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A strange thing to think about...

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by brndirt1, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    This is an odd statistical comparison that I sort of ran across by accident. I was reading a book by the name of; The Essential Engineer the other day, and in it the author (Henry Petroski) quoted the Sci-Fi writer Ray Bradbury in response to this question:

    "If you could, what invention would you wish had never occurred?" His answer was; "The automobile, since in just the first ninety years of the twentieth century it has taken the lives of over 2 million humans, the same type of statistic one gets from a minor war." (bold mine)

    So I was thinking about that when I noticed that it is widely accepted that since America started to become an independent nation, it has lost about 1.4 persons in uniformed service up to the Afghan/Iraq period we are still in.

    Now while the approximate 2 million figure is global (auto deaths) in the 20th Century, and doesn’t breakdown by gender or age, nor apparently include motorcycles, and the 1.4 million figure is American fatalities only, that is an amazing number when you think about it.
     
  2. fredleander

    fredleander Member

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    Hmmm, as for the people killed in automobile accidents - if it hadn't been invented probably as many would have been killed in the same period from falling off horses.....:(..
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I seem to recall that trains in the mid to late 1800's also had a lousy safety record.
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I guess you have to pick your poison.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Human beings are accident prone by nature. I know I have tripped over my damn feet more times than I have had auto accidents. Heck I have cut myself with kitchen knife more times. Of course when you screw up with a pick-up doing 65.......:(
     
  6. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Do you have a breakdown for that 1.4M figure? AFAIK WW2 was the worst and it accounts for less than a quarter of that.
    But it's very low compared to other countries losses, Italy, with a smaller population base, lost around 650.000 in WW1 alone and total WW2 losses for all nations were one order of magnitute greater so the "minor" of the comparaison is probably justified.
     
  7. Dauntless

    Dauntless Member

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    Suppose cars weren't invented, or banned from the get go. How would life be ?

    Cities would be smaller, geographically, with people packed in like Manahaatan (100,000 per acre), but that would leave a lot more rural areas. You wouldn't have to travel far from the city for that perfect picnic spot, or swimming hole.

    Trains would be our main travel vehicles. As society progressed, we would go from steam locomotive, to diesel, to high speed electric lines going 300 mph between cities. Imagine, you want to go Los Angeles to New York. Intead of being crammed in an aluminum tube, sharing air with others, you would arrive at the train station, check in and be assigned a sleeping berth and train seat. On an overnight, you could sleep in a berth, shower in the morning, and arrive at your destination refreshed and scrubbed, instead of harried. The scenery on the trip would be idyllic.

    Just imagine.
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    let's put it this way, it's less dangerous than smoking and it brings you home faster, so I'll take the risk.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    And what difference is there between female and male drivers... ;) Lately I have noticed female drivers have become more "brave" but before usually it was the male drivers that drove 100 mph into the crossroads with their " nobody was there yesterday at the same time so no need to slow down " attitude...
     
  10. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Over half of that first million is accounted for by the Civil War alone, I have seen a chart somewhere. Probably on the page that had the 1.4 figure, but I don't recall where it was. I'll look for it though.

    This one from "Wiki" isn't the one I saw originally, but it generally agrees with that number of deaths. It is slightly higher at 1.5, but the one I saw was older after all and I think it purposely left off the CSA deaths in the Civil War from the total as the number wasn't as well documented or something.

    Goto:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war
     

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