Concept of the month September 2018: Flow


Doesn’t that come in handy? This argument has never appealed to me. It is used to justify the purchase of a variety of modern apparatuses that require replacement at the drop of a hat, thus throwing for a scramble both the environment and our privacy. The fact that something comes in handy doesn’t make it necessary or better than anything else. Laziness mocks mankind. Making an effort is devaluating. Perhaps it is because I am not very handy myself. This month, 21 years after I reached the minimum driving age, I took a shot at passing a driving test. Alas, my unhandiness behind the wheel turned out to be a real obstruction to the flow of traffic.


The concept of flow used to make me think of being on a roll and rivers. Sometimes I did associate it to waiting in line in a shop or in a traffic jam. Obviously, the few times I was in a traffic jam, I was a passenger. But traffic jams are just one extreme of lack of flow. In traffic, flow requires synchronised and swift action. As it happens, neither synchronisation nor swift action is a forte of mine. This was confirmed during the driving test. I am at my best when I can go my own way and at my own pace. Flow is for followers.


Nonsense, of course. From behind the wheel of our car, my girlfriend has pointed out to me on numerous occasions how impressive it is that so many people in such limited space manage to maintain speeds of up to 130 km per hour, which in theory are lethal. Accidents do happen, but rarely because everyone drives fast. In fact, differences in speed are what causes problems. I often see that for myself while riding my bike in Amsterdam, swerving around significantly slower cyclists. Congestion is making my wonderful city of residence grind to a standstill, even those of us on two wheels. So please join in, make it quick, and keep moving. Flow!

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