"Sedenquist's Rule of Serial Consequences"
Some folks think that road trips are just accidents waiting to happen. On this Forum, we make a point of showing the pitfalls and the thrills of road trips. In my latest MSNBC column I propose a way of planning for getting out of scary or otherwise dangerous situations.
I would like to know what you think of this concept.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-23-2023 at 07:10 AM.
Reason: MSNBC Link no longer valid
Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
A similar concept is also very prevalent in the engineering disciplines, where one small mistake may not ruin a project, but add one or two more, and everything falls apart.
And True Across Disciplines
We also see this over and over again in flying accidents, where a given crash is almost never the result of a single bad decision or equipment malfunction, but the result of successive poor choices that each reduce the margin of error until there is none left, and the last 'straw', that would have been almost inconsequential in its own right, cements the downward spiral. I don't know that I'd ever put a 'magic number' on the number of bad decisions needed to end in tragedy, but rather the pilot or driver in command must be aware that he or she is always making decisions that affect the safety of the trip and that in each decision, they should be looking to optimize their margin of safety and maximize the number of options still available to them. I think this is also one of the basic concepts taught in Defensive Driving where the driver is always looking for his 'out' option(s) in the event the other driver does the incredibly stupid, because while he won't always, he will eventually.
Very Good Article!
I think most aspects of life whether it be work or pleasure has the ability to fall completely apart due to a bad decision. A tax return where the accountant agreed to add a few questionable deductions can lead to a lawsuit and an IRS investigation. That's why you always carry lots of malpractice insurance and double and triple check your work.
Was this a personal memory?
I met with our CPA team today -- good folks --
Originally Posted by lhuff
Nope - not personal
...thank goodness. I take my risks on the road, not on the tax return. I've just heard too many horror stories at conferences and from other accountants over the years.
Good article, Mark. (I suppose this is what you wanted that picture for? Sorry I never got that to ya.)
I think one of the key factors that people these days tend to forget is that not everyplace has cellphone service, not everywhere can always get a good signal for your GPS car navigation systems to work, etc. Being able to help yourself without having to depend on technology is always a good skill to have. I carry a book in my car called "How to Survive in the Woods". While I'm an avid camper, I'm not real skilled in survival skills. But I have items in my car that will make the difference if survival is my goal. And, with that little book, I'd be able to figure out the rest of what I would need to do.
Man vs. Wild and Survivorman are great shows on TV that I watch once in awhile. I've learned a lot from them. One of the best segments was when Survivorman showed how to save yourself if your car is stuck in deep snow miles from nowhere. After the tragedy of the Cnet guy in Oregon, this is something we should all be aware of. Some of his suggestions were amazing, like:
* to ensure that his feet stayed warm, he tore apart his truck's seats and wrapped his shoes in the foam padding. He then wrapped the padding with the vinyl seat-coverings. This would keep his feet warm and dry.
* to keep his head warm, he did something similar. He also made a flap that covered his face and cut eye-slits in it. Both for warmth and to prevent snow-blindness.
* He used the rest of the materials to wrap around his body for extra insulation. Yeah, he looked silly but better silly than dead.
He took the hubcaps off the car and carried them to use for digging in snow. To use as a pot over a fire to melt snow to drink. He also did some hunting and used it to cook in. I can't remember all what else he did but main thing I've learned is to think outside the proverbial box to find creative solutions to any problems you might encounter.
Hopefully none of us will ever be in true survivor situations but it never hurts to at least consider the possibility and have some ideas in reserve.
I think you need to meet my sister, aka my intrepid roadtrip companion. She can live out of her car for approximately two weeks on the offhand that she ever runs off the road into a swamp. She has canned food, water, tarps, knives, etc in her car. It's actually rather scary. :)
Good Story, an eye opener.
We use our wireless laptop for Auto Radar.
Log on, get the weather radar report ahead and make our decisions from that.
Gosh....she sounds like my kindred spirit! I guess I would scare you, too. But I don't have enough for 2 weeks. Probably about 3-4 days. It does come in handy though. I have been out playing around in the toolies and have raided my food stash for lunch. A few years back when I had car trouble a long ways from any town, I had something to snack on...hey, I was hungry!...while waiting for the AAA tow truck. And the knife, multi-tool, duct-tape, and other items have come in handy a number of times. I guess your sister and I should have been boy scouts! LOL
Originally Posted by lhuff
Tags for this Thread