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Tag Archives: Swine flu

What are the Chances: Of a Swine Infestation? Part 1

“The time has come,” The Walrus said, “To speak of many things…” In particular, to talk about the probability that you or I may keel over tomorrow because of ‘the dreaded swine flu’. We, as a species, are absolutely appalling at estimating the probability of highly unlikely events (called ‘long-tailed events – because they occur […]

What are the Chances: Of a Swine Infestation? Part 2

The second reason the world reacted with extreme measures is that our sense of judgement was significantly altered by irrelevant and unrelated information that has absolutely no bearing on the decision at hand. A ‘context’ heuristic. If I was to ask you a question that you didn’t know, like “how many quokka’s live on Rottnest Island?”, then […]