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.

David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. 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 pioneer of post-growth economics, and 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', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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