Arrian wrote:As far as the "not encouraging them" argument goes, really? You think it really makes much of a difference whether the entry is in Guinness or on Wikipedia to people who are willing and able to invest the years of work and hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars required for a round the world sailing trip? Yes, sailing around the world is dangerous, more so than simply sailing for a day or driving. (But do you know how dangerous?) But the people who attempt it certainly know the dangers. And simply sailing for the day or driving IS dangerous. Children die all the time in accidents, it's
the nature of children human nature to take risks and push boundaries, but the difference between a kid driving too fast on an icy road and a child sailing around the world is that the latter has trained years for exactly that. I think you're misplacing your concern by worrying about this tiny number of people who attempt amazing things, especially when they can be used as examples of how you can do great things, but those things take tremendous amounts of work and dedication.
Not to shotgun your exceptional image of humanity but, uhm... Darwin Awards.
Not that people are incapable of doing great things as individuals, but there's lots of people out there that when presented with someone who's done something amazing go "I can totally do that", and then proceed to make the attempt with a total lack of planning or knowledge.
Like Adelir Antonio
who tried to replicate the 1982 Lawn Chair Balloon Flight
, however having purchased a GPS to tell his position, was unable to actually -use- the GPS do direct rescuers to his position when he drifted out to open water.
The thing is that for every prepared, educated, and skilled person that does something successfully, there are an unknown number of others who attempt the same or similar feats with little or no preparation, -and we never hear about them- because in so small part when they fail they become just another statistic on a coroner's report.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for allowing people to take whatever risks they desire at whatever level of expertise and preparedness they do or don't have, Darwin and his Chainsaw of Natural Selection
will have a word with them under (in)appropriate circumstances. However let's be honest with ourselves, Darwin Awards (and TV shows like World's Dumbest", and the entire genre of 'shocking video' shows...) is not in danger of running out of material, people do get themselves killed doing dangerous activities with a lack of forethought and an excess of machismo.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.