experienced people have accidents

Thu, 26 May 2016 19:28:55 +0200

>> In 1996 Rob Hall and Scott Fischer were some
>> of the most experienced climbers on Mount
>> Everest. Yet both died from exposure and
>> several clients were also lost or suffered
>> permanent damage.
> Your example has nothing to do with the
> ability of Hall or Fischer. The catastrophe
> was caused by a blizzard that struck the
> mountain while the climbers were exposed.

Well, there are many books about those events
so I think there are many views and proposed
reasons all of which may be part true...

For example, in this book:

      author     = {Ed Viesturs; David Roberts},
      ISBN       = 0767932609,
      publisher  = {Broadway},
      title      = {K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain},
      year       = 2010

they say Fischer suffered from
altitude sickness.


Lat's say P is the risk of having an accident
and that is a function that indeed is reduced
with e, the number of times you've done it -
i.e., your experience.

So the risk for you to have an accident the
e'th time you do it is P(e).

The risk function reduction will be very steep
in the beginning: compared to P(1), you will be
much safer at P(2), and even safer at P(3), and
this is why beginners typically first learn in
a special setting which is more forgiving
to mistakes.

However, doing it thousands of times, there
will be virtually no improvement in safety due
to experience - say, from P(6000) to P(6001),
the risk will be in all essence the same!

So at some point e, there is virtually no gain,
on the other hand, the risk, tho perhaps very
small, still exists every time you do it.

So experienced people have accidents and that
is not because they lack experience - it is
because they are exposed to the risk, however
small, over and over!

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