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Old 07-24-2015, 10:51 PM   #31
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:00 PM   #32
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:12 PM   #33
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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.
1. There is no simple answer to that question, and those two aren't the only possible choices anyway. Probability is merely a way to deal with phenomena whose causes we don't completely understand. For example, we say that the outcome of rolling dice is random because we have no way of understanding and tracking everything that impacts how the dice land. Nevertheless, how the dice land is determined by physical forces that work in specific ways, and that's quite deterministic.

2. You can't track every little variable, but in the case of riding to understand how there is no luck you have to look further up the chain of causality. You can call hitting a deer a completely random event, but places and times where deer congregate aren't random (even in the conventional sense of "random"), and you can choose when and where you ride. You can call hitting a left turner random, but intersections and cars approaching them don't appear randomly out of nowhere. You can call great, skilled riders crashing on the street "bad luck", but the choice to disregard the dangers of treating the street like a race track is a conscious decision and has nothing to do with luck.

As I said before, crashes that absolutely couldn't have been prevented by "riding smarter" are very rare.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:22 AM   #34
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Flying_hun: "Do we live in a deterministic or a probabilistic universe?

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.
"

First I've studied and practiced with a Buddhist monk for 7 years, twice a week in one-on-one sessions and every night in dream-practice, while hanging with his top student becoming "life long best friends" with him and developing a 24/7 constant non-technical telepathic communication, if it could be called anything.


SO I'm back to bed, with more to follow in a few hours. Jedi stuff of course
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:20 AM   #35
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1. There is no simple answer to that question, and those two aren't the only possible choices anyway. Probability is merely a way to deal with phenomena whose causes we don't completely understand. For example, we say that the outcome of rolling dice is random because we have no way of understanding and tracking everything that impacts how the dice land. Nevertheless, how the dice land is determined by physical forces that work in specific ways, and that's quite deterministic.

2. You can't track every little variable, but in the case of riding to understand how there is no luck you have to look further up the chain of causality. You can call hitting a deer a completely random event, but places and times where deer congregate aren't random (even in the conventional sense of "random"), and you can choose when and where you ride. You can call hitting a left turner random, but intersections and cars approaching them don't appear randomly out of nowhere. You can call great, skilled riders crashing on the street "bad luck", but the choice to disregard the dangers of treating the street like a race track is a conscious decision and has nothing to do with luck.

As I said before, crashes that absolutely couldn't have been prevented by "riding smarter" are very rare.
So, you are implying one should know when a drunk is going to cross the double yellow when going too fast for a corner?

So, I should have known that I would be rear ended while stopped at a red light?

The only reason anyone is alive today is luck. Lucky that you haven't gotten cancer, lucky you haven't been shot in a movie theater, the list goes on.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:24 AM   #36
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Four group breakdown
Good stuff, as usual, Dan. I find myself planted firmly in the fourth group, as well. I am a firm believer in constantly improving my skills, and in adopting safety technology (better gear, electronic aids, etc) as ways of reducing the effects of luck. It is still there, and is a variable which can be reduced considerably but never eliminated.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:51 AM   #37
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:57 AM   #38
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Good stuff, as usual, Dan. I find myself planted firmly in the fourth group, as well. I am a firm believer in constantly improving my skills, and in adopting safety technology (better gear, electronic aids, etc) as ways of reducing the effects of luck. It is still there, and is a variable which can be reduced considerably but never eliminated.
+1. I learn something with every ride of mine and of others, and put that towards mitigating luck.

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Originally Posted by ontherearwheel View Post
So, you are implying one should know when a drunk is going to cross the double yellow when going too fast for a corner?

So, I should have known that I would be rear ended while stopped at a red light?

The only reason anyone is alive today is luck. Lucky that you haven't gotten cancer, lucky you haven't been shot in a movie theater, the list goes on.
While not subscribing 100% to food's view —waiting to see where he goes with it—, it seems he's saying that some do know when and where deer congragate and still ignore knowledge and when they crash into deer they call random acts. And then they do it again and again. No learning. Same for mishaps with left turners and even drunks. FYI, most companies pay on the 15th and last day of the month, or every other Friday. When the first group falls on a Friday, it's the busiest day for bars. Having that knowledge, I avoid riding those evenings. It's a process of applying lessons to counter "luck".
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:30 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by ilikefood View Post
1. There is no simple answer to that question, and those two aren't the only possible choices anyway. Probability is merely a way to deal with phenomena whose causes we don't completely understand. For example, we say that the outcome of rolling dice is random because we have no way of understanding and tracking everything that impacts how the dice land. Nevertheless, how the dice land is determined by physical forces that work in specific ways, and that's quite deterministic.

2. You can't track every little variable, but in the case of riding to understand how there is no luck you have to look further up the chain of causality. You can call hitting a deer a completely random event, but places and times where deer congregate aren't random (even in the conventional sense of "random"), and you can choose when and where you ride. You can call hitting a left turner random, but intersections and cars approaching them don't appear randomly out of nowhere. You can call great, skilled riders crashing on the street "bad luck", but the choice to disregard the dangers of treating the street like a race track is a conscious decision and has nothing to do with luck.

As I said before, crashes that absolutely couldn't have been prevented by "riding smarter" are very rare.
I suppose I would have to counter that rides that don't have a reasonably foreseeable crash risk are equally rare.

In the twisties, for example. You should have known that riding in the early morning would lead to that spilled coffee/barely awake/absent minded commuter crossing your lane, and you should have known that at noon you'd have that person rushing home for lunch crossing your lane, and you should have known in the afternoon that they high school kids would be racing through the hills, and you should have known that in the evening you'd have deer and drunks, and you should have known that absolutely any time you'd have a squid blowing the yellow. You can ride at half of reasonable sightline speed and still have 0% chance of avoiding blind corner opposing speeding double-yellow crossers. Point being that if you're in the hills, you have a crash risk that anyone could monday-morning quarterback if they happened to be a dick, so I certainly agree with your last sentence, but only because every ride could be improved by 'riding smarter', regardless of how smart you ride.

That said, of course training, practice, critical thinking before/during/after every ride greatly mitigate all of the above risks. And sure, if you want to be pedantic (I certainly am with my above hyperbolic remarks) then you're right, chance is an illusion created by our mental limitations, but those limitations are real and we have to have a word for those factors beyond our critical thinking capabilities. I believe that word is luck, and so I believe luck is real.

The key, of course, is to train till luck is the smallest factor possible, but there is no such thing as total risk avoidance on a bike.

I think.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:42 AM   #40
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I suppose I would have to counter that rides that don't have a reasonably foreseeable crash risk are equally rare.

In the twisties, for example. You should have known that riding in the early morning would lead to that spilled coffee/barely awake/absent minded commuter crossing your lane, and you should have known that at noon you'd have that person rushing home for lunch crossing your lane, and you should have known in the afternoon that they high school kids would be racing through the hills, and you should have known that in the evening you'd have deer and drunks, and you should have known that absolutely any time you'd have a squid blowing the yellow. You can ride at half of reasonable sightline speed and still have 0% chance of avoiding blind corner opposing speeding double-yellow crossers. Point being that if you're in the hills, you have a crash risk that anyone could monday-morning quarterback if they happened to be a dick, so I certainly agree with your last sentence, but only because every ride could be improved by 'riding smarter', regardless of how smart you ride.

That said, of course training, practice, critical thinking before/during/after every ride greatly mitigate all of the above risks. And sure, if you want to be pedantic (I certainly am with my above hyperbolic remarks) then you're right, chance is an illusion created by our mental limitations, but those limitations are real and we have to have a word for those factors beyond our critical thinking capabilities. I believe that word is luck, and so I believe luck is real.

The key, of course, is to train till luck is the smallest factor possible, but there is no such thing as total risk avoidance on a bike.

I think.
There are some choices that drastically affect your chances of being in an accident. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to ride on weekdays. Because of that, I rarely ride up in the mountains on weekends and when I do I take it extra slow and cautious with the expectation of some yahoo blowing a DY or drifting into my lane. I feel like that reduces my chances of being in a "bad luck" accident greatly as those two lane roads have the possibility for many circumstances that can be out of your hands (head on, dear, etc.).
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:56 AM   #41
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Good stuff, as usual, Dan. I find myself planted firmly in the fourth group, as well. I am a firm believer in constantly improving my skills, and in adopting safety technology (better gear, electronic aids, etc) as ways of reducing the effects of luck. It is still there, and is a variable which can be reduced considerably but never eliminated.
But there's more to it than skill to ride out of an "unlucky" encounter and gear to protect against the fall. That's how the third group deals with bad luck.

To reduce the role of luck, we must learn to spot unlucky encounters as they develop and not be there when they happen. The first few times a noob nearly gets sideswiped by a lane-changer is bad luck. When he learns how observation and positioning can prevent it, he's suddenly "luckier" as those incursions become less frequent.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:14 AM   #42
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^ totally agree Danate. Mitigation is everything.

Also, my above use of 'dick' above is inappropriate. Crash analysis has great value, but so does discretion, depending.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:23 AM   #43
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Luck plays a larger role in our lives than anyone wants to admit. Were any of you born blind?

My last crash at Laguna Seca, I lowsided in the corkscrew, totally my fault. My friend Dave was right behind me, and couldn't avoid me. He braked hard right up to hitting me and then let go, and ran over my right leg. I "walked" away. Well I hobbled like a bastard, and rode my bike back into the pits. Leg hurt for quite a while. If he hadn't known to let off the brakes, I would have suffered a broken femur. If I had crashed a few millisecond different, he would have run over my stomach, pelvis or head. I doubt I would have walked away from that.

I was lucky. I knew it when he hit me and it didn't hurt much. I was yelling I was so happy.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:25 AM   #44
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But there's more to it than skill to ride out of an "unlucky" encounter and gear to protect against the fall. That's how the third group deals with bad luck.

To reduce the role of luck, we must learn to spot unlucky encounters as they develop and not be there when they happen. The first few times a noob nearly gets sideswiped by a lane-changer is bad luck. When he learns how observation and positioning can prevent it, he's suddenly "luckier" as those incursions become less frequent.
Perhaps I didn't express clearly enough what I meant by development of skills. Skills are not just the physical ability to make the moto do what you want it to do. Observational skills are just as important. Likewise, good decision making is important. I won't, for example, follow a pickup truck. Even if the bed looks empty, I know that there is a chance that something is going to come flying out at some point. I also seem to know that most drivers are going to do long before they do it. This comes from experience and observation.

In short, I do as much as I can to mitigate the effects of luck. Training, practice, observation, sound decision making, good protective gear, well maintained bikes, etc. all play a role.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:29 AM   #45
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Perhaps I didn't express clearly enough what I meant by development of skills. Skills are not just the physical ability to make the moto do what you want it to do. Observational skills are just as important. Likewise, good decision making is important. I won't, for example, follow a pickup truck. Even if the bed looks empty, I know that there is a chance that something is going to come flying out at some point. I also seem to know that most drivers are going to do long before they do it. This comes from experience and observation.

In short, I do as much as I can to mitigate the effects of luck. Training, practice, observation, sound decision making, good protective gear, well maintained bikes, etc. all play a role.
For sure. All of the above are important. We can mitigate circumstances to reduce potential danger, and to a large degree. Jeff Lee, who makes A&G sliders, has ridden maybe 750k miles with zero crashes. And he's a fast rider. He is meticulous. Never lane splits and is super careful on freeways. He treats freeways like combat zones.
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