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Today's quote:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The death of one is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.


People around the country are relieved that they will soon be able to meet in groups of up to ten to stare at their phones, rather than the previous restrictions which only allowed them to stare at their phone with only one other person present.

And the re-opening of schools comes as a relief to parents who could manage 1/3 of their child's math work but struggled with the other 3/4.

Meanwhile, permanent unemployeds (should that be 'unemployables'?) have been enjoying their almost 100% 'pay increase', while casuals with as little as two hours's work a week have been rolling in the $750-a-week JobKeeper scheme. Don't believe me? Cross my heart and hope to receive a huge tax bill to pay for all those 'highly nuanced' welfare schemes. All we have to fear are stupid politicians themselves!

Norman Linday's "Magic Pudding" is alive and well in Australia (which, you will remember, was a pudding which could be steak and kidney pudding, or it could be a plum duff, or an apple dumpling --- you just had to turn the dish around and whistle twice and it changed to whatever you wanted. It was absolutely unlimited in supply, and the pudding enjoyed being eaten and in fact pleaded to be eaten).

As for those headline-grabbing statistics, frightening as they are, they provide a completely different perspective when viewed in the properly adjusted terms of 'total cases per 1 million of population' and 'total deaths per 1 million of population': click on the worldometer and re-arrange the numbers by clicking on the head of the respective columns.

Surprise, surprise! San Marino tops the list, followed by Belgium and Andorra (you're excused if you don't even know some of those places!)

And here's another statistic: every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses. Corona-related deaths so far: about 300,000.

I do agree with the first part of that quote attributed to that mass murderer Joseph Stalin (he was born as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili but that would've made him a figure of ridicule rather than the figure of terror that killed 20 million) that the death of one is a tragedy - after all, 'no man is an island' and 'the difference between zero and one is an infinity' and all that - but beware of "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

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