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? TOO MUCH (tragic) INFORMATION ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking I'm gathering too much information. I know we discus deaths related to skiing to learn from the incident and hopefully prevent similar events or mistakes.

But, collateral damage to the enjoyment of riding an old chairlift or watching the little rippers tear it up, skiing the trees or deep powder is a high price to pay. Perhaps I prefer the filters that once protected my innocence about skiing.



do you carry some of these terribly sad events around with you at all?
do you distinguish between information you can work with, and information that leaves you sad and helpless?
post #2 of 13
As a society, information overload paranoia has caused us to be more protective of our kids and ourselves for the most part.  We don't let kids go to the corner store alone anymore for fear of abduction by sickos.  There have always been sickos and the like, but we weren't as aware of it when bad things happened more than fifty miles away-imho that lack of info in the general public actually made it easier for them to commit the atrocities in the past.  Now we hear about every incident on that happens on the planet so it seems like it happens more often.  The natural response is to be more protective, watchful, and vigilant.  I see the communications and Internet information explosion as going hand in hand with the mass diffusion of ski helmets, bike helmets, and not letting our kids play without supervision until they are adults.
post #3 of 13
There was an article on a similar subject a while ago. A sociologist and psycholigst were giving their opinions that the instant access to news and information that is available on the internet has led to information overload and has made us a bit more paranoid as a society. On the internet, both good and bad news circulates quickly, almost instantaneously. As anyone who watches the news understands, it's the bad news that draws attention and draws the crowd and is most likely the type of news or information you will find.  

Look at the case of the Ski Patroller who was injured in the avalanche at JH. A decade or so ago, skiers in the US and aborad would likely not have heard about the incident unless they knew folks in Jackson or their local paper picked up the story over the wires and thought it was worthy of a spot in the paper. Today, the story is making rounds immediately after it happened.  There is even a 'Care' page set up where people can go to get current information.

When a ski injury or fatality occurs, it usually gets reported on this site very quickly. A decade ago, most skiers would never hear of these incidents.

The result is, people spend more time focusing on the negatives and can become a bit too focused on such things. The sociologists believe this phenomenon is leading to a general increase in anxiety and distrust, and a general overall paranoia.   In the past, people were bombarded with negative news only when reading the paper on the bus or watching the nightly news. Today, you are bombarded with it all day long as you sit down in front of the net.
post #4 of 13
Also, this can have positive benefits for the skiing public. It certainly brings about an increase in avalanche awareness and issues of safety. It is no coinicidence that many of the helmet debates seen here usually fiercly erupt right after, or in the midst of a thread about someone being killed in a skiing acccident. These stories, naturally, immediately focus everyone's attention on their own safety and what can be done to make sure that doesn't happen to them. It's just that reading too much about it, or thinking too much about it, can probably make you paranoid.
post #5 of 13
Since the explosion of the internet I've found it to be a double-edged sword. Instant access to almost any and all information you could ever possibly imagine, literally nearly everything is on here now with exceptions now and again. Maybe this doesn't scare other people, but it at least makes me slightly paranoid about what the future holds as we continue to hop and leap headfirst into the future of technology. Not only does it hinder our actual resourcefulness in finding necessary information about things, but it's crippling the idea as to not question if we can, but if we should.

News has always been centered around the bad though, as I've found over the years, while death and destruction is an essential part of news and should be told, I think it tends to get a lot more attention than some of the more interesting things happening in the world like discoveries or even just interesting research about something. This is all just IMHO though. So take it as you will.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
In an aspect of skiing that we all have to approach with absolute trust is the chairlift or gondola or cable car. It just wouldn't be much fun if you were considering the possibility of failure in the cable or brake or tower. At this point, a jet cut a cable, ice blew up a tower,  a poorly maintained chairlift slid backwards.

People are heading to the backcountry in herds. Avalanche awareness not withstanding. Behavior there is often emotion based urges and desires.

In understanding (or misunderstanding) risk, the one chance in a thousand mishap happens when you are aware of millions of skier days. 

I think anxiety is what is produced
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Perhaps I prefer the filters that once protected my innocence about skiing.
 

Me, I prefer to apply the filter myself, not imposed by someone else.
post #8 of 13
Charlift incidents make good news. The press likes them because they are unique and get attention, whether you are a skier or not. Many people are afraid of heights and the story plays into their fears.

On a side note, it would be interesting to compare people's perception of ski injury today compared to the time in the past when there was no substantial use of the internet to obtain information. In the past, skiers knew that now and then a skier broke a leg or tore an ACL. Most people never really thought about it much and most never could connect a face or personality to an injury story, and nobody had access to the gorey details.  
 
On a site like this, you can hear the stories, see images of the wounds, hear experiences of medical procedures and surgery, post-op pain etc. Skiers who had an injury recall in vivid detail how the injury happened, what they felt, and how it all played out.
 
Naturally, people might get a little anxious and start making posts about why boot-top fractures are an issue and everyone shares a theory. People start getting a bit freaked out and worried. Binding safety issues and DIN debates erupt --  Are my bindings set too high? Too low?  I am on Markers. Am I ok? Will I pre-release ? I heard Markers do that !
 
A decade ago, many of the skiers who currently fret over these issues probably wouldn't give them much thought. Many wouldn’t give a whole lot of preference to what brand of bindings they were on or if their DIN was too high or low. The shop would set the bindings to the reccomended specs, hand you your skis, and off you go. You would go ski and have fun and that would be the end of it. Today, many skiers are likely to fret over an issue such as whether they should crank their bindings higher than what the shop set them at -- likely because they read about pre-release horror stories on the net
.
 
Although it has added the benefit of increased awareness of some safety issues, I think that obtaining information over the internet has increased the general level of paranoia and worry among skiers.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crvehrdorgohome View Post

News has always been centered around the bad though, as I've found over the years, while death and destruction is an essential part of news and should be told, I think it tends to get a lot more attention than some of the more interesting things happening in the world like discoveries or even just interesting research about something.
 
Strictly speaking, that's not really true.

If the news report auto accidents with the same zeal as they report ski accidents, people would get a proper perspective of how safe skiing is.

But auto accidents are not sensational. So not much gets reported. As a result, people won't go skiing, they go for a test drive to the dealership!
post #10 of 13
I believe the technical term of recent or high impact or high profile events affecting mental state and behavior is "availability heuristic." Mass media uses it to their advantage. 

The more available or high impact the information is, the more affect it may have on our mental state. 

To make it relevant here, take for example the case of Natasha Richardson.  Her death brought the helmet debate to the fore.  But the death of a less high profile person did not have that affect.

To take a less ski relevant example, crime and other sad events that the news disproportionately presses upon us gives us a sense that our streets are dangerous and that we should distrust oneanother.

Actual experience teaches us something different.  There are millions of people skiing and interacting every day, helping each other, saying high, enjoying life.  But the news does not cover when things go right, it covers the exceptions to the rule and then somehow we begin to think the exception is the rule...but its not.

So ski, live, have fun...don't watch the news.  It use to empower, now it seems to overwhelm...perhaps there are vested interests to overwhelm us.  Or perhaps that is just the effect it has on me.

See you on the slopes...
post #11 of 13
Follow up to my own post:

Essentially the availability heuristic operates on the notion that "if you can think of it, it must be important."[1] Media coverage can help fuel a person's example bias with widespread and extensive coverage of unusual events, such as airline accidents, and less coverage of more routine, less sensational events, such as car accidents. For example, when asked to rate the probability of a variety of causes of death, people tend to rate more "newsworthy" events as more likely because they can more readily recall an example from memory. In fact, people often rate the chance of death by plane crash higher than the chance by car crash, and death by natural disaster as probable only because these unusual events are more often reported in mass media than common causes of death. In actuality, car-accident deaths are much more common than plane-crash deaths, whereas more common causes of death, such as medical error, tend not to be widely reported. Additional rare forms of death are also seen as more common than they really are because of their inherent drama such as shark attacks, and lightning.

Same conclusion as before: Live!! Ski!! See you on the slopes!!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I agree that we have to have our own filters, NYC, and I'm working on it.

Skiing is like all activities on the planet. We learn (?) to be aware of what supports our lives. We unconciously filter out information that destroys our lives (happiness).

If I was unable to forget for a time the  plight of Polar Bears and Gorillas and whales, and the tragedy that intervenes in so many families lives, I would be glum indeed.

I was on a chair and the guy with me started a sentence: "....do you want to see where_____________ _____ ___________ ______" I cut him off as quickly as I could: no, I don't want to know the exact tree, the exact line he skied, the path he slid. If I knew the specifics, rather than just the general fact, it would likely ruin skiing that area for me forever. I respect the skier that lost his life, and honor him, but don't need to destroy my future experience to do that.

Bringing it back home to here, I am making an effort to sellect posts, and spread happiness on the hill.
post #13 of 13
Live for today.  Tomorrow may never come.
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