Talking to Machines

When you need to communicate to another human being it’s pretty straight forward.

Talking to Machines

Trying to communicate with a machine is more difficult.

Talking to Machines

I know there’s a human being behind the machine. But can’t always see them and their vocabulary is pretty limited. So when I get honked at I’m left to guess what they’re trying to express.

Talking to Machines

While I know most people are decent, I’m too afraid to turn around and engage just in case the last driver is the one behind the wheel.

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41 Comments on "Talking to Machines"

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When I ride on the streets I always assume someone is behind me and sometimes I have my son follow me in his car and hoonk at me randomly so I am less startled by a dimwit with a horn. “Horns should be as loud on the inside as they are on the outside of a car.”


I use a mirror, so when someone honks I can yell, ‘I see you!’ while pointing to it. The mirror also helps me to know when I have a vehicle behind me at an intersection that wants to turn right so I don’t block them. I have no qualms about confrontations with the bottom three driver types. It’s unlikely they are as or more psychotic than me. 🙂


Ethan Fleming

Lately, I noticed a lot of drivers never check their passenger side mirror. Then When they almost hit someone because of it they Try to say they person they almost hit was in their blind spot


They’re just honking to let you know that it would be safer if you took the lane.


You do realize the idiocy of “vehicular cycling” advocacy has stunted the growth of actual bicycle infrastructure by 20 years or more, yes? There is a preponderance of evidence showing the vast majority of folks don’t feel safe cohabiting the roads with cars, most likely because they don’t want to die. We don’t need more advocates of testosterone and adrenaline, we need advocates of infrastructure.

Oh, and cars /never/ honk at cyclists who do take the lane…

Jon Webb


dr2chase, your comment is amusing, especially as I am a strong proponent of controlling the lane. I very often wish to pull alongside a gutter bunny and suggest that they “get into the road!” After learning safe cycling, the horn sounding count dropped to about ten percent of what it was. Drivers are better able to address a cyclist directly ahead and plan appropriately, rather than to hope to squeeze past and learn at the last moment that there is insufficient room to do so. That results in a horn sounding more often than not, especially if the driver has… Read more »
Vocus Dwabe

“They’re just honking to let you know that it would be safer if you took the lane.”

Try not to make me laugh so much, my colostomy bag is overflowing


Horns are LOUD… as a driver and cyclist in the city I keep that in mind and rarely use my horn unless it’s towards another car. On a bike they scare the hell out of me, especially when they are close but you cannot see the car from which the horn is emanating… in those cases I am afraid the car is saying “look out, I’m about to run over you!” … eesh.

Sarah McC

Perhaps we need to learn to speak car, and access a new range of our sonorous capacities.