Ming the Mechanic:
Odds of dying

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Odds of dying2007-02-25 16:03
picture by Flemming Funch

.. are 1 to 1. Some will dispute that, but so far that seems to be how it goes. But the picture shows the odds of dying of different causes. I don't see terrorist attacks there, or war or starvation, but otherwise I suppose it puts things in perspective.

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic]



26 Feb 2007 @ 15:57 by rayon : Hmmm
From my own standpoint here, I must be one in 56 thousand, the bee sting one. Happily, having moved out of this syndrome it is no longer applicable. Then of course, there must be a publication on the psychology of Data Presentation where ease of reference is diametrically opposite to point of real revelance. It is again, as I am sure to have mentioned before here, taking the situation of "All of them" and creating stunning facts which can only be ever perceived by the "holiness of one single person". When they read such things, they unwittingly put themselves at the complete mercy of the data presenters. They sacrifice their individuality and confuse their pure mental capacities by assuming that such clear presentation must also be important and meaningful to that single person. So it is notched into their minds, one more thing they can't figure out immediately, with a net negative effect on self.

Dear Ming, you are champion at locating this type of data presentation. And I do marvel at how it is even positioned on "the page" or space, looks good!!  

26 Feb 2007 @ 21:55 by jmarc : odds are meaningless
Just ask the mother who's child dies from a vaccine that is only fatal to 1 in 300,000. Or a horse track full of grumbling bettors who just watched a monster trifecta come in with a couple of 99:1 shots in it.. What are the odds that you or I or anyone should have ever made it into this world? Compaired to these odds? As Milton Friedman put it once, "in the long run, we are all dead", but you know, I'd like to stretch it out as long as possible. I guess that's where common sense comes in. The macro odds of 56,789:1 are of course quite meaningless to Nicola, whereas I'll do battle with hornets without a thought. I'm re-reading Dick Feynman's first auto biography, and he tells of how he figured out that by the odds at the crap table he should only lose about 7 cents a bet. Real world experience on his first day of betting showed him how useless his calculations were. Which he thought was great, that he lost so much his first time, he never tried that again. Sometimes I wish I'd been so unlucky.  

26 Feb 2007 @ 22:18 by ming : Statistics
Actually I also think that statistics and odds is something a bit crazy. That's one of my pet discussion subjects, actually. A thing like the above might give an idea about how many people die of what in a sufficiently large population. But it says absolutely nothing about me. Do I have a 1 in 1000 likelihood of dying in a motorcycle accident? No, if I don't ride a motorcycle, I'd have close to no risk of that. And if I do, which I did for years, I've been close to death many times. But it is not odds that decide it. If I close my eyes and run into a car, my odds are high. If I don't ever hit a car or any stationary object, my odds are low. If I'm a pedestrian, odds of dying are much higher when I walk out in front of cars than if I don't. The idea of odds sort of presents the silly idea that I could just close my eyes and walk through life, and some throw of the dice will determine what happens. Which is not how life works.

Statistically one in 4 people would die in China. So, I have a 25% risk of dying in China, or what? Just like there's a 25% chance that one of my kids being born would be Chinese. Silly, of course, if I don't go to China, and I'm not Chinese. Those statistics make sense for the world as a whole, but become meaningless the more one talks specific circumstances.

But at the same time I find the subject of data presentation interesting. How to make complex things simple.  

27 Feb 2007 @ 15:49 by rayon : Excellent
-- !  

20 Mar 2007 @ 05:33 by jfree @ : Odds of dying
A very interesting and enlightening visualization. I would like to see something similar on the increase in life expectancy.Maybe we are looking at a time fairly soon when the odds of dying are no longer 1:1. A digital archive of personality (surfing habits?), DNA, garage biotech making your own organ replacements, with the Khronos viewer its looking like there is at least movement in the direction of time travel.I think the day may be coming when life expectancy will be increasing at a rate of more than 1 year per year.  

20 Mar 2007 @ 23:36 by ming : Living
Right, would maybe be more fun to see a chart of what increases your odds of living.  

29 Apr 2016 @ 00:00 by Starly @ : EpmdKsFfayDrAsBvIgt
Was totally stuck until I read this, now back up and runngni.  

Other stories in
2012-01-24 00:50: Intellectual Property
2011-11-03 16:51: Seeing the world through the Internet
2009-06-11 18:53: Blogging/Microblogging and work
2008-02-23 17:19: Web 1, 2, 3 and 4
2008-02-22 11:07: Illusion
2008-01-09 22:45: A Communication Model
2007-12-02 20:41: Give One Get One
2007-10-25 21:47: Static or dynamic web metaphors
2007-09-18 22:54: Rethinking blogs
2007-07-04 23:59: Scrutiny of Information

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic] [PermaLink]? 

Link to this article as: http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-001785.htm
Main Page: ming.tv