8 December, 2015


Now, the global economic turndown seems to be both a response to and a catalyst for a deep need for change. In a way, it's beautiful.

‘Change’ is a fresh, easy-to-say word. Underneath, there's always uncertainty and maybe trauma. According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘change’ means, 1. v. intr./tr. To make or become different.

But what are we talking about when we say, 'different'?

Bikes and new electronic devices seem to play a major role in this time of change. Along with them, public means of transport are going through a second golden age after their revival. Bikes and high-tech gadgets are special, singular, even personal. They are light and capable of doing many things. Bikes are the only vehicle that can carry ten times their weight. And they are inherently free and independent. Mobiles connect us to the world wherever we are, any time we want to. Both are powerful objects that connect us to freedom. To me, bikes are really inspiring in every possible sense. Exponentially inspiring: 1, 2, 4, 16, 64… Inspiration on the rise.

Both bikes and mobiles are revolutionary objects, standing for stigmatized, atomized industries. Actors big and small. Platforms in which knowledge has value. The game is pretty much live.

On the other hand, cars and TV are the symbols of a falling empire. They are giants being replaced. They are too heavy, too clumsy, too lazy, too filled with simple-minded, 'cushioned' aspirations. They require planned usage, too much room and reconciliation (good reconciling is never forceful, it comes naturally from the abundance of the parts being reconciled). And they are far away from multi-tasking and spontaneity. They are associated with authority and submission rather than individual power. They are so cumbersome that we find it difficult to put up with them, even with flat-screen TVs or electric cars. In today's world, they represent a demo-bourgeoisie that will sooner or later outrage our youngsters – who are smarter, more thoughtful, less selfish and have stronger opinions about things. Cars and televisions are silent witnesses to a fanciful, unfulfilled dream turned nightmare. They have lost their innocence. In their excess, they have more drawbacks than advantages. Something good could happen to them, though: they could reinvent themselves and blend into reality to become part of a more fluid, liquid, world.

There are no two identical phones. Each of them is filled with the life of the person carrying them (and sometimes being too attached to them). Bikes are alive too. In the blink of an eye, they become different from one another. Mobiles and bikes are sensuous, spontaneous, bearing the marks of time. Just like life itself!

These are historical (and hysterical) times. In the Western world, most of us have everything we want and more. It's a model still in force. But something is beginning to change. Let's be responsible for our own behavior: let's use the pedals and spend wisely.

In the words of Don Quixote, 'Let us depart at once, for the common saying that in delay there is danger, lends spurs to my eagerness to take the road; and as neither heaven has created nor hell seen any that can daunt or intimidate me, saddle Rocinante, Sancho, and get ready thy ass…'

Man has never had so much. Let's be fast in learning how to have it. Let's do it fast and good.