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Everywhere one looks it seems people are doing stupid things. Tosh.0 gives an abundance of videos demonstrating this strange counterproductive trait which humans now seem to possess in abundance. But, why are many people doing obviously self-destructive things when apparently they are not suicidal. It appears they have some distorted conception of how they want to demonstrate their prowess to themselves, and they do this by demonstrating flamboyant things for others to witness. With the advent of near ubiquitous video cameras it has become possible for we the public to see exotic examples of this bizarre human behavior.

There needs to be some research into how many people, who do these crazy things on video, practice them in their own private space, before the video-take. That way, just maybe, they are not seen by other people making fools of themselves and getting hurt. Do these people practice these stunts until they get them right? That seems unlikely, although Motocross seems to have developed into a sport from a similar activity, although it probably just ramped over the years as people became more skilled at jumping over empty air. Many of these new TV stunts appear to be conceptually advanced one-off events, not like typical Motocross, done for the first time by rank amateur beginners exclusively as a show-off for the camera. There doesn’t seem to be much preparation, skill or forethought for the stunts, or of the aftermath of a highly probable failure. Why? This violates the first rule of animal life. Protect your life! That simple instruction has been bred into living things for over a billion years. Why do these humans go wrong, when any normal amoeba would have gotten it right?

It seems unlikely that these types of unprepared stunts have been going on since time immemorial. In the so-called good old days guys would practice for years for a competition combat with their competitors and it appears they were usually stylized combats with rules and formulas and not simple-minded stunts performed in vacuo. Of course young men have always shown off their prowess, but it was usually as part of a game, in the midst of their peers, or when alone as practice to improve their skill, which was to be demonstrated in the game when the time came.

The root cause for this new form of risky behavior must be in a personal drive to achieve a public fame, or at least a recognition of their community. Even if the individual stunster gets injured, if he gets on TV, especially national TV, he becomes a celebrity. Then even if he has gotten crippled he has a great bump in his social status and forever more he is known as the guy who did the ….amazingly cool thing…. He didn’t quite do it right. He barely missed it and he got hurt really bad, but what a guy to even try to do something sooo crazy. It was kind of creepy, but I wish I could do something as spectacular as he did.

People want to be seen as special, and many do wild things to get fame.