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Modernizing the 19th Century

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Modernizing the 19th Century

Old 11-19-16, 09:21 AM
  #1  
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Modernizing the 19th Century

LCF is sometimes referred to as a '19th century way of life.' Critics then cite all the problems and inconveniences of 19th century living as reasons they consider the 20th century better and would not want to go back in time. What if, however, it was possible to travel back in time to the 19th century and bring all the technologies and solutions developed since, except cars and motorized transportation? Would it be an appealing way of life? Would it be similar to modern living or very different? Are there technologies and institutions you would expect to still be around because driving never emerged as a technology, or do you think everything else would have evolved the same despite the absence of motor-vehicles?

attn moderators: I thought this might be an entertaining topic to discuss during Thanksgiving holidays among LCFers, but if this topic seems too much like P&R, please feel free to move it since it is not my intention to troll, only to invite entertaining, interesting, and thought-provoking discussion related to car-free living.
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Old 11-19-16, 05:38 PM
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I imagine all those urban trolleys would still be in place (my city still has the tracks under the pavement). Here in Oregon we would still have those hourly trains running the length of the Willamette Valley and beyond, plus whatever upgrades were needed. Sounds sweet.

Interestingly, Oregon didn't even pave routes from the southern Willamette Valley to the coast until the 1960's. I still haunt the areas that are off the beaten track thereabouts and it's absolutely glorious where the cars don't roam.

The original harvest of the great trees in Oregon required extensive rail tracks that were routinely moved from the stumps to fresh timber, so I guess things wouldn't be that much different in our tree farms.

I think the biggest impact would be on the pharmaceutical industry. Who needs new drugs for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer when no one is suffering from them?
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Old 11-19-16, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I think the biggest impact would be on the pharmaceutical industry. Who needs new drugs for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer when no one is suffering from them?

Really ??...You mean that car-free people never get sick and are healthier, fitter and live longer then those who own cars ??
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Old 11-19-16, 06:54 PM
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The 19th century -- the 1800s -- cannot exist without the direct effects of the industrial revolution and everything that brought with it, good and bad. Otherwise, you might as well talk about living conditions prior to the 1760s.

Just another fantasy thread.
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Old 11-19-16, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post

Just another fantasy thread.
Bad Steampunk Fantasy now?


Scene 10: Steam City Trolley Terminal Circa 1897

Captain Power: "We must push through to the Tarp production facility on these efficient and eco-friendly rails of shining steel before the new evil Automotivism forces pave the way to it and install toll booths."

Lackey: "Can't we just go for a nice bicycle ride instead?"

Captain Power: Bicycles? What relevance do they have on a Fantasy internet Forum?
That's what BF is for!"

Fade out
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Old 11-19-16, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Who needs new drugs for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer when no one is suffering from them?
Really ??...You mean that 18th Century people never got hypertension, heart disease, diabetes or colon cancer? Who knew?
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Old 11-19-16, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Just another fantasy thread.
No more than car use on Mars.
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Old 11-19-16, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
LCF is sometimes referred to as a '19th century way of life.' Critics then cite all the problems and inconveniences of 19th century living as reasons they consider the 20th century better and would not want to go back in time.
Living car free isn't generally seen being inherently antiquated. After all, a few million people live in Manhattan without owning cars and few think they lead a 19th century way of life.
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Old 11-19-16, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Really ??...You mean that 18th Century people never got hypertension, heart disease, diabetes or colon cancer? Who knew?
I was directing my comments towards the nineteenth century lifestyle in Oregon, which involved vigorous exercise similar to that which led to the famous finding involving mid-twentieth century longshoremen. It is now, and has been for quite some time, well accepted that strenuous exercise is extremely protective in terms of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. The data is growing for protection against mental decline as well, though it is apparently too late for some people on that count.

I'm sure there were many people in other locales in the nineteenth century whose wealth allowed them to have sedentary lifestyles. Perhaps those who are imagining a modern car-free community who live in those places will come up with a different view, though I seriously doubt if we would have a nation with two-thirds of the people obese as we currently do no matter what region one were to imagine.

Now how about you give us something besides inane criticism? Perhaps you could do something original, like address the request in the OP.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:16 AM
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There's a large subgenre in SF called Steam Punk that deals with material like this. If that doesn't interest you, you probably won't be very interested in this thread.

Those who don't like this topic are free to find one they do like. Just move along if this isn't your cup of tea. The repetitive crybaby whining is very boring and disruptive, and only points to a level of immaturity in these few members who constantly indulge in it.

--------------

I think one of the biggest losses of the pre-Automotive Age was the interurban railroad. These railroads connected almost every town and city in North America. For a very low fare, you could ride to the next town, or from your smaller town to the big city for a day of shopping or an appointment.

My grandmother rode from her farm home to college, about 70 miles distance, on the interurban RR. She said that she probably wouldn't have been able to come home for weekends or holidays by any other means, since it was pretty difficult to drive those distances in rural areas in the 1020s. It was somewhat unusual for farm girls to even go to college at that time, so I always admired her and was grateful for the interurbans that helped make her education possible.

I posted about my own difficulty living carfree in a small town a few years ago. I was able to easily navigate within the town itself just by walking to the places I needed to go. (A bike would have been even better, but that was in my pre-bike days.) The problems arose when I needed to leave that town. Like many other residents, I was working in the city, about 25 miles away. There was no practical transportation for getting to and from work. An interurban railroad would have solved that problem nicely. In fact, untio the mid-1930s, there was an interurban that ran through that small town and into the city where I worked. Losing that interurban made small town lif made much more difficult for LCF people.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:24 AM
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For me, it isn't about regressing to the 19th century. Cars are actually outdated 20th century technology. We are living in the 21st century, not the 20th. Some replacement for the old technology will come along in good time.

The point of studying 19th century technology is for inspiration that comes from the last point in time when cars were not the dominant mode of transportation. People do look to the past to glean ideas about the future. There's nothing wrong with that. It's not a fantasy about living in the past. It's wanting to make a nice future that in a few cases might be inspired by the way things were in the past.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
It is now, and has been for quite some time, well accepted that strenuous exercise is extremely protective in terms of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. The data is growing for protection against mental decline as well, though it is apparently too late for some people on that count.

I'm sure there were many people in other locales in the nineteenth century whose wealth allowed them to have sedentary lifestyles. Perhaps those who are imagining a modern car-free community who live in those places will come up with a different view, though I seriously doubt if we would have a nation with two-thirds of the people obese as we currently do no matter what region one were to imagine.
I'm surprised people are scoffing at your mention of the link between exercise and health (although, considering the source...). The late Dr. Jeremy Morris did some of the first studies on this back in the mid-twentieth century.

Dr. Morris surmised that the proof could be found on the stairs of...double-decker buses. In 1949, he began tracing the heart-attack rates of hundreds of drivers and conductors. The drivers sat for 90 percent of their shifts; the conductors climbed about 600 stairs each working day. Dr. Morris’s data, published in 1953, indicated that the conductors had fewer than half the heart attacks of their sedentary colleagues.


In a follow-up study, Dr. Morris found that a lower incidence of heart attack among people doing physical work was not, for the most part, related to other factors, like body type. Transport for London, the city’s transportation agency, provided him with the sizes of the trousers it supplied to its workers. His data indicated that the conductors’ waistbands were smaller, but that their protection against heart attack could not be explained by their relative leanness. They had a lower risk of heart attack whether they were slim, average size or portly.

To corroborate his findings further, Dr. Morris did a study of postal workers. Comparing those who delivered the mail by walking or riding bicycles with the clerks behind the window at the post office and the telephone operators, he found that the deliverers also had a far lower risk of heart attack.

Then, in the 1960s, Dr. Morris conducted an eight-year study of the overall physical activity of 18,000 men in sedentary civil service jobs. The data showed that those who engaged in regular aerobic exercise — fast walking, cycling, swimming or other sports — reduced their risk of heart attack by half.




Jeremy Morris, Who Proved Exercise Is Heart-Healthy, Dies at 99½ - The New York Times
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Old 11-20-16, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I'm surprised people are scoffing at your mention of the link between exercise and health

Nobody is denying or scoffing the link between exercise and health...I am only scoffing at this idea that 18th century lifestyle was more healthy then 21 century lifestyle. I am also scoffing at people who promote this fantasy that car-free people are healthier, live longer and get less sick then people who own and drive cars...Most car-free don't exercise and most car-free people don't use bicycles for transportation and therefore are not getting enough daily exercise...Sitting on a bus is just as sedentary as driving a car.
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Old 11-20-16, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Nobody is denying or scoffing the link between exercise and health...I am only scoffing at this idea that 18th century lifestyle was more healthy then 21 century lifestyle. I am also scoffing at people who promote this fantasy that car-free people are healthier, live longer and get less sick then people who own and drive cars...Most car-free don't exercise and most car-free people don't use bicycles for transportation and therefore are not getting enough daily exercise...Sitting on a bus is just as sedentary as driving a car.
Probably had to walk further to catch the bus than the car though, so there maybe hope for them after all.

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Old 11-20-16, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Nobody is denying or scoffing the link between exercise and health...I am only scoffing at this idea that 18th century lifestyle was more healthy then 21 century lifestyle. I am also scoffing at people who promote this fantasy that car-free people are healthier, live longer and get less sick then people who own and drive cars...Most car-free don't exercise and most car-free people don't use bicycles for transportation and therefore are not getting enough daily exercise...Sitting on a bus is just as sedentary as driving a car.
Less scoffing, more dialogue, please.

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Old 11-20-16, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I was directing my comments towards the nineteenth century lifestyle in Oregon, which involved vigorous exercise similar to that which led to the famous finding involving mid-twentieth century longshoremen.
What was the life expectancy of those lumberjacks, trappers, fisherman and others living the nineteenth century lifestyle in Oregon? Did they live long enough to be diagnosed or come down with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer?

Do you really believe that modern (most likely urban) car free people live the strenuous life of either nineteenth century lifestyle in Oregon or mid-twentieth century longshoremen?

Have you ever observed the physical appearance of people who ride public transit services? Do they look like they get much exercise?

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Old 11-20-16, 12:10 PM
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A 2014 study in the British Medical Journal concluded that people who drive to work are fatter and less healthy than people who get to work by public transit or any other means.

Women who got to and from work by any means other than a private vehicle had a body mass index (BMI) 0.7 points lower and weighed more than five pounds less than women who drove to work.

The difference was even greater for men. Men who did not drive to work had a BMI 1 point lower and weighed nearly seven pounds less than men who drove to work.


Why Are Red Lights So Bad for Breathing?
Driving to work is also bad for your lungs.

Cars, trucks, and buses produce a variety of noxious gases and particles that contribute to respiratory and heart diseases. So it’s no surprise that driving in traffic is bad for your health. Sitting in traffic can be even worse.

With more cars than ever joining the roads, we are being exposed to increasing levels of air pollution as we undertake our daily commutes.
Prashant Kumar, University of Surrey
A recent study in the United Kingdom found that sitting at stoplights accounts for about 2 percent of the typical commute there. But those relatively few minutes are responsible for about 25 percent of the unhealthy particles that commuters breathe in during their drive.

“Air pollution was recently placed in the top ten health risks faced by human beings globally,” said lead author Prashant Kumar, a senior lecturer at the University of Surrey. “The World Health Organization linked air pollution to seven million premature deaths every year. Our time spent traveling in cars remained fairly constant during the past decade despite the efforts to reduce it. With more cars than ever joining the roads, we are being exposed to increasing levels of air pollution as we undertake our daily commutes.”

Intersections with lights are where drivers have to stop and start quickly. With drivers hitting the gas to get moving again when the lights turn green, levels of the tiny particles produced by vehicle engines are up to 29 times higher than in areas where traffic flows freely.

Problems are similar in the United States, if not exactly the same. For one thing, the average commute in the United Kingdom is about 90 minutes, more than three times longer than in the U.S. And in the U.K., the types of vehicles and engines that run on gasoline and diesel fuel are different.

The U.S. fleet has fewer diesel vehicles, especially cars, than the U.K., explained Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy at the American Lung Association.

Diesel engines produce more tiny particles than gasoline engines, but fewer noxious gases like nitric oxide. Air pollution from vehicles is a little different in the two countries, but is bad in both.

“There are important health risks associated with traffic pollution,” Nolan told Healthline. “Those risks are significant. Traffic pollution is a risk, and not just to commuters caught in traffic. People who live within 300 to 500 meters of major roads are also exposed to high levels of pollutants. That includes about 45 percent of the total U.S. population.”



Healthy Commutes: Why Public Transit Is Miles Better Than Driving
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Old 11-20-16, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
A 2014 study in the British Medical Journal concluded that people who drive to work are fatter and less healthy than people who get to work by public transit or any other means.

This reminded me of a story my original major professor told me in grad school many decades ago. He had taken a sabbatical to London just a few years earlier and he really enjoyed taking the train to and from the lab. There were a couple of other men who lived near him who took the same train. As the first month wore on, he found that these chaps would always walk just a bit faster than he did. Soon he was upping his pace to match, but they just kept increasing their speed until there was a group of people almost running along the pavement to the train station. It must have looked like a Monty Python skit.

There was also a study a few years back that showed that the further out in the suburbs people live, the more obese they tend to be. Of course the far suburbs generally don't have sidewalks, parks and other facilities for active play and once those folks wed themselves to a car it's awfully tough to transition to active transportation from those distances.

Cars are a bit like opioids. They are great tools for some jobs, but overuse is quite deadly.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
A 2014 study in the British Medical Journal concluded that people who drive to work are fatter and less healthy than people who get to work by public transit or any other means.

Women who got to and from work by any means other than a private vehicle had a body mass index (BMI) 0.7 points lower and weighed more than five pounds less than women who drove to work.

The difference was even greater for men. Men who did not drive to work had a BMI 1 point lower and weighed nearly seven pounds less than men who drove to work.


Why Are Red Lights So Bad for Breathing?
Driving to work is also bad for your lungs.

Cars, trucks, and buses produce a variety of noxious gases and particles that contribute to respiratory and heart diseases. So it’s no surprise that driving in traffic is bad for your health. Sitting in traffic can be even worse.

With more cars than ever joining the roads, we are being exposed to increasing levels of air pollution as we undertake our daily commutes.
Prashant Kumar, University of Surrey
A recent study in the United Kingdom found that sitting at stoplights accounts for about 2 percent of the typical commute there. But those relatively few minutes are responsible for about 25 percent of the unhealthy particles that commuters breathe in during their drive.

“Air pollution was recently placed in the top ten health risks faced by human beings globally,” said lead author Prashant Kumar, a senior lecturer at the University of Surrey. “The World Health Organization linked air pollution to seven million premature deaths every year. Our time spent traveling in cars remained fairly constant during the past decade despite the efforts to reduce it. With more cars than ever joining the roads, we are being exposed to increasing levels of air pollution as we undertake our daily commutes.”

Intersections with lights are where drivers have to stop and start quickly. With drivers hitting the gas to get moving again when the lights turn green, levels of the tiny particles produced by vehicle engines are up to 29 times higher than in areas where traffic flows freely.

Problems are similar in the United States, if not exactly the same. For one thing, the average commute in the United Kingdom is about 90 minutes, more than three times longer than in the U.S. And in the U.K., the types of vehicles and engines that run on gasoline and diesel fuel are different.

The U.S. fleet has fewer diesel vehicles, especially cars, than the U.K., explained Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy at the American Lung Association.

Diesel engines produce more tiny particles than gasoline engines, but fewer noxious gases like nitric oxide. Air pollution from vehicles is a little different in the two countries, but is bad in both.

“There are important health risks associated with traffic pollution,” Nolan told Healthline. “Those risks are significant. Traffic pollution is a risk, and not just to commuters caught in traffic. People who live within 300 to 500 meters of major roads are also exposed to high levels of pollutants. That includes about 45 percent of the total U.S. population.”



Healthy Commutes: Why Public Transit Is Miles Better Than Driving

Cyclists who ride in heavy traffic end up inhaling and breathing as much pollutants as somebody who is driving.
And riding on a crowded bus is no better then sitting in a car. In fact, it's worse on a bus because you're not only exposed to the same pollutants as drivers but you're also exposed to all the germs form sick people who are on the bus, I would rather inhale car exhaust then be exposed to some persons germs. The fastest easiest way to catch a flu or a cold is on a crowded public transit bus.
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Old 11-20-16, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post

There was also a study a few years back that showed that the further out in the suburbs people live, the more obese they tend to be. Of course the far suburbs generally don't have sidewalks, parks and other facilities for active play and once those folks wed themselves to a car it's awfully tough to transition to active transportation from those distances.

I don't now which suburbs you're talking about..All the suburbs here in my area where I live have as many miles of sidewalks as roads. We also have tons of parks, sports arenas and MUPS. There are plenty of opportunities for being physically active around here.
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Old 11-20-16, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Cyclists who ride in heavy traffic end up inhaling and breathing as much pollutants as somebody who is driving.
Not according to the studies I've read.

Higher air pollution health risk inside car, study finds - Air Quality News

Why you could suffer from more pollution while driving a car than walking on the street | Daily Mail Online

https://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news...-cars-research (...)
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Old 11-20-16, 02:24 PM
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I wish the Industrial Revolution, could have also been the Solar Revolution. I know that solar power has not yet reached its full development, but it will soon, and it would have had astounding repercussions for industry to have listened to the right people so that Solar could have been ushered-in as our primary source of energy. (Imagine no coal ever having to be used in the 19th century). Imagine the state of solar development in 2016 if we had begun it in 1840.

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Old 11-20-16, 02:53 PM
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15th century Cities were built to be car free..

Some cities Invest in making Cycling safer Like CPH

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2...nhagen-denmark



Last edited by fietsbob; 11-30-16 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 11-20-16, 05:57 PM
  #24  
I-Like-To-Bike
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
15th century Cities were built to be car free..
Oh Yes! Those were the good old days, top notch health standards and the general population living a fine car free lifestyle; plenty of opportunities for exercise too, just like the 18th Century, eh? Too bad there was no filming back then so we could all watch the joy on YouTube.
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Old 11-20-16, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Too bad there was no filming back then so we could all watch the joy on YouTube.

Why watch something on you tube when you can get on time travel machine and travel back in time to experience the reality of 18th century or 15th century or stone age lifestyle ??


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