Terry Shea, writing for AOL Autos, attempts to dispel the mystery of the ever inaccurate, auto gas gauge:
Have you ever noticed that your gas gauge stays on full for quite a while before the needle even moves, and then it moves faster and faster as it approaches empty? And then when it gets to 'E' it sort of stays there for a while until the low warning light comes on …?
It turns out it’s partially your fault that gas gauges work that way.
The engineers calibrate them to do that. Why? Because you, the customer, have told them that’s the way you like it. We spoke with Phil Pierron, an engineer at Ford (his title is actually “Technical Expert for Systems Engineering in Core Fuel Systems), who told us, “Our customers really didn’t want to run out of fuel when they hit 'E.' Customers do want some amount of fuel when they get to 'E.'"
Apparently, consumer surveys indicate that people don’t like seeing the needle depart from “F” right away either .... According to Pierron, “Customers want it to stay on full for an amount of time.” This gives them the illusion that they are getting better fuel mileage or at least not immediately burning through that expensive tank of petrol they just bought, even if they quite literally are. …
And while customers want there to be a “reserve” of gasoline available when they reach the empty mark … they don’t want too much of a reserve. Otherwise, they will complain that their 20-gallon tank only takes 15 gallons when filling up from empty. Apparently, there is a sweet spot where customers are happy to be fooled by their gas gauges, but not too much. We customers sure are a fickle bunch.
The engineer’s job should be to make things more accurate and efficient, but in this case he has to play psychologist to keep customers happy.
What could possibly be more straight forward than a gas gauge? You'd think people would be thrilled to have one that simply provided them with accurate information. Not so in our "have it your way" world.
Most pastors today can identify with the pressure to accommodate an increasingly fickle clientele.
To suggest that it is challenging in an age of relativism and theological compromise to preach the absolute, uncompromising truths of the Gospel is a gross understatement. Sadly, too many of us have succumbed to the pressure to accommodate the customer. Or put another way, we lie to them!
We present a re-engineered Gospel with no trials to endure, none of the sufferings of Christ to share, no call to humility or sacrifice, and certainly no coming judgment. These pulpits strive for that "sweet spot where customers are happy to be fooled" by their ministers.
"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear" (2 Timothy 4:3).