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> Life expectancy for a healthy American man of my age is about 90. (That’s not to be confused with American male life expectancy at birth, only about 78.)

It's interesting that Diamond literally describes the survival function[0], which is usually thought of as E[X|x>=a], but then conflates this with the expected value in the next breath.

I'm confident he understands the difference, but the notion of the survival function is so easy to understand without the underlying statistics (as he explains in two sentences), and provides a much more useful way of conceptualizing statistics. (Expected values of binomial distributions, on the other hand, are highly useful mathematically but difficult to conceptualize without the underlying statistics).

[0]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_function




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