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Re: E-M:/ Segways & segues



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Enviro-Mich message from "Leonard C. Mankowski" <lcmankow@mtu.edu>
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Sorry to interject, but I must agree with Ms. Cox, and I think the first
line of your response makes it imminently clear when you feel the need 
to write:
"...the point that that writer was trying to make..." 
The point is lost somewhat because of the subjective language used by the
author, and that was Ms. Cox's point!

You also write:
"It is much more likely--almost certain--that if these things are used
much at all, they'll be used by people to avoid walking."

What is your basis for such a truth?  I presume you have first hand
experience either dealing with such users or have some sort of study in
hand?  Or is this an observation made at Sam's Club or the like?  

Perhaps one should consider that obesity/sloth is not really anyone's
goal.  For some folks these are side effects stemming from other issues
within their lives.  It's been my experience that such vehicles provide an
opportunity for greater independance for the user, this in turn can raise
their self esteem and provide additional motivation to try to improve
their ambulation/health.  Sometimes what folks need is an opportunity to
see new things, things that may be difficult given their
physical condition.  Nature can be a healer and a motivator for
healing, and while I get the sense from reading between the lines on this
issue that it is difficult to share our solitude, wouldn't it be nice if
that was the greatest challenge the environment faced?  I'd much
rather have the woods be explored than devoured, and the more people
that bond to the woods, the louder our voices ring.

So that's personal observation and opinions made from personal
experiences.  By avoiding ad hominen type statements it can be
expressed and debated in a more objective way.  That was Ms. Cox's
point.  Notice how people writing in objection to the SHT's feel compelled 
to add a  "non-discriminatory" disclaimer paragraph to their 
letters?  There's a discriminatory tone in the first that makes all
subsequent defenders of this point of view have to cheesily add
it, rolling back on their heels to do it.  What an unnecessary
distraction to the issue at hand.

Sincerely, 
Len Mankowski


On Thu, 18 Apr 2002, Barbara Jean Madsen wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@umich.edu>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Anne,
> 
> 	Your point about insensitive language is well taken; insults are
> not a useful form of communication.  However, the point that that writer
> was trying to make--that the Segway is likely to be used by people who are
> already physically unfit as an excuse to walk even less than they do
> now--is a valid concern.  It is highly unlikely in today's society that
> any more than a tiny handful of people will use the Segway as a substitute
> for cars or other more-polluting motorized vehicles.  It is much more
> likely--almost certain--that if these things are used much at all, they'll
> be used by people to avoid walking.  In an age where people will spend
> hundreds of dollars to buy motorized toy cars for their kindergarteners to
> drive around, instead of spending a few tens of dollars to buy the kids
> tricycles that would actually give them some exercise, I don't see the
> Segway as contributing to anything but the general trend towards further
> lack of exercise and further descent into problems with excess weight,
> heart disease, and related health problems.
> 
> 	--Barb Madsen
> 
> 
> 
> On Thu, 18 Apr 2002, Cox, Anne wrote:
> 
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Enviro-Mich message from "Cox, Anne" <coxa@MAIL.LIB.MSU.EDU>
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Yesterday, I mentioned to a poster that I found a comment about obese blobs
> > rude and inappropriate (got your attention, didn't I?).  The response was a
> > recital of the ill-health of Michiganders, of which I was already aware.
> >
> > I think many people on this list move in insular environmentally aware
> > circles, and do not understand how rude asides like this damage our
> > reputation.  As a known enviro who works and plays with many people
> > ambivalent about environmental causes, I regularly take flack for the tone
> > of environmental editorials that include gratuitously insulting comments.
> > The poster quite correctly pointed out that the comment was not the main
> > point.  The trouble is that a negative insult will always override the main
> > point.
> >
> > Integrating the Segway into local traffic is a legitimate urban planning
> > issue, but characterizing them as "crutches for the quasi-ambulatory obese,
> > moving way stations on their way to sedentary blobhood" serves no
> > environmental purpose.  Wouldn't it be more positive and productive to
> > welcome them to some venues and see how they integrate into the ped/traffic
> > flow?  Given the cost and seasonal impracticality, I'm afraid we won't see
> > many Segways.  On the other hand, they may prove an environmental boon if
> > many people  who drive a few miles to work change over to a scooter for part
> > of the year.   This is a quiet small vehicle powered by rechargeable battery
> > with a 14 mile range and I find it intriguing as an environmentalist.
> > Personally, I'd like to see what happens before becoming anti-Segway.  Gee,
> > urban transport plans might have to adapt and change if people adopt
> > Segways.  Are we really so enamored of the status quo?
> >
> > Anne E. Cox
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ==============================================================
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> 
> 
> 
> 
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