Lying with numbers

So far during my break, I’ve been doing a lot of things.  One of those things has been to kill scorpions… a lot of scorpions.  Living in Arizona has some disadvantages– scorpions are among them.  On average, I’ve been killing approximately 6 scorpions a night (outside the house). 

For fun, yes I’m weird, I did some research and found that there are about 1,400 recognized species of scorpions in the world.  They’ve been found over 430 million years ago in fossils, in most environments, and are considerably resilient to a variety of extreme circumstances.  Some of them are capable of giving the deadly stings.   Arizona’s bark scorpions, the ones in my back yard, are capable of such a sting.  Mexico reports 1,000 deaths from scorpion stings per year. 

Even more fun news, using some fun math from here, we could reasonably assert there are over 10 billion scorpions in the world today.  And that’s a low ball number.  Arizona and Southern California have the highest concentration and diversity of scorpion populations in the US.  Phoenix reports over 6,000 stings (non-deadly) on average per year.  In short, there are boat loads of scorpions.

Awesome!

But I didn’t break from my cone of silence to write about just about my killing of scorpions.  If you look at all the above facts, one could say that: we are out-numbered, there are nearly unlimited scorpions, and it’s just a matter of time before I get stung.  Risk is fairly high, over a long enough period of time, it will happen.  Scorpions win.

But here is the deal.  Although there are likely thousands of scorpions in my immediate area– I still only kill 6 scorpions on average every night.  I don’t have to face an unlimited torrent of scorpions trying to attack my family; I only have to deal with the 6 that make the mistake of climbing up my wall and make way to my house.

Security works the same way.  You only have to deal with the actual threats in front of you.  The rest is just a distraction.

-A

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