I enjoy watching all the amazing tricks people can perform on their bikes. From the basic track stand while waiting for a light, to 360s and back flips, the tricks transfix me. Recently two videos have amazed me. I came across the first one back in April. It celebrates Danny MacAskill’s amazing leaps, spins and balance. Some of his tricks require not just ambition, skill and strength but remarkable creativity (see 3:06). The footage was recorded in high-def:
The second video is decidedly low-def. It was filmed more than 100 years ago. Yes, 110 years ago. The video is a compilation of Thomas Edison’s footage of bike tricks and comedy. In 100 years the tricks have improved but the fundamentals are the same. This surprises me. I never imaged people doing tricks on bikes at the turn of the century. My uninformed impression was that tricks and freestyle sports like biking, surfing and skateboarding didn’t emerge until the 1960s or ’70s. Enjoy.
Larry Lessig explains how the U.S. democracy, dependent on “corrupt” campaign contributions, is deteriorating.
He quotes President Reagan describing how democracies fail—by voting themselves into bankruptcy.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.—Unknown
This expression did not originate with Reagan, it provenance is unclear.