Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I agree.

tim's wife wrote:

Here's the thing about statistics. I know 2 men whose wives and families were told they had a 0% chance of survival. I don't know how a doctor can say that unless the patient is already gone or the doctor's first name is "almighty" and he's got a hippy looking guy standing next to him in a loin cloth with holes in his hands and feet. Anyway, they are both fine today.
The morals of this story.... statistics are a waste, doctors shouldn't play God, and don't get pancreatitis(what they both had.)

I ultimately agree with you on the statistical issues. I use them mostly as a means of measuring risk, not results. I think lots of people take mathematics as an absolute, not as the vague indicator it most often represents. Pure numbers show simple values. Percentages only suggest potential trends for a specific outcome. Mathematics is the study of history.

There is no future in numbers. Feel free to quote me.

However, speaking both mathematically and historically, LIFE has had a 100% death rate over a lifetime. The trick is for individuals to avoid hitting the jackpot in a foreseeable time period. Thus, our attention to risk and statistics.

When I actively raced motorcycles, my mortality risk was below 1% for that activity. Now my mortality risk is above 30% from uncontrolled outside infections.

Suddenly, an 8 year old is MANY times more dangerous to me than Pacific Raceways' turn one at 157 miles an hour. And yes, I've done that on two wheels, but I won't hug my nephews next weekend. The statistical risk is simply too high.

Life's strange that way. Statistics prove it.

1 comment:

tim's wife said...

I agree with you too. Life really is a constant string of risk
assessments. Everyday, one decides to play it safe or go for broke in
an endless amount of decisions. Statistics can help when making these judgement calls.
Just reading about your bike racing
gave me tachycardia and allo transplants are a true test of courage. You are one gutsy guy!
As for me, I'm as yellow as they come! It may have saved my ass a few times but it also made me boring as heck! Sigh...