I’m from the government and I’m here to help

Will be the third to befall this unfortunate woman:

A woman survived the carnage of the Las Vegas shooting to then suffer the further trauma of seeing her home burn down with most of her possessions a week later in the California wildfires.

As to the statistical likelihood – of course, we now know that it is 1. But even a priori it’s not that far fetched.

Country music festival out West. Will draw in fans from the surrounding hundreds of miles, more, Vegas has many flights in and out. – it was a big festival. Country music is, unsurprisingly, more popular in more rural areas. Richer rural areas are more likely to have people who can afford to fly off to festivals. Woman from rich rural area goes to festival…..it is indeed coincidence but it’s not a totally weird one.

You know, not like a lottery winner also meeting a decent Labour MP or something.

17 comments on “I’m from the government and I’m here to help

  1. There’s a story that does the rounds of the oilfields about a guy who was on a platform that caught fire, and the helicopter which evacuated him crashed. It’s probably bollocks, but people like to talk about how they once met him.

  2. Why are Labour MP’s so horrible.

    I am not sure if it’s just me or if I am being unfair because of politics’ but for instance Jess Phillips is the foulest most vile human being to have graced the House of Commons outside of the shadow cabinet.

    I am not sure how she manages but she is disgusting.

  3. There were a small group (presumably much smaller group today) of Japanese who survived the Hiroshima nuclear bomb and then fled to Nagasaki just in time for the second bomb and survived that too.

    The thing about most of these happenings (man survives car crash only to be run over by ambulance etc) is that so much stuff happens that it’s inevitable that there will be such combinations.

    But the Hiroshima/Nagasaki thing does take some beating.

  4. “Maritime Barbarian

    How is she unfortunate?
    She survived both events, didn’t she?”£

    There’s philosophy for you.

    There was some bloke I read about in the papers who survived two quite serious, loss of life plane crashes who was described as ‘lucky’ and I thought if he’d been even mildly lucky he wouldn’t have been on either plane.

  5. The obituary of one of them was just a few months back……he’d, not all that surprisingly, gone on to campaign against nuclear weapons. The idea of pointing out to him specifically that the bombs probably saved lives, including those of Japanese civilians, being a rather tough one.

  6. To her credit, Jess Phillips is on record for having told The Empress of Blandings to fuck off.

  7. TMB nothing is to her credit, except for the enjoyment she gave me when she tried to reclaim the internet and the subsequent argument with Carl Benjamin aka ‘Sargon of Akkad’ that was funny.

    Defend her again and a kitten gets it.

  8. “Country music festival out West. Will draw in fans from the surrounding hundreds of miles, more, Vegas has many flights in and out. – it was a big festival. Country music is, unsurprisingly, more popular in more rural areas. Richer rural areas are more likely to have people who can afford to fly off to festivals. Woman from rich rural area goes to festival…..it is indeed coincidence but it’s not a totally weird one.”

    This can be called the prior probability, but not the ‘a priori’ probability (the latter is the probability relative to no empirical knowledge at all.)

  9. My favourite was of the sailor who survived the sinking of the Titanic and her sister ship the Britannia (torpedoed in WW1)

  10. My father was a B-24 pilot in WWII. Stationed at Rackheath.

    He stayed in the air corps after the war. He was at a base in Texas. He and his crew were going out flying one day. When he checked in at base ops, he was told to stand down, that a high ranking commander was taking his plane up. My father had anger issues, but there was nothing he could do about it.

    He watched the plane take off. After it cleared the ground, it blew up. Obliterated. All crew dead. Some only parts found.

    He marched into his COs office, and resigned his commission. He believed God was telling him it was time to get out.

  11. I once saw this guy fall down a cliff. Then they put him in an ambulance, and he fell out the back and down the cliff again. Think his name was Homer.

  12. Statistics is a weird branch of mathematics.

    I was once advised to always carry a bomb when travelling in NI, on the grounds that one was unlikely to go into a bar where there were TWO bombs.

    Or have I just recycled a lame old joke?

  13. Benaud – I couldn’t bear to have a kitten on my conscience but I wonder if there are any other Labour ladies deemed suitable for Ecksian remedies?

    We could perhaps put lots of kittens out of danger.

  14. @ Tim
    There is a tiny branch of probability practice (the theory is simple) that looks at “coincidences” and classifies them into “rare but you expect that to happen to most people at least once sometime in their lives” and “rare but you expect that to happen to someone, sometime” and “hey, that happening to anyone is really exceptional “.
    Most of the anecdotes belong to category 2 because they are unusual enough to attract interest and hence be memorable and category 3 is very very rare. The one I remember from my childhood is a work colleague of my father joining the “senior staff” club and putting drinks on his “tab” (created so that no-one could be embarassed at not being able to pay for his round long before credit cards were invented) and finding nil deducted from his payslip at the end of the month because the Bar staff had entered his name and accounts had debited the salary of another member with an identical name including a very unusual middle name (at that age I had never heard of this being used as a christian name at all). My father said that the other guy hadn’t noticed that he was being debited for both of them but that was second- or third-hand information so it could just be embellishment. About 60 years ago, implying that sort of coincidence tends to be memorable.

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