You either believe that people respond to authority, or that they respond to kindness and inclusion. I'm obviously in the latter camp. I think that people respond better to reward than punishment.
The earliest paintings I loved were always the most non-referential paintings you can imagine, by painters such as Mondrian. I was thrilled by them because they didn't refer to anything else. They stood alone, and they were just charged magic objects that did not get their strength from being connected to anything else.
Although designers continue to dream of 'transparency' - technologies that just do their job without making their presence felt - both creators and audiences actually like technologies with 'personality.'
What I believe is that people have many modes in which they can be. When we live in cities, the one we are in most of the time is the alert mode. The 'take control of things' mode, the 'be careful, watch out' mode, the 'speed' mode - the 'Red Bull' mode, actually. There's nothing wrong with it. It's all part of what we are.