The Odds Of Bad Things Not Happening To You

I live life a bit differently from others in a lot of ways.  One of those ways is not having a TV that is hooked up to cable or otherwise getting a signal from the outside world.  I’ve not had this for a dozen years or so.  When an incident happens like the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO, I do not experience the news directly.  As the moon reflects the sun, my friends reflect mainstream news to me.  I see their reaction to this, to various political moves, etc and it seems so out of proportion with reality and what should actually be paid attention to, so I looked up the figures.  Usually these are given as 1 in 50, etc.  For my friends, I decided to calculate the percentage chance that none of these things would happen (US statistics).

The odds of you:

Not dying in a Tsumani – 99.9998%
Not dying in a dog attack – 99.999323%
Not dying in an earthquake – 99.9992418%
Not dying by animal venom – 99.999%
Not dying in a lightning strike – 99.9988085%
Not dying in a tornado – 99.9983333%
Not dying in a flood – 99.9966667%
Not dying in an air travel accident – 99.995%
Not dying due to drowning – 99.9888168%
Not dying from electrocution – 99.98%
Not dying in a fire(includes smoke) – 99.9103943%
Not dying by assault by firearm – 99.6884735%
Not dying in a motor vehicle accident (occupant or otherwise) – 98.9795918%
Not dying by stroke – 96.5517241%
Not dying of cancer – 85.7142857%
Not dying of heart disease – 83.3333333%

Fear is an emotion we are meant to have when we are about to be eaten by a lion or when a knife is held to our throats.  It is not something to experience at the thought of possibly being eaten by a lion or at the thought of the chance of having a knife held to our throats.  Turn off the news.  Go out for a walk.  It’s a beautiful world full for great people.


4 comments on “The Odds Of Bad Things Not Happening To You

  1. At least with the monkeys on that island there is some point to it. The leopard is nearby and looking for food. In this case, the leopard is thousands of miles away and locked in a cage.

    I’m not saying the culpability is equal, but there is a responsibility of people to think critically and not be fearful. You can’t sell fear to those that refuse to buy it. The news and a man who straps a bomb to himself and detonates it in the middle of a market are very similar. Both are driven by warped ideologies which cause them to try to strike terror into the general populace as a way of getting what they want. By the standard definitions, they are both terrorists.

    Definitions by Merriam-Webster
    Terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

  2. treegestalt says:

    “Okay, here’s how you find out what’s happening in the world. Look around. What’s more real, that, or some ink on the front of a newspaper?… The newspapers serve a function — if you’ve got a bunch of monkeys on an island and a leopard eats one of them, then the other monkeys in the vicinity go, yip-yip-yip-jib-jib-jobber… and just raise hell about that because one of them got eaten. And the rest of them hear all that noise and say, Hey, man, there’s a leopard loose, hear that? Charlie just got eaten; there’s a leopard around there. Well, that’s what the whole function of newspapers is. But we already know all that. We ain’t interested in knowing that again. Your own body is smarter than that — If you cut yourself with a knife, it hurts like hell when you first cut yourself, but as soon as that’s over, the initial pain drops down… and that’s because the pain has served its function, and… you’ve got enough sense to take the knife out of your hand… There’s no reason to dig the pain anymore.. There’s lots of times that the newspapers are just full of last week’s pain.”

    [Stephen Gaskin, _Monday Night Class_]

    Another aspect of this, of course, is that people living on the edge of fear all the time can get pretty stupid about dealing with what’s really going on. They need their daily scare, just to keep from worrying about what might be sneaking up on them… and they usually don’t think very hard about anything, because that can get too scary. Easier to let someone else throw them a thought, pass it on the next time they need something to put in their mouths…

  3. faeriecrumbs says:


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