"... because it is so easy to just hop into a bodega or a deli or a 99-cent store to buy anything, anytime, no forethought required."
From a NYT article about Mayor Bloomberg's plan to make stores collect a 6¢ tax for each plastic shopping bag given out. (In Ireland, it's 33¢ a bag!) Actually, it's not a tax, it's a fee. (Because if it were a tax, it would need approval from the state legislature.) The idea isn't to raise money but to train people -- those impulsive New York people -- to bring their own bags.
So anyway, do you think the structure of the city makes human beings more impulsive?
Retraining people with new taxes/fees is much easier than redesigning the physical environment to improve their emotional thinking. But it set me to wondering what would be the perfect environment for the most balanced and rational thought. The idea that convenience makes us impulsive... is that right? I'm not convinced that New York is so convenient, but I'd like to believe that the ability to fulfill our needs easily would save time and make us feel relaxed, which would improve our rationality. But no. That's probably not true.