I consider myself to be a observer for future anthropologists. I look for social phenomenon that are unlikely to be seen by others and might be hard to measure for future anthropologists and archaeologists.
I counted automobiles a few days ago on a 20 mile trip through the Bay Area. I saw, up close, well over 1000 cars.
My unusual observation is that all but one were very clean and none had a perceptible dent or remnant of a collision.
I wish I had done such a study on a regular basis.
I had a Japanese friend in the 1980s who loved to ride with me in the same area and photograph the outrageous damage that American’s left visible on their cars. There were plenty of examples of dented fenders, crumpled bumpers and mayhem of all sorts in addition to dirty cars.
To my friend this was bizarre because automobiles in Japan are immaculately clean and never driven in public with a scratch, a dent or dirt.
It is possible that the San Francisco Bay Area is a bad example because this is a boom time economically. It is also possible that the falling automobile accident and collision rate is reducing the number of damaged cars.
It is also possible that good weather and being in an urban area is an additional influence. I will try and do this type of observation more often in the future.