Missing Link Friday – Nesting, cycling, slaving and reporting

Joshua Gans can’t imagine how staff and students at The Spot would be blocking the toilets with paper towels. It turns out that the problem may be caused by toilet ‘nesters‘. As commenter Alister explains "students and/or staff are using paper towels as seat-liners."

And, as Eli points out, the one thing worse than nesters who clog the plumbing by flushing their nests down down the toilet, it’s nesters who don’t. Some bloggers take a keen interest in these issues. Lauralee explains how she combines nesting with ‘hovering’ while, Aunt B at Tiny Cat Pants has a complaint about poor hovering technique.

On the subject of externalities … at Menzies House commenters are complaining that Clover Moore’s bike paths will mean more traffic congestion in Sydney. The same argument erupted earlier this year when the New Yorker’s John Cassidy started complaining about the proliferation of bike lanes in Manhattan. At Reuters, Felix Salmon argued that Cassidy had the externalities issue "embarrassingly wrong".

Last year at US blog Commute by Bike, Tom Bowden offered bike advocates some advice about how to talk to conservatives. Don’t mention climate change, he suggests: "Cycling has plenty of merit without dragging in tangential and controversial issues like Global… whatever the heck they call it this week." Keith Goetzman at the UTNE reader is livid.

At Skepticlawyer, Legal Eagle argues that complaints about environmentally unsound McMansions might actually be about class:

I think the broader agenda of ‘affluenza’ critics is in fact a deeply conservative one. It’s almost a version of ‘sumptuary laws’ – an attempt to regulate who is and who is not allowed to consume certain goods and services.

At Mother Jones Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery write that Americans are working more for less. But nobody calls this a ‘speedup’: "the word we use is ‘productivity,’ a term insidious in both its usage and creep. The not-so-subtle implication is always: Don’t you want to be a productive member of society?”

At Larvatus Prodeo, Robert Merkel complains about the PM’s attitude to work:

Amongst Julia Gillard’s rhetorical sins, her exhortations to “hard work” seem to have put the notion that putting our national nose to the grindstone is the way to riches back in the popular and media consciousness. The sooner we can dispose of that idea, the better.

Hard work certainly isn’t the road to riches in journalism. At the Failed Estate, Mr Denmore writes: "the hours are long, the work involves endless and mindless churning of pregurgitated material, and the pay is lousy." But even if the hard news business is going down the toilet, there’s a need for journalism.

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12 years ago

On the bike lanes, it is possible that they are talking about different problems. Cassidy is lamenting the loss of parking. Maybe Clover is eating into available traffic lanes. As a cyclist and cycle commuter, I’m pretty sure that a lane lost to bikes would mean a total reduction in people moved because not that many people will ride bikes. Sydney would be worse cause only the truly crazy would ride a bike into the City to find one of Clover’s lanes.

I should have thought more labour for less pay is a reduction in productivity.
“Don’t you want to be a productive member of society?” I guess if we are going to hand out money we kind of need people to be as productive as possible. Otherwise “society” is preying on the naturally industrious and thrifty, though I guess it always has.

12 years ago

Some data on Sydney bike lanes:

5 May 2011. The development of the Sydney cycleway network—a favourite target of local shock-jocks—has proved a hit with city’s bike riders with morning trips up 60 per cent.

And recent reports from the real estate community are suggesting that the new paths are boosting property prices along the network.

In Bourke Street, Surry Hills, where residents campaigned against the paths because of fears that the loss of car parking would reduce property prices, recent sales have indicated a lift in prices of about $100,000, said to be due to the new bike path….

Ten kilometres of separated cycleways have been built in inner Sydney so far.

Bike count figures at key intersections include:

King Street /Kent Street intersection where bike rider numbers have more than doubled from 228 in March 2010 to 771 in March 2011 in the PM period, or a 238 per cent increase;
College Street/Oxford Street intersection, where bike rider numbers have risen from 278 to 862 in the PM period, or a 210 per cent increase.
Bourke Road/Gardeners Road (Alexandria), where bike rider numbers have risen from 51 to 178 in the AM period, or a 249 per cent increase.
Bourke Street/Phelps Street (Surry Hills), where bike rider numbers have risen from 99 to 262 in the PM period, or a 165 per cent increase….

Bicycle sales are booming in Australia:

The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) reports that bicycle sales in Australia once again out-performed car sales and is pushing for continued investment in bicycle infrastructure of national significance.

In 2009, 937,328 motor vehicles were sold compared with 1,154,077 Bicycles (23% lead) and is the tenth year that bicycle sales have exceed car sales. Australian bicycle sales have shown amazing strength throughout the global recession,” said Stephen Hodge, spokesperson for the Cycling Promotion Fund.

“The fact that bike sales have held up so strongly thoughout the last year indicates that Australians are aware of the benefits of cycling and want to ride.

I expect that that trend will have continued since 2009 and the difference may even have increased.