The Odds Of An Out Of Context Event Are Greater Than You Think

By “Out of Context Event” I mean one which disrupts our Society or Government [at a macro level].  Typically such events are referred to as disasters, not all of them are “natural.”

The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper

Or, “Who Needs an AR-15 Anyway?”

By BJ Campbell, Medium

Prepper Math

There’s a common misconception in the media about the eventuality for which the preppers are exactly prepping. That’s because they’re a diverse group, and prep for many different things. No, they aren’t planning for a revolution to overthrow the government. (Most of them, anyway.) Mostly they’re planning to keep themselves and their families safe while someone else tries to overthrow the government. That, or zombies. (More on zombies below.)

While we don’t have any good sources of data on how often zombies take over the world, we definitely have good sources of data on when the group of people on the piece of dirt we currently call the USA attempt to overthrow the ruling government. It’s happened twice since colonization. The first one, the American Revolution, succeeded. The second one, the Civil War, failed. But they are both qualifying events. Now we can do math.

(post publication author’s note: This is the “five minute” version of how to do the math. There are certainly deeply more complicated analyses someone could use to establish the P(R) number, and someone with the resources to do so should absolutely do that. But I don’t find this result unreasonable. 5/5/2018)

Stepping through this, the average year for colony establishment is 1678, which is 340 years ago. Two qualifying events in 340 years is a 0.5882% annual chance of nationwide violent revolution against the ruling government. Do the same math as we did above with the floodplains, in precisely the same way, and we see a 37% chance that any American of average life expectancy will experience at least one nationwide violent revolution.

This is a bigger chance than your floodplain-bound home flooding during your mortgage.

It’s noticeably bigger.


Oh my.  I’m not exactly an optimist on the subject, but that’s a lot worse probability than I thought.  The odds of a civil disturbance (such as the Watts Riots or the North Ridge Riots) are even higher, though less nationwide.  Same goes for Earthquake and Extreme Weather (Extreme Weather kills more over any given one decade period than earthquakes for the same geographic area, by the way).  Global Calamities I shan’t go into.

The Other Abuse Of Classified Data
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