodness of an automobile to perform any route, in any meteorological condition, and with an average driver, the power of the car's motor will be one of the best indicators. A small group of indicators related to the fabric design –genetic structure– can make up a significant index concerning the search for goodness.
Of course, other factors count, and flawed maintenance can make a car crash, but usually, minimum maintenance prevents it. A real example is a car that made the running in three cylinders, by the implicit will of the corresponding technicians. Very nice! There were never any particular problems with the motor afterward.
Another exciting aspect of this metaphor is that many elements of an automobile have similar technology or modernity despite fulfilling functions that are independent of the vehicle's activity.
The subject of training is also interesting; a driver can learn the curves of a mountain highway and substantially improve the time needed for a specific route. However, it does not mean the driver is better than others, or the automobile is more potent than others.
On the contrary, “A good driver will always be a good driver.”
On the other hand: a good automobile will always be an excellent automobile, even though it has a flat tire and does not move.
Finally, if we do not know the technical characteristics of a car when estimating them according to the time it takes for a specific route, we will make many errors –or the variance of the estimators will be high– due to a large number of factors that influence the specific results of a particular route with a specific driver.
Take note that the mentioned factors cannot be easily isolated because each one of them has multiple factors that condition them. We cited that the same driver may be tired, happy, rushed, or the other way around.
5.c) Goodness indicators
Now, if what we want is a measure of the goodness of the car in the performance of any function and be able to compare some cars with others in a simple somewhat precise fashion we would have to look for some indicator.
A good indicator of general goodness could be its price, but it depends on the market and includes aspects like famous people's cars or cars seen in movies, old cars, the effect of the brand and publicity, unusual accessories, and taxes. Also, it would not be useful for the case of intelligence, although there is a correlation between intelligence and economic power.
The motor's cylinder is a good and probably the most used indicator of a car's specific goodness. It is terrific because it is independent of the external conditions, highly related to the price, to average velocity, to safety, and to technology.
If consumption affects the indicator, we could have a compound more precise indicator than the previous.
If it were of everyday use, we could call it the "g" factor of the automobiles. Even if it were not the perfect indicator, it would be very comfortable; it would allow for simple comparisons and would easily understand.
* * *