Your likelihood of dying, down to a formula

Estimated probability of a person dying at each age, for the U.S. in 2003 [1]. Mortality rates increase exponentially with age after age 30

Gompertz–Makeham law is a gerontological observation derived empirically in the 1800s from mortality rate studies broadly showing that under ideal conditions mortality rates follow a checkmark-like pattern with age. It is high in early life due to the complications of childbirth, but peters out to its lowest levels in established infants. After toddler age, mortality rates (the chance of dying in a given year) increases in a paraboloid fashion. It then levels off around the age of full maturity (20 years old) and finally increases in a paraboloid fashion until centenary status…and beyond.

What happens after reaching super-centenary status is…

Biometry: The statistical analysis of biological data.

Google recently agreed to purchase FitBit for $2.1B. In a blog post announcing the news, Google Senior Vice President of devices and services Rick Osterloh said that the purchase is “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google [wearable] devices into the market,” and develop android-integrated devices. Though it is the biggest such purchase in recent times, this is just another development in the burgeoning industry of wearables. One in 6 consumers currently own and use wearable tech, and more than 70% of 16-to-24 year olds would like to purchase a wearable…

How fiction tapped into my teen self and brought me to reality

Photo by Mohit Kumar on Unsplash

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” — Patrick Rothfuss, The Kingkiller Chronicles

In perhaps his most famous work, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, J. Campbell proposes a shared meta-narrative that is the singular, titular ‘hero,’ and his associated journey. Around the world, he shares the same set of enduring virtues, and a similar call. The religious heroes of the world all cycle through the same set of life-death rhythms and a common set of thresholds…

It provides the most robust canvas for the expression of truth.

Photo by Judeus Samson on Unsplash

I love the fictive canvas. One reason is that, by design, there’s a certain amount of introduced chaos by nature of the subject matter. There’s a certain discord between the realities in the fictive world and the one at large, by definition, and this creates novelty (hence the word “novel”). The conductor of the fiction novel, as with novels of any genre, is tension, and tension drives the narrative elements. The goal of writing a fiction novel is not to represent a world of entirely faithful things to our own world of things. Instead, it is to build a verisimilar…

It’ll be great, they said.


The phrase ‘Know thyself,’ which you might not have heard, has a long philosophical history. It spans as far back into antiquity as Ancient Egypt. By the time of Socrates, it was already accepted as a Delphic maxim, and was chiseled into the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. This aphorism, in one form or another, has been the subject of discourse for many philosophers.

In the modern-day, ‘know thyself’ has broad appeal in the self-help market. If your aim is to accept yourself, then you need to ‘know thyself’ first. Or if you wish to be a…

Psychohistory of death and dying in the West



A parallel concern for sanitation influenced the nature and location of the cemeteries of the Romans, the Jews, the ancient Egyptians, and the Chinese. The Romans and Jews regarded cemeteries as hazardous and so built their graveyards beyond the city walls. Christians, however, erected catacombs, churchyards, and churches as mass graves built into places of worship. Ensuing with the 6th century, overpopulation burdened cities and made many authorities revert to the old secular Roman custom of permitting burial only outside city walls. Church land, however, was not subject to secular sanitary laws and during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance…

If you’re of the epistemological subset of thinkers who believe humans behave rationally — well then — I have news for you.


The concept of rationality as a way to describe the ideal which guides human decision-making was borne of the study of economics and of the work of J. M. Keynes and similar economic actors of his time. However, as a concept, rationality has bled across disciplines.

Economists and behavioral researchers combined have long decided that humans at best exhibit ‘bounded rationality’ (see: Herbert Simon’s work). The term ‘bounded rationality’ is used to designate rational choice that allows for the cognitive limitations —both knowledge and computational capacity — of the decision-maker. …

What used to be at mid-life now comes sooner.

Source: OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay. “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”

From an early age, we are making and updating our mental map of the world. The map-territory relation brings with it the fatal flaw that no map is entirely faithful to that which it represents. However, this doesn’t mean that maps aren’t useful. The faithfulness to which the map represents the territory, or the drawing of the pipe represents the pipe itself, is what is useful.

It takes a great many of us a long time to build a verisimilar map of society and our place in it. Some have steadfast decided their world maps and their place in it…

Comments on male-female con-specific beautification videos reveal a masculinity problem


For the purposes of segregating between male and female audiences, it is assumed that female beautification videos are exclusively watched (and commented on) by females, and male beautification videos are exclusively watched (and commented on) by males. This is of course not without exception, but proves a very good, near-perfect, self-segregation mechanism. Videos were chosen to be comparable in views and detailing sex-dependent beautification processes (how to trim a beard vs. how to do your eye lashes). Video comments were tallied in a spreadsheet and indexed by:

1. Number of likes.

2. Apperceived positive, negative, or neutral opinion on video…

Its recent rise within the Democratic Party and the potential catastrophe bred of its ideology taken too far.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx, June 30, 2018. (Damon Winter/The New York Times/Redux)

Radical left politics is characterized by activism aimed towards advancing social change on issues such as labor and civil rights, as well as providing critiques of capitalism. Radical leftism has been on the uprise in the Democratic Party, perhaps in a reactionary backlash against the Trump regime. Far-left views are becoming increasingly popular in the eyes of the (especially young) public, with admirable faces such as the old and steady sentry Bernie Sanders and most recently, the fresh face of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has taken the political scene by storm — becoming perhaps the most polarizing 28 year old in…

Christopher D. Horruitiner

Science, philosophy, & fiction. Expect all three. My formula for quality: 5 hour(s) researching : 1 hour(s) writing : 1 hour(s) editing. Articles forthcoming.

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