Of condoms and other helmets.

Skiing in Japser last weekend, even given my not inconsiderable energiesi on snow-drenched black diamondsii and despite the Monstersiii strapped to my feet, it was barely lunchtime before I found myself in the terrain park in search of ever greater thrills. Like some kinda fatherless child with no sense of self-preservation, I took run after run at the biggest jumps on offer… all without a helmet.

Now for some, this would be considered cavalier. Except instead of “cavalier” as a synonym for recklessness that “everyone agrees upon” because their historical understanding of chivalric knights is derived from pop-pulp featuring love-drunk fools,iv I’m inclined to adopt the traditional (ie. correct) definition as one of a dutiful adventurer and Defender of Good. Whether it’s the fearlessness that comes with the first few grey hairs, the first few megabucks, or some previously latent adrenaline junkie virus inside of me,v it sure as hell isn’t something that tends to come with parenthood. And you can bet your bottom dollar that had I a social media presence and the vanity to post pictures of myself doing even my amateur grabs and twists off of purpose-built jumps, I would’ve drowned in comments of the “OMGERD IT’S NOT 1997 WEAR A HELMET” variety faster than you could say “moral hazard.”vi I know this to be true because one of my ski buddies did exactly this and that’s exactly what happened. And he was just sticking to blue runs!

But heckling or not, risks can never be eliminated, only avoided or embraced. So it is that while I don’t wear a helmet skiing or cycling, you’d better believe that I wrap that shit up in the bedroom.

Not entirely, but at least in part because I’ve spent considerably more time at these outdoor activities than this particular indoor one, their comparative risk profiles are vastly divergent to my eyes. But even if you’re terrible at skiing and cycling, I don’t know what kind of psychopathic moron you’d have to be to risk STDs and children. The latter in particular is a cross that I’m unwilling to bear (unless it’s intentional). Even with the pill, that forsaken shaman of working woman bondage, the effectiveness is only ~90%. This is less than 20% better THAN PULLING OUT. Add a condom into the mix, however, and you’re looking at closer to 99% combined efficacy. Ferfuxxxake just using the pill gives you a one-in-ten chance that you’re either visiting the abortion clinic or raising a child you don’t want. Those odds combined with the magnitude of those consequences make dome-free fucking in-fucking-sane-on-a-stick – like window-licking insane – so goddam insane you shouldn’t be allowed to handle anything more dangerous than crayons.

And yet, almost every dude I know – regardless of whether they’re in long-term relationships or not, regardless of whether they have a schmancy medical or engineering diploma on their wall or not – DOESN’T WEAR A CONDOM!!1 But do they wear helmets on their bikes and boards like good little girls ? Absolutely. Yours truly, on the other hand, does it backwards and has no intention of giving up his yet-to-be-broken Magnums tyvm.

Even though one of my best friends from childhood now has the mental capacity of a 4-year-old after hitting his head on a tree while snowboarding (and wearing a helmet ofc), the take home lesson from his tragic outcome isn’t that “Oh golly jeez isn’t he lucky to be alive it’s a good thing he was wearing a helmet or he’d be dead.” No, the take-home lesson is DON’T SKI IN THE TREES. That’s not skiiing, that’s playing chicken with your maker. Other things to avoid while on skis or snowboards if you value your life (and no, living like a 4yo isn’t living) include

  • No flying blindly off cliffs
  • No wearing goggles with limited peripheral vision,vii
  • No fallingviii
  • No rawdogging

That last one may or may not be a ski thing but at the end of the day, you’re not trying to live, you’re trying to live well. At least I know I am. And if we’ve learned anything at all from Herr Taleb, it’s that it’s not the number of sigmas we need to respect but the consequences of rare events.

That means wearing helmets where and when they count most.
___ ___ ___

  1. For my record-keeping as much as yours, I’m currently deadlifting 320, squatting 220, benching 215, and wall-sitting for eight minutes, all of which are in line for college baseball or basketball players (a decade my junior!). Football players are obviously on another level altogether. []
  2. The double blacks off the Eagle Quad were closed on account of the unseasonably warm weather recently. Charlie’s Bowl off the Knob Chair was in the clouds. []
  3. Despite measuring 185cm in height, I prefer to ski 168s to 170s, though Head Monster 163s were all they had available in the hillside shop. I used to own skis but for the two days a year I make it up to the Rocky Mountains, I can scarcely justify the investment given the rate of technological progress in the market. Did you know that there are now skis with ICs in them ? Head is leading the charge and is even using the same “KERS” moniker as F1.

    Also, “Head” is a stupid name for a ski company. Unless you pronounce it HEE-ADD, which afaik isn’t the case even though the firm is Dutch. Besides, “head” in Dutch is “hoofd.”  []

  4. Eg. A Knight’s Tale with a young Heath Ledger (2001). I shit thee not. []
  5. When I went hang gliding over Rio de Janeiro a few years ago, my pulse raised exactly zero bpm as we jumped off the cliff. Zero I tell you! It was almost unsettling how un-unsettled I was. Surest sign of a sociopath if even there was one, which, for all you know, is virally transmitted. Hey, Alzheimer’s is quite probably a prion disease, so why the hell not ? []
  6. To be clear, that I live in a land with first-class socialised medicine has relatively little impact on my decision not to wear helmets. While no one wants to be a resource-sucking vegetable like Michael Schumacher (who was wearing a helmet during his ski accident ftr), I’ve little issue with saying sayonara with a spectacular bang. I mean, what could be better than living a full life and then ending it “too soon” off a barrier-free edge of Mulholland Drive ? Quality > Quantity yo.   []
  7. That helmets restrict peripheral vision by forcing the fitment of goggles with narrower fields of vision is almost the entirety of the reason I don’t wear one. My voluminous hairstyle* is in a distant, distant second with the general fagginess of domes** in a closer third.

    ___ ___

    * Taken last month in Banff but same difference :

    Peteski

    ** As part of safety culture pars pro toto.  []

  8. Even beginners have the option of not falling, at least on skis. That brodudes end up in the hospital because they overestimated their abilities need not deter conscientious (and sober) individuals from strapping on a pair and hitting the slopes.  []

One thought on “Of condoms and other helmets.

  1. Since all the comments on this article to date have been in the logs, I think I’ll take the liberty of copying and pasting them here for posterity :

    trinque: well yeah, but a) they’re fucking uncomfortable and b) see A.
    trinque: regarding the pill, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it’s had a profound impact on female behavior.
    trinque: they act differently, drastically, when they’re preggers
    trinque: so then we’ve made multiple generations of women that get pregnant and miscarry once a month?
    trinque: I think rather that it’s a mark of a ~severely impoverished~ society that pregnancy is this harrowing pitfall
    trinque: whether speaking of culture, sexual dynamics, or money
    trinque: what, you have an iPhone? great, kid. my great grandmother had 14 kids and her man was a coal miner. and they all ate.
    ben_vulpes: eh, if you’re not falling, you’re not learning
    ben_vulpes: also helmets are hella comfy and i have nfi what you’d need peripheral vision for
    ben_vulpes: what, are people passing you on the slopes?
    diana_coman: hm, the first thing I purposefully learnt when on skis was…how to fall; as in: how to fall *without* breaking anything etc
    [...]
    mircea_popescu: diana_coman that’s first thing half-decent horseriding instructor teaches you also.
    mircea_popescu: heck, should be parenting 101. “baby, don’t fall LIKE THAT. fall like this, look” and there she goes, plop on the carpet.
    mircea_popescu: 99% of sacral fractures are because woman fell flat on her ass like idiot instead of falling on side like nature hardened body to do.
    mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628626 i don’t see this at all. if you fuck a woman “normally” and she’s not on the pill, you will obtain 8 kids in 10 years. you will also obtain an extremely shriveled woman, because like it or not females are essentially the cotyledon of children. biology is merciless and the ultimate empire, it dun care one whit your girl is smart and pleasant and worships you, it just cares to push o
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 06:10 trinque: I think rather that it’s a mark of a ~severely impoverished~ society that pregnancy is this harrowing pitfall
    mircea_popescu: ut more biomass. look, eg, into the aetiology of osteoporisis (tl;dr : body melts her bones to pump out calcium in milk for baby ; if menopausal it’s almost like she’s pregnant (ie, low hormonal output) so it melts her bones anyway! because fuck her!)
    mircea_popescu: as it happens i am not about to trade my insanely selected (not just http://trilema.com/2017/the-story-of-the-scared-slut/ should plainly indicate that scarcely a girl in a million makes it past my gates) toys for … what the fuck for, $random-kid ? That’s not for my sluts to do, that’s for the 0 value redditards. for them, it’s actually +ev. my girls have immensely more important shit to do, such as… everything else. the
    mircea_popescu: ~only sane way to look at sexuate reproduction in humans is as an equivalent of taking the minimum wage. it’s a thing to do there, like flipping burgers, a safety net so you’re never in this position where you have absolutely nothing you could do.
    mircea_popescu: in other words, human society has advanced to the point where the spot on the r/K continuum that its primate biology has picked is insufficient. i want it way the fuck K-er, which is why my women reproduce through selecting and training other 16-25yo girls, not through having fucking babies.
    mircea_popescu: anyway, the pill is not equivalent to “get pregnant and miscarry”. it prevents nidation (ie, the implantation of the fecundated ovary into the uterine wall). pregnancy can at the earliest be deemed to have begun once the morule starts signaling (hormonally), which is days away from this moment. it’d be proper-er to say it gilds their womb.
    mircea_popescu: (i dunno if english has it, but the girl with the golden cunt is a sort of folk item in romanian. usually in “wtf has she got, is her cunt golden ?!” inquiries of exasperated exes.)
    asciilifeform: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628626 how many offspring has buffett? trump? etc. ? why do you suppose? because can’t afford?
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 06:10 trinque: I think rather that it’s a mark of a ~severely impoverished~ society that pregnancy is this harrowing pitfall
    mircea_popescu: trump has a half dozen or something neh ?
    asciilifeform: but not 500
    mircea_popescu: yeah. that’s more of a … seen Walk Hard ?
    mircea_popescu: more of a country bumpkin sorta thing.
    mircea_popescu: ended up rich by accident, such as through being rockstar.
    asciilifeform: i thought 500 was moar of a sultan thing
    asciilifeform: harem exhaust
    mircea_popescu: nah. sultans who were porphyrogenited so to speak don’t. gengis khan, who is basically a sort of dewey cox, does.
    asciilifeform: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628623 there was that tshirt sniffers experiment. was even replicated…
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 06:08 trinque: regarding the pill, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it’s had a profound impact on female behavior.
    mircea_popescu: ironically, harems worked about the same way mine does : lotta girls eating each other out, some anal, some oral, not so much missionary.
    asciilifeform: mircea_popescu: where’s the surprise in this. airplane sits most of the time on parking lot, same as bulldozer, same as harem
    mircea_popescu: mmm, this isn’t really true is it.
    asciilifeform: there’s 1 sultan, he has 1 cock, neh
    mircea_popescu: machinery utilization usually around 60%.
    mircea_popescu: ah that. yeah.
    asciilifeform: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628633 davout wouldja post your ‘odometer’ output plz?
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 07:21 davout: in other TRB news, my node is happily bitcoining, doesn’t seem too bothered by working with a regular HDD, and that’s without asciilifeform’s cache patch
    asciilifeform: ( see ml for the patch )
    mircea_popescu: yeah.
    mircea_popescu: very useful.
    asciilifeform: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628642 snipped fallopian tubes work great; iud worx great
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 12:46 mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628626 i don’t see this at all. if you fuck a woman “normally” and she’s not on the pill, you will obtain 8 kids in 10 years. you will also obtain an extremely shriveled woman, because like it or not females are essentially the cotyledon of children. biology is merciless and the ultimate empire, it dun care one whit your girl is smart and pleasant and worships you, it just cares to push o
    mircea_popescu: iud is actually pretty terrible.
    asciilifeform: it only got hindenburged/lispwintered
    asciilifeform: fud,
    asciilifeform: .
    mircea_popescu: not really. my mother had one, had to be taken out, nearly died in the process.
    mircea_popescu: conceivably the technology improved since the 70s, but anyway. i like pills, they give the girls proper hormonal cycles. why shouldn’t she pms ?
    asciilifeform: hey there are folx whose parachute didn’t open.
    asciilifeform: the brakes in my auto are more likely to kill me, than the iud, the chick.
    mircea_popescu: prolly true.
    asciilifeform: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628641 i thought arse was amortizer!11
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 12:37 mircea_popescu: 99% of sacral fractures are because woman fell flat on her ass like idiot instead of falling on side like nature hardened body to do.
    mircea_popescu: not on normal. gotta be a little angled.
    mircea_popescu: o hey, english has this! the normal = perpendicular. nice.
    asciilifeform: btw pete_dushenski, ‘Even with the pill, that forsaken shaman of working woman bondage, the effectiveness is only ~90%.’ this is a lulzy stat, because it lumps in not only user error but outright sabotage
    mircea_popescu: that’s ridiculous. pill is 100% wtf. even condoms are 99.x if you’re not fucking retarded.
    asciilifeform: it’s ~100% if it actually goes down the gullet everyday.
    mircea_popescu: yeah because it provides mutual reinforcement. this is like saying “deodorant is not 100% stinkproof”. dude… what ?!
    mircea_popescu: who the fuck did you meet that stank. now why did they.
    asciilifeform: pete_dushenski seems to be missing out on the 1 and only plus of having just 1 gurl : losing the plastic bag
    mircea_popescu: i srsly have nfi why you’d want to.
    asciilifeform: matter of taste, neh. i imagine some people fuck in cosmonaut pressure suit.
    asciilifeform: they’d laugh at mircea_popescu’s thin glove.
    mircea_popescu: but ~everyone fucks on beds. i mean, i can see now and again taking girl out on nature walk and generously allowing her to lay on her back in the mud so you don’t have to dirty yourself fucking her. but…
    mircea_popescu: wtf do you do, she douches after ? every time ? you eat it out of her ? does she dribble cum all over the bed as you watch the second half of the movie, so in a coupla weeks your sheet’s rigid ?
    asciilifeform: most houses have a shower, even in monkeystan
    mircea_popescu: so she douches after ? every time ?
    asciilifeform: aha?
    mircea_popescu: and before, i expect, because hey, you might feel like eating her out ?
    asciilifeform: this is not high tech..
    mircea_popescu: so she takes on average 20 showers a week, this woman ?
    asciilifeform: you dun have to wash whole earthly carcass each time neh
    mircea_popescu: which is why i said she douches
    mircea_popescu: you said shower.
    asciilifeform: in civilized places they also have this bidet thing, but it is too high tech for the monkeys
    asciilifeform: i only ever saw it alive in c2 and c3
    mircea_popescu: lol. they do have it here. dunno about east coast.
    mircea_popescu: not in cheap hovels, from what i’ve seen
    asciilifeform: before that only knew of it from grandfather’s ww2 story
    mircea_popescu: aaanyway. like you say, matter of preference.
    asciilifeform: you can’t, notably, buy a bidet in american household crud stores
    mircea_popescu: lmao
    asciilifeform: well yeah, if they displayed it, someone might wonder what it is… and there’ll be same wankscandal as when a hotel in nyc installed them
    asciilifeform: ‘ohnoez, cuntwash!!’
    mircea_popescu: i always wondered, what do the “every sperm is sacred” folk think about the very natural refund ?
    mircea_popescu: not like she KEEPS what you gave ‘er.
    [...]
    trinque: http://btcbase.org/log/2017-03-17#1628645 nah nobody suggests doing that. I went looking for where you said something about wealthy muslims having the stables full of expendable males, didn’t find.
    a111: Logged on 2017-03-17 12:46 mircea_popescu: as it happens i am not about to trade my insanely selected (not just http://trilema.com/2017/the-story-of-the-scared-slut/ should plainly indicate that scarcely a girl in a million makes it past my gates) toys for … what the fuck for, $random-kid ? That’s not for my sluts to do, that’s for the 0 value redditards. for them, it’s actually +ev. my girls have immensely more important shit to do, such as… everything else. the
    mircea_popescu: kinda how arabic culture works, neh ?
    mircea_popescu: large pile of expendable males.
    trinque: seems sensible to me
    mircea_popescu: certainly how the original, or the current, caliphate got established.
    trinque: idea was that petey (and many others) may be going around not sharing the spooge of the elite with teh common wimmins
    trinque: which seems to ~their detriment
    trinque: gotta raise some car mechanic’s kid instead
    mircea_popescu: the sad thing about war is that it’s so sensitive to inflation. ancient civilisations in the middle east got wiped when some dorks with young monkey printing press showed up. the whole german world collapsed under the onslaught of a short corsican “emperor” who was paying his armies in promises rather than gold. etc.
    trinque: I can see it; count your available supplies poorly and sure, get wiped
    trinque: as for the pills, I’ve seen more than a handful of girls get very boring on them, some with symptoms like constipation even.
    trinque: could be something they’re putting in them around here
    trinque: because gotta HFCS
    mircea_popescu: well it depends on the girls and etc.
    mircea_popescu: trinque re reproduction : i understand what you’re saying, but it’s a broken view of human congenital effects. you’re thinking “hey, genes are A-Z, types A1 to A9 and so following, sorted by quality. therefore, if guy with A1B2C1…Z2 etc is not fucking, all those yummy low digit genes will not be pumped into wombs, instead kids will be A9B8 etc”.
    mircea_popescu: this is not correct. the chances of you and unsterile mongoloid of having cook kid are about the same.
    trinque: hm, if so the thing falls apart
    asciilifeform: ‘regression to the mean’ ™
    mircea_popescu: it’s true he has much bigger chances of having a sub-marginal AVERAGE. but if you’re discussing exceptional, you’re not sensibly better than him at siring the next genius.
    mircea_popescu: so you and $random-girl will have 100 average babies and 1 beethoven, he and $random-girl will have 50 tards, 50 average babies, and 1 bach.
    asciilifeform: recall the anecdote re w. shockley’s ‘genius spermbank’ calling feynman ? him: ‘whatcha bothering ~me~ for, talk to my father’
    mircea_popescu: or whicever grand-mother that was involved. is the problem.
    mircea_popescu: this single-agent reproduction model is flawed. there’s n generations involved in the process.
    mircea_popescu: and there’s also complicated and poorly understood problems of fit. it CAN be the case that A+B have horrible children together notwithstanding A and B would be excellent mates for others. this shows up in, eg, horse husbandry all the time — foal of mare fallen to $random often outperforms foal of same mare with champions.
    mircea_popescu: there’s numerous examples of this, mares who produced n foals of which the only ones worth a shit they had with $nobody. and all the champs sired junk out of her.
    mircea_popescu: (in a previous life mp did extensive racetrack research.)
    trinque: http://trilema.com/2016/an-immodest-proposal/ puts this in perspective. only solution appears to involve getting out of the way of the shuffling, healthy amount of production, judicious filter
    mircea_popescu: i see no better.
    mircea_popescu: the problem most people fail to even vaguely in the zone represent is ticked in http://trilema.com/2015/the-genetics-of-intelligence/ : to wit, the IMMENSITY of the genetic space.
    mircea_popescu: large items are hard for the brain to grasp, but it makes a fucking difference if it’s pea sized or black hole sized. not SIMPLY because “oh, can’t lift it”, but because the universe does not scale liniarily.
    mircea_popescu: there is no such thing as degenerate matter (term of art, look it up) in any pea.
    mircea_popescu: is tickled* i mean

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