Landing the Big One

Landing the Big One

Friday, July 22, 2005

Living with risk

A certain kind of perspective at Car Crashes . . . Criminals . . . Cancer . . . Black Swans? AAAAAIIIEEEH!
Risk assessors rip their hair out at the general public’s innumeracy; many people jump to conclusions based only on absolute numbers and don’t consider ratios as well. For example, the average number of people killed each year in hot-air balloon accidents is 2.6, while the number killed in hunting accidents is 600. But there are two million hunters in the U.S. and just 3,000 hot-air balloonists, which makes ballooning’s death rate 30 times as high as that of hunting.

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