Stunning autumn hues aside, motorcycling in Pacific Northwest is a lot about winding roads. It’s about navigating those curves at an optimal trajectory and speed, creating those lively moments when your foot pegs brush the tarmac. It’s about discovering that thin line, the line which separates recklessness from precarious optimism, that optimism of everything beyond your control going right! Discovering that trajectory requires a clear view, and an understanding of the full turn ahead. That along with instincts and skills tends to shape the plan on how to approach the turn, how to maneuver, at what speed etc.
High level plan aside, how you actually cover every inch on this trajectory also matters, because this determines how you approach the remaining part of the curve. In fact, at every point on that curve, along with basic physics, our own limitations and constraints of our machines determine our immediate next steps. So you are essentially shaping the specifics of the path as you go along. This simple principle actually applies to even the most mundane activities in life.
To quote the above Canadian death metal band — “Every decision we take. Every step we make. Every word we use. And every rule we choose.” – In short, even in our everyday life, with every single step we are progressively shaping our own trajectory, and at the same time influencing lives of others. So, if you had a fortunate or an unfortunate accident, it might not be that immediately preceding step. It could be any action leading up to the accident, which actually set in motion that accident prone trajectory.
The actual question is what are those steps which maximized the probability of that incident. It could be that disturbing conversation you had with the neighbor or that reckless driver on the freeway, or both. It could also be that this accident was just inevitable. With exhaustive variables at each step, identifying and modelling that action or sequence of actions is non-trivial. It sort of requires omniscience and infinite computing power. But a functioning society requires individual to take responsibility, with the fair assumption that our free will defines the path. In short, we shape our good and bad “accidents”, by acting or not acting to compensate for external pressures.