24 Hrs. To Live by Mase feat. The Lox, Black Rob, & DMX
Posts tagged with death
I argued that
CVaR (expected shortfall) of personal income is a better indicator of a society’s success than is GDP.
CVaR combines the basic statistical operations of
In statistical analysis of the middle it’s useful to winsorise—trim off the upper and lower
X% and look at those separately. With
CVaR it’s almost the opposite: look at the upper or lower edge only. (Although you could also look at only the bottom 50% which is not really an edge.)
You could also use the same technique to look at the “top” rather than the “bottom”. Think about, for example, the apparent puzzle of
Average lifespans rise as early causes of death (dysentery, childbirth, violence) decline.
But death by “natural causes” (getting old and all your body systems start to fail | telomere cutoffs | whatever “natural causes” means; it’s sort of vague) doesn’t get postponed by as much.
I can think of three ways to even go about defining what arithmetic we’re going to perform on the data to answer “Is longevity higher or lower?”.
WHERE age > 5will pull out childhood illness deaths.
This last one is the
CVaR approach. Clearly all three have flaws. But the third one needs the least data and the least data janitorship (imagine languages or different fields/columns or different coding choices).
Just like using lower
CVaR to compare only poor people’s incomes, if we used upper
CVaR to compare only old people’s death ages, we’d get better numbers and talk more sense with only a bit more effort.
warning: THIS VIDEO GRAPHICALLY DEPICTS DEATH
The reporter’s voice singing the prosody of her profession, we are notified of several facts: millionaire, Wall Street, financial ruin, arson, scuba suit, Mount Everest.
(Source: Los Angeles Times)
A few weeks ago a relation of mine (in his early 50’s) met up with a far-flung friend from high school. The friend is apparently a multimillionaire from making some computer game company. Multiple houses in beautiful parts of the country. But also has a terminal illness. I think something M.S.-related. It is at least debilitative as well as terminal. I keep thinking about their meeting. The friend I’ve never met nor spoken to so it’s just imagination on my part.
What would I want to say at the end of my life? How do you look at someone who is going to continue on—perhaps in not so rico a fashion as one would dream of for oneself—but carry on forward past the end of me. What do you talk about? What really mattered—or what matters to you at that point?
I can’t exactly express what I feel about it. I just keep thinking about this person looking back on his life. One last meeting with an old friend.
the real world through my positive moodand
the real world through my bad mood.
Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich
I remember as a child, walking in New York City. Of course I had no idea where we were going or why we were doing anything, I just knew I had to walk somewhere. I was tossing my stuffed animal in the air as we walked, for fun. It was a stuffed stegosaurus my mum had sewed for me. He was awesome. We crossed a street. I threw Steggy the stegosaurus up in the air. He went straight up instead of up-and-in-front-of-me. My mum was holding my hand, making me cross straight to the other kerb. We went forward and he went straight up and straight down onto the pavement behind me. I tried to turn around and pick him up. I saw a car coming and wanted to run back and pick Steggy up from the ground. I was afraid he would be run over.
The Wound That Never Heals by Jim White
I think about the Eagles song Desperado.
"Your prison is walking through this world all alone"
In other words, freedom and independence, too, have a cost, perhaps exactly equal to the cost of
A tumbleweed sees more but also less than a tree.
If you want to think about lifetime as being a fixed length (ignoring that its length comes from a probability distribution, which itself is conditional on your choices) then you can derive my favourite equation:
the tradeoff between work, leisure, and wealth. That idea as well is symplectic. And many other such tradeoffs ∃. Symplecticity is the theoretical basis of all budget constraints. It’s another way of talking about all the tradeoffs that make choice meaningful and also unavoidable (even not-choosing is a choice). You can strain and strive as much as you want, all you will do is slide amongst alternatives and never do everything.
If you want to use a picture of the form of Christopher Alexander’s
and just substitute in names of various other things that you want—then the “metric signature”, due to time flowing over and beyond us like a river always, is
− in so many of the pursuits one might like to do, such as
Sure, sometimes one lucks out and there is a positive association between two things, like learning mathematics and being a quant—but the magnitude might be less than you expect. (Pure maths alone is insufficient and unnecessary to finance.)
In terms of the 10,000-hours-to-expertise paradigm—despite some complementarities (+)—there are only so many 10,000-hour blocks in your life. And the Type A personality who squeezes out the most 10,000-hour blocks, gets the most toys or becomes the world’s best cyclist or visits all the countries, learns the most languages, or whatever, still miss out on something.
In English it sounds so obvious to be trivial: you can’t do everything, because nothing is also something and if you’re doing something you can’t be doing nothing.
But the mathematical language, in addition to sounding more exotic and smartypants, adds something real, at least for me—which is the sense of those
− signs attaching me to everything. Every time I do something, I’ve lost some other opportunity. Every person I become, I drift further away from the possibilities of who else I might have been. Every commitment loses a freedom and every freedom wastes a commitment. Every nothing wastes a something and every something forgoes a nothing. Everything is receding, decaying, entropying, with or without me, until eventually the waters will cover my head and I never surface again.
Sufficiently convolved with the
Somebody can kill you, at any time.