More of an observation than a question, about "compatibilism" in the free will "versus" determinism debate.
In the short run, there is a strong correlation between life expectancy tables and the number of people who die in a calendar year. Somehow, even though on the level of the individual, many of these events may be due to "luck" (wow, that train just missed me; or wow, what a freak combination of factors to lead to such a bizarre accident); on the level of the population, the total number of deaths in a year can be "predicted" fairly well even if no individual death can be predicted.
In the long run, life expectancy tables do change over time: collectively, each individual person uses what they learn about diet, exercise, cigarette smoking, etc. and makes adjustments in their day-to-day lives; and the aggregate results over time do reflect these changes.
It seems to me that there is a good question buried here in this analogy but I can't quite figure out how to unearth it. Any thoughts from a panelist or two?
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