The Oops-Gotcha ratio

"Diana death a 'tragic accident'" article title brings to mind questions about definitions. In a cause and effect chain of events, where is a beginning and an end?

A legal inquiry ruling has now proclaimed Diana's death was an "accident" by definition. Therefore some things can be concluded regarding chains of events and accidents.

There is little doubt that the fatal collision occurred in the process of a hastily conscripted driver attempting to make an escape from a group of high speed motorcyclists.

The motives of the individuals involved in the fracas remains in murk. But it is well known that paparazzi cyclists were taking nighttime photographs close up of the driver from the front of the vehicle; I have seen one such photograph of the tense pair of men in the front seat as published on cover of a news magazine. Ever have someone shine a bright light directly into your face while you were driving in the dark? It is really hard to see where you are going.

Players of violent sports such as basketball, football and boxing are well aware of the principle of putting pressure on your opponent so as to increase the odds of him making a significant mistake while being forced to focus on a different area. It is an almost implicit motivational principle in such human conflicts.

As for the terrain of the event, the tunnel's location and unsafe configuration, easily knowable.

A pair of guys on a motorcycle who veer in front of you at night and and one shines an intense photography light suddenly in your eyes is likely to cause a driver to veer to avoid collision at the feint. Even somewhat more likely if the suddenly blinded driver had previously had been drinking alcoholic beverages in a relaxed setting.

A pair of part-time movie stuntmen circuitously brought in across the seas for an event hide identity well in motorcycle helmets, wolves in fox's clothing. Did they really exist, hired to pull off a stunt?

The pressure was clearly on, if Dodi and Diana hastily choose a person who was relaxing in a nightclub setting, to be an emergency driver. Were they just trying to get some private time together, or were they fleeing for their lives from a menace not clearly defined? Have you ever gotten that sudden strong sense of some determined assaulters having you in their sights? What did you do then? What if you are a relaxing security man in the cheery atmosphere that has spotted a pair of dangerous men active in the easygoing establishment, and the responsibiity is suddenly yours.

That the driver was doing his best to help them escape is no doubt. Escape from exactly what, is uncertain; but that it involved paparazzi cyclists is fairly certain. That the driver had some alcohol in him (per tests it is said) means he was more likely to make a mistake if pressured and then surprised by something.

That the tunnel's security cameras just happened to not be working at the time, is another curious factor. That is something not easily known by happy-go-lucky paparazzi cyclists. But no doubt some were first on the accident scene's carnage, with their cameras and who knows what else. A muscled fist to make sure? Some really do crave that in-your-face stuff as a triumph.

So it is probably the factor of the level of intent and predetermined strategy involvement in a chain of events that determines if it is an "accident." People endlessly are trying to change the course of history, it is part of the nature of life itself; yet the subject of the change is the significant thing. When the stakes are sufficiently high and not well known by outsiders, the game players sometimes can get really cleverly nasty. "Accident" apparently means a high ratio of "Oops!" to "Gotcha!" (Oops/Gotcha ratio.) But the "conflict" parameter seems the more significant thing.

Yet, per the general principle, if one happens to be in the path of a sniper's bullet, is it an accident that you and it were there at the same time? In a way, yes, since all things are related. Cause and effect chains are hardly simple and have no beginning ... and no end.


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