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Old 07-24-2015, 06:41 PM   #16
bcv_west
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i think you make your own luck. In other words, you improve the probability of a positive outcome. But, the converse never goes to zero. It's still roulette; anyone who says different is selling something.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:41 PM   #17
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Luck, chance, and randomness don't really exist. By saying that something happened randomly or by chance we're merely admitting that we don't understand the complex chain of causes that led to that event.
A couple of questions for you:
  1. Do we live in a deterministic or a probabilistic universe?
  2. Whatever your answer to the first question, tell us how you track every single variable that could impact every single scenario you encounter in a day's worth of riding. Extra credit if you can explain how you account for interactions between variables.

Unirr, good job with the delete. You clearly missed the whole hubris/humility thing.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:44 PM   #18
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Luck has made the difference way to many times in my street riding too.
One of the reasons I got in to dirtbike riding and the main reason, if I had to chose between the two I'd keep it on the dirt now.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bcv_west View Post
i think you make your own luck. In other words, you improve the probability of a positive outcome. But, the converse never goes to zero. It's still roulette; anyone who says different is selling something.
^short and sweet. Deleted my winded version for this.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:00 PM   #20
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Greek Tragedies in K-12?!? Man, they didn't teach that in my 'hood...

Really good post, you intellectual.

(Er, and my "hood" was Cupertino...)
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:24 PM   #21
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^short and sweet. Deleted my winded version for this.
On this we agree completely.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:25 PM   #22
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Great post, 100% agree.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:40 PM   #23
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Nice post, but the Song is "What's Love got to do with it?"...just saying
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:42 PM   #24
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Great post Hun. It makes me look back and wonder how I made it through some very stupid activities.

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Originally Posted by ilikefood View Post
Luck, chance, and randomness don't really exist. By saying that something happened randomly or by chance we're merely admitting that we don't understand the complex chain of causes that led to that event. It's really not that different from our ancestors saying that lightning is caused by gods when they didn't understand what causes lightning.

Similarly with riding. There are causes of crashes that are more complex than just riding skill - e.g. hubris - and I think our choices (related to riding) have a lot more impact on our safety than we typically believe. Truly unavoidable crashes are extremely rare, if you broaden your view beyond the most immediate observable causes of crashes.
lol - that's exactly what luck is.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:46 PM   #25
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Glad to see, Flying Hun start this thread.. I agree with what he is sayin.
Really now? Because when Archimedes said something similar just worded differently, you had a different reply.

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Yup. You can do everything possible to lower your risk and still have your number come up. And unfortunately, the real downside of motorcycling isn't just the increased probability of an accident. It's the size of the negative payoff often involved in the event of an accident, i.e., death or permanent disability. Expected return needs to consider both probability and size of the outcome, but most of us motorcyclists only focus on the first half of the equation. Even before my accident, I always said, if motorcyclists were honest about the second half, many of us wouldn't ride.
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There is a possibility that a rider thinks they were doing everything possible..
But they Weren't.
Then of course there is this:

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I believe in making your own "luck".

From what I see, some riders make bad luck.

Others have learned how to make good luck.
I guess you missed this part of his post:

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I believe in doing what I can to be the best rider I can be. I don't believe in infallibility. I don't believe popes are infallible, and I sure as shit don't think motorcyclists are infallible.

There were enough Greek tragedies taught when I was in K-12 that I soaked in the lesson that hubris is a bad thing and will lead to a bad end. If you've got the hubris to believe you're infallible, well then, all I can do is suggest a little humility and awareness, and wish you good luck.
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no. nothing against strippers. just have never completely trusted anyone in sales and marketing.

Last edited by UDRider; 07-24-2015 at 09:50 PM..
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:50 PM   #26
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Luck is a hot button topic.
One group--we're talking a single-digit number of BARFers--thinks luck can be ground down to nothing. They believe that with skill and experience, random shit can be eliminated as a motorcycling risk factor. This is what philosophy geeks would call a "non-falsifiable hypothesis". There is no experiment, no observation of reality that could disprove it. If you crash, you clearly lack the needed crash-prevention trait. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

A similarly small second group sees reality as a sequence of preordained events orchestrated by external forces. We can call an outcome "lucky" or "unlucky", but that's just personal spin on what was meant to be and couldn't have been otherwise. They say "when it's your time, it's your time" but don't object to skill development or protective gear, so maybe they're hedging just a little.

A third group--don't know how many, but it seems like a lot--thinks luck plays a considerable part in motorcycling risk and that it's constant across the population. Riding safely is part skill and protective gear, which can be improved, but the remainder is intractable luck. If you disagree with them and believe instead that luck is a variable that can be improved, you're as deeply in denial as the first group. They find their view comforting because no one can be safer than they are, with their above-average bike handling skills (like the children of Lake Wobegon) and designer-label gear. And it's low-effort because trying to improve luck by learning from experience would be a waste of time with the riding environment so vast and unpredictably random.

A fourth group--which includes me and, I think, a majority of BARF--sees luck as a variable that can be developed. Through directed effort, I'm a luckier rider today than I was 10 years ago, and I hope next year to be luckier still. Each new wrinkle learned about motorcycles and roads and traffic can be put to use. But we acknowledge that safety will always be part luck. That includes "unknown-unknowns", things we don't know and don't know that we don't know, and also "known-unknowns", things we are aware could go wrong, but which we choose not to adopt countermeasures against. Known-unknowns are what I call "falling dog" problems. Thirty years ago my sister, worried about my taking up motorcycling, sent me a clipping about rider who was killed when a dog fell from an overpass. Whatever. If it happens, it happens, but I'm not taking precautions against it.

As a longtime adherent of the fourth view, I'm fed up with being accused of holding the first view. An example of a skilled and experienced rider who crashes doesn't contradict the view that luck can be improved; I don't claim the role of luck can be eliminated. And one rider's acceptance of a certain risk in order to enjoy a reward doesn't mean that that risk is inevitable for all; I may choose not to accept that risk. And is it hubris to think that one can improve his luck by working to understand a certain crash and adopt a countermeasure? Really?
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #27
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DataDan I believe Flying_hun was referring to the first group in his post. He can correct me if I am wrong.
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no. nothing against strippers. just have never completely trusted anyone in sales and marketing.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:58 PM   #28
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Neat topic, Kurt.

Being just an average rider, luck is a big part of my riding. I try not to use it, but I know it's there. I wish I was as good as Craig and Gary, and 90% of the people here. But I'll never be. The talent wall is too strong. In the meantime, vive la chance.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:06 PM   #29
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When Gary J died it dawned on me that I had gotten by dumb luck. I thought to myself, "if it can happen to a guy that good, it should have happend to me already."
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:46 PM   #30
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There is skill and preparation and there is fatalism. Great skills basically keep you away from trouble and get a camel through the eye of a needle but if your card is drawn time is up. To me it seems about the time and place, a concurrence of unlikely events leads to mortal danger.
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