Frustrated by anti-cyclist comments?

Well, it’s about systems. Yea, and not about a system of cycleways this time – that would simply be too predictable, wouldn’t it. It’s about our innate systems of thinking, as according to Kahnemann & Co. Don’t fight it, slow it.

There is System 1 and System 2 thinking. System 1 is the first, fast and automatic response, whereas System 2 comes second… is slow and only kicks in if System 1 does not resolve the question and cannot quickly provide its otherwise snap answer (what is 4,285 plus 843 is a System 2 thing). And add insult to our injury, System 1 might be quick but does sometimes not provide the correct answer! It is not always the rational choice. Ever done the classic calc: if a bottle costs £1 more than the lid, and the bottle and the lid together cost £1.10, how much does the lid cost?

If something triggers the relatively automatic tape in our head, and I propose here that what cyclists would call “bike bashing” may fall into this category, it gets activated. It’s automatic.

So, what to do?

We are getting beyond System 1 by slowing down. In order to stop System 1 from computing we need… some form of disruption. The fast system has to be somehow subverted, undercut, cut off, jolted or tricked into stopping. Interrupt System 1 and you get a chance at a System 2 conversation. I actually realised I do that a lot in my general conversation, as well as cycle-related exchanges. Jolly jolting to set off in a new direction.

This is related to questions, framing and phrasing, I think. How to present cycling, how to present yourself too. Being seen as a person (a subject) and not an object will undoubtedly help. But really, two things must happen. One, you remain inclusive and don’t push the other away. And the other: something also needs to be sufficiently different so System 1 script is stopped and a longer view is enabled.  Of course how this is done, depends on the situation and on your position too.

I am not a cyclist, but I use a bike.

How would children cycle here?

What’s your view on a future transport system? (in light of resource scarcity)

Have you been to the Netherlands? It’s amazing!

What’s the price of rice got to do with baking a chocolate cake?

I like coffee too. And cake.

This may do for now.

You get the gist.

The answer is 5p.

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