0795: "Conditional Risk"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Afrael
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:23 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Afrael » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:27 am UTC

Let's assume I was American and had already known that statistic before reading that comic. Would that mean that since I now know it twice, I have a 1 in 36 chance of surviving the next year?

User avatar
Mr. Burke
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:56 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Mr. Burke » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:22 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Chances of an xkcd forum member who goes out in lightning dying: 1 in 5.
Number of Randall's friends to die in lightning: 0

That is because he has no friends. Zing!

peshmg
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:27 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby peshmg » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:30 pm UTC

NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS!

(damn, missed post number 42 by one)

User avatar
Sprocket
Seymour
Posts: 5951
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:04 pm UTC
Location: impaled on Beck's boney hips.
Contact:

Re: Rules for "Individual XKCD Comic Threads"

Postby Sprocket » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:15 pm UTC

Can we get those statistics based on other important conditions, such as "while playing golf" "while swimming" "while holding onto a flag pole in an open field (also see 'playing golf')" etc?
"She’s a free spirit, a wind-rider, she’s at one with nature, and walks with the kodama eidolons”
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Zohar wrote: Down with the hipster binary! It's a SPECTRUM!

Roberthree
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:31 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Roberthree » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:22 pm UTC

Why did the lightning hit the ground when there was a perfectly good tree there?

User avatar
TheSoberPirate
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:48 am UTC
Location: 13 T 492960 4492224

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby TheSoberPirate » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:26 pm UTC

Did you guys know that 78.9% of statistics are made up on the spot?

Mindor
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:53 pm UTC
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Mindor » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:45 pm UTC

Afrael wrote:Let's assume I was American and had already known that statistic before reading that comic. Would that mean that since I now know it twice, I have a 1 in 36 chance of surviving the next year?

I think you are still at the 1/6. As you can't really know something twice. You could reaffirm, or strengthen your knowledge, but not duplicate it.
You get the 'Best Newbie (Nearly) Ever" Award. -Az
Yay me.

exh
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:35 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby exh » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:53 pm UTC

Myself and my five colleagues are now looking very agitatedly, and we're in the UK!

edbdqt
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:46 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby edbdqt » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:24 pm UTC

TheSoberPirate wrote:Did you guys know that 78.9% of statistics are made up on the spot?


+ or - 3.1%, of course.

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine as it is though none of these statistcs have any capacity for error. Maybe it's 1 out of 5.5 or 1 out of 6.5 people who die and they just rounded to 1 out of 6 dying. With that potential variation that's quite a range in survival rates.

Bernardakins
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:38 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Bernardakins » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

By telling everyone this statistic Randall is trying to reenact The Ring... WITH SCIENCE!

User avatar
neoliminal
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby neoliminal » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

Remember that there is an unknown but finite amount of lightning strikes each year! This means that for every person (who is not you) hit by lighting, there is a reduced chance of you being hit by lighting that year!

Rejoice, for Thor and Zeus are not jealous gods!

But they didn't take statistics classes either... so be careful.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073YYXRC
Read My Book. Cost less than coffee. Will probably keep you awake longer.
[hint, scary!]

User avatar
reason
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:33 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby reason » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:14 pm UTC

Agreed. Really, all statistics should have some certainty associated with them as well. If someone has a statistic that has a huge possibility for error it would be nice to know that. Although with all the statistics that are made up, I can see why someone might not want to mention that they are about 0% certain about that statistic.

User avatar
jc
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:48 pm UTC
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
Contact:

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby jc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:19 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:Way to confuse correlation with causation.

Isn't that the point (or do I mean purpose) of this discussion?

ampersand
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:10 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby ampersand » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:34 pm UTC

While you guys were discussing statistics and causality, I was thinking that the lightning-lit tree in that panel looks really cool. Guess that means I'm not the audience for this comic & will have to fend for myself against meteorological electrocution...

Maximus_Light
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:56 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Maximus_Light » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

lol
Just goes to show you that knowing the probability of something happening does reflect whether it happens or not, now as to how to keep people from abusing it and using it as an excuse that is a bit tougher.

Uninfinity
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:25 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Uninfinity » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

Your chances of getting an ace, three, ten, queen, and five are the same as getting a ten, jack, king, queen, and ace. One's just better, or "luckier" than the other.
The same logic can be applied to getting struck by lightning. If lightning's gonna strike either Bob, George, or Sally twice, the chances of it striking Bob twice are the same as it striking both George and Sally once.

And quite frankly, Sally deserved it.

User avatar
littlelj
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:40 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby littlelj » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:39 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Only a 1 in 6 chance of death? So if you tell your 100-year old Great Grandmother this statistic, she has a 5 in 6 chance of living till next year? Or, a 1% chance of making it to age 125?


Actually, that's precisely how mortality works. Your great-grandmother is hugely more likely than you are to reach 125, since she's already beaten the odds of dying at 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, etc.

This, incidentally, is why life insurance companies don't like old people.

keithc wrote:Darwin awards tend to favour situations where the person who died is still of an age to have children.


Or, more preferably, where the person who died also got their child killed. Lighting a bonfire whilst fishing on a frozen lake, so child can have 'smores. That kind of thing.

You can win a Darwin award rendering yourself infertile through your own stupidity. Those are some of the best winners - lots of shredded genitals.
Dudes, I'm a woman.

Wolfkeeper
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:59 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Wolfkeeper » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:08 pm UTC

cptjeff wrote:So cool story time: Not long ago I was on a hike with family, and it started to thunder. We went under a tree where we started putting a poncho up for a shelter.

That's darwin award territory right there.

Trees not only attract lightning because they're tall and made of conductive salty water, but when they get hit the sap boils and they explode in a shower of sharp stuff that doesn't appear on X-rays. Building a shelter under a tree in a thunderstorm is really bad idea.

User avatar
Melkarion
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:39 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Melkarion » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

I actually know a guy who has been struck by lightening twice.

Both times left him pretty much without immediate harm (I think he had to replace his umbrella the first time) and without major shock at the time.

Both also occurred in about the same area. (Before you ask why he would have hung around that area during a thunderstorm after the first strike, it was the parking lot outside his dorm... both times he was trying to get inside out of the storm. His options were limited.)

About the only thing he could have done differently was stop carrying an umbrella, but his perception of the first incident was that the umbrella could well have been the reason he wasn't badly hurt the first time. Sure, there's a good chance it was a part of the reason he was struck in the first place, but he also clearly remembers the bolt arcing to the ground around him. He swears a large amount of the current must have gone through the umbrella and out at the ends, rather than through his own tender, burnable flesh.

So now he won't go out in a thunderstorm without one, even after the second strike. And a part of me can't really blame him, even though I could easily argue that this useless, if not actually detrimental.

Reality is complicated. Statistics are usually presented as being simple. Hilarity ensues.
"... for a man to understand what he himself says is one thing, and to understand himself in what is said is something else." -Soren K.

An ironic motto of sorts:
The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. -W. Somerset Maugham.

philip1201
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby philip1201 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:29 pm UTC

Great work Randall, now you've killed 1/6 of your fanbase. Half of us by 2015.

(if 1 out of 6 people who know that statistic die each year, and we all know that statistic, 1 in 6 of us is now going to die within the next year.)

cptjeff
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:42 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby cptjeff » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

Wolfkeeper wrote:
cptjeff wrote:So cool story time: Not long ago I was on a hike with family, and it started to thunder. We went under a tree where we started putting a poncho up for a shelter.

That's darwin award territory right there.

Trees not only attract lightning because they're tall and made of conductive salty water, but when they get hit the sap boils and they explode in a shower of sharp stuff that doesn't appear on X-rays. Building a shelter under a tree in a thunderstorm is really bad idea.


The storm was still a fair bit off, but it was raining fairly hard and we had our dog with us. It was cool out and we didn't want her to get soaked and sick from the cold, so we started setting up to keep dry, which was the main concern at the time.

Then we noticed just how exposed we were and how lighting prone that spot was, and got out of there.

Oh, and the dog cared much, much less about getting soaked then we thought she did.


That was also the trip where the sole of my dad's boot fell off a few miles up the mountain....

davidjosepha
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:04 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby davidjosepha » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:06 pm UTC

jacog wrote:But what if the 1 in 7000000 that gets struck happens to be the fourth out of those five dentists - does that mean that only three out of five dentists will now recommend Trident? Statistics is confusing, man.

rcox1
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:23 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby rcox1 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:31 pm UTC

This is really timely as the damage done by people not understanding statistics is really significant. Recently I read a study commissioned by a major charter school, one that happened to be on Oprah recently. The study basically was an exercise in lying with statistics. On of the most egregious examples was it reporting of SAT scores. While this charter school is a 'public school' it only accepts motivated students whose parent apply months in advance, as opposed to public schools who takes students who have a choice between being in school or going to jail. Anyway this charter school compares the larger public school population SAT scores, including those that might otherwise be in jail, to it's SAT scores. You might not know, but schools do push for everyone to take the SAT, and if one is on free lunch, on also gets a free SAT. One would expect that charter school, having motivated students, would have better scores, but I was surprised that the difference was a mere 100 points. The report then went to claim how superior the school was because it could get a 100 point average increase out of a motivated selected population. And people buy it hook line and sinker. I guess this why so many people get hoodwinked into buying life insurance and lottery tickets.

The funny thing is that this a college prep charter school, and while the SAT does not necessarily reflect performance in college, it does provide a gradation. In this gradation the school is sending kids to college who, on average, score lower than 70% of thier likely competitors. And college is a competative sport.

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:49 am UTC

I liked this one. It's been a while since I've seen a comic with nothing to complain about.

User avatar
SpringLoaded12
Posts: 350
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:58 am UTC
Location: Guarding the Super Missile
Contact:

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:29 am UTC

The comic was enough to make me smile, but the alt text finished the job; I lol'd
joee wrote:
glasnt wrote:CRACK HI JOEE BOOM!
Image


Ahahahaha <3

Also, it seems dumb to quote that statistic. Surely you would need to know how many people are in a position to be struck by lightning: people who never leave their basements shouldn't count, for example

I think that was why the death rate for the people who know the statistic was so high, although I would hope most people have the common sense to think of what you just described.

Could you explain the "hi joee / hi glasnt" thing to me?

SirMustapha wrote:I liked this one. It's been a while since I've seen a comic with nothing to complain about.

Glad to hear it. I was thinking, "Would he claim this is offensive towards people who don't fully grasp statistics, since it implies that such people are going to get themselves struck by lightning? . . . Probably not."
"It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield." "Opposite over hypotenuse, dipshit."

MisterCheif
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:24 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby MisterCheif » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:42 am UTC

phlip wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:So at most 270 people know that statistic.

Not necessarily... it doesn't say those 1 in 6 deaths are caused by lightning...

So 5 out of 6 people who know that statistic discovered the secret of immortality?
I hope I am one of the 5!
I can haz people?
lulzfish wrote:Exactly. Playing God is a good, old-fashioned American tradition. And you wouldn't want to ruin tradition. Unless you hate America. And that would make you a Communist.

User avatar
BioTube
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:11 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby BioTube » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:09 am UTC

Roberthree wrote:Why did the lightning hit the ground when there was a perfectly good tree there?
Rubber tree.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5481
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:23 am UTC

I think the relevant question nobody is asking is: what fraction of people who know the statistic about (the fraction of people who know the statistic about (the fraction of people who get hit by lightning per year) who get hit by lightning per year) get hit by lightning per year? Cause that's the demographic we're all in now.

(i.e. what fraction people who know that 1/6th of all people who know that only 45 Americans get hit by lightning per year get hit by lightning per year get hit by lightning per year? Cause we all know that 1/6th statistic now...)
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
glasnt
Posts: 539
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:18 am UTC
Location: SQUEE!

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby glasnt » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:46 am UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:The comic was enough to make me smile, but the alt text finished the job; I lol'd
joee wrote:
glasnt wrote:CRACK HI JOEE BOOM!
Image


Ahahahaha <3

Also, it seems dumb to quote that statistic. Surely you would need to know how many people are in a position to be struck by lightning: people who never leave their basements shouldn't count, for example

I think that was why the death rate for the people who know the statistic was so high, although I would hope most people have the common sense to think of what you just described.

Could you explain the "hi joee / hi glasnt" thing to me?



The first rule about the "hi joee / hi glasnt" thing is that you do not talk about the "hi joee / hi glasnt" thing.


Spoiler:
j/ks, you can totally talk about it.

User avatar
Kimmeh
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:13 pm UTC
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Kimmeh » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:06 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
roflcopter wrote:I race sailboats and the weather doesn't always cooperate and we tend to forge on anyways, so naturally this subject comes up a bit, the chances of getting struck by lightning are about 1:280,000. Not to mention being on a boat that has gotten struck doesn't normally do anything to the passengers(personal experience, multiple times

Are you claiming you've had a 1:280,000 event happen to you several times?


Actually, once you've been stuck by lightening you're more likely to be struck again. (Dad has been stuck 3 times, it's one of the things they've told him.)

Uninfinity
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:25 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Uninfinity » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:33 am UTC

Kimmeh wrote:Actually, once you've been stuck by lightening you're more likely to be struck again. (Dad has been stuck 3 times, it's one of the things they've told him.)

I know that getting struck doesn't decrease your chances, but I fail to see how it makes it more likely...unless it's just 'cause someone may have been doing something that correlates to getting struck and may continue that something even afterwards.

User avatar
kvaks
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:15 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby kvaks » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:33 am UTC

If the annual death rate among people with knowledge of that (other) statistic is one in six, shouldn't that knowledge die out eventually? You'd have to know how fast the knowledge spreads to find out, I guess. But still. One in six a year dead sounds like a demographic bound for extinction.

User avatar
Plasma Man
Posts: 2035
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:27 am UTC
Location: Northampton, Northampton, Northampton middle England.

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Plasma Man » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:38 am UTC

Well, then surely the first person to learn that statistic would have been instantly struck by lightning. After all, there wasn't anyone else for it to hit. It must have been a researcher outside of America that came up with it, otherwise it would have instantly been lost.
Please note that despite the lovely avatar Sungura gave me, I am not a medical doctor.

Possibly my proudest moment on the fora.

aLuZiNK
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:30 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby aLuZiNK » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:34 am UTC

dear Monrue, what is up with the little guys in your comics with the ratio of one to six? the beret guy was once chewing the lug nuts and the chance of random objects being scones were also one to six. :?:

M_in_MN
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:03 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby M_in_MN » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:14 pm UTC

Mr. Munroe has--once again--made obvious a common logical error.
XKCD frequently makes me laugh but just as frequently impresses me with its insightfulness.
Nice job, guy.

Ampyxx
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:36 pm UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Ampyxx » Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:47 pm UTC

GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDALL!! Well, someone had to say it.

Anyways, this is the EXACT conversation I had yesterday with a guy who was feeding squirrels. I said I pet squirrels before, he said, "don't do that, you'll get rabies". I said, "the chances are so low." Then I thought about it, amended it, and said, "well, considering I know that, I have a willingness for increased exposure to squirrels. So, it's probably like 100x that probability for me!"

Then we laughed and had ice-cream.

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1846
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:53 pm UTC

I have been struck twice.

it hurts. A lot.


Though, it does take a little while after you first wake up for your brain to realize that all of your nerve endings are SCREAMING IN PAIN, and there is this strange shock-induced euphoria for a few moments until your brain restarts.


that being said, i haven't noticed any real lasting effects save for partial deafness.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
Melkarion
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:39 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Melkarion » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:I have been struck twice.

it hurts. A lot.


that being said, i haven't noticed any real lasting effects save for partial deafness.


Situations in which sentences like these describe a positive overall outcome... Ick. Kind of an awesome thing to be able to say about a past experience, but I doubt it's worth it, overall.

"Sure, there was the blinding pain. But other that that it didn't do anything except blind me in one eye."

"Oh, yeah, that hurt like a mother. Especially the second time. But I still have eight of my fingers, so no big deal."

"Yeah... I blacked out until my brain rebooted itself, but on the bright side I still have a most of one testicle, so... you know. Bonus."

Boggles the mind. I am boggling right now.
"... for a man to understand what he himself says is one thing, and to understand himself in what is said is something else." -Soren K.



An ironic motto of sorts:

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. -W. Somerset Maugham.

User avatar
super_aardvark
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:26 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby super_aardvark » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:26 pm UTC

kvaks wrote:If the annual death rate among people with knowledge of that (other) statistic is one in six, shouldn't that knowledge die out eventually? You'd have to know how fast the knowledge spreads to find out, I guess. But still. One in six a year dead sounds like a demographic bound for extinction.

Oh? 100% of fruit flies die each year, and they're not going extinct any time soon.

Diadem wrote:The odds of a boat with a tall mast getting hit by lightning during a thunderstorm on open water are significantly higher than 1 in 280,000. As you can attest from personal experience :)

Fixed.

exh wrote:Myself and my five colleagues are now looking very agitatedly, and we're in the UK!

Don't worry, the percentage of Americans who are struck by lightning in the UK each year is vanishingly small! :mrgreen:

User avatar
Tyrannosaur
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:39 am UTC

Re: "Conditional Risk" Discussion (#795)

Postby Tyrannosaur » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:15 pm UTC

Uninfinity wrote:
Kimmeh wrote:Actually, once you've been stuck by lightening you're more likely to be struck again. (Dad has been stuck 3 times, it's one of the things they've told him.)

I know that getting struck doesn't decrease your chances, but I fail to see how it makes it more likely...unless it's just 'cause someone may have been doing something that correlates to getting struck and may continue that something even afterwards.


This is correlation vs causation - getting struck in the first place by it self does nothing to your chances of being struck again. But if you got struck because you were doing a high-rick activity, and you continue doing a high-risk activity (ie being a park ranger - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Sullivan) then you have a higher chance of being hit once (and multiple times), than other people.

Melkarion wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
that being said, i haven't noticed any real lasting effects save for partial deafness.


Situations in which sentences like these describe a positive overall outcome... Ick. Kind of an awesome thing to be able to say about a past experience, but I doubt it's worth it, overall.


depends on how much you milk it. "I was struck by lightning! I'm awesome!!!"
djessop wrote:The t-shirt should read "There are 11 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, those who don't and those who insist the number above is pronounced as eleven no matter what base you're in".


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AlgaeSea, exoren22 and 118 guests