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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 08-25-08, 03:19 PM
  #3776  
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Anyone here tried the new Bern multisport helmets yet?
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Old 08-25-08, 03:41 PM
  #3777  
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I wonder why the pros and Olympians tend to ride around during warm-ups without wearing helmets? I guess they've measured the risks involved with the activity and decided that they're pretty safe, and if they did topple over they'd know how to fall without face-planting.
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Old 08-25-08, 04:16 PM
  #3778  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Incorrect. Consider that the vast majority of cyclists throughout the world don't and never did wear helmets. Are they all just really lucky? FACT is, the odds of an injury that might be prevented by wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle are about the same as that of other activities that you and I do daily but do not feel the need to wear helmets for. It really is a shame to see all you people who have been so conditioned to think that cycling is SO dangerous.

Wear your helmet, we're glad that you do, nobody is telling you not to, but if you think doing so makes you smarter than anyone else, you are sadly mistaken. It just means that you fear cycling more than others. Period.
Chip, I embrace cycling, pretty much addicted to it, I wear a helmet because I'm notorious for hitting my head when I fall off a bike, I just haven't learned to fall correctly, and I don't wish to start practicing in my spare time.
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Old 08-25-08, 08:07 PM
  #3779  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
You always base the PPE choices upon the hazard. For instance, for some airborne contaminants, a half-face respirator is appropriate, with a protection factor of 10 times the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) or Threshold Limit Value (TLV), depending upon the standard you wish to use.

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/resp...e/apf/apf.html

Toluene has a TLV of 20 parts per million. A half-face respiator will protect up to 10 times that amount, or 200 ppm. But if the amount is greater, than a better respirator is needed, say a full-face respirator (protection factor, 50 times the PEL or TLV). But if you are a member of a Emergency Response Team (ERT) responding to a spill where the concentration is unknown, you will want a pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus with a full-face mask, which has a protection factor of 1000 times the TLV, or in this case, 20,000 ppm. But at 20,000 ppm, you are getting into another problem with the lower explosive limit, so you can only take this analogy so far.
What kind of respirator do you use when your odds of being exposed to Toluene are almost zero?
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Old 08-25-08, 08:10 PM
  #3780  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
So? Haven't you heard? "It's better to err on the side of caution".
So why aren't you wearing a full face helmet with neck brace?
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Old 08-25-08, 11:03 PM
  #3781  
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
Do you have the whole study, John? I would be interested to know if it controls for exposure. If it does not (and I've yet to see one of these types of study that does...!), and if it turns out that the average Chinese rides more than seven times the number of miles per year than the average American (which I suspect may be true), then we could conclude that helmets are leading to more fatalities in the US (where helmet wearing is at quite a high level), whereas China really has very little problem, despite its population not wearing them.



True, but just because PPE exists doesn't mean that a choice of no PPE is unwarranted either.

I like the idea of assigning protection factors to helmets, BTW. I suspect helmet manufacturers wouldn't like it much though, as it might expose how lax the standards for cycle helmets really are.
Trombone,

First, on the use of PPE, if there are engineering or administrative controls, then yes, PPE is optional. But in the case of protecting one's head from brain injury, helmets are very useful. Not too many people seem to opt for the engineering control of riding a recumbant bicycle (much lower to the ground, and feet first rather than head first). Administrative controls, such as limiting time in the "hazard zone" can work (routes, use of bike trails, etc.), but not everyone has that option either. So helmets can be very useful in preventing brain injury if the accident actually occurs. (More on this later--more and newer papers for you to digest).

Yes, I do have the whole study "Injuries to Biciclists in Wuhan, People's Republic of China," by Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, and Susan P. Baker, MPH. The study, like most, compares the population as a whole with the number of fatalities. What you ask for, the "control for exposure," is not a stat that is attainable. It would require that daily milage be provided somehow (and in China, that would be in kilometers anyway, which Americans seem to have a hard time dealing with). We may be getting closer to this with some stats that the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in putting together on the Commute Options Challenge this September in the Portland area. We will be logging in to record our daily milage commuting my bicycle. Then maybe we can have some kind of idea about the milage of bicyclists, but only commuters. Getting any real numbers is a near impassibility for what you want, which I suspect is why you bring it up. But I would suspect that if this is what you want, that you would be willing to log your milage and report it to an organization trying to compute bicycle "exposure." If not, you are bringing up a straw man here.

But by quoting that study, I was showing that head injury is a significant part of the bicycle problem, and not necessarily a multi-injury situation. Here is what part of the article stated about injured bicyclists:
Data from Emergency Room Interviews

Of the 149 injured bicyclists who were interviewed in emergency reooms during a 24-week period, 61% were male and 33% were children aged 14 years or younger.

Head injury was the primary diagnosis for 21 (14%) of the 149 emergency room patients. Among the 128 patients whose primary diagnosis was not head injury, 4 (3%) had head injury as the secondary diagnosis. Abount 38% of the head injuries were skull fractures and the remainder were intracranial injuries. In addition to the 21 patients with head injury as the primary diagnosis, 10 (7%) of the patients sustained an openwould of the head and 8 (5%) sustained contusion of the face, scalp, or neck. The most commonly involved part was the lower extremity, injured in 50% of the patients.

The majority (71%) of the head injuries resulted from contact of the head with the concrete or asphalt road. Slightly more than a quarter (27%) of the head injuries were due to collision of the ead with a motor vehicle.

None of the 149 bicycling injury patients wore a helmet at the time of injury. Field observations during the data collection found no bicyclists who were wearing safety helmets...
Note that these were injured bicycists, and not the fatal population which was also discussed in this article. "Head injury was significantly more common among the bicyclist fatalities than among those who survived (79% vs 46%, P<.01)."

I hope this puts to rest the idea that somehow in developing countries where cyclists do not wear helmets, that there is no problem with head injuries. There is a problem, and it results in fatalities.

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 08-25-08 at 11:06 PM. Reason: add quote mark
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Old 08-26-08, 01:56 AM
  #3782  
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"I went into A&E, and talked to everyone who had been riding a bike when they got hurt, and found 17% had suffered a head injury of some form, usually pretty bad, none of them where wearing a helmet, thus helmets prevent head injuries"

or

"I went into A&E, and talked to everyone who had been riding a bike when they got hurt, and found 17% had suffered a head injury of some form, usually pretty bad, none of them where wearing ruffled pink underpants, thus ruffled pink underpants prevent head injuries"

They both make roughly the same leap of logic.
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Old 08-26-08, 02:02 AM
  #3783  
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Hi John - many thanks for your thoughtful reply. A few further thoughts:

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Trombone,
What you ask for, the "control for exposure," is not a stat that is attainable. It would require that daily milage be provided somehow. <snip> Getting any real numbers is a near impassibility for what you want, which I suspect is why you bring it up. <snip> If not, you are bringing up a straw man here.
It's far from a straw man, and this is a statistic that is easily attainable. You could get it by carrying out a survey, by measuring a section of population, by analysing data such as census data (which frequently contains info on transportation choices). by looking at road usage information provided by road authorities, either from automated counts / cameras or by roadside surveys. It's really not difficult to get this data. For example, I was able to google information on cycling participation / distances in a lot of western countries (US, Netherlands, Germany etc), but not for China.

The key point is, though, that it is essential for proper study design relating to this question. If you cannot control for exposure the results become meaningless. The authors of many of these studies, however, never even acknowledge that this data is desirable, let alone come close to admitting that it is needed in order to draw meaningful conclusions.

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
I hope this puts to rest the idea that somehow in developing countries where cyclists do not wear helmets, that there is no problem with head injuries. There is a problem, and it results in fatalities.
This is undeniably true; cyclists get killed in developing countries, just as pedestrians and users of staircases do. The study seems to imply though that the problem in China is bigger than the problem in the US.
My point was simply that if the Chinese on average cycle more than 7 times as much as Americans, in fact the study shows that the US has the bigger problem.
And if the US has the bigger problem with cyclist fatalities, and also has much higher helmet wearing rates, then this also invalidates the study's conclusion that helmets need to be evaluated in developing countries, does it not? It rather indicates that other factors operating in China need to be evaluated with a view to importing them to the US, to make cycling safer in America.
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Old 08-26-08, 02:08 AM
  #3784  
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John.

To illustrate the importance of exposure a different way, I have a question for you.

I an running a workplace where the noise level varies, but rises as high as 92dBA.

Do my staff need to wear PPE?
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Old 08-26-08, 06:27 AM
  #3785  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Chip, I embrace cycling, pretty much addicted to it, I wear a helmet because I'm notorious for hitting my head when I fall off a bike, I just haven't learned to fall correctly, and I don't wish to start practicing in my spare time.
That's cool...it's your life and your choice...the point is that your decision does not make you smarter or less smart than others. If others 'got' that simple point, these threads would probably not exist.
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Old 08-26-08, 06:28 AM
  #3786  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
More like how I'm right when I'm cycling around with my kids and we're all wearing helmets looking safe and cool.

Pretty soon cycling without a helmet will be similar to smoking cigarettes. '70s "cool" is out you know... has been for a while.
If you think it's about 'cool' you are less intelligent than I (apparently mistakenly) gave you credit for.
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Old 08-26-08, 06:33 AM
  #3787  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
So? Haven't you heard? "It's better to err on the side of caution".
If that were true, people would be wearing helmets when operating motor vehicles. But they only do so when racing motor vehicles, and the vehicles they race in have far more protection built in than what you operate on the street. You don't wear a helmet when operating your motor vehicle on the street, so you obviously don't err on the side of caution. Come on, admit it...it's not a big deal...you consider riding a bicycle to be more dangerous than driving your car. Why is it so hard for you to admit that simple little fact? And it is a fact, your own actions prove it out every day.
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Old 08-26-08, 06:36 AM
  #3788  
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
So why aren't you wearing a full face helmet with neck brace?
Well ya know, those who don't wear full face helmets don't have faces worth protecting.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:52 AM
  #3789  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
If that were true, people would be wearing helmets when operating motor vehicles. But they only do so when racing motor vehicles, and the vehicles they race in have far more protection built in than what you operate on the street. You don't wear a helmet when operating your motor vehicle on the street, so you obviously don't err on the side of caution. Come on, admit it...it's not a big deal...you consider riding a bicycle to be more dangerous than driving your car. Why is it so hard for you to admit that simple little fact? And it is a fact, your own actions prove it out every day.
My motor vehicle has built-in helmets... they're called AIRBAGS!

When you've got aribags all around you in a high end car, you don't need to wear a helmet.

Until such time as my bike comes with some form of airbag to protect my head, I'm wearing a helmet.

I'm still stunned that you can possibly think that a bare head is going to be safer in a fall than wearing a helmet on one's head.

It is a big deal. After talking with my paramedic friend, and having survived a nasty motorcycle crash, I'll tell you that helmets are a big deal.

Why can't you even see the simple logic that anything on your head is safer than nothing.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:53 AM
  #3790  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Well ya know, those who don't wear full face helmets don't have faces worth protecting.
And that would be... you?
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Old 08-26-08, 08:54 AM
  #3791  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
If you think it's about 'cool' you are less intelligent than I (apparently mistakenly) gave you credit for.
Did you not read the thread title? "Helmets cramp my style!"

I think you just demonstrated how unintelligent YOU are!
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Old 08-26-08, 09:07 AM
  #3792  
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Originally Posted by trombone View Post
John.

To illustrate the importance of exposure a different way, I have a question for you.

I an running a workplace where the noise level varies, but rises as high as 92dBA.

Do my staff need to wear PPE?
Trombone,

First, before I answer this, let me say that if you want a presentation I have put together on occupational noise, please PM me with your e-mail, and I'll send it to you.

We are talking apples and oranges here. If we are trying to look at exposure to bicycling for the purposes of establishing a baseline for injuries, then that is one matter. Let's say we get an exposure baseline for bicycling in Oregon. That doesn't necessarily translate to a specific place in Oregon. In your case, in Australia, you can get an "exposure" baseline for a paticular year, and perhaps compare year to year injury rates, and even fatality rates. But if you want to prevent fatalities, then your goal is not the baseline, but zero fatalities. Years ago, a safety officer for a US Air Force base was told that because he had two fatalities in his air wing last year, his new goal was to cut that by 50% and only have one fatality that year. They had an overall goal of a 50% reduction in aircraft fatal accidents. He wrote back, saying that was fine, "Do you have any volunteers?" The point was that you don't want any fatalities. So exposure will get you something, but not necessarily where you want to go.

The point of my posting this study was that there are fatalities occuring to people without helmets when their heads strike the ground from bicycle accidents. This was being denied by several other people here, saying that helmets only protect against superficial injuries, and that other countries without much helmet wearing were not having a problem with fatals, so helmets were unnecessary. The study shows otherwise.

Concerning your analogy to noise, the USA OSHA standard is a 8-hour time-weighted average of 90 decibels on the "A" weighted scale (dBA, mimicking the human ear). Having exposure, as you will undoubtedly point out, to noise at 92 dBA does not tell much about the exposure, as you need to know the amount of time in the noise field to see whether hearing damage will occur. OSHA also uses a 5 dB exchange rate, where when you increase the decibels by 5 dBA, you decrease the allowed exposure by half (90 dBA for 8 hourse, 95 dBA for 4 hours, etc.). This protects about 75% of the workers. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists has a 3 dB exchange rate, and begins at 85 dBA for 8 hours. This 85-90% of the workers. But if you want to protect everyone, you start with a 70 dB criterion exchange rate (begin sensing at 70 dBA), and set the standard at 80 dBA for 8-hours of exposure. This level protects about 98-99% of the working population.

Now, to take the analogy one step further, you need hearing protection from really loud noises, like gun shots (target range at close quarters). Any exposure here will damage hearing, whether on a temporary basis (temporary threshold shift), or permanently. The same goes for exposure at close distances to jet engines (test bed, or on the flight line), or flying in helicopters without noise insulation (combat). Again, any exposure will damage the inner ear hearing mechanism. This is the more appropriate analogy to head injuries for bicycling.

John
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Old 08-26-08, 09:24 AM
  #3793  
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
The point of my posting this study was that there are fatalities occuring to people without helmets when their heads strike the ground from bicycle accidents. This was being denied by several other people here, saying that helmets only protect against superficial injuries, and that other countries without much helmet wearing were not having a problem with fatals, so helmets were unnecessary...
there is no denial of people dying from striking the ground without helmets. Only a claim that it is a relatively rare event and that people die falling from bicycles and striking their heads while wearing helmets too.

You should get the story straight before responding but then again, when it comes to helmets, relativity, proportion, and perspective seem to mean nothing to you, does it?

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Old 08-26-08, 09:57 AM
  #3794  
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Hmm, how about we start chemically castrating men, all men. In an entirely reversible way.
It would reduce the risks to the whole of society, given the amount of testosterone fuelled violence.

Or how about we ban motor vehicles from going faster than 30mph on any road? 20mph on residential streets. It's sure to reduce accidents and injuries.

How about we ban radios, tape/CD players from cars too, given they cause distractions comparable to phone use.

How about we ban the eating of foods with excessive fat content? That'll reduce overall healthcare costs across the board.


Oh wait, people don't like the nanny state interfering with their lives, they only want the rules to apply to the people who don't conform to their own twisted logic patterns.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:22 AM
  #3795  
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How about we get rid of traffic lights?
How about we get rid of the rules where car drivers are supposed to be careful and watch for bikers?
How about we remove sanitation rules?
How about we get rid of the SCC and let the Enrons of the world take over?
How about we let car manufacturers build junk with no regard to quality or public safety?
How about we let Bike makers put cheap crap on weak frames and sell the junk as bikes?

How about we just forget about any rules at all?

Oh wait... that's called Anarchy!
People just wouldn't like it if they had not protection at all and let little chaotic punks loose on the world. But those anarchists won't conform because of their twisted logic patterns.

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Old 08-26-08, 11:11 AM
  #3796  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
My motor vehicle has built-in helmets... they're called AIRBAGS!

When you've got aribags all around you in a high end car, you don't need to wear a helmet.

Until such time as my bike comes with some form of airbag to protect my head, I'm wearing a helmet.

I'm still stunned that you can possibly think that a bare head is going to be safer in a fall than wearing a helmet on one's head.

It is a big deal. After talking with my paramedic friend, and having survived a nasty motorcycle crash, I'll tell you that helmets are a big deal.

Why can't you even see the simple logic that anything on your head is safer than nothing.
Airbags? My gawd, I was right, I did give you too much credit in the intelligence dept. I guess nobody dies in car wrecks any more...being so safe with all them airbags.

I agree...a head isn't safer in a fall without a helmet versus with one...I never said othewise, but YOU are the one who said ""It's better to err on the side of caution" - so why don't you wear your helmet all the time? Why don't you live by your own advice? Why don't you wear a helmet 24x7, because lord knows if your physical skills are as good as your debating skills, you are at high risk of head injury every second!

Now go back and read what I asked you and try to answer honestly, rather than getting all defensive at the FACT that you fear head injury from a bike more than you do from a car or other activities. It is a fact, it won't hurt you, really - here, you can even wear a helmet when you do, just in case.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:14 AM
  #3797  
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
How about we get rid of traffic lights?
How about we get rid of the rules where car drivers are supposed to be careful and watch for bikers?
How about we remove sanitation rules?
How about we get rid of the SCC and let the Enrons of the world take over?
How about we let car manufacturers build junk with no regard to quality or public safety?
How about we let Bike makers put cheap crap on weak frames and sell the junk as bikes?

How about we just forget about any rules at all?

Oh wait... that's called Anarchy!
People just wouldn't like it if they had not protection at all and let little chaotic punks loose on the world. But those anarchists won't conform because of their twisted logic patterns.


Dude, you are really starting to look sillier and sillier with each and every post. Stop now, you are way beyond what a helmet can protect you from.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:53 AM
  #3798  
Zeuser
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Airbags? My gawd, I was right, I did give you too much credit in the intelligence dept. I guess nobody dies in car wrecks any more...being so safe with all them airbags.

I agree...a head isn't safer in a fall without a helmet versus with one...I never said othewise, but YOU are the one who said ""It's better to err on the side of caution" - so why don't you wear your helmet all the time? Why don't you live by your own advice? Why don't you wear a helmet 24x7, because lord knows if your physical skills are as good as your debating skills, you are at high risk of head injury every second!

Now go back and read what I asked you and try to answer honestly, rather than getting all defensive at the FACT that you fear head injury from a bike more than you do from a car or other activities. It is a fact, it won't hurt you, really - here, you can even wear a helmet when you do, just in case.
Damn you're an idiot!

Nobody ever said airbags are 100% safe. Nobody ever said Helmets are 100% safe.

Stop being such a moron.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:53 AM
  #3799  
Zeuser
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Dude, you are really starting to look sillier and sillier with each and every post. Stop now, you are way beyond what a helmet can protect you from.
Sarcasm... look it up in the dictionary.
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Old 08-26-08, 12:44 PM
  #3800  
randya
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Originally Posted by Zeuser View Post
How about we just forget about any rules at all?

Oh wait... that's called Anarchy!
People just wouldn't like it if they had not protection at all and let little chaotic punks loose on the world. But those anarchists won't conform because of their twisted logic patterns.

FAIL! You should read up a bit on what anarchy really is, then you wouldn't be spouting this kind of nonsense.
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