Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mighk Wilson: I am not a bicyclist

One of the finest essays I've seen on the philosophy behind responsible, competent cycling. Expanded, as Mighk does in his essay to citizenship in general.

I Am Not a Bicyclist

The rationale for segregation is deficiency. The rationale for control is deficiency. We call for the segregation of bicyclists and motorists because both are presumed deficient and unwilling or unable to avoid colliding with one another. We call for our governments to control motorists and cyclists with increasingly prescriptive laws and enforcement for the same reason. If deficiency is the expectation we set and the story we tell, then that’s where we’ll go. While the deficiencies are real, so are our capacities for competence, politeness, and dependability. Which story shall we tell? — Mighk Wilson

Copenhagen TravelTalk 1937 from Justin Lim on Vimeo.

Not a helmet or cycletrack in sight.


Steve A said...

And so it always goes when you get government doing stuff it has no business doing. Pretty soon it starts making up rules it has no business making. Then the other guys come along and make up more rules.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job getting the meat of the argument out there in a consumable, reader-friendly manner.

Anonymous said...

@ SteveA: I dunnoh ... people has disagreed since the beginning of time on what the "government" (or the king, the parliament, the tribal council, you name it) has any business doing. You get two Constitutional scholars in one room, and you'll get three opinions as to what the right answer is. I think the more salient point is, beware the law of unintended consequences. Every law, even the basics like those covering stealing and murder, need a 5 year expiration date. Because our interpretation of them changes with implementation. Government works best when it spends as much time checking it's own systems as it does coming up with new stuff to do.

Anonymous said...

"has" disagreed? jeebus, more coffee please!