12 thoughts on “Matt Damon on Palin”

  1. Oh, gosh Mr. Sheridan, this is sensible stuff, huh?

    Do you not realize that Matt Damon simply made statistics up with what he said?

    And you believed him?


    Matt Damon says in the video that if you look up the actuarial tables there is a one in three chance that McCain will die within the next four years.

    Damon then boldly challenges us to “do the actuarial tables”.

    Well, I did…and Damon is off…WAY off.

    The actuarial tables supplied by the U.S. government indicate a one in seven chance, NOT a one in three chance as Damon claims.

    Take a look at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html

    If you add up the four years for males from ages 72 to 75 you get 0.151985 which translates to about 1/7th or one in 7.

  2. Sunday only has a one in seven chance of being ‘Today’, seems pretty high to me. How often do Sundays occur? Do you want Palin as President? No!

  3. @ Tony. What are you talking about? Let’s assume you’re right and it is 1 in 7. All of his points still stand. And what proof do you have the stats were made up rather than mistaken? And do you agree with the rest of his sentiment? Do you believe in creationism?

  4. Gavin asks me:

    “Tony, what are you talking about?”

    My response:

    Gavin, I’m talking facts, not bullshit that some Hollywood celebrity said off the top of his head because he felt like it.

    Gavin also asks: “And what proof do you have the stats were made up rather than mistaken?”

    My response:

    In order to do a full and accurate actuarial rating on someone — which professionals who “rate” individuals who apply for life insurance policies do on a daily basis — one would need access to the applicant’s health records. The press has been asking the John McCain campaign for those for months and they still haven’t been forthcoming (and even then, the press usually gets a summary, not the complete official records which would be necessary to do a formal rating). I doubt the Hollywood actor had access to them.

    So Damon couldn’t have used any other actuarial tables other than the one for the general population, which is the one I linked to and used.

    As for your other questions, Gavin: I believe in evolution and survival of the fittest. And I believe that any of the other concerns Damon brings up apply exponentially more to the untested, absent of executive experience Barack Obama than it does Palin.

    Gavin, I understand you are bedazzled by the likes of the Hollywood star Matt Damon, but he bullshitted you and you believed him.

  5. Tony, I think you’d have to take into consideration that stressful work conditions contribute to the chances of illness and death. Sure McCain will have access to the best medical treatment in the world. But his doctor can’t tell him to stay away from work for a few weeks, and not to think about it. Now in looking at those actuarial tables did you note professions and perhaps what the average age of death was for US Presidents?

    My old man was 80 this year (DV) but he retired fifteen years ago and while he is active and does loads of physical stuff, I’m not sure we’d let him be President of Ireland (which mainly involves lots of shaking hands, nodding and being pleasant to people) not to mind be president of the United States of America.

    Hell, there are times in our house that we don’t think he should have control of the tv remote still less nuclear codes.

  6. @ Tony. Man, what have you been smoking?

    1) McCain released his medical records to the media in May, with conditions.

    2) That Damon is a Hollywood actor is irrelevant to the points he is making. The question is whether the points he is making are valid. I believe they are.

    3) Even if we use *your* measure of risk, Damon’s point still stands.

    4) Comparisons with Obama are a side issue to the points Damon makes. The question he posed was whether Palin believe in evolution or creationism. What is the answer? You seem to sidestep that question.

    5) Damon did not bullshit me, or anyone else.

  7. Gavin:

    Do you really believe that Matt Damon had access to McCain’s medical records when he came up with the 1 in 3 stat?


  8. The short answer is I don’t know. Maybe he did or maybe he didn’t. Maybe it’s 1 in 3 or maybe it’s 1 in 7 as you say. Maybe he is mistaken, Maybe a hack friend of his gave him the records.

    Whether it’s 1 in 3 or 1 in 7… his point still stands.

  9. Whether his point still stands is moot as far as I’m concerned because one of the facts upon which he based his point was shown to be off by a factor of over 100%.

  10. Tony, your position to me is unreasonable.

    I asked a colleague who is in actuary. His reading was that there is a 12% chance McCain will die within the next 4 years, and that you can add 3% per year after that.

    Damon made several points, and I agree with the general thrust of all of them. Palin as commander in chief is an unknown quantity.

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