FB pricks

March 7th, 2017

First:  Let me say this.  I’m DISGUSTED by the people in an earlier thread about the cyclists in our area!  Every single one of you that advocates hitting or running over a cyclist…  WTF?!

Second: While I understand your anger, and in-some-cases you do have valid complaints.  And perhaps I should have started with this…  I get it.  Bikes are slow and I myself have been stuck behind that same group (for years), and yeah going 5 or 6 wide on a single lane is extremely inconsiderate. AND YES, blowing through stop signs and crawling halfway into an intersection, at a red light, is the height of self-righteousness. (It’s pretty much a Dick move).  And yeah, road cyclists can be self-centered egotistical pricks….  But, allow me to give you a little perspective.

THE POINT:
I’m a cyclist (mountain bike), and I ride quite often on the road. I’ve been riding my bike in Oviedo, and the Orlando area for about 40 years, both on and off the roads.  So, let me tell you this; The shit we have to deal with is INSANE. Were you aware that Central Florida is consistently rated in the top 5 most dangerous places to be a cyclist?  And it’s not just bad driving that get people killed. It’s the fucking attitude toward bikers that sucks.

Granted there are instances where I see bikers (individually and in groups) do things and I think to myself, “No wonder people hate us.”

However, in my 40 years of riding these roads:
I’ve been hit by car (because they thought it was funny), I’ve been hit by bottles thrown out windows, I’ve had trash thrown at me, I’ve been hit with a full 7-Eleven BIG GULP (that was when I was 13), I’ve been run off the road, repeatedly honked at for NO reason other than to scare me (which is FUCKING DANGEROUS, btw!), I’ve been yelled at for the same reason, I’ve been sprayed with water (hopefully just water), and I’ve actually been punched.  And those were just from people driving.  And that’s not even getting me started on the ASSHOLES that make a sport of, “Lets see how close to the biker we can get!”  YES, that’s a thing.  Hmmm…  How many times have I been hit by a side mirror?  At least 2! And that’s 2 too many.

On the road we face countless obstacles.  From poor bike lanes, to NO bike lane, to dangerous drop-shoulder gutters, to pot holes.  We don’t need any more ASSHOLES to round out our pleasure cruise.

So those cyclist that ride 5 or 6 deep on a single lane road… That may be so you don’t pass them unsafely.  Yes you have to wait. Yes it sucks. And yes it pisses me off too.  But then, I know how to pass a cyclist. I know to give them room…  A WIDE BIRTH…  because I know that at any given time, a rock or stick or pot hole or piece of stupid trash, could force them to make a decision that would bring them into the lane even further or crash.  And knowing some of you drivers out there…  I’d prefer not to die because you were to close as you past me.

And maybe that cyclist you see in the intersection, the one pulling out ahead of you…  Maybe that’s so you and everyone else can see them. Because I’m tired of some of you no-turn-signaling mother fuckers  making that sudden right turn and running over my ass.

No, it doesn’t excuse a lot of the cyclist behavior you see out there. And that’s on the cyclist community as a whole. And if they’re doing something stupid, that too is on the rider.  But that doesn’t mean they deserve the life and death positions that many of you drivers put them in, unnecessarily.  It’s war out there. And many drivers don’t understand how to share the road.  So if a few of you are inconvenienced and pissed off, I’m truly sorry.  But know that they are taking measures (in some cases) that will save their lives.  Pissing you (and sometimes me) off is the least of their worry.

Food for thought.

Fake news and the role of social media outlets.

December 21st, 2016

First let me say this. And this is the most important part of what I’m about to say…
If you are getting your information (news of a serious manner) from Facebook or off of some social media site that you’re subscribed to, you’re an idiot. STOP!

That should be all that needs to be said. And it’s sad that it NEEDS to be said. Unfortunately it does, and will need to be said repeatedly.

Now on to the second point; Why social media shouldn’t be, “keepers of the truth.”

I don’t think any of us should be under the illusion that Facebook or other social media outlets are by-in-large, open havens for free speech. There are always limits and restrictions to what an individual can say. And this is usually a policy that is community driven, although ultimately the singular entity has power over everything.

But what happens when that entity tightens its filters to present solely what it believes its majority of users/community wants to see and hear? What happens when a singular entity decides what text, wording, images,  or thoughts can be expressed…  or consumed?  What happens when a community relies on that entity to supply “truth”?

The inability of a community of users to discern fact from fiction, isn’t a social media problem, it’s a critical thinking problem. And when that community turns to an entity, which should be nothing more than a sounding board, to filter out what they refuse to use their own minds to interpret or figure out… Is simply a recipe for disaster.

When allowing a social media network to decide what millions of users should accept as truth, people are turning over essential and pivotal points of power to an unknown and fixed perspective. And while they might agree with the information they’re being fed, at first, there’s no guarantee that the information isn’t pushing an alternate agenda. By removing all critical thought to the process of what they are consuming, people are at the mercy of whatever entity is feeding them. Good or bad.

To end:
No. No, I don’t believe that social media companies should be taking on the role of “Truth Police”. What I believe is that, when you are on the internet, you the consumer, needs to be aware that there is a LOT of bullshit out there. The responsibility should ALWAYS fall on those that consume the information, because ultimately, it does.  I understand that means asking people to use their minds, and how hard that is sometimes. I understand that for some, it’s impossible. But for the rest of you… do your research. Ask questions. LOOK FOR ANSWERS, and throw blind trust out the window. Keep an open mind, learn to be a responsible consumer, take in all points of view, because it takes all points of view to come up with the truth. And it’s not a crime to change your mind.  Be your own Truth Police.

Divisiveness

December 16th, 2016

Due in part to the recent election, we’ve seen the divide between ideals and beliefs grow wider. But beyond that, the divide has grown deeper.  Deeper, in the sense that the middle ground can no longer be seen, almost to the point of nonexistence.

More importantly…  I’m glad.

As everyone keeps saying, “It’s time now to come together. This division among us, only hurts us.” And I’m not going to dispute that.  We as a nation are indeed stronger when we’re not divided. There is one problem with this, though. That chasm is there for a reason. In order to come together, I’d have to see things as the other side sees them, and I simply cannot do that when they are so unwilling to budge or even bend on their viewpoints, viewpoints I consider extreme.  Just as extreme as they see my viewpoints. So we are essentially at an impasse.

The other issue is this; The more extreme stance one side takes, leads the other side to take an equal and opposite (reactive) stance. So the stalemate continues.  It is completely unfair to ask one side or the other to compromise, because when we’ve reached such extremes, even a slight compromise seems like a complete abandonment of ideology. To make matters worse, attempting to bridge the divide is seen as a weakness, BY BOTH SIDES, and is quickly jeered and pounced upon by detractors.  The role of “moderate” is dead.

Right now is when I should be saying something like, “This can be fixed, if we all just lower our extreme views and try to see eye to eye, for the good of the country.”  But that would be overly simplistic, and a lie. Instead I’m going to tell you that any hope you had of these two sides coming together, is a pipe dream. This chasm has grown too wide and WAY too deep.  And I’m fine with that. Oh, it’s not how I’d prefer it by any means…  But I’m not going to lie to myself just so I can bridge gaps with people I couldn’t possibly agree with.  And nobody should.

Yes. Nobody should be selling their soul just to get a little bit of work done. I think that’s the sum of the point I’m trying to make here.  I’m tired of my side (yes I said “MY SIDE”) compromising our lives away, just so the other side can steamroll a piece of crap legislation through congress.  I’m tired of being on the side that constantly tries to work with and bend to the other sides will… just to keep the peace. I’m tired of being told that we should put our differences aside and come together…  Fine, I’ll come to the table, as soon as they drop those pitchforks and torches.  But that’s never going to happen, and I see no reason why I should pick up a torch and follow them into the abyss.

To end, I’m sure the other side feels the same way. In fact, I know they do, as they have proven it to us over the past 8 years. And that’s fine. Perhaps now we can have a proper civil war. Unfortunately, I think that’s the only way we’ll be able to understand where our divisive ways can lead us. And YES, I totally understand the irony of what I’m saying.  “Division is bad.” Yet I’m being divisive.  But it is divisiveness with purpose.  (now I just sound like a madman.)