Re: Mega-Tsunami Threatens To Devastate U.S. Coastline

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Sep 04 2001 - 12:53:00 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Mike Lorrey <> Wrote:
> > When exactly? Oh, sometime in the next 200,000 years, give or take a few
> > dozen kiloyears. One of those immediate threats.
> Lets assume for the sake of argument your optimistic estimate is correct, that
> would mean there is one chance in 200,000 of it causing 10 trillion dollars of damage
> next year, so on that basis alone we would be justified in spending 50 million every year
> investigating it. Look at it another way, there is one chance in 200,000 of it killing
> 200 million people next year. Thus your chances of this thing killing you next year
> are better than your chances of dying in a airline crash even if you're a frequent flyer.
> Airline crashes don't kill anywhere near a thousand people a year yet we spend far
> more than 50 million a year trying to prevent them.

Well, I'M above 600 ft altitude and over 100 miles inland. I don't know
about YOU, but I expect to get through it just fine. People in glass
houses shouldn't ask others to pay for their window washing.

Now, there has to be something signficantly wrong with using straight
statistics to analyse atypical events. I mean, people win the lottery
all the time, and those odds are far higher than those posited here.

I think the problem is that the odds of catastrophic events like this
are predicting off of insufficient information. Some years the odds will
be higher than others, simply because events like this are not
completely random, they are systemic, so saying the odds this year are 1
in 200,000 and every year for the next million will be the same does not
reflect actual risk, but merely an ignorance of sufficient information
for accurate predictions.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:25 MDT