Saturday, 16 February 2013
Interesting thing of the day: "Micromort".
Ronald A. Howard, a risk analyser, coined the term - a micromort is a one-in-a-million chance of death, and it's a handy probability calculator as well as risk definer.
Smoking 1.4 cigarettes or living 2 months with a smoker is one micromort. Other one micormort units include living for 15 years within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant (cancer from radiation), drinking seventy pints of beer per year, and even dying from black lung disease after spending one hour in a coal mine...
Bad luck if you live in New York - just two days there is also equal to one micromort too.
Apparently the average price of a micromort in 2009 was $50 - the amount people are willing to pay to add extra safety features, on things such as driving a car, to reduce their micromort rating by one.
Furthermore, there's such a thing as a "microlife": that's 30 minutes off your life expectancy. Smoking two cigarettes has a cost of one microlife, as does every 5 kilograms over your ideal weight...
You can calculate your micromort probability rating for a variety of things here: http://www.deathriskrankings.com/MortStats.aspx
More fascinating insights on micro- lives and morts are available here: http://understandinguncertainty.org/microlives
Posted by Amber Peall at 10:17