Podcast: In the Shed – Ep 10

Eva Frazier and I are back with another episode of “In The Shed.” This episode was recorded earlier today in the BikePortland Shed as rain pelted the roof and Eva dreaded having to bike back home in it.

As usual, we had a really great chat about a wide range of stuff.

  • New Bike Fun app in development by Aaron Corsi
  • We have the technology to offer listener call-ins! Who will call into (503) 706-8804 next Friday between 1:10 and 1:30?
  • Gravel clean-up gossip
  • Eva’s fascination with traffic signals
  • Diversion on greenways and propagandizing about it to political candidates
  • How D4 candidate Sarah Silkie got educated about parking protected bike lanes
  • Fixing Our Streets 3 (local gas tax) quiz (funner than it sounds!)
  • Good answers to the question: No one is biking, so why should we spend money on it?
  • Bad faith BP commenters pushing narratives for political gain have been uncovered by Lisa Caballero.
  • Does Jonathan prefer internal hubs or derailleurs? Find out in the lightning round.
  • Travel in the BP time machine to 2014 when a railroad official bullied a Portland bike rider on the fabled “Cement Road” of Swan Island, The Oregonian was wrong about bike share, we made our first-ever mention of Green Loop.
  • What do the Unipiper and former mayor Bud Clark (R.I.P.) have in common?
  • And more!

Thanks to Brock Dittus of Sprocket Podcast fame for our fantastic theme music. Listen in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

20 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9watts
9watts
25 days ago

0:31:43 Eva says 40% or Portlanders do not drive a car.
I did a bunch of research on that question about twelve years ago (can all be found in the archived BP comments) and while I would LOVE to learn that Eva is correct, my memory is that the figure is probably closer to 15%. Still more than most people assume, but not 40%. Or? Am I wrong? Curious to see Eva’s source.

idlebytes
idlebytes
8 days ago
Reply to  9watts

I’m a bit late to this conversation so you probably won’t see it but I think I found the source from Portland State University’s Transportation Education and Research Center, urban planner and advocate Cathy Tuttle

Tuttle estimates 40 percent of Portlanders are non-drivers, including children, people with disabilities, and people who can’t afford to drive. Just one to two percent of city residents are what she calls “privileged non-drivers of choice.”

9watts
9watts
25 days ago

Who are/were all these duplicate negative commenters?!

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  9watts

Hi 9Watts,

I haven’t listened to the Podcast yet, so I don’t know what Eva and Jonathan said. But I’m pretty much a hard ass, and I really hate being manipulated. We don’t have anything fancy happening at the backend, software-wise. But we have the usually search function that you’d expect on a database, and I see IP addresses.

It’s possible to see multiple avatars on the same IP, and we have several IP addresses which have been used by different groups of multiple avatars. “Maybe it’s a coffee shop,” “maybe it’s an apartment building.” Yeah right. A coffee shop with ten customers who all post to BikePortland with the same talking point opinions and writing styles.

I keep tract of all this — screens shots, writing samples, IP addresses used by multiple users — in a folder. And occasionally one of those multiple avatars will make the mistake of hopping onto the IP address of one of the other groups and I can link the two groups. Sounds like I’m kookey, huh? I probably am, but I’ve been using computers for 40 years, so nothing surprises me. (And this is nothing compared to trying to make sense of a hex dump.)

You want an example of a possible duplicate user? Today I approved two comments from a “Patricia” who has a similar writing style to a “Priscilla” who posts from the same IP address as Martina, Margo and Happy Guy PDX, all with the same point of view.

What happens with these avatars is that they start out making mild, bikey comments —- I guess to become a recognizable poster in the “community.” Then they move to the right politically, and end up bashing [insert one] Hardesty, Eudaly, Jessica Vega Pederson, Rubio … and along the way they mention the need for more police, trash liberals and woke politics, etc. It’s always very disciplined and on message.

I don’t know who it/they are, but I don’t think it is some bored person in the basement, it’s too professional. Anyone not getting paid would have gotten discouraged and left by now. I regularly track and block them.

So yeah, the board is pretty clean right now. Two weeks ago it was getting clogged with duplicate users, but I got sick of it and blocked a block of IP addresses.

We’ve also had a couple of bots posting, those are really easy to spot, I think.

9watts
9watts
25 days ago

Wow!
Thanks for staying on top of all of this. Who knew?!

Damien
Damien
24 days ago

Lisa, the unsung hero of “free” speech! Thanks from me as well.

I put “free” in quotes, because of course the original meaning of that (in this country, anyway) meant just “free from federal coercion”. Speech in public is not actually free; you put your face/reputation on the line. Anonymous online speech you do not, and it’s thus no wonder it quickly devolves to be worthless (another word for “free”). But the cost of Lisa (and Jonathan’s) time to moderate keeps it worth something!

Many platforms aren’t willing to pay that cost, and so have done away with comment sections altogether. Honestly, I think that’s for the best (if they aren’t willing to pay the cost, that is – I’m otherwise in the camp that more speech is better). WWeek, for example, is much improved with the must-be-relatively-recent doing away of their cesspool of a comment section.

Damien
Damien
23 days ago
Reply to  Damien

WWeek, for example, is much improved with the must-be-relatively-recent doing away of their cesspool of a comment section.

j/k, WWeek’s comment section is alive and well. Must’ve been a temporary hiatus or a hiccup on my end.

John V
John V
23 days ago
Reply to  Damien

Maybe you’re thinking of OregonLive who got rid of comments in the not too distant past. It was just as much a cesspool and they’re a big, well read target for abuse.
Unless WWeek tried it too and walked it back? They use Disqus for comments, maybe that lets them pretend to be hands-off.

Damien
Damien
22 days ago
Reply to  John V

Unless WWeek tried it too and walked it back? They use Disqus for comments, maybe that lets them pretend to be hands-off.

Aye, I was seeing a distinct lack of Disqus on WWeek for a day or two, but I suspect now that was just a temporary technical hiccup (on my end or theirs).

Watts
Watts
23 days ago
Reply to  Damien

Speech in public is not actually free; you put your face/reputation on the line.

There is a long and influential history of anonymous publishing; the Federalist Papers jump to mind, but there are plenty of other examples.

wweek.com: Alive? yes. Well? well…

Cyclekrieg
23 days ago

Thank you for this. I’ve noticed an uptick in “red-pill” comments that seem to be a channel into neo-fascist content.

That being said, I would suggest that for some of the items you mention above there are some VERY legitimate critiques.

Urban MTBing is kind of my jam, so Hardesty’s comments about it deserve all the critiques and then some. It’s perfectly reasonable to call out her comments, especially when they are there to “other” a group of volunteers simply based her perceptions of race and gender.

As to other issues, like homelessness, a person can point out the structural failures of the current policies and suggest new policies – even if those polices have more sticks (or carrots).

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Cyclekrieg

Thanks for your comment, Cyclekrieg, you make good points. What raises a red flag with me is not usually the opinions (some of which I agree with) it’s the sneaking around, the multiple user names in use at the same time. Some people change up their name, serially, that’s fine. These folks have 4 or 5 going at a time. Not sock puppeting, but just flooding the board with a point of view which, like a male pigeon puffing out his chest to look bigger than he is, they want to manipulate people into thinking is more widespread than it might be.

9watts
9watts
23 days ago

a bad-faith person using this platform to ram opposing narratives down peoples’ throats?”

and even if their efforts do not hit their target, persuade no one, the ethics seem troubling enough to warrant intervention.

John V
John V
23 days ago
Reply to  Cyclekrieg

a person can point out the structural failures of the current policies and suggest new policies – even if those polices have more sticks (or carrots).

And people do. Constantly. You can’t escape it even when it’s not from a bot. Don’t worry, people wanting to continue the beatings until morale improves still have a voice.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  9watts

Thanks you two! The Venetian Carnival masked life of internet comments interests me. Distinguishing from just a short writing sample between someone who is expressing their honest opinions (whatever they are), or someone who is taking advantage of this site’s large readership to broadly manipulate public opinion with a barrage of identities, engages me for some reason.

I can spot a bot because of the lack of personality, ego and style. That’s also somewhat true of the barrage identities. They’ve got a job to do, a message to get out, and they take setbacks in stride.

I don’t make these calls solo, part of the reason I collect the evidence is to run it by Jonathan. Again, it’s not the opinion that is the problem. It’s the sneaking around with multiple identities, and posting too much. And always trying to manipulate every thread into a discussion about people living on the street, Portland going down the tubes, and ideological government.

Stuff like this, apropos of nothing in the thread:

“The high taxes and lack of basic municipal services in the city and Multnomah County continue to astound me. I understand why many are moving out.”

It’s not inappropriate, but one or a small handful of people working to make sure this message gets a lot of screen time takes advantage of this site.

Watts
Watts
23 days ago

I don’t see the entire picture of course, but, as I’ve said before, I think you guys are doing a remarkably good job with the moderation.

Mike

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Watts

Thank you, and “Hi” Mike.

SilkySlim
23 days ago
Reply to  9watts

Another factor I’ll toss out there: BP articles, particularly controversial ones (referencing elected officials, PBOT, crime, etc.), are being posted into the main Portland Reddit thread. Not inherently a bad thing, as it is supposedly the “front page of the internet” and drives some clicks and well-deserved revenue. But also a lot of people w/ too much time on their hands and opinions they are eager to shout repeatedly.

Andrew S
Andrew S
23 days ago

Lighting round question for Eva and her East Coast experience:

Gravel or salt?