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Vent your rants and raves here about whatever makes you mad, angry or frustrated.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
Have you noticed, that all public health goals, be it losing weight, cycling more instead of driving rely on one thing; individual behavior change, and that alone. What a lot of these things fail to do is to acknowledge the environmental factors that make individual change difficult.
The reasons people choose to drive instead of cycle are talked about extensively in this blog
http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/20 ... afety.html
And this one,
https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.c ... e-the-box/
Also, another example of anglo individualism is towards the unemployed. It's narrow-minded focus on individuals without acknowledging or taking into account the bigger picture. This article is about how the media like to exploit the prejudice;
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk ... llacy.html
It's easy to blame individuals, and feel that you're better than they are and to feel on your high horse. Nowhere
I see now, why the anglo saxon world has such horrid inequality, high obesity rates and high rates of auto dependency and oil addiction. The idea that you can rely on individual change and ignore the environment in which you expect people to make those changes, whilst simultaneously blaming them for it.
Although this does draw from Anglo culture somewhat, it should really be called Jew-imposed-individuallism. The Jews impose individualism on others and then as the most cohesive tribal group imaginable win by default.
Very good points, the Anglo world is obsessed with individualism to the point where it's almost a religion.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
I don't exactly see how individualism is the issue here with either article.
I read a post once from a man who lived in Asheville, North Carolina, who said he saw some pollution while flying over Greenland on an international trip and resolved to ride his bike to work to reduce pollution. He did for a while, but was taking his life in his hands. I've driven through Asheville, and riding a bike on some of those highways is extremely dangerous. He decided his safety was too important and stopped riding a bike to work.
Some states may not allow cyclists on the sidewalk. I don't want to ride on the side of the road on a bike with cars zipping by at 55 mph unless I absolutely have to. I road a bike quite a bit in graduate school. I've ridden on city streets and on some campus roads that weren't too busy. I've even ridden through ice and snow when that meant saving me a half hour of precious time waiting on a bus-- time that I could not spare. But if riding a bicycle seriously compromises my safety, I definitely opt for safety these days.
This post is about how public policy objectives rely on individual actions, whilst neglecting the environmental factors that make those individual efforts hard to put into effect.
I brought-up the example of cycling and the Netherlands as a case to illustrate this. The thing about the Netherlands and their politicians is that the acknowledged the environmental factors and the barriers that stopped peopel cycling vs. using the car for silly short trips.
The flaw of Anglo societies and publc policies, not just transport, is that they fail to ACKNOWLEDGE what makes the advice they give difficult to put into effect.
This is an economics problem. I still don't see how it is about individualism. The exact same forces would produce the same outcome in a collectivists culture. People from collectivists cultures prefer not to get hit by cars. Individualist cultures tend to be wealthier with better infrastructure, so you may find cyclists operate in and tolerate more chaotic traffic conditions in societies that happen to be collectivist, but it is not reasonable to think that collectivism v. individualism would be the reason for riding bikes in that kind of traffic.
Maybe individualist societies would be more likely to have media who blame individuals for not riding bikes even though the proper infrastructure is not there. I haven't seen a lot of this kind of blame in the US, which is fond of automobiles. Maybe there is some collective guilt over not cycling enough in the UK, despite the lack of infrastructure.
But the Netherlands is an individualistic culture.
Perhaps I should have brought up other examples.
Look at obesity and diet. Look at environmental factors such as the abundance of fast food joints, lack of accessibility of fresh fruit, starchy food an lean protein. The problem is too much public policy and advice relies too much on individual actions whilst ignoring the environmental factors that getting in the way of making changes. This is not to say that individuals should rely on governments, but if the environments are made more favourable, then a greater proportion of people would make the changes that are needed.
RE the cycling example
A place where there's a high number of cyclists wearing helmets and hi-vis jackets is not a sign of success, it's a sign of failure. In Holland and Denmark hardly anyone wears a helmet.
In the same sense, we can argue that places with high ratse of gym membership and running are places that have failed to ensure adequate amounts of active travel.
It's not a question of getting more people on bikes, it' a question of making ridiculously short trips more attractive by bike or by car. Even in situations where the bike might be quicker or easier to find a place to park, a lot of people would still opt for the car, because going by bike would involve a lot more adrenalin. It's that, lack of 'subjective safety'. You could say 'these people who drive short distances need to man up'. The reality is, we've had that nonsense for over 40 years, relying on individual behaviour change, and it's done nothing.
This post is not about increasing cycling, it's about relying on individual actions whilst neglecting the factors that make those individual changes difficult. This doesn't just apply to transport.
As a regular cyclist who enjoys dodging trucks and buses, I can empathize with why people don't make the changes that they're supposed to.
People jump to the conclusion that this must be asserting that 'people should depend on others'. No, that's not the point.