Cycling in Sydney Australia
I was struck by something in this article (which is nothing to do with cycling) to do with how violence is incited towards 'out-groups':
For instance, neuroscience experiments by psychologists Lasana Harris and Susan Fiske demonstrate how denigrating speech against an out-group can dehumanize and facilitate inhumane acts.
In a recent psychological study conducted for my book Incitement on Trial, we used different types of speech to test participants’ willingness to empathize with members of another group or to justify violence against them. Dehumanizing language (eg, calling a person an “ape” or “cockroach”) had significant effects, but speeches that referenced past crimes and called for revenge had the greatest effect on participants’ willingness to countenance violence.
...Previous studies have repeatedly confirmed that listeners are more swayed by charismatic speakers who are authority figures and who use graphic, intense language that draws upon existing beliefs and prejudices. Repetition often works.
So Derryn Hinch using those exact words, coupled with endless media bashing of cyclists who run red lights actually does lead to increased violence (usually by using a vehicle as a weapon to intimidate or threaten).
Which I think we all knew from experience. But it's actually a thing, You know, science.
I saw the other day that Facebook finally shut down the appalling "Aussies over Cyclists" group who took great joy in vilifying cyclists and gloating over videos of car/cyclist incidents, often encouraging members to go show bike riders who is in charge on the road .......
I complained to FB many times about this group, telling FB that AoC was a hate group.
FB said that AoC did not violate any of their religious or racial hate speech guidelines.
Anyway, it looks there were enough other complaints for FB to finally get their head out of their @#$% and take AoC down.
I firmly believe in the out-group effect. Our gov't and media relies on it ;-(
The overt and pathological rants of the haters (factual description, no attempt to dehumanise them from me!) are bad enough but worse is the subtle, subconscious characterisations from people who should know better and who should have a responsibility to be more careful with their words.
Your Honour I submit the following evidence. How riding to work is becoming a pastime of the wealthy
Reading just the headline already has a "bloody cyclist" escaping my lips before I recall I are one.
Reading the second paragraph already informs me that
The typical bike commuter is a male (strike one), white collar worker (ha, they don't know what real work is !) who lives four to eight kilometres from the cbd (latte sipping basket weaver) . They also tend to earn significantly more than average (rich bastard, spends it all on cycles and cocaine no doubt).
You say, well that do you expect from the Telegraph but no this is our beloved & respected SMH !
And the subject of the story, apparently against all odds and attempts to suppress them there is an increase in people attempting to reduce demand on hospitals, public transport, road space and at the same time contributing to saving the planet, all by just riding a bicycle to work. So what should be a very positive story turns into another demonisation of the poor bloody cyclist
All framed to elicit the usual comments vis "The 'commuter cyclist' in Australia is far more likely the lycra-clad fitness fanatic who considers major roadways their private gym"
But what can you expect when most "journalists" these days are little more than "bloggers" (just like us)
I suppose Mr O' has no influence around there these days.
Back in the days years ago when I was being paid, I commuted a round trip of about 35kms. I had a company vehicle as a part of my salary, but I chose to bike commute as much as possible because it helped keep my stress levels down. Usually people in senior roles can be cash rich but time poor. Bike commuting is a way of utilizing time that would otherwise be wasted in a car conga line. There may be some elements of cycling yuppies, but I think that the reasons for bike commuting are many and varied.
Many communications describe the cyclist prior to discussing their issue. "The lycra clad middle aged wanna be" The purpose of course is to discredit