I looked around for some statistics and this is the kind of thing I found: Lifetime odds of dying from an unspecified injury is 1 in 36, so
statistically speaking this is saying you're not going to last much beyond 3,000 years. But this kind of begs the question of how statiticians ply
their trade. Here are some more examples:
Motor Vehicle accident: 1 in 100
Falling down: 1 in 246
Natural Forces: 1 in 3,357
But it gets stranger:
Suicide: 1 in 121
Execution: 1 in 58,618
Asteroid Impact: 1 in 200,000
Tsunami: 1 in 500,000
So in the first group of three they are claiming that lifetime odds are 1 in 100 that you will die in an auto accident. So in 100 lifetimes it is
fairly certain you will. Of course, that means no changes in how we drive cars and no improvements in safety because that figure was a lot higher in
1950 than it is today. Another example is the proverbial asteroid impact. In 1950 the chances were 1 in 20,000, but now that we have a much vaster
knowledge of those asteroids, the chances have gone down exponentially.
And right next to it is the odds of dying of a tsunami being much less than by an asteroid impact. Yet people HAVE died in a tsunami. Thousands, in
fact, and recently, yet no one has died of an asteroid impact. So how can these odds be correct? (BTW, just google "chances of dying in an accident"
and you'll get hunreds of hits, many of which have tables like this, which, of course contradict each other.)
Now look at suicide. A 1 in 121 lifetime chance. So are they claiming that if you lived 121 lifetimes, then it is fairly certain you would commit
suicide? Or are they claiming 1 in 121 people do commit suicide? And how does that apply here? Although that is not in the "accidental" category, it's
suspicious the way they are cumulating these totals.
My conclusion is that the "chances of dying in an accident" question is nearly impossible to pin down. The only sure thing here is that the chances
will change over time depending on who is doing the calculations in what manner. So we can revise the word "forever" to "possibly a very long time"
and leave it at that. Spending too much time on the issue would be rather missing the point of this "gift."
To the issue that all your friends and loved ones would die off and you would be left alone and that would be a bummer. OK. Depending on how much of a
misanthrope you are that would have to be an issue. Add that to the need to be wary and you might develop into a real loner. On the other hand, the
gift of time would allow you to explore a great many topics. It reminds me of the adage:
"Live as if you were going to die tomorrow. Study as if you were going to live forever."
edit on 1/23/2013 by schuyler because: (no reason