No, not really

People living in Blackpool, Manchester and Middlesbrough are twice as likely to die as other parts of the country, a new study revealed today.

The risk of death is pretty much 1 for all of us (Elijah and the Virgin Mary being the exceptions according to folklore).

The risk of dying in any one year can be higher or lower in specific places of course.

15 comments on “No, not really

  1. The “higher” erisk of death in Blackpool in any given year is prob because of all the )rather well-off) old people who live out Lytham St Annes way. Middlesborough I dunno.

  2. “The risk of death is pretty much 1 for all of us”

    It’s a fair bit less than 1, based on current evidence, given the billions who haven’t died.

  3. Dave,

    You don’t require instanciation to enumerate risk. On current evidence, the billions currently alive have a 100% risk of dying. Sometime. The evidence may change.

    Anyway (not that it changes the risk in any material way), Abrahamic folklore also includes:

    Enoch (Idris to the Muslims), Serach, Eliezer, Hiram, Ebed-Melech, Jaabez and Bithiah.

  4. “The “higher” erisk of death in Blackpool in any given year is prob because of all the )rather well-off) old people who live out Lytham St Annes way. ”

    Nope. Separate local authority.

    Blame it on our love of importing everyone else’s problem populations – alcohol-related deaths, heart disease, suicide, smacking up, HIV (although much improved mortality these days), deep-frying everything… We do have a slightly older population, too, though.

  5. That gave me a laugh, but, Tim, to be fair, it doesn’t say “people from”, it says “people living in”. Given that people move around, the stat is not inherently impossible.

    I’m sure that’s not what The Mail meant, though. They’re not good with numbers.

  6. One in fifteen persons who has ever lived is alive today. This does at least make it possible to entertain the idea that the risk of death is not 1. Sample statistics and population statistics differ in non-trivial ways.

    Actually, of course, immortality doesn’t just mean living for a very long time. It means living infinitely long. There would appear to be insurmountable probabilistic, thermodynamic and cosmological constraints militating against such a possibility.

  7. > Actually, of course, immortality doesn’t just mean living for a very long time. It means living infinitely long.

    It varies in meaning, but is usually taken to mean “unable to die of old age”. So there’s no contradiction involved in immortals dying because the universe they’re standing in collapses.

  8. @S2 “It varies in meaning, but is usually taken to mean “unable to die of old age”.”

    Is that right? Highlander could only die of beheading.

  9. Squander Two – “It varies in meaning, but is usually taken to mean “unable to die of old age”. So there’s no contradiction involved in immortals dying because the universe they’re standing in collapses.”

    If anyone lives long enough to be threatened by the final Big Crunch and/or Heat Death, we can probably call that close enough.

  10. Enoch, but outnumbered by Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, the son of the widow of Nain, and someone else whom I have forgotten who each died twice. So probability of dying is asymptotatically close to 1 but frequency is minutely greater than 1.
    Most of you seem not to know the difference between probability and frequency functions.

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