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Old 01-02-2010, 13:28   #61
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Interesting subject...

In your brain, there are (at least) two seperate methods for gauging risk. The first mechanism is fairly recently evolved, and involves weighing statistics. You can estimate, for example, how likely you are to get into a airline crash, each time you set foot on a plane. This likelyhood of death is pretty low, relatively speaking, and your brain tells you it's an acceptable risk. You get on the plane.

On the other hand, is another (lower evolution) mechanism for gauging risk which is more instinctive. In this case, you get apprehension when something 'seems' dangerous. The primary mechanism here is whether or not your brain can think of an example. For instance, if your mother tells you "the water hole is dangerous", if you have no bad experience with the water hole, it might 'feel' safe. On the other hand, if you observed Uncle Charley dragged off by crocodilles last season, your mother's warning will 'feel' true, and the water hole will 'feel' dangerous... even if the statistical likelyhood of getting eaten by a crock is very small.

Ok, so enter this new phenom of the nighttime news. The news organizations scour the country, and indeed the world, for every spectacular tragedy that occurs. A plane falls on a house in Tulsa, a child is kidnapped in LA, a shopkeep is shot and killed in Detroit. This fills your head with 'examples' that now cause you to be apprehensive, regardless of actual likelyhoods. This causes you to make bad decisions, and often waste resources protecting yourself from the unlikely.

I think the 'trick' (if you can call it that), is to try and understand this base instinct, and to educate yourself about actual statistics. Weigh actual risks. I'm still apprehensive about getting on an airliner (can't help it), but I manage to do it anyway.
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Old 01-02-2010, 14:01   #62
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Yep. I am a firm believer that America is the most risk-averse society in the history of mankind. Every possible risk must be eliminated, indemnified or litigated against.
Who profits from the process of indemnification and litigation while eliminating a threat which will always exist.
Perhaps they are the ones who "taught" us to fear?
And then there is the night time news.
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Old 01-02-2010, 14:22   #63
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Fear had a lot to do with me making it thru 4 tours to Viet Nam
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Old 01-02-2010, 14:38   #64
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Heavy thought...
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Old 01-02-2010, 16:19   #65
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Cool thread.
Currently I'm reading By the Grace of the Sea by Pat Brown.
It's scaring me to death! I was going to singlehandle at some point, but I'm having second thoughts after reading her book...

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Old 01-02-2010, 17:38   #66
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One thing I hope I have taught my Daughter is that "Just because it scares you to death does not mean it will kill you."

That was not on the lesson plan that particular day, its just the way it worked out.

Maybe some day she will go sailing with me again.
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Old 01-02-2010, 17:50   #67
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I too have afraid relatives. For some reason, I respect the sea but do not fear it. I cannot wait to get out there and spend as much time as possible sailing. Maybe some of us were wired different, or maybe I have seen the alternative to death too many times...
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Old 01-02-2010, 18:26   #68
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One thing I hope I have taught my Daughter is that "Just because it scares you to death does not mean it will kill you."

That was not on the lesson plan that particular day, its just the way it worked out.

Maybe some day she will go sailing with me again.
Sad circumstance I fear.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:04   #69
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Yep. I am a firm believer that America is the most risk-averse society in the history of mankind. Every possible risk must be eliminated, indemnified or litigated against.
This is such a true statement. Hard to believe that we were ever a bold, pioneering nation that has led the world in so many achievments.

I don't know how many times I've watch a mother bawling her eyes out in front of Congress or a state assembly saying "We need a law to make sure this never happens again!"

That phrase "make sure this never happens again"...I hear it so much these days. As if life were that controllable. Give me a break.

Don't confuse what I'm saying with a lack of respect for life. If one of my kids were to die in a car accident or drowned after going overboard, I'd be devastated but I sure wouldn't go pushing for legislation that infringes on everyone else's life because of my deficient parenting or plain, bad luck.

I'd rather die at 39, sailing or skiing or riding my motorcycle than at 93, after spending a life parked in front of the TV.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:18   #70
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...... Hard to believe that we were ever a bold, pioneering nation that has led the world in so many achievments.

I don't know how many times I've watch a mother bawling her eyes out in front of Congress or a state assembly saying "We need a law to make sure this never happens again!"

......
So true - however, also so typical... Have a look at histories of different nations; start modestly, conquer by force or technology, etc (depending on the era) and reach a zenith, then... the following generations come who feel it is their God-given right to have the power, conveniences, privilage, protection, etc.. In other words, living on the fat. At some point, if we are lucky, one of the upcoming generations will wake up to reality and there will be a 'correction' in the direction of the nation.

I have hope - even if it does not materialize in my lifetime

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:34   #71
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I'd rather die at 39, sailing, skiing or riding my motorcycle than at 93,...
parked in front of the TV.

Sums up the entire problem (and it rhymes).

The less we do the more we fear.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:38   #72
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Just a quick comment from north of the 49th.

We have pretty low crime rates here in Canada -- compared to some places, anyway -- and in Toronto (where I live) they've been going down for years.

But you wouldn't know that from what the pols tell us. Got to get tough on crime, they say. Got to make sure that parole is hard to get. Got to impose mandatory minimum sentences, so those liberal judges can't put bad guys back on the street.

PM just appointed five right-wing Senators (yes, appointed; we'll have that discussion another time) to push his "crime agenda."

And it's all just fear-mongering. In a city of five million people, my chance of being a victim of violent crime is almost negligible, especially since I stay out of late-night clubs where cocaine is being sold.

OTOH, I left my car unlocked the other day and someone stole the pennies I leave in the ashtray. Hang the bastard.

Sorry... slow morning. Forgive my rant.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:50   #73
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I feel I should add a disclaimer to explain my attitude:

1. I spent 11 years locked up underwater on submarines while all my buddies back home were partying in college and enjoying life. I feel like I'm trying to make up for lost time, lost sunsets, lost experiences.

2. Last year I was diagnosed with colon cancer at 36 years old. I had surgery to remove one big-azzed tumor and was given a 2nd chance at life so once again, I feel a special urgency to not waste my life in front of a TV/computer/video game console or whatever.

My experiences may cause me to be a little more reckless than some other folks so I don't necessarily advise people to emulate me.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:27   #74
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I was never a good rock climber by to days standards..and I doubt I will become what many of you on this forum will call a good sailor mainly due to the fact I will never attain the tiller time some of you have already amassed in your life...as my life style will probably never alloy that amassment.
But my fear level of the sea is lower them allot of sailors from what i have gleaned over the past 2 years bouncing around forum's.

Each of us has reasons for those fears...the first is some phobia of some sort...mine was a fear of heights during my rock climbing days..I could suppress those fears somewhat but never overcome them.. I have little fear of the wind or sea for some reason.. But I still do not wish to drown and leave my family in a pickle though so I take precautions.

Secondly I believe fear is strongly coupled to 2 other emotions .. the first is how deeply you truly love others over yourself ...and secondly how loved and needed you feel by others.

My most fearless time in my live was loosing my first wife to infidelity..that's when I jumped in a plane and taught myself to fly..I had no reason in my own mind at the time to live or not to die...I would have made the best climbs of my life if I would have tried at that point...My normal sense of fear was gone...depression and a cavalier attitude ran through my veins like a drug and all caution was thrown to the wind.

I truly believe there are people out there that live there entire life with this drug in their veins as well..the impossible challenges for most humans is quickly taken on by them and once completed becomes food for even greater improbable challenges for them to figure out.

Rightly so this quickly leads to skill and feeds their even more invincible attitude much like we all had at 16.

I believe this attitude is much if not the same one hardened criminals have...an.. "I don't give a damn one" that checks any sort of caring or fear of things and in their case for others lives as well ..notice I said checks...Im not saying they have none at all...both individuals can be feed from either love the lack of either giving of it or receiving of it or... hate and anger to get even...an attitude against some thief and stealer of that love or acceptance.

Most of humanity is of the "what if" crowd...what if I fall and die or get so hurt i cant make the house payments?. What if I am lost at sea?..whom will I hurt...My mother ?..my dad? my wife? my kids?....that attitude is checked to some degree by all of us adventures... but checked to an ultimate degree by the hardened criminal and the extreme sport fanatic just the same...

Do not read me wrong I am not saying one is as bad a character as far as society goes..Im just saying they hold closely the same value to life.

I rest my case with this video...He has amassed a skill vastly superior to most of the climbing fraternity and one can only marvel at his abilities..but his life means nothing to him and his accumulated successes and skill has become even more food to through caution to the wind..

Force 12 on deck with out clipping in..is the analogy I will use.

FWIW I admire his accomplishments if there was any bout in your mind..I will not however be taken by surprise to learn of his death..and it will not be able to be called premature.

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Old 02-02-2010, 15:58   #75
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I would attack this a different way. What if we assumed that fear was unnecessary. It is true that I will not do certain things, like go out in a storm unclipped. But that is because I understand the high risk that poses to my life, and I would rather not die right now. And I do not believe I am just calling it a different name. Fear is emotion. Thought is not. We need to respect and understand the risks that life presents, but I don't fear the situation anymore than I fear the freeway. Fear causes us to loose life, and therefore should be removed from our souls.
No fear- a good slogan in my book.
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