Friday, February 4, 2011

Fear

I copied and pasted this from a lesson on the Virtual High School assignments I'm grading. Thought it was interesting. I made fun of my co-worker who prepared extensively for Y2K by having cash, water, food, and all kinds of things.  I didn't think it would be a big deal and emailed her on January 1 to say, "Look!  I can email!  There's electricity, computers work, and life goes on!"  I'm a smart-ass jerk. 
Not trying to be morbid or anything, but take a few minutes and read the following statistics:

Odds of injury from fireworks: 19,500 to 1
Odds of injury from shaving: 6,500 to 1
Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 4,500 to 1
Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 3,600 to 1
Odds of drowning in a bathtub: 690,000 to 1
Odds of being struck by lightning: 580,000 to 1
Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1
Odds of having your identity stolen: 200 to 1
Chance of dying from a car accident: 1 in 19,000
Chance of dying from any kind of fall: 1 in 20,000
Chance of dying from accidental drowning: 1 in 79,000
Chance of dying in an explosion: 1 in 108,000
Chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000
Chance of dying from exposure to forces of nature (heat, cold, lightning, earthquake, flood): 1 in 225,000
Chance of dying in an airplane accident: 1 in 354,000
Chance of dying from choking on food: 1 in 370,000
Chance of dying in a fireworks accident: 1 in 1,000,000
Chance of dying from food poisoning: 1 in 3,000,000
Chance of dying from parts falling off an airplane: 1 in 10,000,000
Chance of dying from being bitten by a dog: 1 in 700,000
Chance of dying from contact with a venomous animal or plant: 1 in 3,400,000
Chance of dying from a shark attack: 1 in 300,000,000

In most of the situations above, you have very little chance of ever experiencing them. For example, look at the plane accident statistic again:  Chance of dying in an airplane accident: 1 in 354,000

If you flew every day for fifty straight weeks (350 days), you could fly for one thousand years before statistically being in line for dying in an airplane accident. Since you probably will only live to be around eighty to ninety years old, the chances of dying in a plane crash are pretty remote. Other statistics above might predict your demise much sooner than that, or much, much later. Here is the point.

Today, you live in a spirit of fear brought on by sensationalists who want to make money off your fears. If the media, for example, can convince you that 2012 is going to be the end of the world unless you are protected somehow, you will go out and spend tons of money on things to protect you. You are left with a bunch of stuff while someone else is left with a really fat wallet. A classic example of this sort of sensationalism is the famous Y2K scare a few years back.

6 comments:

froggy said...

Also had a friend who was already for Y2K. We made a bonfire in an old bbq on our driveway with the neighborhood tribe and set off fireworks. :-)

I need to know the odds of running afoul of the devil. Raising Abby is tricksy (see blog ;-)

Wonder Man said...

folks in my hometown really believed in Y2K

mrs. miss alaineus said...

interesting! i love me some stats!

xxalainaxx

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Electa said...

If what they're saying about 2012 comes true even a little bit, there is nothing we can buy, nowhere we can hide, nothing we can do. No profit to be made on any level. The day people realize you can't eat money will be the end of life as we know it, so bring it on!

Agree on the Y2K stuff though.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

It is amazing how we fear the wrong things. Interesting list :o)