Not every problem requires a law

I don’t know how the disgruntled will cope when Australia becomes a republic: “There are calls for a Royal Commission following [insert grievance text here…]” will disappear from the lead stories of The Age and The Guardian and Their ABC.

Reading into the story it seems the disgruntled underwent surgery for a Brazilian Butt Lift, which the reporter helpfully referred to as the BBL. The surgery went wrong, I think.

Now, having lead a sheltered life, I was unaware that the BBL could refer to either a round robin T20 cricket comp or a butt lift. It’s also not clear whether the lift is one performed only on butts of Brazilians or only by Brazilian surgeons or can anyone shuffle into the surgery and bounce out newly uplifted? I remain ignorant in this regard because I stopped reading.

Let’s keep Royal Commissions for more weighty topics.

It’s not about the virus

I can’t imagine that there is anybody left, anywhere in the world, who still believes zero COVID by lockdown, mass testing, contact tracing and so forth is possible.

Consequently, this latest action from the Chinese Communist Party cannot have anything to do with a pandemic response. It’s not about the virus. It’s much more likely to be about maintaining power and crushing dissent. The virus is just the excuse.

How multiple decrements and standard deviations affect Australia’s senior citizens

The ABS most recent publication on Australian mortality experience was released towards the end of May, with the rather noteworthy key point that for the first two months of 2022, all cause mortality is up over 20% compared to normal, Figure 1.

When it comes to vital statistics of mortality, departures of this magnitude are rare, indeed. This represents about two standard deviations (more on that below) over the baseline, which was measured over the seven calendar years to 2021 inclusive. So, I obtained the full set of data from the ABS website to review the results in more detail, given the data are broken down by state, age group, cause of death and by both sexes.

Figure 1. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics )
Continue reading

20% increase in mortality?

I haven’t yet read the report properly. No doubt many statisticians, demographers and actuaries will be doing so now. It feels to my old actuarial bones that a 20% increase in mortality, relative to trend, is notable. That’s a big deviation. Worth reading in full.