Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Define Insane

Sociologists estimate that 25% of people suffer from some personality disorder. Most guess that percentage is too low, given how much mayhem, murder and terrorism is reported. And how can you ignore nearly half of those who voted in 2016 elected an impeachable sociopath? News reporters prefer aberrations and perversions and seldom discuss mundane normality and reliability. Although majority associates mental illness with raging psychosis, it mainly describes life threatening depression or minor quirks commonly treatable and typically harmless other than setbacks that affect self. Oddity may even be celebrated as charismatic allure or magnetic attraction. Why stifle yourself? Express how you feel. Leads to charity, cures, friendships and patronage.

But don't ask a cyclist, "How are you doing?" He or she is suffering, of course. For whose sake? Bicycles are torture racks. Masochists? Besides, few to none would stop to discuss. One word replies are all you’ll mercifully get, unless you roll alongside, then you'll hear an earful of anecdotal fragments interrupted by curses, gasps and street noises, possibly a litany of complaints you probably didn't expect or ever wanted to confront. Doctors define insanity as persistent behaviors that harm self or repeatedly fail. Bicycling, blogging and complaining qualify.

Bad enough it takes 3 to 5 times as long to reach destinations, cyclists can't spare a minute. Will never regain 10,000+ hours spent pedaling, never mind dogged activism, event attendance, and relentless jeremiad. Do diehards expect to recoup 415 days at the end of their lives? Will it matter then? Is nothing society needs produced while they waste time? Then again, over a career bicyclists avoid 1,400 average hours stuck idling in gridlock sucking up petrochemical toxins and sweating through traffic threats as do drivers for 14,000 hours. Bicycling beats driving to a gym for a lesser workout. Yet, unless you're a jet attendant or pilot, taxi or truck driver, train engineer, or whatnot, transportation only occupies 2% of your lifespan. People sleep 33%, and work 35% or more, though policymakers deem them inconsquential by what they spend to improve.

Races on closed roads give an impression that motorists don’t really rob time from cyclists. Froome could vroom over 3,450 kilometers past exhilarating vistas and fragrant French farms to his 4th yellow costume win without dodging vehicles that continually and disgustingly fart a miasmatic fume in your face. However, without enormous automotive inducement, would they even pave streets? Asphalt derives from crude oil tars after gasoline and other fractions are extracted. Some argue that pavement of concrete or stone could be laid, but cutting and hauling them requires heavy duty tools and trucks running on fossil fuels.

Grand tours revere barriers to bicycling, stick what only peloton can overcome in spectators faces, but you should instead heed how several hundred can ride bikes for 2,000+ miles over intimidating terrain, not impossible but oh-so probable after all. Makes you wish you were fit and young enough to compete beside. Have personally tagged along with triathletes just to join joys of flying freely. Yet family has been deterred from bike path outings by outsiders acting crazily.

Specialized Bicycles Foundation debuted the Outride ADHD spot during Le Tour de France. Ride for Focus proposes that bike riding helps treat this disability affecting one out of nine American children. Always acknowledged as a mood leveler, bicycling, as recent research shows, increases concentration needed to achieve scholastically. Sure, you have to pay attention to ride; meanwhile, it increases blood flow to brain and limits video distractions. Insights in B&C came from displacing incessant outside agitprop with inner thoughts derived from the equivalent of 5 work-years of riding. Bicycles probably decompress every bit as well as sensory deprivation chambers.

All physical exercise including manual labor has a similar effect, but bicycling offers concentrated doses of enzymes and hormones. Bicycling definitely appeals to artists, autistics, brainiacs, indigoes, and whoever can’t afford to make several thousands per year in car payments. Any adult who finds employment can at least buy a bike outright, though charities exist to assist teens to build their own from used parts. Bike ownership does represent ongoing costs, particularly apparel, tires, tubes and wear ware, with which youth may have difficulty. Why does government do so little to address this need? Wouldn’t take much, staffed and stocked vans adjacent to bike paths to fix flats and teach skills, small expenses versus a trillion they spend every decade on motorways, and some severely needed jobs similar to New Deal era WPA. Great returns could come from small investments of effort, revenue and time.

To engage school kids voters would have to support Safe Routes to School programs, which provide bike lanes on streets, financial assistance, police patrols, storage lockers and racks, and teacher encouragement. Who is going to go on record telling children not to board busses but ride from home alongside? The first one killed en route will result in a precedent lawsuit. Teachers already require signed permission slips just to take class on a field trip by bus. No, the best way has family members or reliable groups escorting youth after hours and weekends on bike paths, provided such facilities exist, get lit, maintained, patrolled, and regularly swept, and lie within a reasonable distance. The jersey barrier mural above shows a kid gleefully outdistancing his dad on one.

Attempts by activists to establish infrastructure has only succeeded in enlightened communities against formidable resistance from automotive lobbies and neighborhood nimbys. Many taxpayers resent paying for education, never mind individual accommodation, saying they neither benefit from expense nor have kids who attend. Both arguments exemplify stupidity, since society as a whole benefits from an educated populace capable of making change, performing work, reading instructions, and transporting self. Ultimately, all bicycling facilities ought to connect, just as road network, include signs specific to cycling, and so become a true transportation alternative.

Reactionaries, exemplified by Trump, ascribe causality to unrelated sources and bemoan anything they think might deny them what they crave. This impedes what works and strangles any sense of community. Contributors made to feel unwanted or useless stop. Sends a chill throughout population. Misogyny attacks majority, 51% of humanity. Women as equals to men is an idea whose time has come. A woman almost became nation's president, right after first African American left office.

The 20th Century with its prejudices, problems, and totalitarian ambitions is over. In the 21st, a whole new utopian paradigm will sweep away internecine greed and unilateral sacrifices. If not, all life on planet will die. Suicide bombers prefer this option; take out as many as you can, as if self immolation deserves a retinue of billions. You’re no Chinese emperor or Egyptian pharaoh! Every Nazi falsely believes her/himself superior. Tyranny thrives on such absurdity. Unless you pertinaciously advocate for civil rights, you quickly fall victim to bullies yourself. Is cycling safe amidst senseless hate?

Pundits predict that media attacks on POTUS will fail. But do they goad retaliation with collateral damage? Social media grants self aggrandizers a forum to browbeat the weak and whip up resentment against the powerless. To get in good with conservative core of cretinous reactionaries from Mesozoic era whence fossils formed, Tyrannosaurus Trump had to dump upon children, cripples, elderly, invalids, mutilated soldiers, policy victims, single moms, social security recipients who’ve earned entitlement, and whoever survives on social welfare, since they represent revenue outflow congressmen can’t conveniently steal. An appeal ought to go to fairness and social justice, not single out personalities who violate arbitrary norms.

Forget revolution. Foster evolution. Upheavals always ruin things that already work well. What deserves to be eliminated ought to be carefully excised or supplanted with sensible options. Sure, attempt something new, but discontinue if it doesn't work. Beats abiding policies that never met goals, the worst of which was letting politicians pilfer internal revenue. Art often applies new ideas and materials, overthrows conventions, and tosses out the old and reprehensible, why it so benefits society. Some aspects stubbornly remain the same, such as criteria of art’s worth relative to when it was produced. The great example will always possess value. Some not recognized as insane continue to cause harm and never adapt.

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