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comment by deepflows
deepflows  ·  2391 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans [Tom Mahood, otherhand.org]

Yes, I think I do. Your calling them idiots meant something quite different than I thought it did. I think we can we agree on "Dead idiots and their kids"?

In any case, thank you for this explanation. Looked at it this way, the Dead Valley Germans might still be alive if they had learned to ask themselves: Are we being idiots right now?

This also is making me think about my own relationship to risk. It's safe to say that I'm actively averse to any risk which could potentially lead to injury or death. I still have allowed myself to get into situations where both were a real possibility. But my point is, I don't really practice how to deal with risk, how to assess it or how to manage it. I just avoid it. Your post makes me wonder... Should I find myself in an extreme situation - might my lack of risk management experience make me act like a (dead) idiot?

kleinbl00  ·  2391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Dead idiots and their dead kids" is accurate, but far bleaker than I wanted to go. Again, wasn't what I wanted to talk about. Still don't. There's something horrific about imagining a four year old dying of thirst in Death Valley.

My suggestion on risk management is not to engage in any risks you don't understand, and not to partake in any risks you can't mitigate. There are all sorts of crazy dangerous things you can do in a completely safe fashion - think about it: the act of driving to work involves jockeying for position amongst hundreds of explosively-powered devices weighing multiple tons all of which are traveling faster than 90% of the animals on earth can. Yet we do it every day because we have seat belts, and driving classes, and airbags, and engineering, and traffic laws and all the rest.

There are people who travel from all over the world to Death Valley and they don't die every year, despite doing some demonstrably dangerous things. The difference is - they're not idiots. At least, they're not idiots whose lives are threatened by their idiocy...