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Very Rare Events and Keeping Perspective

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Humans are very optimized for dealing with life in front of us, but when it comes to long term thinking, big numbers, very small numbers, etc, we tend to need to really think about it and it can be quite difficult to put it into perspective.

For example, the common drug Iburofen is easily and readily available. It has some negative effects, some people may have particularly bad reactions, like all drugs, but it is generally quite safe and you can just buy it off the shelf. However, it and most other drugs, have been known to cause Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. This is a very dangerous and very deadly condition. It starts out with just a rash sometimes (so, if you see warnings on drugs to get emergency help if after taking a drug you experience such a thing, it is usually for this particular condition being the possible culprit).

But how many of us know anybody who has had this disorder, despite so many things being potential known causes of it?

Also, children, adolescents specifically, sometimes have sudden fatal cardiac events with no warning. This happened to a family I know (very distantly, having a common connection elsewhere). A young person is just doing regular things, and they suddenly die. The exact incidence of this is not known, but it is 1 in thousands, so in a given area, there is probably going to be at least one death suddenly of a young person.

Sudden death is actually possible for everybody: it is just quite rare. I have a medical condition which has a particularly known chance of sudden unexpected death (about 1 in 2000, but I don't know exactly what risk factors are involved for it).

Also, major allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, can occur in anybody at any time: actual known allergies are just the major cause of it, but our bodies can have this occur at any time for no foreseeable reason.

The lifetime chance of being killed by an automobile is also quite higher than most probably realize.

There is nothing we can do about it.

Do you think about the chances of these things as you go through life? I actually do, for some things. But overall, I'm aware of my mortality and I'm not that keen to have a prolonged life. (This is another topic though.)

But I sometimes see instances being promoted as proof of a danger: if 1 in 1000000 people are harmed by something, that is actually better than life itself!

Naturally, some things can be avoided entirely by complete avoidance: shark attack statistics are misleading in specific circumstances. Yes, they are rare, but that is for the general population: people swimming around seal island are asking to be shark food, and people on land are very rarely attacked by sharks. I barely even think about it.

But considering our lives themselves full of possible dangers we can do nothing about, and things we actually use without care having small chances of causing catastrophic damage and death, we need to try to keep things in perspective.

So, compare the numbers you receive: if 300 people experienced a particular reaction for something given to hundreds of millions of people, that might be very good news. It is better than the possibility of being killed or almost killed by everyday food items.

Yes, I think about it. Sometimes, when I am driving and see a semi-truck coming towards me I think; “What if he blew a tire and hit me? Am I ready to die?” Thinking about death and being aware that we are not on earth forever does help put things in perspective.


--- Quote from: Melkor on June 18, 2021, 09:24:11 PM ---Thinking about death and being aware that we are not on earth forever does help put things in perspective.

--- End quote ---

I used to make memento mori rosaries a lot. They were quite popular (relatively speaking).

Maybe I should make a few more.

Any pictures, friend?


--- Quote from: Melkor on June 18, 2021, 09:31:48 PM ---Any pictures, friend?

--- End quote ---

Let us see if the attachments worked.

They are bone skull beads and obsidian beads.


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