Cameras, scraped knees and unconscious determination of value

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by nick mulder, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    I'll start this discussion by telling of the event that led to me thinking about it...

    Last night I tripped and fell over on the street - long day at work, two beers, rushing and wearing steel capped boots I'm not so used to :rolleyes: - I cut open my right knee through a nice big hole in my jeans and almost the same on my right elbow. Anyways, nearer to the point, I was carrying some AKG headphones that cost me a fair amount in my left hand at the time, they came out completely unscathed. It occurred to me that I had purposefully fallen in such a way that I protected the headphones completely - but this was done unconsciously, I had zero time to think about it - what I had done was transfer the destructive force from the headphones clearly into my body instead.

    I get the feeling that if I were carrying an apple or a bit of rubbish they would have been dropped and I would have landed on both hands with my arms to cushion the fall, not so much, if any loss of blood

    So, what part of my brain and at what time was programmed with the bit that said 'don't fall on this item' - when I bought it ? when I started to fall ? ... What value of item crosses the line ? Does our unconscious mind ever stuff it up ? And what are your thoughts on having your body, this is you, you know the most precious and unique thing you own literally take the fall for some easily replaced object ? Do we do a little utilitarian math here and figure out that the amount of work done in obtaining the cash equates to the same 'badness' to your body as the fall ?

    My AKG headphones could have been a Mamiya, Sinar, antique Dallmeyer lens, water bottle, balloon, baby, whatever ...

    Would I have fallen on a Holga ? (at the old prices ? or the new astronomical ones)

    Funny ol' thing the brain huh - things going on on in there behind the scenes

    No real issue to solve here - just shooting the breeze :wink:
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Neat.
    You fell like a cat. A cat will always land on all 4 legs.

    And that's better luck than I've had.

    Last time I had a serious fall was in 2001 running Imuch as one should not!) on a low-tide rock platform when suddenly I was upended and crashed on my back, then down came tripod and camera with a God-almighty wallop on top of me (neither damaged!). Ghastly struggle for breath and writhing in terrible pain. Sent yelping dog away to "get help!", but instead, after a long delay, he came back with his tennis ball. :mad: Eventually rescued. Spent 4 days in local hospital for X-Rays and recovery, finding bruised scapula and sprained neck. Never ever have picked up pace on slippery coastal rock platforms since then. I probably wouldn't ever set foot on one now.
     
  3. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    heh heh, do you think it's possible you ended up the way you did to save the camera ?
     
  4. funkpilz

    funkpilz Member

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    I learned in biology that the nerves that control reflexes such as protecting yourself when falling don't even pass through the brain.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Because your body can mend itself, the headphones can't.


    Steve.
     
  6. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    But I didn't protect myself, I protected my headphones - that's the odd part

    True - but not say if I lost an eye, got a lingering pain in my so and so or I guess, died :surprised:
     
  7. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I think this is a "it depends". I have fallen with my camera and thought about how to cradle it to protect it. Probably the rest of the fall action was reflective though. Same with a couple of bicycle crashes - thinking about where to put my hands and which way to roll. Sometimes the brain is amazingly fast. Wish it had been that fast during my college exams.
     
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I got taken down at a college football game and my folks watched on TV at home in another state. I was on the sidelines with my F4s and 300mm lens, and the game action went out of bounds for a moment. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got knocked backwards hard and held my camera up in the air while I landed on my back on the grass. I was fine and the camera was of course fine (I lifted it high right before I got hit). It was apparently a sight to watch on TV.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Having worked in a wilderness area packing mules, building trails, fighting forest fires and all that for 12 summers, I have had many chances to observe my reflexes in action, including spinning in mid-air to grab a ledge to keep from falling off a cliff and jumping over a log rolling towards me (not totally successfully). If I had to actually think through a plan of action, I would be dead or maimed by now.

    I think that carrying expensive (or just important) equipment over a long period of time, what one is holding becomes part of one's body in some strange way -- something to protect. So one's body is willing to sacrafice relatively unimportant body parts (knees, elbows) in order to protect what is truly important -- heads, gonads, cameras, babies, whatever.
     
  10. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Reflexes are a wonderful thing. Having slipped on scree near Devil's Elbow along the Merced River in Yosemite I was able to turn quickly and grab a tree branch to keep from falling in. My Exakta wasn't so lucky. The strap broke and off it went never to be seen again.:sad:
     
  11. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    OK Nick - in the interests of science we now need to work out what piece of kit you own that is as valuable to you as a gonad. I will start working on the details of the experiment :D
    I am sure I have a cricket ball around here somewhere...

    Ian
     
  12. tlitody

    tlitody Member

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    Ah but if you drop a piece of buttered toast it always lands butter side down. So what happens if you strap a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat and toss it out the window? Which up does it land?
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Not that again--we covered that in another thread.
     
  14. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Ahhh, the joys of the net - somehow we're now talking about strapping toast to cats and experimenting with gonads :wink:
     
  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Oh Lord, here we go. :wink:
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Nick, the Mamiya comment got me thinking about an experience I had in the Valley of Fire State Park in NV. I had my Mamiya on a tripod in my left hand with the tripod extended and under my left arm. I was walking on the side of the road and went off and there was a steep deep ditch and I started down, I picked up speed so reflexes in full action I started to speed up to out run the momentum. I ended up making a flat sliding landing with my left arm stretched out and up to keep the camera from doing a face skid. I tore my knees out and my right palm, elbow and arm had road burn. What a mess, I was alone and got back to the rental car and cleaned up with a paper napkin and half a bottle of water. I was bleeding all the way back to Las Vegas were my wife was at a medical convention. She took one look at me and said what a klutz. Reflexes saved the camera though.

    Curt
     
  17. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    So I'm sensing an obvious theme that I'm not alone in my experience - are cameras and other items of worth serving as proxy babies here ? At least in the part of the brain that deals with this ?

    I do note that one member here managed to throw his 'baby' into a river however - very biblical :rolleyes: :D
     
  18. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    LOL I would've saved if I could but that water was deep and COLD! That's what I get for using a 50 year old original leather strap.:D I'm willing to take a few bruises for my gear.:wink:
     
  19. Chriscc123

    Chriscc123 Member

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    I've had similar experiences, for example, falling some way down a 1000 foot clif/hill, (only went 10 feet down, still scary as all get out), (although was only carrying a little rebel, (digital :mad: (was out of film) ) I still managed to make sure my camera didn't get a scratch on it, (almost lost my hat, a stetson)
     
  20. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    I'm not sure if it's the same principle but "back in the day", when I was a fit and agile young man, I was walking up Striding Edge on the way to the top of a mountain called Helvellyn (in the English Lake District). I stopped briefly to take a photo but, realising I had my 135mm lens on the front of my OM2n - when I wanted something more wide angle - I started to change lenses. Bad move.

    As it was very cold (it usually is in winter at 2,300 ft + above sea level) I'd lost a fair bit of the feeling in my hands and promptly dropped both lenses mid-manoevre. Both lenses bounced merrily down the mountain. With zero thought for the possible consequences, off I went after them. Only after getting a bout 50 feet down the VERY steep drop did I remember the story of Robert Dixon who, in the mid-1800's disappeared and was found at the foot of striding edge being watched over by his faithful hound.

    As it happens, I don't have a very good head for heights but the point is this - I was more than prepared to risk life and limb for the sake of a couple of easily replaceable lenses. Was this act of abject stupidity related to my junior years or would I do it again today. Hopefully, I won't ever have to find out.