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Reality Bites

Posted By Diane Firstman On July 25, 2011 @ 2:10 pm In Diane Firstman,Links: Sportswriting,news | Comments Disabled

If you read USS Mariner [1] or FanGraphs [2], you undoubtedly know the name Dave Cameron.  Dave is one of the founders of the USS Mariner site, and is now the full-time managing editor and operator of the FanGraphs site.  Today he posted a very sobering entry [3]:

Here on FanGraphs, we talk a lot about probability and likely outcomes. When making a decision, we think it’s generally wise to understand historical precedent, and to learn from history rather than repeat it.

But, there are times in life that you’re not making a decision, and knowledge of the probability of outcomes just doesn’t help at all. You are just rooting for one specific result, even if you don’t have any control over whether it occurs or not.

I’m now in one of those situations. Last week, I was informed that I have Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a particularly nasty member of the cancer family. History has given my doctors all kinds of data about cure rates and life expectancy, and statistical analysis is helping them decide just what kind of chemotherapy I’ll be taking in a few hours, which I’m really thankful for.

Cameron’s outlook seems positive, as evidenced later on in the entry:

…  Save the odds for the doctors; I’m planning on living a long time. I’m planning on beating this thing. I’m planning on watching the Mariners win a game, and at this rate, that might take years. I want to be around to see it, though, and I just don’t care what the odds say is likely.

We at the Banter wish Dave well … here’s to a swift and full recovery!


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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2011/07/25/reality-bites/

URLs in this post:

[1] USS Mariner: http://www.ussmariner.com/

[2] FanGraphs: http://www.fangraphs.com/

[3] sobering entry: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/when-probability-is-not-helpful/

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