From beyond the grave

The mob over at the OECD have been playing with their computers again.

Europeans live longer, but extra years are not always spent in good health.


While computers in general have been an incredible boon to mankind they have led to an entire industry of statistics and data gatherers [ike those epidemiological studies so beloved of Big Health].  Those statistics are the curse of the modern age.

So what do these statistics tell us?  We are living longer but are unhealthier?  That we are costing the EU 115 billion a year? We are all fatter and and drink 10 litres of alcohol a year? 

No.  Its a steaming pie of horseshit simply because it is a pile of numbers that bear no relation whatsoever to the individual.  What on earth has it to do with me that one country has more alcoholics, fatties or smokers than another?  What impact does it have on the residents of those countries?  None! 

They wiffle on about life expectancy but what exactly do those figures mean?  To me, they mean nothing as I am an individual whose genes and lifestyle are different from everyone else in the EU.  Just out of interest, I looked up the current life expectancy of someone born in Ireland in 1950.  Apparently I can expect to live 65.6 years.  Combine with that the fact that the “experts” tell me that smoking statistically knocks ten years off my life expectancy, so this means that I actually died over eleven years ago, but obviously they forgot to tell me.

Some statistics may have some value, such as the number of infants in an area which would indicate a need for maybe an extra school in a few years time, but telling me that the Irish are more likely to die of a heart attack than the average European means absolutely zilch, partly because I am an individual, not an average, and partly because there is very little I could do about it anyway.  And why should I?  I have to die of something and frankly I would prefer a heart attack to senility.

I don’t know what they hope to achieve with these figures, except to beat us over the head with them.  If some people are overweight then talk to those people.  If some people drink too much then have a word with them.  Just leave me out of it.  I am not interested.  It reminds me a bit of schooldays where the whole class got punished because some bugger in the back row caused trouble and didn’t own up to it.

Anyway I don’t give a fuck, because I’m dead.



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From beyond the grave — 17 Comments

  1. You are “dead” right again Grandad. My two reasons for ignoring statistics are that, yes, they are piles of horseshit, and I was rubbish in Statistics at school. It just didn’t seem logical to me.

    • The only kind of statistic I trust is the likes of the number of visitors to this place.  Even then I know the figures are only approximately right but it’s nice to know whether readership is going up or down [usually the latter].  Of course there are statistics our gubmint doesn’t like such as the number of homeless here in Ireland. the waiting lists for hospital beds or the crime rate.  They apparently are “figures”, not “statistics”. 

  2. I did a degree course which included statistics. My understanding was: do not believe any conclusion from statistics as they can be used to “prove” any point of view.

    So sorry you are dead – keep up the blogs from wherever you are now.

    • Statistics combined with questionnaires – a deadly combination!

      I’m not quite sure where I am now that they have proved my demise.  It’s remarkably like home.  It would explain all those aches in the limbs though?

      • Yes, must be dead, too. So many aches and pains. But at least we can still read your outpourings, so there is clearly life after (statistical) death. Keep sending the messages from beyond the grave

    • Did you not see the little “like” button I stuck under the posts?  I put it there especially for you.  Mind you, I have nothing against comments but I like to make things easier for my favourite readers.

  3. One wonders where exactly do “they” get the data for their conclusions? It seems to me that unless they have an “observer” living in each and every single household in the EU, reporting observations daily, then their so called statistics are nothing but old cobwebs in a high wind (or toilet paper dissolving in the maelstrom of a toilet bowl?).

    So sorry you’ve been declared dead again. How many times is this  now?

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