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The Mathematics of Life and Death

The Mathematics of Life and Death. Russian Roulette. What is the minimum you would need to be paid to take place in a game of Russian Roulette with a million-chamber revolver?. Drive Safely. Assume you have bought a small, new, car for around RM 40,000

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The Mathematics of Life and Death

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  1. The Mathematics of Life and Death

  2. Russian Roulette What is the minimum you would need to be paid to take place in a game of Russian Roulette with a million-chamber revolver?

  3. Drive Safely • Assume you have bought a small, new, car for around RM 40,000 • What is the most additional money you would be willing to spend on safety features to guarantee halving your risk of dying in a car crash in the next year?

  4. Fly Safely • You have just spent RM 4000 on a return flight to Europe. • What is the most additional money you would be willing to spend to halve your chance of dying in a plane crash on that journey?

  5. Your money or your life? How much is your life worth?

  6. WRONG ANSWER • If you answered ‘priceless’ to the previous question you are wrong • You have just decided what your life is worth three times: • Russian Roulette – multiply your answer by 1,000,000 • Drive Safely – multiply your answer by 100,000 • Fly Safely – multiply your answer by 280,000

  7. Meet the Micromort ‘A one in a million chance of death‘ • Calculated by looking at the number of deaths associated with various activities • Over the course of your life, how many micromorts of risk do you face on an average day?

  8. Some Micromorts… • http://understandinguncertainty.org/micromorts

  9. Some More Micromorts • smoking 1.4 cigarettes (cancer, heart disease)[5][unreliable source?] • drinking 0.5 liter of wine (cirrhosis of the liver)[5] • spending 1 hour in a coal mine (black lung disease)[5] • spending 3 hours in a coal mine (accident)[5] • living 2 days in New York or Boston (air pollution)[5] • living 2 months in Denver (cancer from cosmic radiation)[5] • living 2 months with a smoker (cancer, heart disease)[5] • drinking Miami water for 1 year (cancer from chloroform)[5] • living 5 years at the boundary of a nuclear power plant (cancer from radiation)[5] • living 150 years within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant (cancer from radiation)[5] • eating 100 charcoal-broiled steaks (cancer from benzopyrene)[5] • eating 40 tablespoons of peanut butter (liver cancer from Aflatoxin B)[5] • eating 1000 bananas, (cancer from radioactive 1 kBED of Potassium-40)[citation needed] • travelling 6 minutes by canoe (accident)[5] • travelling 6 miles by motorbike (accident)[6] • travelling 17 miles by walking (accident)[7] • travelling 10 miles[5] (or 20 miles[7]) by bicycle (accident) • travelling 230 miles (370 km) by car (accident)[6] (or 250 miles[7]) • travelling 6000 miles (9656 km) by train (accident)[6] • flying 1000 miles (1609 km) by jet (accident)[5] • flying 6000 miles (9656 km) by jet (cancer from cosmic radiation)[5] • receiving one 10mrem chest X-ray in a good hospital (cancer from radiation)[8] • taking 1 ecstasy tablet[6]

  10. Is paying to reduce the number of micromorts you face the same as saying your life has a monetary value?

  11. Does saying that your has a monetary value devalue it?

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