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Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Car-lite and assuaging an octogenarian parent's fears.

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  • David Chase
    ... Something in this doesn t work for me, and I think it might not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the point of view of game theory
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
      On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
      > And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
      > around in
      > makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
      > environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
      > individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
      > more
      > personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
      > safety and
      > system sustainability.

      Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
      not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
      point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
      that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
      tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
      (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
      but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
      the game is busted, and must be changed.

      [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
      bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
      big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
      a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
      slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
      over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
      an easy education, and the people designing the roads
      often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
      risky. ]

      In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
      people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
      game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
      not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
      that are likely to change the game for us;

      - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
      - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
      warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
      terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
      want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
      when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
      much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
      problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
      road?

      - drive-by-wire will get really good
      Automated driving will not happen for a good
      long time, until it happens really well. For
      liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
      it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
      it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
      it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
      whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
      through the regular cycling community (much as
      flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
      one, you want it, now)

      - Health, maybe.
      I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
      our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
      more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
      pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
      greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
      likely that this is a combined result of our
      boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
      the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
      be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
      red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
      baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
      people already doing things to fix their weight,
      blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
      most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
      ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
      in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
      up with a national health care system, that it would
      then make sense to the people running it to encourage
      people to get more exercise.

      In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
      my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
      is very good for my health, in ways that can be
      measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
      in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
      saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
      "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
      the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
      money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
      Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
      completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
      "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
      I'd like to do something about it".

      No, most people understand self-interest, as near
      as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
      think you're a weirdo.

      The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
      on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
      efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
      ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
      gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
      people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
      like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)

      So, to return to your original point about "taking
      risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
      all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
      However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
      not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
      environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
      to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
      to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
      the creeps).

      David
    • Cara Lin Bridgman
      Amen! Unfortunately, most folks already think I m a weirdo just because I m on a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one person has
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
        Amen!

        Unfortunately, most folks already think I'm a weirdo just because I'm on
        a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one person
        has asked "Why are you torturing yourself?" Well, most of the time I
        don't quite see it that way...

        Health, planet, politics, oil -- all to the good.

        A member of the Christian Peacemaker Team reported on being asked how to
        help solve the problems in Iraq. The answer was 'Ride your bike.'

        Meanwhile, the former Shah of Iran said 'Oil is too valuable to burn.'
        He's right. We need it more for medicine and fertilizers and water
        bottles (i.e. tools & containers), than we need it for transportation.

        CL

        David Chase wrote:
        > On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
        >> And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
        >> around in
        >> makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
        >> environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
        >> individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
        >> more
        >> personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
        >> safety and
        >> system sustainability.
        >
        > Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
        > not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
        > point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
        > that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
        > tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
        > (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
        > but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
        > the game is busted, and must be changed.
        >
        > [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
        > bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
        > big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
        > a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
        > slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
        > over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
        > an easy education, and the people designing the roads
        > often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
        > risky. ]
        >
        > In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
        > people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
        > game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
        > not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
        > that are likely to change the game for us;
        >
        > - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
        > - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
        > warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
        > terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
        > want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
        > when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
        > much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
        > problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
        > road?
        >
        > - drive-by-wire will get really good
        > Automated driving will not happen for a good
        > long time, until it happens really well. For
        > liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
        > it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
        > it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
        > it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
        > whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
        > through the regular cycling community (much as
        > flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
        > one, you want it, now)
        >
        > - Health, maybe.
        > I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
        > our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
        > more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
        > pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
        > greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
        > likely that this is a combined result of our
        > boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
        > the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
        > be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
        > red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
        > baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
        > people already doing things to fix their weight,
        > blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
        > most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
        > ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
        > in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
        > up with a national health care system, that it would
        > then make sense to the people running it to encourage
        > people to get more exercise.
        >
        > In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
        > my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
        > is very good for my health, in ways that can be
        > measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
        > in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
        > saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
        > "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
        > the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
        > money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
        > Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
        > completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
        > "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
        > I'd like to do something about it".
        >
        > No, most people understand self-interest, as near
        > as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
        > think you're a weirdo.
        >
        > The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
        > on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
        > efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
        > ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
        > gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
        > people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
        > like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)
        >
        > So, to return to your original point about "taking
        > risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
        > all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
        > However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
        > not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
        > environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
        > to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
        > to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
        > the creeps).
        >
        > David
        >
        >
        >
        > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        > ride to believe.
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >

        --

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Cara Lin Bridgman

        P.O. Box 013 Phone: 886-4-2632-5484
        Longjing Sinjhuang
        Taichung 434
        Taiwan http://web.thu.edu.tw/caralinb/www/
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      • Susan
        About the zillionth time I caught myself actually answering falsely because I knew the person asking really wouldn t identify with my answer, I decided that I
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
          About the zillionth time I caught myself actually answering falsely
          because I knew the person asking really wouldn't identify with my
          answer, I decided that I was doing a real disservice. Why not
          challenge that idea that it's okay to be self-serving? And if fifty
          people a day do it, maybe they'll start thinking *they're* the weird
          ones.
          I do emphasize that it is not painful and it is not torture, and
          that I started out with just a little bit and figured even a little
          bit was a good thing... and generally people think I'm an insanely
          happy person so they are a little jealous. I know I've made people think.


          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Amen!
          >
          > Unfortunately, most folks already think I'm a weirdo just because
          I'm on
          > a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one person
          > has asked "Why are you torturing yourself?" Well, most of the time I
          > don't quite see it that way...
          >
          > Health, planet, politics, oil -- all to the good.
          >
          > A member of the Christian Peacemaker Team reported on being asked
          how to
          > help solve the problems in Iraq. The answer was 'Ride your bike.'
          >
          > Meanwhile, the former Shah of Iran said 'Oil is too valuable to burn.'
          > He's right. We need it more for medicine and fertilizers and water
          > bottles (i.e. tools & containers), than we need it for transportation.
          >
          > CL
          >
          > David Chase wrote:
          > > On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
          > >> And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
          > >> around in
          > >> makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
          > >> environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
          > >> individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
          > >> more
          > >> personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
          > >> safety and
          > >> system sustainability.
          > >
          > > Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
          > > not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
          > > point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
          > > that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
          > > tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
          > > (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
          > > but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
          > > the game is busted, and must be changed.
          > >
          > > [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
          > > bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
          > > big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
          > > a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
          > > slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
          > > over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
          > > an easy education, and the people designing the roads
          > > often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
          > > risky. ]
          > >
          > > In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
          > > people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
          > > game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
          > > not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
          > > that are likely to change the game for us;
          > >
          > > - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
          > > - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
          > > warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
          > > terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
          > > want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
          > > when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
          > > much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
          > > problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
          > > road?
          > >
          > > - drive-by-wire will get really good
          > > Automated driving will not happen for a good
          > > long time, until it happens really well. For
          > > liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
          > > it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
          > > it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
          > > it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
          > > whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
          > > through the regular cycling community (much as
          > > flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
          > > one, you want it, now)
          > >
          > > - Health, maybe.
          > > I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
          > > our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
          > > more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
          > > pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
          > > greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
          > > likely that this is a combined result of our
          > > boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
          > > the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
          > > be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
          > > red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
          > > baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
          > > people already doing things to fix their weight,
          > > blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
          > > most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
          > > ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
          > > in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
          > > up with a national health care system, that it would
          > > then make sense to the people running it to encourage
          > > people to get more exercise.
          > >
          > > In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
          > > my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
          > > is very good for my health, in ways that can be
          > > measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
          > > in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
          > > saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
          > > "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
          > > the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
          > > money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
          > > Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
          > > completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
          > > "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
          > > I'd like to do something about it".
          > >
          > > No, most people understand self-interest, as near
          > > as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
          > > think you're a weirdo.
          > >
          > > The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
          > > on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
          > > efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
          > > ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
          > > gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
          > > people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
          > > like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)
          > >
          > > So, to return to your original point about "taking
          > > risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
          > > all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
          > > However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
          > > not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
          > > environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
          > > to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
          > > to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
          > > the creeps).
          > >
          > > David
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an
          Xtracycle roots radical.
          > >
          > > To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
          > >
          > >
          > > ride to believe.
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          > --
          >
          > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          > Cara Lin Bridgman
          >
          > P.O. Box 013 Phone: 886-4-2632-5484
          > Longjing Sinjhuang
          > Taichung 434
          > Taiwan http://web.thu.edu.tw/caralinb/www/
          > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          >
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