Denmark

This probably isn’t news to anyone who knows much about the Nordic countries, but Denmark was, once again, selected as the happiest country; or something like that.

What I found interesting was a sidebar about the economics of bicycling …

Researchers found that for every kilometer traveled by bike instead of by car, taxpayers saved 7.8 cents (DKK 0.45) in avoided air pollution, accidents, congestion, noise and wear and tear on infrastructure. Cyclists in Copenhagen cover an estimated 1.2 million kilometers each day –- saving the city a little over $34 million each year.

The entire article is here: Denmark is Considered the Happiest …

The comments on the article are also interesting. Many Americans don’t even consider the things that we could implement here, but rather they say Denmark only enjoys a high standard of living because the U.S. is proving security for the world. I wonder; does that mean we can’t bicycle more? Does it mean we shouldn’t strive for gender equality? Does it mean we can’t improve our education system or social programs? I think they’re kind of missing the point. Alas, brainwashing and pride are impediments to clear thinking.

Facebook

I’m not a Facebook denizen. I don’t choose to lend my udders to a corporation, so they may milk them for advertising revenue. This choice has devalued me in the corporate Internet world. I can’t “like” their products or their self-aggrandizing pages. Lately, I’ve found, it is also impossible for me to post comments on many web-sites, including The Huffington Post. If I don’t have a “verified Facebook account”, I can’t use Facebook connect, which is required to leave comments. Of course, if I sign up for Facebook, and I use Facebook connect, then everything I read will be tracked by Facebook.

I know I am the sheep who won’t follow the flock, and soon they will turn me into mutton, because I’m too difficult to shepherd. I’m sure they will say it was for my own good. If allowed my freedom to roam, a far more violent fate would surely befall me.

I don’t want a Facebook account. Does that really make my point of view less valuable? The more they try to coerce me into signing up for Facebook, the more it feels like a corporate conspiracy, and the more I will resist.