A Conversation for Learning to Skydive

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 1


So, I guess the old policy of making a copy for editing is no longer in place...

I know the Entry wasn't perfect, I had a several specific parts in mind that I knew a strategic Edit could help with...

But now, there's no me left anywhere in it, and what it was is gone.

Sure, all the same information is there. But it's all out of order now. And the descriptions of the actual senses are gone.

More specifically, I had the section on Safety separated and first for a reason. People who know nothing about the sport will need that addressed over anything else, if we ever expect them to try it.

And I was so happy with the way the entire "First Static Line Jump" section turned out. I would have been proud to see my name on it when this Entry hits the front page. But now it's just a point by point description, "This happens. Then this happens. Then this happens. Then this happens."

And I'm sorry, but "At this point, quite rightly, you can truly celebrate knowing that you have done something that sets you apart from the crowd" is just way too stuffy. No offense, but the Editor has obviously never done it. I miss seeing that thought down simply as "Congratulations. You can fly."

Seriously, none of this is meant to offend, Apprentice. I know you're doing your job. I guess I just feel a bit like Ford Prefect, having 15 years of research reduced to "Mostly harmless."

I also know there's not a chance in hell of my rant changing anything. Oh well.

Eternity, if you check in here, what's your opinion on the changes? Am I just being a stereotypical stubborn artist?

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 2


Your original entry is still there:


smiley - smiley

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 3

Eternity (Ace)

I agree fully.

The edited article seems a poor attempt at humour, and is instead rather dry and almost boring. We are trying to attract people to this sport, not end up on the most overlooked list.

It can never be stressed how important safety is in such a sport. The common perception that skydiving is dreadfully dangerous and stupid is what makes many people decide not to jump.

The last thing we need to do is create more holier than thou Skygods. The comment about setting you apart from the crowd promotes this stupid attitude! Skydivers might have more fun than, but are no better or worse than the crowd.

So basically, yes I agree fully, and no, you have every right to feel the way you do!

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 4

Chris (no, the other one)

Have you noticed that the edited version of the safety section is incorrect?

Your original says that there are between nil and one total equipment failures per year. It also says that there are around thirty-five deaths per year, caused by people trying to break records etc, NOT because of equipment failure.(presumably people opening chutes too late, jumping into winds that are too strong and being blown into power lines, colliding with others in large formation jumps, etc).

Whereas the edited version says that equipment failure CAUSES thirty-five deaths per year

(By the way, do these figures include BASE jumpers?)

Anyway, why do I care? Well, I've done a grand total of three static line jumps (on round chutes), and that moment when the chute starts to open, you look up and watch it unfurl, is the most intense thing that's happened to me in my entire life. If I was a pretentious literary type I would go on about the "epiphanies" from James Joyce's books, but I won't. I'd like more people to have that experience as well.

"One thousand two thousand three thousand check canopy".

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 5

World Service Memoryshare team

Hi Marc,

Thanks for your feedback smiley - smiley We're certainly happy to change anything that is factually incorrect. As for the editing of the entry, I think that The Apprentice has done a phenomenal job, especially as this was his first go at editing. He's truly a great writer (as you can probably tell from the entries he's written). Also you and he have very different (and superb) styles, which probably makes the differences more telling! In subbing there's a fine line between tweaking and rewriting and sometimes it's hard to get that balance right. How about we have another look at the original entry in-house and see where we go with it?

Let me know, all the best, Anna

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 6

Eternity (Ace)

I can't speak for Marc, but I think that would be great, and I'm sorta, kinda sure he would agree.

Thanx Anna smiley - smiley


Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 7

World Service Memoryshare team

No problem smiley - smiley

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 8


i stood it up on my first try,i did however miss the dropzone by a tree line,blueskys,most skygods ive meet are when you get to know them very good people

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 9


Anna, that would be most excellent! Yes, Apprentice does have excellent writing ability, but my problem is that the whole ambience is different now. Plus a couple of specific faults I found...

And Chris pointed out the error in the safety section, which I totally missed on my read-through. We'll get all this figured out though...

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 10


One month passes.

Spring turns to Summer, the days become longer and hotter...

...the article's original researcher gets a bit closer to his A license, and gets fed up with h2g2 and quits coming back....

Two more months pass.

The researcher ducks his head in, to find that nothing had gotten any closer to happening, not even fixing the glaring factual error...

"All in all it was all just bricks in the wall...."

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 11


Dear Marc,

Please accept our sincere apologies for not getting back to you on this one. We have so many entries to deal with that occcasionally we overlook stuff, and I know that this is not acceptable but I ask you to accept our apologies nonetheless. I will try my best now to quickly resolve the issues you have with the entry.

Firstly, your original entry is there (the address is listed a few postings back), unchanged, for all to see, and is easily searchable. The factual errors which you talk about which appear in the Edited Entry, however, are obviously cause for concern and I will amend them as soon as I can. Please tell me the factual inaccuracies in this thread and I will sort out the Edited Entry.

Best wishes,

Sam. smiley - smiley

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 12


makes me feel like dropping a desk out of perfectly good airplane,a complete re edit would seem to be in order,safety first,and maybe in the middle somewhere,then finally last.

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 13


Right, I know the original is still there, but really, if you do a search and right on top is the edited entry, then way down the list is the original, how many people even give the original a glance-over? But that's beside the point. Thank you for hearing me.

In terms of factual errors, this is the one that stuck out: "Out of an average 3.5 million jumps every year, total equipment failure occurs in a tiny fraction, amounting to an average of 35 deaths. In these instances nearly all are 'experienced jumpers' taking unnecessary risks, like trying to break world records." This implies that 35 deaths each year are caused by equipment failure, which is false. I didn't glance at the original, but it read something more along the lines of "Out of an average 3.5 million jumps every year, there are an average of 35 deaths. This statistic becomes more comforting when you see that total equipment failure accounts for nearly none of these, whereas most of the deaths are due to experienced jumpers taking unnecessary risks, trying to break records, or just generally showing off beyond their ability."

And don't even get me started on the actual incidents... a heckuva lot of skydiving injuries and fatalities occur under a perfectly functional parachute. But again, I digress.

Thanks again,


Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 14


I've replaced the sentence in the Edited Entry with the sentence you quoted in your posting above. Cheers, Sam. smiley - smiley

Wot's... uh, the deal

Post 15



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