Thursday, September 6, 2007

Your Odds of Dying

In light of the recent posts about afterlives and immortality, I sort of felt this was appropriate:

Ultimately, something's gonna getcha. Neal Asher - a man whose books I've never not loved - gives the appropriate math-based rant over at The Skinner.

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Neal Asher said...

That's good, but of course general odds. Doubtless if you smoke your chances of dying from heart disease or cancer go up. However, the thing people always seem to miss is that if you don't smoke, those odds go down but as a consequence other odds go up, since life, as I noted on my blog, is 100% fatal.

Really, the health Nazis need to focus on your odds of dying before, and there seems to better way of putting this, you are supposed to. They won't do this simply because a large proportion of deaths attributable to those causes they would like to ban, kill people within that time when they are supposed to die, and if they discounted those figures their statistics wouldn't look so alarming.

Keitousama said...


I remember H.G. Wells used to say that the people, if they were to function well in modern society, had to be both literate and numerate. As numeracy is manifestly still at dark ages levels, I can't help but wonder if the powers that be took Wells to heart and have gone out of their way to ensure the mathematics curriculum remains very much sub-par. Certainly an innumerate population lets them get away with manipulating people through all sorts of health and environmental scares that they'd otherwise see through in a second.