For those who have not yet seen the above video, let me fill you in. Matt Damon cites Actuarial Science Life Tables to surmise a 1 in 3 chance of John McCain not surviving beyond his first term, giving Sarah Palin an estimated 34% likelihood of being heir to the office of President, a prospect Damon finds “scary.”
Bourne’s politics aside, and his assumption that Sarah Palin’s belief that dinosaurs existed 4,000 years ago would negatively affect her performance as President not withstanding, the most awesome part of this video is the smug ass way he cites PROBALITY to legitimize his concern. Since you’re probably liberal, you most likely majored in the humanities (English, Theater, Queer Theory) and have no understanding of numbers and the relationship between them that define the likelihood of something occurring. That’s okay, neither do we. It’s Modern Jackass, baby. Let’s make it up together.
Fortunately for us and fortunately for you, good reader, one of our shortest friends is an actuary in Chicago, the cubical capitol of the world. We caught up with him on g-chat and asked if he could elaborate on Damon’s mathematical methods:
1:23 PM me: dude
1:24 PM can we be real
when matt damon says:
“when you do the actuary tables there’s a 1/3 chance mccain survives his first term…”
can you elaborate on that? as an actuary?
maybe providei some sort of table in pdf format?
1:25 PM Mactuary: there’s nothing to elaborate on
there are “illustrative life tables”
that are pretty accurate
me: are they actually
Mactuary: yeah..i have them at home
let me see if i can find one
me: can i find them online?
1:26 PM Mactuary: maybe
but they might block wanna-be’s IPs
1:27 PM me: even in the name of serving matt damon?
i just want to put on for actuarial science
since matt damon
in the most viewed video of the day
the only rep actuaries get are by ben stiller in comedies
about being scared to eat nuts
damon rolls up
and is like
1:28 PM actuarial tables will determine the course of this country
Macabre. We know, but it’s cold, hard science, and Will Hunting ain’t tryna be gentle. Using the actuarial tables provided by our “friend,” you can see that there are 48,259 people living at any given point in the United States at the age of 72. You can also see that number decreases to 37,127 at the age of 76. As our in-house actuary explains it, that’s 11,132 people that “leave the system.”
Mactuary: so, the PERCENTAGE of lives, on average (aka probablilty) that make it from 72 to 76 is ~77%
Stay with us, humanities majors. That means the percentage of those who didn’t make it is about 23%. What next?
me: how can i convert
into a ratio
Mactuary: what do you fools study in school?
2:28 PM its about 1 in 4
are you messing with me right now??
1 in 4 people, on average don’t “remain within the system” between the ages of 72 and 76, according to actuarial science tables. Factoring in McCain’s history with skin cancer, and purported smoking habit, that ratio very feasibly becomes 1 in 3, as Damon mentioned. Of course then he went on to talk about Hockey Moms in a way that anyone who isn’t already a fan of either Damon or Obama will construe as condescending and indicative of the smug nature of the Hollywood Left, so any rational argument he made based on actuarial science will be lost and dismissed by a ravenous right. What can you do? That’s politics, but at least we got Damon making actuaries relevant again.
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