I just re-read Moulton Avery's "Anatomy of a Bad Decision" with renewed interest, in light of recent articles, editorials, and letters to the Editor. I too narrowly interpreted Avery's notions on the first reading as contextualized for cold water paddling only, when in fact, the push/pull between reasoned risk-analysis and that of intuition and emotional-apparatus decision making is so apropos to many kayak-related incidents, especially involving advanced and expert paddlers.
I'd like to see more of Avery's type of risk-theory brought to light where there is application for paddlers. As I assess various kayak incidents that cross my attention for possible contribution to Sea Kayaker Magazine, I'll certainly be considering these elements for signs of compelling lessons when determining what stories are worth pursuing.
The dichotomy between experienced, proficient and theory-soaked paddlers versus their apparent lack of preparatory and precautionary practices and poor launch decisions, as well as when and why errors of judgment are made as they transition from safe boundaries to potentially unsafe ones, is something that a mature sea paddling community needs to examine. I'm doing that in my own paddling life right now.
I'm not sure a framework for an integrated model of thinking exists in a activity where so much depends upon individualized skill-sets, personal risk-aversion thresholds (that truly vary significantly), regionally-inclined equipment/safety-gear choices, an evolving navigational ethos, and a society-based pressures that bring the importance of our poor adventure decision-making consequences increasingly into the light of lawmakers and those agencies looking at S&R funding options. Certainly though, one can't throw out intuition for cognition nor visa versa.
I also don't know if there is a better way to present safety articles so that there is a standard by which each incident can be judged for comparative values, much the same way kayak stability curves are given inventory or car magazine publications compare performance metrics. The narrative approach is an abiding format to safety articles and benefits from independent review in certain cases or where that has become the expectation, perhaps.
Whatever the scope inclusive with Sea Kayaker Magazine, it too must evolve while remaining relevant to each succeeding generation of paddler. The e-newsletter and this online forum has certainly come a long way and I with it.