Comment 39164

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 26, 2010 at 13:26:41

I got the exact same feeling from interacting with you, Jason et al. on the website.

I recall that discussion. You encountered resistance because you singlemindedly insisted, against all evidence to the contrary, that the city should promote cycling by imposing mandatory licencing for cyclists.

You complained that evidence isn't proof; that the well-understood urban design patterns that promote cycling in other cities somehow magically wouldn't work in Hamilton; and that we were proposing an engineering solution to a social problem (as if mandatory licencing isn't engineering).

When challenged to provide evidence - any evidence - to support your proposal, you trotted out Davis California, a city that registers bicycles for theft prevention/recovery ... and also has an extensive network of cycling infrastructure.


I call ideological an approach to reasoning that force-maps facts and arguments onto a rigid, preconceived dogma about how the world works.

Compromise is essential in debating policy, but compromise doesn't just mean taking all positions at face value and splitting the difference. Compromise means recognizing that not everyone has the same priorities and that a policy goal should, as much as possible, reflect the diversity of priorities (like, say, a road network built for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and not just for drivers).

Compromise means finding areas of overlap between interests - e.g. the proposed LRT in Hamilton, which enjoys the support of urbanists, environmentalists, social justice advocates and the business community for various different reasons.

Compromise also entails a willingness to change one's mind in the face of new evidence that reveals inaccuracies in one's model of the world.

It doesn't entail a willingness to accept the idea that up is down to satisfy an empirically false worldview.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-03-26 12:27:44

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