"Buy and read Amy Alkon’s new book "I See Rude People: One Woman’s Battle to Beat Some Manners into Impolite Society". It will be the funniest book you read this decade. " So says Satoshi Kanazawa, evolutionary psychologist at the LSE.
Actually, what caught my attention was the description in the review of why so many people are rude and ignorant in our sprawling metropolises. The idea from evolutionary psychology is that we once lived in small communities in which everyone was somehow related to everyone else. Avoiding perpetual family feuds leads to a kind of social lubricant to keep the community together. In contrast, people from other communities could be raided and abused as needed. Nowadays, few of us live in such incestuous villages but rather we're surrounded by millions of anonymous people who all count as "others". They are not family, so they can be abused with impunity. I can see this in action here in Thailand where any show of emotion is frowned upon and being a fool is tolerated within the villages, but come to Bangkok and pushing people out of the way is the norm if you want to get anything done before sundown.