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Hi there,
How was your Memorial weekend? My wife and I went to a barbecue at my parents' house. It was a moment that seemed like it was pulled from a world long gone.

It's fitting during this weekend of memories. I remembered the Soldiers, Rangers, and SEALs lost during my time in Afghanistan. 

Still, the most painful loss came closer to home. It was December 2015, I received a call from my unit commander. The previous weekend, I had agreed to transition into the Senior Enlisted position for my Army Reserve Unit. This was not the call I expected.

Pratts was dead. 

On December 12, 2015, SGT Joshua Pratts died by suicide. He was 28 years old. 

Beloved by his teammates, it was a shock to our small unit--our family. He's one of those people who was always positive, smiling, and willing to take on a challenge. He literally arranged the unit Christmas party the previous week. His family held the funeral on December 21, four days before Christmas.

This Memorial newsletter, I wanted to take a moment to remember my friend and all others who have made the ultimate sacrifice, either for their county or fighting their internal wars afterward.

I'm thankful for your willingness to share a few minutes of your time with me each week. If you ever need a friend, I'm here, even if we've only met virtually.

Who did you think of this past weekend?
We Will Never Forget

Safety Proves Dangerous

Farnam Street blog recently explained that making people feel safer actually increases risky behavior.

It's due to a concept called Risk Homeostasis:

[W]e all internally have a desired level of risk that varies depending on who we are and the context we are in. Our risk tolerance is like a thermostat—we take more risks if we feel too safe, and vice versa, in order to remain at our desired “temperature.”

For example, as football helmets have improved with technology, serious injury risks have proportionally increased because players have become more reckless.

Similarly, when drivers were required to start wearing seatbelts, pedestrian deaths increased because people drove faster.

Clearly relevant to today, FS made five recommendations for improving safety:
  1. Safety measures are more effective the less visible they are because they won't be met with compensation.
  2. Incentivize good behavior, similar to what auto insurance companies have done.
  3. Implement corresponding rules to avoid risk compensation, as football leagues have tried to implement to decrease dangerous hits.
  4. Educate people. Making them feel less safe can improve behavior, for example serious car accidents decrease during icy weather.
  5. Do nothing. Systems and situations are complex. Intervention can change the danger and/or can make it worse.
When we're considering what to implement for safety, we need carefully consider potential second and third-order effects.

Could we be making the situation worse?

This concept pairs well with the TED Talk, "The Security Mirage."
GRVAT Update

I'm running, virtually across Tennessee in the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000k (GRVAT).  634 miles (5 miles/day) between May 1 until August 31st.

There are no easy miles left -- the heat of summer has arrived.

Wed: 2.52 (walk with wife)
Thur: 6.03 (hot and awful)
Fri: 0
Sat: 11.37 (hike looking for gators, afternoon run)
Sun: 11.39 (run with brother)
Mon: 11.01 (rain, rain, rain)
Tues: 0

Total Miles this Week: 42.05 miles
Cumulative Miles: 134.87 miles
+/- from Finishing Pace: +4.87
Quote of the Week

"Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom."
- Thomas Jefferson
Until next week, stay safe, sane, and intentional.

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