Figure the Odds

There go the horses! Quick - close the barn door.

People in general are really, really bad at judging risk. Anthrax, Bird Flu and Terrorist attacks are all good examples of things that killed small numbers of people but generated tremendous concern. (And yes, compared to lung cancer, 911 is small potatoes.) Meanwhile, people continue to smoke, drink, take illicit drugs and drive without seatbelts. What are the real risks that people face every day? This website is an attempt to answer that question.

There are, of course, problems in finding real numbers to associate with a risk like smoking.

I don't intend to let uncertainty stop me. Given the tremendous amounts of information that's now available on the Internet, and through Google, it should be possible, it must be possible, to make educated guesses with upper and lower bounds - for nearly everything.

That's what I intend to do here. It should be an interesting ride - and I look forward to seeing where it takes me. I hope you'll come along.