Thursday, November 15, 2001

UPDATE: Earlier this week, I remarked: "We [the human species] have no innate sense of what it would mean to experience a single, continuous flight lasting many hundreds of years -- which is what it would take for any one passenger to be statistically certain of experiencing a plane crash first-hand."

I probably knew the correctly calculated figure at some point in my life -- in fact, I was pretty sure that the actual statistic would put the length of that impossible flight at several thousand years. But at the exact moment I was writing those words, I was too lazy to Google up the research, so I hedged my bet on the conservative side.

Now it turns out that I was waaaaaay too conservative. Trusting that he didn't also make up a number out of whole cloth, Mark Steyn reports that: "...if you fly every single day of your life, you would have to live 26,000 years to face the statistical likelihood of dying in a plane crash.

(Not to miss the point, but Steyn then adds: "But thatís missing the point. If you fly every single day of your life, by the end of the first week it already feels like 26,000 years.")


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