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  1. #1
    Senior Member joao_pimentel's Avatar
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    Ivan Illich scripts

    Hi people

    I'd like to share a recent script I have read which I think defines precisely the modern motorist

    The model American male devotes more than 1600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy. The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour [the virtual speed]. In countries deprived of a transportation industry, people manage to do the same, walking wherever they want to go, and they allocate only 3 to 8 percent of their society's time budget to traffic instead of 28 percent. What distinguishes the traffic in rich countries from the traffic in poor countries is not more mileage per hour of lifetime for the majority, but more hours of compulsory consumption of high doses of energy, packaged and unequally distributed by the transportation industry


    in:´Ivan Illich on Cars

    Best regards
    Tomorrow I'll sell my car and I'll buy a copter. Time is money

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    The quote above explains the economy of bikes. I liked this quote from the article that explains the bicycle's efficiency:

    Man, unaided by any tool, gets around quite efficiently. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer in ten minutes by expending 0.75 calories. Man on his feet is thermodynamically more efficient than any motorized vehicle and most animals. For his weight, he performs more work in locomotion than rats or oxen, less than horses or sturgeon. At this rate of efficiency man settled the world and made its history. At this rate peasant societies spend less than 5 per cent and nomads less than 8 per cent of their respective social time budgets outside the home or the encampment.

    Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer of flat road at an expense of only 0.15 calories. The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.


    Ivan Illich on Cars

    I can't think of any other invention as economical and efficient as the bike.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    I skimmed the reference cited, and I did not see this quote which If I recall correctly was by Ivan Illitch. It was, from my memory, "The Revolution travels at the speed of a Bicycle."

    I did enjoy reading that reference, and it made me glad that I discovered and freely chose a cycling lifestyle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    ...IMO the automobile has become so inbued in current modern culture, that often one never thinks there can be alternatives. Indeed, my main resentment towards Big Auto and Big Oil is not so much against their products but their effects on our way of living because they have so suppressed the thought of any alternatives, perhaps nefariously, but also just by “rolling over” other options, by their size.

    I grew up in the Motor City, but I learned to appreciate a cycling lifestyle when I went to college. So my plans for the future, were car-free oriented, though I did not know the term...Fortunately I was able to bring my early intention to fruition when I was just starting out in adulthood, newly married to a wife in agreement and then without children. So I appreciate the situation of those who followed the "Ford version" of the American Dream, and find it wanting.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-27-14 at 05:57 AM.

  4. #4
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joao_pimentel View Post

    The model American male devotes more than 1600 hours a year to his car.
    I just had a scary thought. I bet I spend 1600 hours a year riding, repairing, admiring and lusting after other bikes.

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I just had a scary thought. I bet I spend 1600 hours a year riding, repairing, admiring and lusting after other bikes.
    But at least you don't have to work as many hours to pay for a bike habit.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  6. #6
    Senior Member joao_pimentel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I can't think of any other invention as economical and efficient as the bike.
    That's true, actually the bicycle is one of the most efficient means of transport, if you consider energy spent per mile. (Velomobile is even more efficient)


    Tomorrow I'll sell my car and I'll buy a copter. Time is money

  7. #7
    Senior Member joao_pimentel's Avatar
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    Nice reading you posted. That's true. The Big Motor age overpasses any alternatives using their marketing techniques and we don't even stop to think.

    - Hollywood: If you think deeply you'll realize that many famous stars have shown their car, and you unconsciously link their car with their personality. Think about James Bond, James Dean or Michael Knight. There is no famous movie star who doesn't move using an automobile.

    - Ads: Everywhere you go within cities, you just see billboards advertising cars and how they are "affordable" showing some times the price per day, and only the value for the credit instalment. In TV you see so many advertisements for cars that you really get annoyed.

    - Pop Music: Like in the film industry, there is no famous pop star who doesn't show up on their video-clips using a sexy car.

    - Sport: At a certain time there was some genius who decided to create the expression "auto sport". I never understood how can a "sport" be 100% motorized. It is everywhere and has a lot of popularity amongst the populace, linking on the collective subconsciousness fun with cars.

    - Public policies: Here I copy an excerpt from a famous Danish urban thinker:

    For 7000 years cities and their streets were places where citizens gathered, moved and played. The automobile industry were forced to use marketing techniques to win the battle for space for cars. They've never looked back.

    The cartoon is the very first reference to another marketing tactic adopted by the automobile industry - jaywalking. A 'jay' was a synonym for a "country bumpkin" and pedestrians who dared to challenge 7000 years of city life were labelled as such. Crosswalks were invented to funnel pedestrians into controlled zones that would allow cars dominance over the streets.

    Traffic fatalities were a major problem when cars started to muscle onto the streets. Most traffic safety campaigns placed the responsibility firmly on the motorists and the protests against them were massive.








    in:Copenhagenize.com - Bicycle Culture by Design: Jaywalking and the Motor Age
    Last edited by joao_pimentel; 04-29-14 at 04:14 PM.
    Tomorrow I'll sell my car and I'll buy a copter. Time is money

  8. #8
    Senior Member joao_pimentel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I just had a scary thought. I bet I spend 1600 hours a year riding, repairing, admiring and lusting after other bikes.
    perhaps, but then you have a healthy addiction, which do not pollute nor occupy large space

    and above all, those 1600 hours, I suppose were hours of fun, not hours working in the factory, McDonalds or call-centre.
    Last edited by joao_pimentel; 04-29-14 at 10:55 AM.
    Tomorrow I'll sell my car and I'll buy a copter. Time is money

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joao_pimentel View Post
    …The Big Motor age overpasses any alternatives using their marketing techniques and we don't even stop to think…

    Public policies: Here I copy an excerpt from a famous Danish urban thinker:

    For 7000 years cities and their streets were places where citizens gathered, moved and played. The automobile industry were forced to use marketing techniques to win the battle for space for cars. They've never looked back
    As a counterpoint to the advertising of the automobile as a lifestyle, we previously engaged in a correspondence about the advertising of the cycling lifestyle:

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Another thing I find offensive is how some people are so car-centric that they automatically associate an adult riding a bike with either poverty, or having fallen on hard times, bad luck, etc. There was that commercial for a title loan service or something like that, where it showed a woman riding/wobbling along on a big-box store bike, saying "you think I WANT to be riding this bike??" with the premise being that this loan money can help you buy those NECESSITIES, like a car.

    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    This has really reached an unusual turn with the mention of the commercial. I don't remember seeing that commercial, most of the bicycles I see in commercials are of people riding cruisers and hybrids along tree covered streets with shops and coffee houses, etc. advertising a new drug…

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    …At a local hospital I have seen a poster advertising a new type of joint replacement surgery (Makoplasty) on which is a picture of a smiling middle-aged couple with the man’s hands on bicycle handlebars. So while bicycling can be depicted as a pitiful act of desperation in some commercials, other ads use cycling as a desirable paragon of health.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Where you see a lot of bikes is in car commercials.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Senior Member joao_pimentel's Avatar
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    car marketing industry is prodigal in diminishing and parading with their concurrents

    Via Copenhagenize, comes a television commercial from Portugal that’s also something of an insult. In the commercial for Mercedes Smart Cars, we see a lot of the tropes that the car industry is desperately trying to sell to people who don’t want to chain themselves to the costs of owning a car. There’s a woman pressed up against a Red Line door as she just missed her connection. There’s a mariachi band desperately trying to entertain a woman who wants to be left alone. There’s a hipster gazing longingly out the window of his bus at a Smart Car while a suited man is loudly eating a hamburger next to him.


    Tomorrow I'll sell my car and I'll buy a copter. Time is money

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