All For Naught

I really thought I had something here, a random note about a phenomenon in a spiral notebook from 15 years ago.

A capital ‘L’ lead that would translate into a solid post that was relevant to two different threads on my blog.

I personally do not enjoy blog posts like “Top 10 Most Common Currency Denominations“. I tend to write about things a little more off the beaten path, or at least try to relate the post to my own personal experiences.

The handwritten note in my old notebook was just the kind of article my young blog needed and so I retreated to the laboratory and began to toil.

Alas, it turns out it was all for naught.

I decided to churn out a post anyway because I was so Damn impressed with the truth behind the fiction.

Let me elaborate;

 In 1958 an article appeared in the Journal of Sociology. A certain Dr. James D. L. Stauton published his findings based on the math, but they implied something far less tangible.

His research was based on 200 documented train crashes in this country since 1900 and 50 plane crashes since 1925.

He crunched the numbers and found that the average occupancy rate of the planes and trains that crashed was 61%.

The occupancy rate for the trains and planes that arrived safely with no crash, 76%.

A statistical discrepancy of greater than 3% is notable, and one greater than 15% is SIGNIFICANT.

The Journal of Sociology is peer reviewed and certainly a legitimate source for scientific literature.

Call me officially intrigued.

What did this all mean? Well the data seemed to suggest that people unconsciously knew what would happen and therefore avoided the crashes. Here we have a non scientific principle(a phenomenon) backed up by hard data.

If we extrapolated upon this theory what would we find specifically of interest to the FIRE community?

Should you act upon a feeling about an impending stock market rally? Did something lurking in the back of our brain tell us we can’t rely on social security?

Are we collectively squirreling away assets because of some sort of general impending economic doom?

And even more to the point for me, is my irrational fear of zombies a absurdly disguised version of this phenomenon telling me I need a panic room?

 The post was practically writing itself, but relying on my old college notebook as a source was shaky at best, so I implemented what passes for intense research in this day and age, I googled it.

To my surprise yet continuing admiration, it would seem our Dr Stauton is a fiction created by non other than this guy;

 Turns out the whole concept of the study was a clever background fiction for his novel The Stand. Remember the black lady on porch in Nebraska, Abigail Freemantle, Stauton is the name of her doctor. Much to my dismay, neither the study from 1958, nor the good Doctor really exist.

So back to drawing board. I just wanted to share my discovery with you for 2 reasons;

First, this is why Stephen King is freaking National Treasure.

Secondly, I wanted you too see what goes into a post on this blog and give you some better insight into my thought process and what you can expect from this blog in the future.

Thanks for nothing Snopes.com.

4 thoughts on “All For Naught

  1. Awesome look into a thought process I can relate to! I just wish you had found out it was true, because then I’d have something to spend my weekend debunking 🙂

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