Thursday, April 21, 2005
A rather lengthy comment was left on the April 18th "Love the Grunge" post. It explains rather a lot.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is my boyfriend in a nutshell (aside from the cries of "HELP! HELP! How did I get in this enormous nutshell? Get me out of here!"):
the following comment is really freakin long. if that bothers you, then i advise you to skip it.
You Have Been Warned.
the interactionist model to risk assessment posits that risk assessment is both a function of the assessor (trait and state characteristics), and the situation.
Alice assesses the risk of going into the mall as 'high', since she is agoraphobic. Bob assesses the risk as 'low' because he finds the gap oddly nonthreatening.
risk assessments should be shared but not cross-applied. Bob's analysis should not apply to Alice because it is Alice who assumes the risk of going to the mall. Bob's assessment can be taken into account, and can even be done so without any external sign on the part of Alice.
once risk has been assessed, that is the estimated probability of failure, then it must be judged against the perceived criticality (or the consequences of failure).
for russian roulette, the consequences of failure are serious injury or death. therefore, the criticality is high. for puzzle bobble, the consequences of failure are the defeat of your electronic dinosaur, and the loss of your quarter. therefore, the criticality is low.
and of course, the criticality is relative to the person involved. if only have a quarter left, and you were supposed to call your mother, then the criticality of playing puzzle bobble is massively high, and should not be advised.
after estimating the criticality of failure, one must also judge the rewards of success. although it may appear that an extended gunfight while blindfolded in a broken glass factory is both highly probable to fail and with a severe criticality, if you save the princess, escape with your own skin, and get the riches of the dragon in the end...it may be worth it to take the risk as the benefits are considerable.
that too, is at the judgement of the person who assumes the risk.
in the curious incident of the rain in the nightime, i attempted to climb a three story building under less than nominal conditions. i failed to do so, and fell 12', with my fall broken by a steel bike rack and the sweet soft embrace of a brick floor.
for my troubles i received a minor concussion, a small scalp occlusion, a subdermal hematoma the size of a small orange in my leg, and a sprained wrist. limited activity was possible within 24 hours, and 100% daily functionality was restored within three days.
these consequences were within my acceptable limits, and occured at the phase in which my assessment indicated that the probability of failure was the highest. of all possible methods at my disposal at the time, the course of action which i selected was the safest.
as people have been asking, i will mention now that a rope for the purposes of safety was not possible, as it assumes that i have already reached the top and was able to hang a rope down to the bottom level.
a) the failure happened at the phase in which i predicted was the most likely to fail,
b) the consequences of failure were both within my acceptable damage tolerances and reasonably predicted during my risk assessment,
c) the course of action taken was in my judgement the safest one possible under the circumstances while still achieving the goal of ascension,
i conclude that
my risk assessment is not broken.
it does not need changing.
it works just fine.
i feel that nome tries to map my heart using hers, and her heart finds my actions both too likely to go badly, and with consequences that are too high in relation to the benefits.
i respect her right to an opinion, and i respectfully disagree.
when she is me then i will do what she likes, but until then i am my own entity. while she is not prepared to assume my risks (with their associated probability of failure and criticality of consequences) for my benefits (which may be objectively the same but subjectively different as anybody who has enjoyed the terminator movie is aware), i find that i am.
i take my own risks, and i do my own stunts.
so unless you have something to say about the risk assessment in terms of unpredicted consequences or gross errors in failure probability
i.e. the police are guarding that building because the POTUS is visiting it so you may not want to visit it right now oh thank you i was unaware that the place was swarming with cops and now that i re-evaluate i find that i really don't like the odds very much...
then i don't think you have anything to say that i would like to hear.
sorry for the trouble, and now i know better.
that is all: carry on (my wayward son)."
Makes me sound pretty insignificant in the whole equation, doesn't it?