X-Message-Number: 13610
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 00:56:06 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re: What are the odds?

Brook Norton, #13598, commenting on my message #13595:

>Thanks Mike for actually looking up some numbers.  My browser says it can't
>find www.cd.gov when I try to look at the link you provided.

(Kennita Watson also reported this trouble.) Apparently this is an old link
no longer valid, to the National Center for Health Statistics. Their new
link is www.cdc.gov/nchs/, and the path to the table I quoted from (which I
tested and found working) is www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/lewk3_97.pdf.

>The other aspect is that these stats are for a general cross section of the
>population.  The odds would look better for survival if the study looked at
>survival rates of people who were healthy and lived conservative life styles
>at age 39.

They would look worse for males than for the whole population as reported.
Perhaps the "conservative lifestyles" would overbalance that. Anyway, if we
suppose the chance of dying in 10 years was 1 in 50 rather than 1 in 37, it
would still be a good reason to sign up. 
> But I believe harm is
>also done in overstating our case.  A sense of overzealousness is
>communicated when one says "You must sign up now.  Don't wait!" when to all
>appearances there is no urgency.

I agree that the case should not be overstated. But quoting actual
statistics could be a reasonable approach, though any approach has its
limitations. All too often, it appears, people are highly resistant to
signing up, even when they show some interest. Either they rationalize their
inaction or just stop thinking about it. Once again, a community of
cryonicists would help.

Mike Perry

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