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all your BASE are belong to us

 
 
yitwail
 
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 09:31 am
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060610/ap_on_re_us/base_death_3
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 695 • Replies: 17
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 09:40 am
The husband of an artist who had a show in our old gallery died after his chute didn't open, not in a base jump, but a regular skydiving jump. Bummer for the wife...
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 09:43 am
I'm undecided on the legal aspects. The fraction of my thinking that is libertarian says "no laws, excepting where you might hurt others, or perhaps despoil a place in the process of getting to and doing the activity" and my public health, safety, and welfare side says "no, illegal".
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 09:47 am
I fail to see why the government is required to protect people from their own risky behavior.

How many successful jumps were made?
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 09:57 am
well, if 1500 jumpers making 40000 jumps is accurate, that's over 26 jumps a year. i doubt sky divers jump that often, so if nothing else, risk would be higher for BASE jumping from the frequency.

DD, to take an extreme example, do people have the right to commit suicide, or should authorities try to prevent them?

this is slightly off topic, perhaps, but related. when i visited Tikal in Guatemala, most of the pyramids were closed to climbers because fatal accidents had occured. i did climb the one that was still allowed. in a case like that, do you think government should only put up warning signs, and allow people to take the risk?
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 10:05 am
DD, in a public space, like a national park, authorities do have to clean up--pardon the expression--in the aftermath of a BASE jumping accident, so if it was permitted, you wouldn't oppose a fee, right?
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 10:11 am
A fee is fine...

In fact, they ought to charge a nominal fee for all jumps, then use the funds for cleanup.




Suicide...

Depression should be treated. People with chronic pain, or a progressive illness, etc. should be allowed to end their lives in a manner of their choosing.

Oddly enough, coming out of a major depression is a risky time for suicide. The person is still depressed, but has more self-efficacy.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 10:27 am
My let them jump side is winning on this, but the question still gives me a little pause.

A related issue is going on with San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Last I read a large fence is planned for the edges of it, to forestall jumpers - added to the human tragedy, jumper body retrieval is an expense for the city. On that question, I am (mostly) against fencing it, but see the reason they want to.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 10:38 am
Re: all your BASE are belong to us
yitwail wrote:
Since 1981, there have been at least 99 BASE-jump fatalities around the world, according to the World BASE Fatality List, a Web site maintained by a BASE jumper.

Those risks haven't kept about 1,500 BASE jumpers around the world from making an estimated 40,000 jumps annually, said Martin Tilley, owner of Asylum Designs, an Auburn, Calif., company that makes equipment for BASE jumping.

Huh.

100 fatalities since 1981 - that's 4 a year.

Set off against 40,000 jumps a year.

A risk of 1:10,000.

No I dont think this is something a ban is urgently needed on... the comparison with attempted suicide is out of place.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 11:30 am
nimh, you're assuming that there were an average of 1500 jumpers and 40,000 jumps every year since 1981, which i doubt. also, i wasn't comparing it to suicide...i was just getting DD's views on what government should or should not do to protect people from self-destructive behavior.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 11:37 am
Yes, I think it would be a push to say all those people base jumping are suicidal. I was riffing on the should-people-be-protected from risks in a public welfare kind of question, and then jumped... to the bridge, where the large majority of jumps are suicide intended. Yes, it's a tangent, but the need for protection is the question for me. And, I suppose there are legal liability questions re the different takes of the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (or can they not be sued?).
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 12:01 pm
Osso, I was reacting to Yitwail's question to DD.

yitwail wrote:
nimh, you're assuming that there were an average of 1500 jumpers and 40,000 jumps every year since 1981, which i doubt. also, i wasn't comparing it to suicide...i was just getting DD's views on what government should or should not do to protect people from self-destructive behavior.

Yeah, but there's self-destructive behavior and self-destructive behavior. It comes in all shades. Smoking is self-destructive behavior too.

In that context, the comparison you made in response to DD's "fail[ing] to see why the government is required to protect people from their own risky behavior" - ie, yeah, so what about suicide attempts? - was indeed a bit "extreme", re the numbers we appear to be roughly talking about here. Extreme enough, IMHO, to be irrelevant. You might better ask, should the government try to prevent people from - I dunno - climbing the Mt. Everest for example ... even there proportional casualty numbers are far higher.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 12:21 pm
well, thanks for your opinion, nimh, even if i didn't ask for it, and appreciate your agreeing with me that suicide was an extreme example. on the other hand, DD wrote,

Quote:
I fail to see why the government is required to protect people from their own risky behavior.


and attempting suicide is risky--for instance, suppose someone jumps from a high place, and survives in a vegetative state? since he didn't qualify his statement with any exceptions, i wanted some clarification, so i used an extreme example.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 12:27 pm
My own predisposition is to not have the government protect against risky behavior, unless the risky behavior impinges on others (can see that be a quagmire of just what level of impingement)... whether this be the base jumping in yitwail's example - low percentage of deaths - or suicide attempts from a bridge - the case of the Golden Gate, a high percentage of deaths per number of jumps.

I'm intrigued in part because my state of California license as a land architect has a lot of verbiage in it about protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the people of California. So I'm interested in discussion of these kinds of issues. Lawrence Halperin became famous in the US landarch world decades ago now for putting potentially dangerous stone fountains that people could climb around into public squares.. and that all worked, as far as I know, from a premise of Observed Risk. Using that concept, the base jumping is just that, Observed Risk.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 01:49 pm
yitwail wrote:
DD wrote,

Quote:
I fail to see why the government is required to protect people from their own risky behavior.

and attempting suicide is risky--for instance, suppose someone jumps from a high place, and survives in a vegetative state? since he didn't qualify his statement with any exceptions, i wanted some clarification, so i used an extreme example.

Yup, just the thing is with extreme examples is that they often constitute an exception to the rule - what, with being extreme examples an' all. I think DD's line works - and was meant - as a general rule - but yeah sure, you can always come up with an extreme example where an exception should apply.

yitwail wrote:
well, thanks for your opinion, nimh, even if i didn't ask for it

<smiles> The way it works is, if you post takes or questions for discussion on a forum, you are by definition inviting people's opinions. It's kinda implied. And yeah, sometimes you won't like 'em <shrugs>
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 02:10 pm
Well, Mr. Turtle, once again we return to the concepts of Freud. Guess some folks would rather burn out than rust out.
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 08:58 pm
Hmm, doing some lateral thinking here.

Perhaps this is something that could be metted out to criminals instead of "community service" If you make it, you get time knocked off your sentence.

They'd have to sigh a waiver first, of course. Question Twisted Evil
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jun, 2006 10:17 pm
i'm sure they'd jump at the chance, Reyn.

btw, nimh, i probably agree with you & DD about the legal/govermental aspects of BASE. i'm much more interested in the motivation of those who pursue this pastime, which is why i put the thread in Human Interest, rather than Legal or Politics. you're certainly right that climbing everest is riskier, but to the layperson, reaching the summit of everest is a bigger achievement than parachuting down a few hundred feet, so the risk might be more understandable.
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