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Can this thread save your life, and perhaps countless others? Yes.

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MJ DeMarco

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I write this with a heavy heart.

It has come to my attention that a forum member with some pretty good post history was recently involved in a tragedy that resulted in the death of innocent person due to this person's alleged negligence. In short, alleged drunk driving and driving the wrong way on a freeway. The result of this poor decision was someone was killed, and this person arrested and possibly charged with some serious offenses.

In short, many lives have been destroyed due to ONE POOR DECISION.

While it is difficult for me to write this post, it needs to be done because it just might SAVE LIVES. And if it saves lives, it will save a lot of other lives from the tragedy and turmoil that will certainly follow -- not just for the victim and his family, but the person who made the poor choice.

This was a topic in my recent book and had its own chapter.

I called it a Downside Asymmetric Risk Event... how 1 bad choice can erase 100s of good choices, and irrevocably change your life forever. And others.

I'm going to post the chapter here for your reading.

Again, I wasn't sure if I should post this but then thought, if this thread can SAVE ONE LIFE (and many others) then it is worth it.

D.A.R.E stands for "Downside Asymmetric Risk Event" -- here is the chapter.

The D.A.R.E. STRATEGY

After three vodka tonics, I felt light and free. I’d just met a woman on an internet date, and the meeting went fantastic. Eye contact, engaged conversation, a few hair-flips; my ego was surging with confidence. I hopped into my 850-horsepower Viper and started the drive home. Five minutes later, my car was wrapped around a twenty-foot date palm, destroyed. But my life, luckily, was not.

What happened? With a hot ego and lowered inhibitions, I thought I’d street-race a throaty Mustang. I throttled hard, spun out, and crossed into oncoming traffic, broad siding a tree. In hindsight, I failed to recognize a DARE, or a Downside Asymmetric Risk Event.

If you haven’t noticed, asymmetry is a big theme behind a great rat race escape . A Downside Asymmetric Risk Event is when your choices have best ndworst-case consequences that are unevenly skewed negatively: minimal upside, colossal downside. It is a failure at consequential-thinking. When I’m street-racing on a crowded city street in a car sauced with nitrous, my upside is a fleeting burst of adrenaline and a superficial ego boost. Ten seconds of fun, eh? The downside is I crash and kill myself. Or someone else. The downside is catastrophic and lasting, perhaps eternal. The risk of this action (street racing) and its outcomes are disastrously asymmetrical. Remember, one poor decision can invalidate thousands of good ones.

Whenever you fail to identify a DARE, which could be a literal dare: I dare you to jump off the cliff, I dare you to eat the whole bag of marijuana gummies, you’re playing Russian Roulette. Your lousy decision loads the gun. While there’s a decent chance you can escape the consequences of your poor choice, there’s also a chance you’ll blow your head off. While none of us would willingly
play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun, you are whenever you make poor choices. A DARE becomes a bullet.

Remember that medical-device CFO who thought he would video himself chiding a Chick-fil-A employee at a drive-in window? A DARE loaded the gun. His upside was some likes and comments from anonymous strangers on YouTube; his downside was losing his career and life savings. He spun the barrel and lost. Remember, as Unscripted entrepreneurs, we’re trying to manipulate probability and have asymmetry work for us, not against us.

However, the real danger of DAREs are risks that are hidden or not easily forecasted—or asymptomatic risk. For instance, if you’re speeding on the interstate from Colorado into Kansas with a broken taillight and a pound of weed in your trunk, your DARE is asymptomatic and very asymmetrical. The catastrophe is not easily seen: getting stopped by police and thrown into jail for months, perhaps years.

Similarly, the new buzzword worthy of clickbait headlines on financial websites nowadays is this concept called FIRE—or Financial Independence Retire Early. With a ten-year bull-market behind us, this movement is based on the compound interest scamP6—living frugally during your youthful working years while saving and investing most of it in the stock market. The hope is to “retire early” and continue living the same frugal existence based on presumed growth rates and systematic withdrawals. Participants call this financial independence—I call it financial dependence. Why? The risk is asymptomatic and asymmetric. If the stock market crashes or goes into a three- or five-year recession, retirement turns into a reckoning. OMG, my life savings are gone! OMG, my withdrawal calculations didn’t account for three years of negative returns!

While I respect the movement’s central tenet, freedom, denial of reality is best served asymmetrically. There is a 100 percent certainty that the stock market will eventually crash, and with it, life savings will too. While most markets eventually recover, most people can’t survive the duration. Freedom is the right neighborhood—relying on the stock market for that freedom is the wrong house. Newsflash: changing the prison warden doesn’t change the prison. Swapping your slave-owner from a corporate job to Wall Street doesn’t change slavery. In other words, FIRE is a DARE. Bullet, meet barrel.

As an Unscripted Entrepreneur, stock market crashes or economic recessions are not DAREs. If the stock market crashed tomorrow by 50 percent or didn’t earn positively for the next thirty years, my lifestyle wouldn’t change. I don’t have to update the resume and hunt for a job. There is no DARE. In fact, during the C0VlD-19 pandemic, my income didn’t drop. It went up.
Bet on it: The better you manage—or preferably, eliminate—asymmetrical and asymptomatic DAREs, the better life you will have. Life as an entrepreneur is filled with risk. The question is, are the chances you’re risking worth the best- and worst-case outcomes? Are you risking everything for twenty minutes behind a red curtain at the back of a sleazy strip club? What kind of probabilities and expected valuesS56 are you dealing with? Think consequentially for a few seconds, and you will expose the DARES.

And avoid the stupid games that have stupid prizes.

As for who this is, I will NOT post this person's real name or username simply because it won't change what happened. If that information is important to you, you are welcome to seek your own channels for that information. Please don't post it here, news reports, or anything else. Again, it won't change what happened and put things back to normal.

Bottomline, our actions and their consequences can extend to other people beyond ourselves. THINK before you ACT. When I think about this incident and how many lives that will never be same, you truly learn to respect the gravity of our choices.

A truly sad, devastating, and tragic situation.

Be smart people, stay safe, and learn how to spot DAREs that can fire because of ONE bad choice.... one day it might save your life, or someone else.


EDIT: Here is a link to the memorial fund for the victim. If you feel it in your heart, please donate a few dollars.

 
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Bekit

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Here's another example of how the DARE concept might have recently just saved me.

A few months back, I noticed that my laptop battery had swelled up quite a bit. It was actually cracking through the plastic housing.

IMG_20210929_131641.jpg

I thought it looked a bit scary and figured it probably wasn't good that it was like that. But I was planning to just hopefully limp along with the hope it would keep working until Black Friday when I would get a new computer.

Then, about a month ago, I mentioned it to a friend, and she informed me that it was more dangerous than I realized, as lithium ion batteries, when exposed to air, will catch on fire, and it's a fire that's very hard to put out.

My desk is a plastic folding table, so if my computer battery ever actually did catch on fire, it would probably melt the plastic table, which would then fall down onto the carpet below and spread to the bedding of the nearby daybed I have in the office.

If this happened at night while we were asleep, the whole office could be up in flames before we realized a thing.

So there was potential for a massive downside.

My friend told me to take the battery out immediately and just use my computer's power cord.

But one thing led to another and I forgot to do it right then, and 3-4 weeks later, I was still in the same boat with my very dangerous computer battery still in place. It was practically a ticking time bomb. And the only thing standing in the way of something happening was "hopeful thoughts." Lol.

So yesterday I made the connection that this was another "Asymmetric Downside" situation.

It costs me about 5 minutes of time and effort to remove the battery.

The potential downside if I failed to take action was disproportionately large.

So yesterday I took out the battery.

I can use my computer just as well as before. I was already using it with the power cord anyway. And I ordered a replacement battery for $60, so as soon as my shipment comes in, my laptop will also be portable again.

@MJ DeMarco this DARE concept is really good at helping to prompt better decision making. Thank you.

Side note:

DARE also applies to your health. If anyone has a "little" or "minor" health issue that you have wondered about but have never gotten checked out, think through whether there is an asymmetric downside. It will cost you barely any time and effort to get it looked at, but it may save you an enormous amount of pain if it turns out to be something bad and you were able to catch it early.

I knew a guy who developed a "little cough." Turned out he had a blood clot that would have been a fatal pulmonary embolism if it had ever broken loose. Doctors fortunately found it in time.

Don't take your health lightly. The "cost" of healthy food and exercise is way smaller than the cost you'll pay if you neglect your health.
 
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eliquid

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A great reminder. I know someone who was tragically affected by a drunk driver. Some fates are arguably worse than death. No good maximizing the chance of one of those.

I also try not to drive when the bars are letting out. 3am and such. It doesn't even have to be you... other people are out there maximizing the chance of a terrible thing, and there are identifiable patterns you can use to avoid them.

Im the same way ( early morning driving ), but I add on top of it I won't let my wife or kids drive on holidays or certain events like:

1. State or county fair nights
2. New Years night/ early morning
3. St Pattys Day
etc
 

Andy Black

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As well as being a wake up call for us to beware making bad choices, there’s some great advice in here about protecting ourselves from *other* people’s bad choices.

If this thread just saves one person from becoming a statistic then it’s a great example of a positive asymmetrical choice by those who contributed.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I'd like to stress that everything is alleged ... regardless of the outcome and/or whoever is responsible, the thread's main point remains the same which is what I'd like to stress: One impetuous poor decision that takes moments can transcend decades.

I know you said you wouldn't post the username or the person's name but any hint on how to find this information in outside channels? I would like to know who it was. If someone can PM and if this breaks a rule, please disregard.

Maybe someone can message you, but as I stated, the essence of the story doesn't change.
 
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A great reminder. I know someone who was tragically affected by a drunk driver. Some fates are arguably worse than death. No good maximizing the chance of one of those.

I also try not to drive when the bars are letting out. 3am and such. It doesn't even have to be you... other people are out there maximizing the chance of a terrible thing, and there are identifiable patterns you can use to avoid them.
 
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I was driving back home on a highway today with my girlfriend and we decided to change our plans and go elsewhere. I started messing with Google Maps on my phone (attached to the windshield) to set a new destination and remembered this thread. I refocused back on the road and told my girlfriend to set it up. It would only take me a few seconds but that's all it takes to ruin your life.

Ever since I read this thread, I thought about it in various situations at least a few times (including when I saw others doing silly stuff like a guy speeding through a road with sharp bends frequented by cyclists).
 

Ronak

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Sad.

The massive downside risk of alcohol is one of the big reasons I choose to abstain totally. Logically, it makes perfect sense-- little upside, huge cost over time, and russian roulette level downside.

Texting and driving is another seemingly benign decision that can have massive consequences.

Be careful out there!
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I promise to do my very best to remember the D.A.R.E. concept every time I am behind the wheel.

Excellent. Then this thread is doing its job.

This chapter in your book hit home for me. In my industry, there are parties, social events, alcohol. I don't mind a few cocktails over networking. But one too many can have a life-altering impact, for not only me but also for someone's loved one. One night after coming home late on the train I was walking to my truck. I was "fine" so I thought and only a mile from my house. But I remembered the chapter in your book and walked home instead.

Tim, this truly means a lot to me. Probably moreso than, "I read fastlane and made $10M!!" -- who knows what such a small, powerful decision (walking home) has led to, or I should say, not led to.
 

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I know you said you wouldn't post the username or the person's name but any hint on how to find this information in outside channels? I would like to know who it was. If someone can PM and if this breaks a rule, please disregard.
Nothing stays secret forever. Let this person's "due process" play out first. Sometimes things are not as they seem.
 

MJ DeMarco

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As well as being a wake up call for us to beware making bad choices, there’s some great advice in here about protecting ourselves from *other* people’s bad choices.

If this thread just saves one person from becoming a statistic then it’s a great example of a positive asymmetrical choice by those who contributed.

This was the impetus of the post, not to pile on or point fingers. If someone "thinks twice" about making a bad decision, it could save many lives, not just through preserving life, but about the emotional destruction left behind for survivors.
 

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Represented a physcian in a divorce not that long ago. Had a succesful practice. Military veteran. Two young kids. Handsome fellow. Mid-30s. Charming. No shortage of beautiful women would have been throwing themselves at him in short order. Dude had it made.

And (then) this knucklehead gets busted by the FBI for soliciting a 14 year old online.

Tragic. Threw his life away over something so incredibly stupid. Such a shame.

Asymetrical risks ...
 

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I was deeply impacted from some of your writings in Unscripted - your story with motorcycles got me to ditch my fantasies of riding around town on fast bikes.

I've found them to be some of the truest bits of wisdom to carry: in a world where the cost of self-preservation for basic survival is widely practical, the only thing you need to do is not die or go to jail.

For there is so much beauty that can be experienced in this life - all we need to do is relax and take it in. I'm much more interested in preserving my livelihood such that I may glimpse at the future we're building.

Driving is the most dangerous thing I do - I am on high alert and have become incredibly defensive in my driving. For one, I hardly drive, and if I do, I am hyper-aware. I don't listen to music, I keep my attention at all times on my surrounding, how many cars are around me, how each one is driving, who the drivers are, how their simple maneuvers inform me about their level of awareness, and I assume every driver is a dangerous idiot with the capacity to kill me with their misguided decisions. Just look into the cars around you - 80%+ are on their phones! This is madness - we're afraid of guns but allow any unaware idiot to carry all of this momentum in our physical space without a second thought.

Stay vigilant friends - and many thanks for the reminder MJ.
 
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I lost a friend due to an accident. He was driving while texting with his smartphone. He was only 17…

I am guilty of text driving - sometimes with my kid at the back...

This thread is the perfect reminder of how STUPID and CARELESS I have been.

I promise to do my very best to remember the D.A.R.E. concept every time I am behind the wheel.
 
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I also try not to drive when the bars are letting out. 3am and such.
That never occurred to me. Not that I’m ever out that late, but I’ll bear it in mind in future.
 
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mdot

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Im the same way ( early morning driving ), but I add on top of it I won't let my wife or kids drive on holidays or certain events like:

1. State or county fair nights
2. New Years night/ early morning
3. St Pattys Day
etc
Not drunk driving related, but I'll usually call in or delay going into work on the first snow day of the year. Not as many people have snow tires and everyone forgets how to drive in the snow after the summer.
 

Tim Conti

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I write this with a heavy heart.

It has come to my attention that a forum member with some pretty good post history was recently involved in a tragedy that resulted in the death of innocent person due to this person's alleged negligence. In short, alleged drunk driving and driving the wrong way on a freeway. The result of this poor decision was someone was killed, and this person arrested and possibly charged with some serious offenses.

In short, many lives have been destroyed due to ONE POOR DECISION.

While it is difficult for me to write this post, it needs to be done because it just might SAVE LIVES. And if it saves lives, it will save a lot of other lives from the tragedy and turmoil that will certainly follow -- not just for the victim and his family, but the person who made the poor choice.

This was a topic in my recent book and had its own chapter.

I called it a Downside Asymmetric Risk Event... how 1 bad choice can erase 100s of good choices, and irrevocably change your life forever. And others.

I'm going to post the chapter here for your reading.

Again, I wasn't sure if I should post this but then thought, if this thread can SAVE ONE LIFE (and many others) then it is worth it.

D.A.R.E stands for "Downside Asymmetric Risk Event" -- here is the chapter.



As for who this is, I will NOT post this person's real name or username simply because it won't change what happened. If that information is important to you, you are welcome to seek your own channels for that information. Please don't post it here, news reports, or anything else. Again, it won't change what happened and put things back to normal.

Bottomline, our actions and their consequences can extend to other people beyond ourselves. THINK before you ACT. When I think about this incident and how many lives that will never be same, you truly learn to respect the gravity of our choices.

A truly sad, devastating, and tragic situation.

Be smart people, stay safe, and learn how to spot DAREs that can fire because of ONE bad choice.... one day it might save your life, or someone else.
This chapter in your book hit home for me. In my industry, there are parties, social events, alcohol. I don't mind a few cocktails over networking. But one too many can have a life-altering impact, for not only me but also for someone's loved one. One night after coming home late on the train I was walking to my truck. I was "fine" so I thought and only a mile from my house. But I remembered the chapter in your book and walked home instead.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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This chapter in your book hit home for me. In my industry, there are parties, social events, alcohol. I don't mind a few cocktails over networking. But one too many can have a life-altering impact, for not only me but also for someone's loved one. One night after coming home late on the train I was walking to my truck. I was "fine" so I thought and only a mile from my house. But I remembered the chapter in your book and walked home instead.

In a similar fashion, anytime I look at a text message while driving, I hear my own voice heckling me in my head "DARE... DARE.... DARE...."

I also try not to text people while I know they are driving. Imagine being the text that caused someone to neglect their driving for a few moments and it results in a tragedy.

Not my driving I'm afraid of - it's other people on the road.

This ultimately led to me selling my motorcycle and replacing with a street legal side x side. There is no margin for error and too many idiots on the road. One negligent 7 seconds and you're dead. At least in a car, you can walk away with some bumps and bruises. A motorcycle, you likely won't.
 

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It is tragic how many people never think of consequences of their actions. Thank you MJ for the text you sent. Without the text with the direct link I would have never found it. I acted to your call, and now they have exceeded their goal.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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And yes, this linkage was approved by me. The original post has been edited to include as well...
 
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Bekit

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Good thread. I used the DARE concept yesterday in a conversation with my sister. I found out she hasn't been locking the doors to her house.

She was looking at it like, "yeah, but I've never locked my doors for years. I'm fearless. It'll be ok."

She is a single woman.

I brought up the point of the asymmetrical downside. It costs almost nothing to lock the door. But there is an enormous potential downside risk if you don't do it.

Not to say that somebody can't get in through a locked door. But locking the door definitely mitigates risk in the category of crimes of opportunity.

Putting it in terms of DARE might have helped it to sink in.
 

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I write this with a heavy heart.

It has come to my attention that a forum member with some pretty good post history was recently involved in a tragedy that resulted in the death of innocent person due to this person's alleged negligence. In short, alleged drunk driving and driving the wrong way on a freeway. The result of this poor decision was someone was killed, and this person arrested and possibly charged with some serious offenses.

In short, many lives have been destroyed due to ONE POOR DECISION.

While it is difficult for me to write this post, it needs to be done because it just might SAVE LIVES. And if it saves lives, it will save a lot of other lives from the tragedy and turmoil that will certainly follow -- not just for the victim and his family, but the person who made the poor choice.

This was a topic in my recent book and had its own chapter.

I called it a Downside Asymmetric Risk Event... how 1 bad choice can erase 100s of good choices, and irrevocably change your life forever. And others.

I'm going to post the chapter here for your reading.

Again, I wasn't sure if I should post this but then thought, if this thread can SAVE ONE LIFE (and many others) then it is worth it.

D.A.R.E stands for "Downside Asymmetric Risk Event" -- here is the chapter.



As for who this is, I will NOT post this person's real name or username simply because it won't change what happened. If that information is important to you, you are welcome to seek your own channels for that information. Please don't post it here, news reports, or anything else. Again, it won't change what happened and put things back to normal.

Bottomline, our actions and their consequences can extend to other people beyond ourselves. THINK before you ACT. When I think about this incident and how many lives that will never be same, you truly learn to respect the gravity of our choices.

A truly sad, devastating, and tragic situation.

Be smart people, stay safe, and learn how to spot DAREs that can fire because of ONE bad choice.... one day it might save your life, or someone else.
Thanks for posting MJ.

I've seen lives similarly damaged through one poor decision. It's never just one life that's affected either.
 

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Sad.
But a needed reminder. Sometimes a social drink turns into many. We must commit to a decision in advance of having too little “brain” for making the right call.

I barely ever drink, like 6 times a year! Meaning that when I have alcohol, I’m drunk fast. Lightweight. Even with just two drinks, I need time before I can drive.

Stay smart and safe Fastlaners.
 

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Here’s my ten-cents

To avoid making such a mistake, make sure you know your top needs and get them met in healthy ways.

When I was 18 or 19, I sped off from a stop sign trying to impress a girl in the car. A cop was right there at the intersection and pursued me. In panic, I pulled over too far and got my car stuck in the mud. Thankfully nothing worse happened, like MJs wreck. I’m so grateful. I was just embarrassed and had to pay a large tow truck fee. The cop did not even fine me, knowing the tow fee would be enough. He was right; never did that again.

Now I was needing at that moment to appear special, attractive, cool. If I knew that I needed that recognition or significance at the time, I could have made sure I got the need met in other ways.

If one drives after consuming, why? To connect with friends? To have an adventure? To wash away anxiety? To not "rock the boat" and ask someone else to be the designated driver? Whatever it is, maybe there are easy alternative ways to get your main emotional needs met.

E.g.
  • working out,
  • having a deep conversation,
  • breathing deep,
  • putting down the phone and being deeply present with someone,
  • going bungie jumping,
  • being in nature,
  • putting together a Zoom reunion for your family or group of friends,
  • doing affirmations in the mirror,
  • volunteering,
  • learning and being inspired from a great book.

Think twice for sure AND see how you can set yourself up to avoid those tempting moments by making sure needs are met in a healthy way throughout the day.
 
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Last edited:

Red

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For those of you wondering how you can possibly help, this is a GoFundMe on behalf of the victim's family left behind:


They are almost to their goal.
 

theag

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Yup. Not entirely sure the reasons for secrecy, it is a fact and with a victim name, is now public knowledge. It happened… things are never going to be the same. It’s a lesson to all of us, a reminder to many.
I agree with the secrecy. This thread shouldn't be about the person who did this (or even the victim, as sad as it is), but about the message. And its a pretty important one.
 
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socaldude

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Sad for everyone involved.

So many traps in life. Hard to have a preventative model in place to make good decisions. You have to be careful with alcohol as it’s behaviorally disinhibiting.


Dude had it made

I was thinking about this the other day. If someone doesn’t have a solid moral philosophy or some kind of model of “truth”. They will eventually do stupid stuff like that. Same goes for drunk driving. The model of truth society gave you is not enough. You need a solid binary perception that guides you through life. You have to have some kind of ethos or moral inhibition.
 

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