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Emotional Attachment to our Cars

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.

Emotional Attachment to our Cars

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Old 08-24-18, 05:38 AM
  #26  
tandempower
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Considering no one drives a car because they've decided to forego bicycle ownership, the notion that the idea of commuting by bicycle and car ownership are two events that cannot simultaneously exist is obviously, totally contrived. Statistics show that most who commute to a job didn't begin the job by riding a bike to work... it's most always something that persons of a certain gender and age toy with as an idea that given the circumstances not only seems possible but also may offer various advantages.
I have to admit that I have thought about driving to a new job to avoid 'sticking out as different' before people get to know me, but that just goes to show how pervasive irrational cultural-conformist thinking goes. On one level I am totally objective about the fact that it should not matter even a little if I show up on a bike, yet some part of me recognizes prejudice in others and caters to it. Why? Maybe because we have a natural inclination to empathize with and connect with others even when we know they are wrong or bad in some way. Whatever it is, buying a car to start a job is too big an expenditure to avoid riding your bike on the first day. If you really have the urge to do something flashy for the first day, buy a new outfit.
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Old 08-24-18, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I have to admit that I have thought about driving to a new job to avoid 'sticking out as different' before people get to know me

I've never done that in fact, it has never even occurred to me to do that.

I get to work however I get to work ... just like everyone else.


Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Maybe because we have a natural inclination to empathize with and connect with others even when we know they are wrong or bad in some way.
Speak for yourself.
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Old 08-24-18, 01:53 PM
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My bikes are named Tempest, Germaine, Rosa, Beryl, Teresa/Tess and Darla.

End of transmission.
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Old 08-24-18, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I've never done that in fact, it has never even occurred to me to do that.

I get to work however I get to work ... just like everyone else.




Speak for yourself.
I can't imagine that anything is unique to any individual, including myself, but it is also nice to hear when there is diversity beyond what I thought, so thank you for your post.
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Old 08-24-18, 02:22 PM
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PS My cars were named Bettina Gayle/Bette, Miriya, Charlene, Annie Oakley, Candy-O, Matilda Esmeralda (Tillie)...

You get the picture.
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Old 08-24-18, 07:27 PM
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I did not name my cars, but I did have a daily driver AWD I drove in the winter too, that did under 12 seconds in the 1/4 mile with a 4 cylinder...
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Old 08-24-18, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I can't imagine that anything is unique to any individual, including myself, but it is also nice to hear when there is diversity beyond what I thought, so thank you for your post.
Where I've lived and worked, people get to work in a variety of ways ... the bus, walking, cycling, and driving.

But often driving is a bit of a pain. Where I work now, for example, finding parking nearby is problematic and expensive. So a lot of people, including myself, take the bus.

Others drive part of the way, then either walk or take the bus. One of my coworkers lives well up one of the many hills around, in an areas where there isn't brilliant bus service. She drives down the hill and parks about 3 km from work, then walks from there. Unless the weather is really bad ... then she'll take the bus.

And going around my area of the office ... there are two who use e-bikes, at least 2 who often cycle and several others who occasionally cycle, many who walk, a bunch who take the bus ...

So there has been no need for me to want to drive to fit in or impress people.
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Old 08-24-18, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Where I've lived and worked, people get to work in a variety of ways ... the bus, walking, cycling, and driving.

But often driving is a bit of a pain. Where I work now, for example, finding parking nearby is problematic and expensive. So a lot of people, including myself, take the bus.

Others drive part of the way, then either walk or take the bus. One of my coworkers lives well up one of the many hills around, in an areas where there isn't brilliant bus service. She drives down the hill and parks about 3 km from work, then walks from there. Unless the weather is really bad ... then she'll take the bus.

And going around my area of the office ... there are two who use e-bikes, at least 2 who often cycle and several others who occasionally cycle, many who walk, a bunch who take the bus ...

So there has been no need for me to want to drive to fit in or impress people.
Well, in case you haven't gathered from many posts here or from your travels, there are many MANY people who just drive and park everywhere. They might live just a few miles from work but they always drive. They might think about riding a bike when the weather is nice, but then they will still just drive because it would feel too weird/different for them to bike or take transit.

Then there are people who move to the US from elsewhere who see so many people driving everywhere and they just go ahead and buy a car and do it too. It might not be an explicit requirement given to them by their boss, but they just go ahead and buy a car and pay the expenses like it's a voluntary tax for participating in the economy. They might see that some people ride bikes or take the bus, but they see it's not the norm and they feel safer conforming to the norm.
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Old 08-24-18, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Then there are people who move to the US from elsewhere who see so many people driving everywhere and they just go ahead and buy a car and do it too. It might not be an explicit requirement given to them by their boss, but they just go ahead and buy a car and pay the expenses like it's a voluntary tax for participating in the economy. They might see that some people ride bikes or take the bus, but they see it's not the norm and they feel safer conforming to the norm.
How many immigrants have you interviewed/questioned and been specifically told the reason why that individual did or did not buy a car and pay the expenses? How did you word your questions so as not to influence the answers? Or is this just another product of more of your so-called critical thinking about what you think "might be" true?
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Old 08-25-18, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I have to admit that I have thought about driving to a new job to avoid 'sticking out as different' before people get to know me, but that just goes to show how pervasive irrational cultural-conformist thinking goes. On one level I am totally objective about the fact that it should not matter even a little if I show up on a bike, yet some part of me recognizes prejudice in others and caters to it. Why? Maybe because we have a natural inclination to empathize with and connect with others even when we know they are wrong or bad in some way. Whatever it is, buying a car to start a job is too big an expenditure to avoid riding your bike on the first day. If you really have the urge to do something flashy for the first day, buy a new outfit.
Or maybe you want to ensure the best chance for getting a job for which there may be significant competition and you don't want to trigger prejudices on the part of the interviewer who might just be the same guy that was late for work and pissed because of the cyclist holding everybody up this a.m. Oh that was you!
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Old 08-25-18, 05:53 AM
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Probably...and today I'm going for a drive instead of riding my bike
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Old 08-25-18, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
How many immigrants have you interviewed/questioned and been specifically told the reason why that individual did or did not buy a car and pay the expenses? How did you word your questions so as not to influence the answers? Or is this just another product of more of your so-called critical thinking about what you think "might be" true?
The TP narrative is rich with stories of people buying cars (typically 2nd only to new homes in price) just to fit in - especially people from all those foreign countries where they don't know about automobiles. They never do it for practical reasons. Once they get their cars I'm sure they just drive them around awkwardly at first, trying to discover what the whole "driving thing" is all about. Only then do they discover that they can actually use their cars for making their lives easier. Like "hey! why don't we try hauling some groceries with this thing!". This is even easier than that wheelbarrow.

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Old 08-25-18, 07:25 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
The TP narrative is rich with stories of people buying cars (typically 2nd only to new homes in price) just to fit in - especially people from all those foreign countries where they don't know about automobiles. They never do it for practical reasons. Once they get their cars I'm sure they just drive them around awkwardly at first, trying to discover what the whole "driving thing" is all about. Only then do they discover that they can actually use their cars for making their lives easier. Like "hey! why don't we try hauling some groceries with this thing!". This is even easier than that wheelbarrow.
Even richer will be the critical thinking narrative about allegedly ignorant, backwards naive immigrants who see indoor plumbing, bend to "the pervasive irrational culture", give up their traditional ways and start awkwardly using it in an attempt to "go with the flow and join the herd."
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Old 08-25-18, 08:08 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
How many immigrants have you interviewed/questioned and been specifically told the reason why that individual did or did not buy a car and pay the expenses? How did you word your questions so as not to influence the answers? Or is this just another product of more of your so-called critical thinking about what you think "might be" true?
I have known numerous people who have migrated to, from, and within the US through the years. I have paid attention to how they live and how they think based on how they talk. People are really not that different, except superficially. Some people are more culturally-conformist and others more independent, though conformism and independence come in different forms with different aspects of lifestyle. E.g. someone who is comfortable with wearing non-conforming clothing styles might be uncomfortable biking for transportation or vice versa. The psychology of it is universal, but you can use critical thinking to apply your understanding of the social-psychology of conformism/independence to migration, where people are adapting to new social relationships, trying to make new friends, get jobs, etc. and worried about 'not fitting in.' It's the same as changing schools or otherwise changing social situations without moving to a different national/language region.
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Old 08-25-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Or maybe you want to ensure the best chance for getting a job for which there may be significant competition and you don't want to trigger prejudices on the part of the interviewer who might just be the same guy that was late for work and pissed because of the cyclist holding everybody up this a.m. Oh that was you!
You're describing exactly what I was explaining, but you are doing it in a way that validates conformity to avoid prejudice, discrimination, and ridicule, which implicitly validates the prejudice, discrimination, and ridicule.
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Old 08-25-18, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I have known numerous people who have migrated to, from, and within the US through the years. I have paid attention to how they live and how they think based on how they talk. People are really not that different, except superficially. Some people are more culturally-conformist and others more independent, though conformism and independence come in different forms with different aspects of lifestyle. E.g. someone who is comfortable with wearing non-conforming clothing styles might be uncomfortable biking for transportation or vice versa. The psychology of it is universal, but you can use critical thinking to apply your understanding of the social-psychology of conformism/independence to migration, where people are adapting to new social relationships, trying to make new friends, get jobs, etc. and worried about 'not fitting in.' It's the same as changing schools or otherwise changing social situations without moving to a different national/language region.
IOW, you haven't asked anybody, anything about their personal choices on transportation, lifestyle or anything else. You just fabricate what you guess they "might be" thinking based on projections of your own so-called critical thinking and "understanding" about "universal psychology."

Always entertaining though!
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Old 08-25-18, 11:58 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
I think the majority of bike riders (99%... at least in this country) have an appreciation for the technology and enjoy the sport for it's own sake and not for utilitarian reasons or in comparison to horses, cars, airplanes, trains and things..
I've never thought of cycling as a sport. It's always been transportation. Compared with horses, cars, airplanes, trains, and things, it is the fastest, least expensive and most convenient way to get to work. That's all it needs to be.
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Old 08-25-18, 12:24 PM
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I still own a vehicle, but no loans, payments, etc...

And, no insurance, registration, or other expenses either... It gives a pretty strong incentive to keep it parked.

Should I sell it? Heck... it really doesn't matter, and could come in handy, although at the moment, the hassle of bringing it back to life would be quite a pain.
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Old 08-25-18, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
I've never thought of cycling as a sport. It's always been transportation. Compared with horses, cars, airplanes, trains, and things, it is the fastest, least expensive and most convenient way to get to work. That's all it needs to be.
Of course-- that's exactly how all bike owners feel about their cars... no one I know drives to work for sport and if you value your time, it's immeasurably cheaper than, for example, taking a bus and in most instances, it's more than a convenience... it's a necessity.
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Old 08-25-18, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Of course-- that's exactly how all bike owners feel about their cars... no one I know drives to work for sport and if you value your time, it's immeasurably cheaper than, for example, taking a bus and in most instances, it's more than a convenience... it's a necessity.
Cheaper than taking a buss..??? I propose it is NOT, Neither in time, or $$$.
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Old 08-25-18, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Cheaper than taking a buss..??? I propose it is NOT, Neither in time, or $$$.
Depends on what your time is worth, right?
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Old 08-26-18, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
IOW, you haven't asked anybody, anything about their personal choices on transportation, lifestyle or anything else. You just fabricate what you guess they "might be" thinking based on projections of your own so-called critical thinking and "understanding" about "universal psychology."

Always entertaining though!
They might not be thinking about it at all. Many decisions occur subconsciously and cultural conformity is mostly done as an unconscious reflex; i.e. as a response to subconscious fears of ridicule and social exclusion/discrimination/shunning. This is why negativity people like you and others who deal in ridicule have a detrimental effect on the world; i.e. because you subconsciously cue people to avoid making behavioral choices that could trigger more such negativity.

People don't want to deal with conflict and confrontation so they often shy away from things that they subconsciously expect could trigger ridicule. So obviously a person biking for transportation in someplace like Amsterdam or Copenhagen isn't going to expect to be ridiculed or shunned for choosing to bike. If anything they would be afraid of how people would regard them for driving a car. People in the US, on the other hand, would be more afraid of majority reactions against alternative transportation use ("oh, you take the bus/ride a bike? . . . how quaint . . ."). People will avoid independent behavior choices to avoid these subtle forms of negativity and ridicule. Some people are independent enough to reject them as petty, passive-aggressive acts of micro-fascism; but there are taboos against standing up too aggressively in this way, because if you confront someone for subtly ridiculing you or for being passive-aggressive, you will be the one considered aggressive and inflexible; so there is a certain amount of social-control geared toward allowing others to subtly ridicule you for nonconformity.

My only point here was that people migrating may often be more sensitive to negativity and ridicule because they are trying harder to 'fit in' as they are already afraid they don't really 'get' all the subtle cultural norms and codes that allow locals to pass as 'naturalized' denizens of an area. If most people seem to be driving and living a certain automotive lifestyle, it could likely seem like a big social gamble to ride a bike or take the bus and have locals regard them as 'extra weird foreigners.' On the other hand, if they see people biking for transportation and taking buses/transit whom they consider respectable-looking, they might feel more secure in making that choice without worrying about 'sticking out' as 'different' in a bad way.

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Old 08-26-18, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
People don't want to deal with conflict and confrontation so they often shy away from things that they subconsciously expect could trigger ridicule. So obviously a person biking for transportation in someplace like Amsterdam or Copenhagen isn't going to expect to be ridiculed or shunned for choosing to bike.
I can't speak to whatever subculture you may inhabit, but no one I know has ever felt ridiculed or shunned for commuting by bicycle. I live a bit far from work to commute by bike often, but when I do the only reaction I perceive is a touch of admiration. Most folks in this country can't imagine themselves doing it, but as far as I can see they have nothing but respect for those who do.
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Old 08-26-18, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I can't speak to whatever subculture you may inhabit...
"Subculture" is a very delicate way to describe an individual with an apparent emotional attachment to an alleged ability to understand the so-called "universal psychology" and "subconscious thoughts" of the inhabitants of every other subculture (i.e. everybody else).
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Old 08-26-18, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I can't speak to whatever subculture you may inhabit, but no one I know has ever felt ridiculed or shunned for commuting by bicycle. I live a bit far from work to commute by bike often, but when I do the only reaction I perceive is a touch of admiration. Most folks in this country can't imagine themselves doing it, but as far as I can see they have nothing but respect for those who do.
I don't 'inhabit' any (sub)culture, but I do perceive the cultural norms and expectations of others being perturbed when it comes up for some reason that I don't drive or that I think more people should avoid driving so there will be less demand for pavement and deforestation.


I agree there is the admiration, but I'd rather people be inspired to help save the trees than to admire me for doing it, because I'm not having much of an effect on aggregate pavement demand by myself. The point of conformity is that truly independent people (who feel no inclination to conform to others) could choose to be the only person biking for transportation in a US city as easily as they could choose to drive a large pickup truck around Amsterdam or Copenhagen.


Most people, however, are sensitive to some degree to social cues that normalize some transportation choices over others for some types of people or others. E.g. many people probably think of biking and buses as transportation for young people, hipsters, the unemployed/homeless, disabled people, the elderly, etc. but not for 'normal working adults.' That means if they choose to bike or take the bus, they could feel they will be raising eyebrows, which they don't want to do if they are afraid of even the subtlest forms of ridicule/questioning of their behavior. This sensitivity/fear may be harder to overcome for newcomers in an area who might otherwise feel more independent to reject automotive norms if they were more securely situated.


E.g. someone might move to a US city from someplace where they use transit or bike and look around and see most people driving and think they should avoid biking or taking the bus as a 'normal adult.' They might not think of their choice as one of pure social conformity and fear of non-conformity. They might rationalize it by coming up with examples of things they could do with a car that would be more difficult without one. in reality, however, their choice could be motivated more by the desire to avoid standing out than their actual desire to drive and go to the places they are using to rationalize automotive-conformity. This is the same social-psychological mechanism that's in play when people claim some functional reason for following the latest trend when in reality they just got caught up in the feeling of wanting to go along with the herd and not be 'different' by 'resisting.'
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