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  #21  
Old 08-21-2008, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Haven_kd7yct View Post
Replace car driver with cyclist, and you get the same perceptions.

Look at the comments section of any blog post about a collision between cyclist and motorist. There's lots of derogatory comments about people who drive cars: calling 'em cagers, denigrating them, villifying them.

It goes both ways. EVERYONE applies stereotypes to EVERYONE ELSE. Welcome to America, I guess. Where everyone is fat, lazy, and dumb. (And all black men above the age of 13 get arrested because they're black. And all white women are afraid to go outside after dark alone. Where a woman can't get the same pay for the same job that a white man does. Where all our presidents have been old, white, christian men.)

How did that make you feel?

Sigh.... everytime this topic comes up, the same set of people claim loudly that "they" don't represent "us" just because "they" happen to choose the same mode of transportation. And the same set of people try to get it through that it's not about them representing, it's about the PERCEPTIONS OF OTHERS.

If you could read minds, I'll bet you'll find that everyone else is applying their own stereotype to you as one of those scofflaw asshat cyclists. So do something to change their minds, maybe that perception will be applied to others. For good or ill.
Do you see how it's contradictory to simultaneously claim that people are going to apply stereotypes no matter what because that's just the way they are and that changing your behavior will change peoples' minds? By your own premise, if people are going to stereotype others, how the others actually act is irrelevant. This argument makes no sense.
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  #22  
Old 08-21-2008, 03:00 PM
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That's precisely the point AO. Don't worry about being stereotyped. Worry about your own behavior. Lead by example.

If, however, I catch you blowing stop signs, I will take issue with it. As I expect you would if you caught others. We as a cycling community can take care of this perception issue.
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  #23  
Old 08-21-2008, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by forkthis View Post
That's precisely the point AO. Don't worry about being stereotyped. Worry about your own behavior. Lead by example.

If, however, I catch you blowing stop signs, I will take issue with it. As I expect you would if you caught others. We as a cycling community can take care of this perception issue.
We're allowed to catch each other now?

I had no idea the season opened. What's the daily limit?

Is it catch and release only, or can we take a few home to fry?
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  #24  
Old 08-21-2008, 03:12 PM
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Bag limit? Hell, I'd put a bounty on 'em.
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2008, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Attornatus_Oregonensis View Post
Do you see how it's contradictory to simultaneously claim that people are going to apply stereotypes no matter what because that's just the way they are and that changing your behavior will change peoples' minds? By your own premise, if people are going to stereotype others, how the others actually act is irrelevant. This argument makes no sense.
That they stereotype you cannot change. You can, however, change the stereotype. Is that really so difficult to comprehend?
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  #26  
Old 08-21-2008, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by forkthis View Post
If, however, I catch you blowing stop signs, I will take issue with it. As I expect you would if you caught others. We as a cycling community can take care of this perception issue.
See, you're still worrying about what I do. What will you do to me if I don't meet your expectation and "take issue" with someone who blows a stopsign? How exactly would you like me to "take issue"?

Those are rhetorical questions, because I'm not doing any of that crap. I'm not interested in being the Portland Bike Nanny. There is no "we" here.
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  #27  
Old 08-21-2008, 03:44 PM
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That they stereotype you cannot change. You can, however, change the stereotype. Is that really so difficult to comprehend?
Yes. It's wrong. I can't change the stereotype because it's based on others' behavior. No matter how perfectly I behave and no matter how influential I am, I can never change the behavior of all people who ride bikes. Therefore, the stereotype will persist despite my best efforts. And I wouldn't be so foolish as to think otherwise.
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  #28  
Old 08-21-2008, 04:03 PM
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It's what scdurs talks about in comment #12 and Haven in #19 that I'm talking about. They say 'stereotype', I'd probably say 'generalize'. There may be a little difference there in this situation. People driving cars have some bad experiences with or around people riding bikes in traffic and before long, anything vaguely perceived, but seen on two wheels pedaling becomes generally associated with those bad experiences.

It's not about what a.O. does or doesn't do. The world does not revolve around him. Most people driving around in motor vehicles don't have the slightest idea who he or anyone else of us are personally. But see any one of us on a bike in traffic, the first thing that comes to their mind is an anomalous vehicle with which they've had a bad experience in traffic before and the uneasy feeling that the anonymous person on a bike they see before them may repeat the same dangerous behavior again. That's got to change.

The number of examples of bad behavior, violations, etc, presented by people on bikes in traffic has to do be reduced, though I'm not sure there is a speedy means to accomplish this. I doubt it's possible to hire enough police officers to patrol the streets and reduce it by that means. That's why I say peer pressure and self policing is the more readily accessible means of making this change.

I've never been to Belgium or other places where people riding bikes are given lots of latitude in observing traffic regulations. That might be the situation here someday, but drivers of motor vehicles and pedestrians definitely do not seem to be of that mindset in this city at present.
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  #29  
Old 08-21-2008, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attornatus_Oregonensis View Post
Yes. It's wrong. I can't change the stereotype because it's based on others' behavior. No matter how perfectly I behave and no matter how influential I am, I can never change the behavior of all people who ride bikes. Therefore, the stereotype will persist despite my best efforts. And I wouldn't be so foolish as to think otherwise.
You're flat wrong AO. Historically, minority stereotypes have changed. Think Irish, Asian Americans, and so many others.

Furthermore, not all individuals in a group need to conform to the stereotype. There are mean and mis-behaved irish setters. They're stereotyped as loveable dogs.

We too can change the stereotype relative to cyclists by expecting more of ourselves. This defeatist, it's not my problem, "there is no we" attitude of AO's is what pulls the movement down. It's only serves to perpetuate the stereotype.

When you see the guy at the next stop light AO, tell him he's making everybody look bad, and that it could result in more regulation of bicycles. Say it sincerely and respectfully, and it may have an effect.

Last edited by forkthis; 08-21-2008 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Added "and respectfully"
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  #30  
Old 08-21-2008, 04:58 PM
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Historically, minority stereotypes have changed. Think Irish, Asian Americans, and so many others.
That's right. Now tell me: Did they change because the Irish (pick your group) started behaving differently, or did they change because people came to see that the stereotypes weren't accurate or useful in judging other individuals' behavior?
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