Survivor Bias

The advantage accruing to survivors in the evaluation of a risk. Examples:

1. Lifelong smokers who assert that smoking did them no harm, and therefore could not harm anyone else either. This biases the argument because those for whom smoking was lethal are not around to put their side of the case.

2. The credible material witnesses on the benefit of any current absurdity are those who have thrived on it; those who have not are not well placed to disagree.S135


Related entries:

Fallacies, Personal Experience, Expertise, False Sameness, Metamorphosis.

« Back to List of Entries
David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

Comment on this entry: