Risk and Freedom

pete75
Posts: 13201
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby pete75 » 5 Sep 2020, 9:34am

Mike Sales wrote:
pete75 wrote:No. It's a bit of a fool who takes a risk on a motorbike in the knowledge that he'll crash but will be protected by his body armour and helmet. Regardless of clothing you don't do things which will lead to you coming off but ride in a way to prevent it.


You assume perfect knowledge of the future! This is not available. The thing about risk is that it is a judgement of future events, with less than perfect knowledge. That is what makes it risk, which is what we all have to deal with in life, in all sorts of areas. [If you knew you were going to crash presumably you would take the necessary steps to avoid it. Like not kicking the engine into life. If you carried on knowing you were going to crash, it would not be called taking a risk.]
We have to make these judgements with imperfect knowledge or not go forward.
You say that people ride in the way which would avert a crash, but nevertheless they still come off.
If you could be sure of not crashing, you could indeed ride naked, but most people cannot see the future with such certainty, and take precautions which they hope will minimise consequences.
Would you really ride as fast nude as in full protective gear? Perhaps any motorcyclists here could comment? Mattsccm's behaviour is affected by the protective gear he is wearing, he tell us.

Judging a risk when riding a motorbike is not about trying to guess the future but about what is happening in real time. You don't think "Oh I'll do this even though I'm likely to come off because my helmet and leathers will protect me". You write as if you think people will deliberately take stupid risks because they've got protective equipment.

As for riding fast nude Rollie Free set a speed record of over 150 mph dressed like this. I suspect his head gear was for streamlining rather than protective purposes and the trunks - well the aluminium rear mudguard on that Vincent would be bloody hot in the burning heat of Bonneville salt flats.
Image

mattsccm
Posts: 3409
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby mattsccm » 5 Sep 2020, 9:52am

Cars are an element I can't control. Groups are similar. Some club mates I know well and trust, some I don't. Helmets are for collisions. With the floor!
I pick and choose my risks. I'll put some chainsaw boots on in a minute to cut some wood. My dad is happy in his Crocs as he can shake the saw dust out. Mothers wrath if he brings dust in is a bigger fearvthan chopping his feet off after 70 years of using a saw. I don't wear gloves, splinters don't worry me poor dexterity does.
I object strongly to being told that I must look after my self by society. I'll aknowledge any costs to society when those who take far greater risks and thus costs are dealt with first.

Mike Sales
Posts: 5192
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Sep 2020, 9:53am

pete75 wrote:Judging a risk when riding a motorbike is not about trying to guess the future but about what is happening in real time. You don't think "Oh I'll do this even though I'm likely to come off because my helmet and leathers will protect me". You write as if you think people will deliberately take stupid risks because they've got protective equipment.



You have misunderstood me.
I do not think that protective equipment will lead to taking stupid risks. I do think that if the possible consequences of an off are mitigated by equipment this affects the decision beforehand.
I cannot see how this is disputable.
In another sport, one touched on earlier, rock climbing, participants are very aware of the differences beween leading, seconding and soloing. To be technical, the availability of protection is one of the factors taken into account when grading a climb. This is the adjeectival grade, there is also the numerical, technical grade. The protection does not affect the difficulty, the likelihood of falling, but does affect the likelihood of injury. Climbers know well the difference.
When considering a course of action we cannot know the outcome, but it was you who was supposing that we can know.
No. It's a bit of a fool who takes a risk on a motorbike in the knowledge that he'll crash but will be protected by his body armour and helmet.

If he knows that he will crash, this is not a risk, by definition.
People do crash, because they do things where the outcome is not certain.

Risk is what we call this uncertainty.
Last edited by Mike Sales on 5 Sep 2020, 10:05am, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Sales
Posts: 5192
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Sep 2020, 9:58am

mattsccm wrote:Cars are an element I can't control. Groups are similar. Some club mates I know well and trust, some I don't. Helmets are for collisions. With the floor!
I pick and choose my risks. I'll put some chainsaw boots on in a minute to cut some wood. My dad is happy in his Crocs as he can shake the saw dust out. Mothers wrath if he brings dust in is a bigger fearvthan chopping his feet off after 70 years of using a saw. I don't wear gloves, splinters don't worry me poor dexterity does.
I object strongly to being told that I must look after my self by society. I'll aknowledge any costs to society when those who take far greater risks and thus costs are dealt with first.


Quite.
When the risks others take when they are protected from the consequences, impinge on your own safety, this is the "dance of the risk thermostats".
Individuals may have different settings of the thermostat, and their own setting may vary from time to time.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3650
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby PDQ Mobile » 5 Sep 2020, 10:17am

Mike Sales.
It struck me (no pun etc!) that in rock climbing on many routes and with modern equipment, the biggest risk is from falling loose or dislodged rock.
Even quite small fragments can pose fatal danger to the unprotected skull.
The dance of the risk thermostats, indeed.
So I wear (wore!) when rock climbing but never wear one cycling.
I see one risk as outside my control and the other (perhaps erroneously?) within it.

Mike Sales
Posts: 5192
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Sep 2020, 10:27am

PDQ Mobile wrote:Mike Sales.
It struck me (no pun etc!) that in rock climbing on many routes and with modern equipment, the biggest risk is from falling loose or dislodged rock.
Even quite small fragments can pose fatal danger to the unprotected skull.
The dance of the risk thermostats, indeed.
So I wear (wore!) when rock climbing but never wear one cycling.
I see one risk as outside my control and the other (perhaps erroneously?) within it.


Of course a helmet may not save you from larger stones or ice chunks. Don't follow clumsy climbers!

pete75
Posts: 13201
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby pete75 » 5 Sep 2020, 12:32pm

Mike Sales wrote:If he knows that he will crash, this is not a risk, by definition.
People do crash, because they do things where the outcome is not certain.

Risk is what we call this uncertainty.

Oh yes it is because the outcome of the crash is uncertain.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3650
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby PDQ Mobile » 5 Sep 2020, 12:35pm

Mike Sales wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:Mike Sales.
It struck me (no pun etc!) that in rock climbing on many routes and with modern equipment, the biggest risk is from falling loose or dislodged rock.
Even quite small fragments can pose fatal danger to the unprotected skull.
The dance of the risk thermostats, indeed.
So I wear (wore!) when rock climbing but never wear one cycling.
I see one risk as outside my control and the other (perhaps erroneously?) within it.


Of course a helmet may not save you from larger stones or ice chunks. Don't follow clumsy climbers!

May not, but just may from a glancing strike.
Ah but not to be clumsy sounds a little idealisic, after all, have you never disloged a rock when in fingery places.. Years ago in the Alps a Chamois and her kids dislodged a half meter boulder from 150 metres on a very steep boulder strewn slope above us. It fragmented to "shrapnel" on first contact and only quickly diving behind other boulders saved worse injury I think. A fragment, they were really travelling when they reached us, cut the cheek of one member.
The dance of the risk thermostats for sure, but I was glad of my cheap helmet that day.

Mike Sales
Posts: 5192
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Sep 2020, 1:16pm

pete75 wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:If he knows that he will crash, this is not a risk, by definition.
People do crash, because they do things where the outcome is not certain.

Risk is what we call this uncertainty.

Oh yes it is because the outcome of the crash is uncertain.


The crashing is the main event, and if you are certain of this happening you are accepting this. You quibble.

I do not imagine the almost instantaneous decisions about cornering speed etc. are concious. These sort of choices are made by all sentient animals without, as far as we can tell, concious calculation. There are psychologists who believe that the decisions humans make precede rather than follow rational calculation.
I think they are made by our feelings about the inputs, including beliefs, experiences etc.

pete75
Posts: 13201
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby pete75 » 5 Sep 2020, 3:29pm

Mike Sales wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:If he knows that he will crash, this is not a risk, by definition.
People do crash, because they do things where the outcome is not certain.

Risk is what we call this uncertainty.

Oh yes it is because the outcome of the crash is uncertain.


The crashing is the main event, and if you are certain of this happening you are accepting this. You quibble.

I do not imagine the almost instantaneous decisions about cornering speed etc. are concious. These sort of choices are made by all sentient animals without, as far as we can tell, concious calculation. There are psychologists who believe that the decisions humans make precede rather than follow rational calculation.
I think they are made by our feelings about the inputs, including beliefs, experiences etc.

I disagree. It may involve a few scratches on the exhaust system and minor abrasions or loss of a limb or worse. The outcome is the main event.
Fast riding on well known roads may well involve unconscious decisions about cornering. Fast riding on unknown roads needs conscious thought about cornering.

cycle tramp
Posts: 846
Joined: 5 Aug 2009, 7:22pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby cycle tramp » 5 Sep 2020, 3:43pm

Mike Sales wrote:
cycle tramp wrote:Indeed, I believe it has been attributed to Lawrence (of Arabia) that the best way to make any car or truck safer was to mount a single steel spike to the steering wheel and have its point projected to a space some 6 inches in front of the driver's rib cage - Suddenly late braking, following too close to the car in front, and inappropriate speeding are all banished.


I have never heard that Lawrence was the original of that idea, and given that he died crashng his (Brough Superior?) motorbike he is perhaps not the most convincing authority on road safety.
What is the line? "If you try to make something foolproof you will only produce a bigger fool."


I think we may find that to have been an assassination by a fraction of the British Government. Especially given the timing of subsequent events.

mikeymo
Posts: 1391
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby mikeymo » 13 Sep 2020, 11:08pm

cycle tramp wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
cycle tramp wrote:Indeed, I believe it has been attributed to Lawrence (of Arabia) that the best way to make any car or truck safer was to mount a single steel spike to the steering wheel and have its point projected to a space some 6 inches in front of the driver's rib cage - Suddenly late braking, following too close to the car in front, and inappropriate speeding are all banished.


I have never heard that Lawrence was the original of that idea, and given that he died crashng his (Brough Superior?) motorbike he is perhaps not the most convincing authority on road safety.
What is the line? "If you try to make something foolproof you will only produce a bigger fool."


I think we may find that to have been an assassination by a fraction of the British Government. Especially given the timing of subsequent events.


One sixteenth.

mikeymo
Posts: 1391
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby mikeymo » 14 Sep 2020, 12:30am

Mike Sales wrote:I am rereading Risk and Freedom by John Adams. It looks at road safety from a different angle to the road safety establishment. It is well worth reading for this alone.
In the run up to the Parliamentary debate on seat belt compulsion the DoT commissioned a report on the result of compulsion in the countries which already had a law, in order to demolish the troublesome arguments of Adams. Unfortunately Isles concluded that Adams was correct, and the results of compulsion were not as expected. The report had to be suppressed, and only leaked out in the New Scientist years later. There is a full account of this unsavoury episode in the book, and a copy of the Isles Report on Adams's site.

I copy in a review from the Amazon site.

Risk and Freedom is a book of historic significance. Published in 1985 and out of print for many years it continues to have a profound influence on road safety policy. It provides the first coherent application of the concept of “risk compensation” to the management of risk on the road. Risk compensation is a term coined by Canadian psychologist Gerald Wilde in the 1970s to describe the behavioural adjustments of people to perceived changes in safety or danger. In Risk and Freedom Adams applies the idea to a wide variety of road safety measures – seat belts, helmets, speed limits, alcohol limits, highway improvements, crumple zones and other crash protection measures, improved brakes and tires, and accident blackspot treatments, to name the main ones.

The idea that risk compensation could explain the failure of such measures to achieve their promised benefits was, at the time, unanimously dismissed out of hand by highway engineers, vehicle designers, and regulators. Today it is widely accepted as mere common sense, and serves as the basis for the new, and increasingly popular, shared space schemes. The most obvious explanation for the success of these schemes is Adams’ argument that road users are not obedient automatons, but alert and responsive participants in what Adams calls in his last book, Risk, “the dance of the risk thermostats”. Also, unlike most books on this subject it is well-written and entertaining.


It is available as a free down load.

http://www.john-adams.co.uk/books/


Is there a proposal to make wearing seat belts compulsory for cyclists?

mikeymo
Posts: 1391
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby mikeymo » 14 Sep 2020, 12:40am

Interesting cover:

http://john-adams.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/risk%20and%20freedom.pdf

Not sure what she's doing with her hands, but he seems to like it. There are only two helmets visible though, fnar fnar.

axel_knutt
Posts: 1562
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 12:20pm

Re: Risk and Freedom

Postby axel_knutt » 14 Sep 2020, 1:16am

pete75 wrote:You write as if you think people will deliberately take stupid risks because they've got protective equipment.

Who said anything about deliberately?
Janssen has shown that motorists driver faster when they wear seatbelts, I doubt any of them were even aware they were doing it.
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche