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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-28-13, 08:18 AM   #1
rockmom
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Walking and Biking change your perspective of people

I came across this bit in an article on city living:

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In another study, based in part on the late Nalini Ambady's ideas regarding the power of instant judgments called "thin slices," researchers from the University of Surrey examined how a mode of transportation influences a personís evaluation of what they observe. Participants in the experiment watched one of four different ambiguous videos in which two teenage boys fought over a sheet of paper as a teenage girl sat sending text messages on a nearby park bench. The only difference between the videos was that they were shot from either the perspective of a car driver, a bus rider, a cyclist, or a pedestrian.

The researchers found that participants who saw the video from the perspective of a car rated the actors higher on negative characteristics (threatening, unpleasant) than participants in the other three conditions. Participants who saw the video from the perspective of the pedestrian rated the actors higher on positive characteristics (considerate, well-educated) than those in the car condition.
http://www.psmag.com/culture/big-mov...ay-last-71652/

Have you experienced this? It could explain my antipathy toward ever moving back to a rural area. I just tend to like people more when I live in a city. I thought it had to with the people who live in cities, but perhaps it has do with my transportation choices as well.
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Old 12-28-13, 09:42 AM   #2
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Interesting...

I enjoy the time I spend in the city (typically Boston) but not the "city" (~200k) nearest me. However it always feels good to get home to my semi-rural environment, however that is changing to a suburban environment that I hate. Might need to move to the city

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Old 12-28-13, 09:46 AM   #3
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I have lived in a relatively high-crime city for going on 15 years and have rode the bus and bike commuted to my downtown job throughout that time. I bike through some sketchy areas and bus ridership is overwhelmingly poor/minority. My co-workers probably think I'm crazy for doing these things, but the fact is that absolutely nothing bad has ever happened to me biking or riding the bus. No one has ever bothered or threatened me (other than having to sit next to drunks on the bus a couple of times). Especially when biking (Caucasian riding with panniers, lights, and helmet), I'm sure I stick out like a sore thumb as someone from outside the neighborhood. Am I just really lucky, or are people's fears misplaced? I tend to thinks it's more of the latter. I think that most people, rich or poor, are just people trying to get through their day. So I guess that the experience of seeing people up close in an urban environment has shaped my thinking about human nature.

Last edited by Spld cyclist; 12-28-13 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 12-28-13, 03:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
I have lived in a relatively high-crime city for going on 15 years and have rode the bus and bike commuted to my downtown job throughout that time. I bike through some sketchy areas and bus ridership is overwhelmingly poor/minority. My co-workers probably think I'm crazy for doing these things, but the fact is that absolutely nothing bad has ever happened to me biking or riding the bus. No one has ever bothered or threatened me (other than having to sit next to drunks on the bus a couple of times). Especially when biking (Caucasian riding with panniers, lights, and helmet), I'm sure I stick out like a sore thumb as someone from outside the neighborhood. Am I just really lucky, or are people's fears misplaced? I tend to thinks it's more of the latter. I think that most people, rich or poor, are just people trying to get through their day. So I guess that the experience of seeing people up close in an urban environment has shaped my thinking about human nature.
I have to agree with you. I see this as somebody who lives in the "hood" as well as ride my bike, wait for a bus, and walk through it.

A minority of people (certainly less than 10 %) causes most of the pain and wickedness. This is true in all income levels. Low income bad guys do street crime. Middle income bad guys do white collar crimes. Wealthy bad guys just get laws passed to legalize their crimes, such as predatory financial deals.

At all income levels, most of the wickedness has to do with drugs, alcohol, and domestic abuse. There were five gun murders in my neighborhood in the last few months. Three of them involved drug gangs, and two were domestic (same guy killed his wife, stepson, and himself). This is very alarming, although intellectually I know this kind of violence is not very likely to affect me personally, beyond the risk of a stray bullet.
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Old 12-29-13, 07:30 PM   #5
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I have to agree with you. I see this as somebody who lives in the "hood" as well as ride my bike, wait for a bus, and walk through it.

A minority of people (certainly less than 10 %) causes most of the pain and wickedness. This is true in all income levels. Low income bad guys do street crime. Middle income bad guys do white collar crimes. Wealthy bad guys just get laws passed to legalize their crimes, such as predatory financial deals.

At all income levels, most of the wickedness has to do with drugs, alcohol, and domestic abuse. There were five gun murders in my neighborhood in the last few months. Three of them involved drug gangs, and two were domestic (same guy killed his wife, stepson, and himself). This is very alarming, although intellectually I know this kind of violence is not very likely to affect me personally, beyond the risk of a stray bullet.
When I first moved to DC, I had no idea what neighborhoods were what. I used to ride out from Bolling AFB through Anacostia to get to the IHOP that was there. When I told my supervisor a few months later of my weekly ritual he flipped out. Apparently a third of the murders in DC were in this section of town, but the crepes are just as delicious.

Regarding the original article, the longer I live in the 'big city' or at least in proximity to it, the less I want to leave. I could not for the life of me say exactly why, though.
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