• Rants
  • All About ‘Dem Dice: Odds of Death and the Oscar Boycott

    Snake Eyes

    It’s often hard to resolve broad statistics and scientific findings with our own, everyday, anecdotal evidence. Take, for example, illness and death. Statistics will show us that our chances of death are influenced by a lot of things: genetics, eating habits, exposures to certain toxins, and age, to name a few. We know, for example, that smoking is bad for us, but you’ll sometimes hear someone trot out the somewhat tired “my (grandfather/grandmother/person I heard of once in a story) lived to be (90/105/336), and he/she/they smoked a pack a day” line to justify or excuse their habit. This is occasionally coupled with a line like “non-smokers get cancer every day, so it’s obviously a craps shoot, anyway.”

    A craps shoot is a perfect analogy, actually. Let me explain why, using Dungeons and Dragons (bear with me, it will make sense in the end)