The Five Rules of Risk

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Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster
Music by
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive



20 mai 2020




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Commentaires 80
Wendover Productions
Wendover Productions Il y a 5 jours
We got some math wrong. The annual fatality odds for licensed drivers in the US is actually 1 in 6,000 which translates to lifetime odds of about 1 in 75.
Stephan Brun
Stephan Brun Il y a 23 heures
I do have to wonder what happens if one omits behaviour like driving drunk, which would increase risk dramatically. Do the odds of death/injury then fall, and by how much?
Alex Baker
Alex Baker Il y a jour
@Ch LePrince It isn't ehven number of people are this can be can easily be accounted for. It should be deaths/hour/capita or even deaths/distance/capita. Even this is a fallacy, as experience and conditions of both driving and mountain biking come into play. Are the deaths of mountain bikes stacked in the inexperienced or very experience buy extreme mountain bikers or somewhere else, just like driving deaths is it the Highways or the Residential roads? Or is it actually the conditions, i.e. snow, ice, darkness etc.
Alex Baker
Alex Baker Il y a jour
That isn't really relevant anyway as it should be amount the activity is done per year. This isn't your best made video ever I am afraid. Also it would depend where you drove, where as any form of mountain biking would have a risk as even falling over stationary could mean your head hits a rock and you die, the odds of this are very low. The equivalent is sitting in a parked car, how long until you die? A car will hit that parked car at some point, but even then it has so many safety features you still probably wouldn't die.
Namefag Il y a jour
Actually paused the video and run the math because I felt it was way too high. Glad to know it was a mistake.
ACIDesignsUY Il y a 2 jours
Sorry but the kaleidoscope was really annoying couldn't watch to the end and unlike
Michael Harrison
Michael Harrison Il y a 10 heures
Love how he used a Tesla truck as the vehicle representation👍🏼👍🏼 ironically those vehicles will probably change the death rate statistics
ХОРОШО Il y a 11 heures
It's unbelievable most people can't understand such simple things.
Captive Il y a 12 heures
Waited for risks of climate change as an example
stinksmcc Il y a 12 heures
2:14 wasatch crest!!
Joseph Waddell
Joseph Waddell Il y a 12 heures
Flawed? Really? How about the fact that mountain biking has no useful utility in our lives; while driving is necessary to accomplish nearly everything.... Most of us have jobs away from home. Simple as...
psammiad Il y a 12 heures
Walking outside vs staying at home isn't zero-sum - a huge number of accidents happen in the home. The risk of not getting exercise is very high, etc.
Jackamomo Il y a 14 heures
I went driving along a motorway once. It was more scary to me than a roller coaster as it was clear I was taking my life into my hands. I wish the government would make proper public transport. I don't intend to ever drive again.
Sanajit Das
Sanajit Das Il y a 14 heures
Did you just draw a image of tesla cyber truck
Urza9814 Il y a 15 heures
I think how much I value my life is fairly irrelevant for a risk calculation. When you weigh the value of the reward against the value of your life, how do you get the value of that reward? I think typically it could be understood in terms of mitigating some other risk. So it's not a series of isolated risk vs reward calculations, it's a single infinite web of risk vs risk vs risk. Driving is fine, because not getting to work or not getting to the grocery store is also pretty risky. Mountain biking after school isn't, because the risk from lack of exercise and entertainment isn't as severe. Or because there are less risky alternatives that solve the problem just as well. I also wonder if the thing about the 100th life having less value than the first could just be the effect of the other principles. I think your example was a terrorist attack which kills a few hundred being about as significant as a natural disaster that kills thousands...but while natural disasters aren't often predictable, they are known. They tend to be regional too which can make then seem more voluntary. You know what disasters might happen in your area, you know how to prepare for them, you move if you really don't want to take that risk. So that's a semi-known, voluntary risk against a generally unknown and "mandatory" risk. Not quite the same thing. Could even be as simple as more people dying means more people discussing it, which means more explanations for it are given making it seem more known or predictable too. Finally...humans wouldn't have evolved if we didn't also care about the survival of our family/tribe/species...which explains the "illogical" behavior around mandatory/unknown/high exposure risks. We're more willing to accept that we might die as long as it doesn't wipe out all of us at once.
Ariel Kass
Ariel Kass Il y a 17 heures
I don't understand the statistics claims here. 1:55 ,000 change of dying if walking outside? reference 1 doesn't have that value. what it says is that there is a pedestrian death once every 88 mins in the US. So how many people walk outside every 88 mins? how many of those seconds of those walks were people not killed at? clearly dividing the number of pedestrian deaths per minute divided by the amount of persons minutes walked in the US every year, will show that the odds of dying by walking outside is extremely low. so maybe some other calculation? maybe the amount of pedestrian deaths in a given year divided by total amount of deaths in the US in a given year? that too doesn't reveal the correct risk, since it doesn't consider all the people in the US that DIDN'T DIE in that year. So the correct calculation should be the probability of dying in a given year * the probability of dying as a pedestrian hit by a car. Clearly this is much much lower than 1:55 ,000 claimed in the video this is the same for all other odds/risks presented. i don't think anyone would walk outside if the odds were so high. they simply aren't and that's why everyone does it. and in regards to mountain biking - the magnitude of the 2 death rates is simply nowhere near comparable. without taking into consider the trillions of driving hours of all americans a year is a warping of reality. what we all know intuitively is that if only 10 people do something and 1 person die due to a crash (for example), this activity is extremely more riskier than a different activity that has trillions of people doing it, but of all deaths during that activity 100% were caused by a crash (for example). the shear rarity of the death event itself is being ignored in the considerations presented in this video and skew what we all intuitively consider. that said, once the math is corrected, then indeed we all consider the value of risk vs. reward and make decisions accordingly
bowen voowy
bowen voowy Il y a 20 heures
"infinity multiplied by anything is infinity" zero enters the chat
Vlad Pintea-Gärtner
Vlad Pintea-Gärtner Il y a 20 heures
if 2/3 of people drive of course the numbers go up, the number of people that mountainbike likely leads to less risk because of selection bias, the people that do are less likely than the average person to suffer an accident in the situation; if 2/3 of people did mountain bike the numbers would go up, maybe not to the same number but yeah. In the US 1 person dies by a shark every 2 years, cows kill 20 people per year; Does that mean cows are more dangerous than sharks? No, it probably indicates that there's considerably more exposure to cows than sharks for a fatality to even occur; I don't think you'd say based on that alone that it's riskier to work with cows than it would be to swim with sharks.
bowen voowy
bowen voowy Il y a 20 heures
Wealth is relative. The comparison with the dollar doesn’t hold up because in the case of a dollar, the perceived value loss at higher quantities is logically true as well. 10$ is
kityew23 Il y a 23 heures
The animation in the video was really distracting
LoungeSpecialist Il y a jour
All of us Christians watching this: NBD
bob smith
bob smith Il y a jour
Cough cough, cdc, cough, cough
Julian Manieson Jr
Julian Manieson Jr Il y a jour
Is there not some Irony in this video ending with the words "or someone else will take it" re the domains?
Marc Goodman
Marc Goodman Il y a jour
We drive motorized vehicles because of the convenience, utility, necessity and pleasure they provide therefore we accept a higher risk (though we rarely think about it). We don't ride mountain bikes for the same reasons we drive therefore we accept a lower risk. If the very last image was some sort of 'dig' at the need for mass self-isolation, when was the last time so many did so much for so many? Thank you for not coviding.
jun ski
jun ski Il y a jour
not walk outside is guaranteed death by hunger.
Grzegorz Dyk
Grzegorz Dyk Il y a jour
Ha! I love it how you used a Cybertruck silhouette to represent a car :D
Axel Petersson
Axel Petersson Il y a jour
2:43 this is true and i understand your point but comapred to other sports like soccer or basket ball, Mountain bikini is more dangeroise
Dean9419 Il y a jour
@wendoverproductions The numbering on the 'Activity or Technology' is wrong @ 8:17 , on the students side there's two #6's and #16 is missing
Jan P
Jan P Il y a jour
Comparing the risk of driving a car and the risk of mountain biking solely on the death toll is very skewed logic. Parents being against mountainbiking as a school activity is probably not because they are fearing their kids dying, but because of (severe) accidents, which especially untrained DO happen a lot.
Wertsir Il y a jour
This video: “Why do you walk outside?” Coronavirus: “Let me stop you right there.”
Tom Hammond
Tom Hammond Il y a jour
The moving kaleidoscope background is really disorienting and makes it harder to read FYI. Good video otherwise
bodoti qwiu
bodoti qwiu Il y a jour
"infinity multiplied by anything is infinity" zero enters the chat
Price Thomas
Price Thomas Il y a jour
I thought this was gonna be about a board game!
SJG Il y a jour
I have always been completely baffled by everyones blind acceptance of cars. Everybody just acts as though there is nothing that needs to be fixed and that it is a completely safe thing to do. Everyone deploys the them but not me defense. "Oh somebody else will get hurt, but I'm a good driver." When in reality, we are all just as likely to get hit by the drunk driver and killed, just as a few in my life have been.
bodoti qwiu
bodoti qwiu Il y a jour
With this lockdown entering the third month, about 6,300 people who were supposed to die in car accidents during these two months, are not going to die. Maybe you’re one
kelvink9999 Il y a jour
Sadly this is why paintball isnt popular enough
Tristan Möller
Tristan Möller Il y a jour
Wealth is relative. The comparison with the dollar doesn’t hold up because in the case of a dollar, the perceived value loss at higher quantities is logically true as well. 10$ is as much money to someone who has 1000$, as 1000$ is to someone who 100,000$. It is us humans who assign value to the money, otherwise it would only be printed paper. Because that is the case, any perceived value equals the real value. If everybody was rich, nobody would be rich.
Tobix Il y a jour
Well, did not know that the risk to die while i go for a walk is 1/55.000. Maybe i should not go outside anymore.
Harpax A
Harpax A Il y a jour
In the end I would expect it to punch Trump & his Covid19 policies.. but guess Wendover love audiences too much... 😏
Eman M
Eman M Il y a jour
But I’ve been in more mountain bike accidents than I can remember and I’ve never ever been in a car accident
Bill Kong
Bill Kong Il y a jour
Also I don't think it's not exactly lives that are worth saving. It's more like living that's worth saving. That's why it's such a tragedy when a 10 year old dies of cancer but we basically accept that 80 year olds will die of cancer. That's why so many people are insensitive to the human cost of Covid - the average age of a covid victim greater than the average age of total mortality.
Bill Kong
Bill Kong Il y a jour
It's also not novelty that increases perceived risk. It's more like uncertainty gives a range of possible perceived risks. If you're a person who is risk averse then you will perceive risk at - say - the 99th percentile. Then a high uncertainty activity will seem very high risk because the chance of something terrible happening seems high. But some people are risk tolerant they may perceive risk at the 5th percentile. They'll look at the same event and think hey there's a very high chance that nothing bad at all will happen.
Bill Kong
Bill Kong Il y a jour
The yardstick isn't disease the yardstick is total mortality. The only reason it looks like disease is because that's what currently dominates total mortality. This is very natural: we care about a new source of mortality when it significantly contributes to total mortality. That's basically how we evaluate everything.
Bill Kong
Bill Kong Il y a jour
The example of driving is a perfect counterexample to the idea that prevalence is inversely proportional to acceptance. I think there's very much an opposite effect too. People don't want to be the only idiot getting killed. But if everyone is doing it, even if a lot of them are dying, then maybe this is how life is meant to be. People smoke and drink and drive and sometimes they go to war.
Bill Kong
Bill Kong Il y a jour
There's some bad statistical interpretation in this video. I ride a bike a lot more than the average person and if I went off a 20 foot jump right now my chance of dying isn't 1/30,000 per year it'd be like 1/10 in 2 seconds along with 8/10 chance of serious injury. So most people, like me, evaluate this rationally, and then avoid doing the risky thing they can't manage. The reason why the risk of mountain bikers dying of mountain biking per year is so low is that they are subject to super strong self selection to be good at it, and even when they do they don't spend nearly as much time doing it as people spend driving cars: it's a recreational activity. So comparing per year population mortality for the two activity has basically no relevance for comparing instantaneous individual mortality.
jawbreaker Il y a jour
In a car you can choose to drive slowly and carefully and even if someone else hits you you will not die. You will die only if you do something stupid. On the other hand with the bike if you fall off a cliff your dead. Even if driving slowly if you fall you will hurt your knee.
joe sharp
joe sharp Il y a jour
More risk to get injured mountain biking and is unimportant for daily life so I would say the risk involved in mountain biking is higher
Andrew James
Andrew James Il y a 2 jours
ok kurzgesagt
Nico Il y a 2 jours
Rule 1 (voluntary over involuntary risk) and rule 4 (new things riskier) really explain why people are so scared or not onboard with self driving cars
Persona Il y a 2 jours
"When people, somehow, get to decide what risk others face" **cuts to a crowd of people in face masks** very subtle...
Wimbely Parkersson-Davis
With this lockdown entering the third month, about 6,300 people who were supposed to die in car accidents during these two months, are not going to die. *Maybe you’re one of the 6,300.*
Wimbely Parkersson-Davis
With this lockdown entering the third month, about 4,000 people who were supposed to die in car accidents during these two months, are going to die. Maybe you’re one of the 4000
ntt2k Il y a 2 jours
This felt like an old-school Vsauce video
Person Man
Person Man Il y a 2 jours
"Voluntary" is defined confusingly here. Driving isn't voluntary for most people. What frames it to be voluntary?
abbsnn cose
abbsnn cose Il y a 2 jours
Title: The Five Rules of Risk Preview: Ryanair Me: you mean risk of breaking back?
ACIDesignsUY Il y a 2 jours
Sorry but the kaleidoscope was really annoying couldn't watch to the end and unlike
abbsnn cose
abbsnn cose Il y a 2 jours
Why do I feel like at the end of the video, he is directing that message to a certain president judging by the background video, cough cough trump cough cough*
Better With Rum
Better With Rum Il y a 2 jours
Sam is starting an insurance company ;)
sion8 Il y a 2 jours
( 0:53 ) Cue Vsauce's into music.
Danyal Il y a 2 jours
mountain biking death stats is lower because high barrier to entry limits participation from only skilled and interested people, while driving is accessible to anyone.
Daemon Magister
Daemon Magister Il y a 2 jours
This is just a death circle jerk video
Paul Hamacher
Paul Hamacher Il y a 2 jours
Well.. just another good video that points out how dumb we are as a species.
Dani Büki
Dani Büki Il y a 2 jours
Alright, so I lost the little rules booklet, and looked up the rules online, and I still don't know what to do with this map, dice and little army figurines, but I think I know a bit more about how and why I over and underestimate the dangers of this world...
João Paulo
João Paulo Il y a 2 jours
One dollar will always be one dollar. Well, yes, but no. Inflation beat the value of a coin, so a dollar in the past gave you a room, but nowadays it gives you some candy.
Karthik Selvarajan
Karthik Selvarajan Il y a 2 jours
That guy got hit by a Cybertruck at 01:11
jeff kraus
jeff kraus Il y a 2 jours
Infinity times 0 equals the set of all real numbers.
Causality_Education Il y a 2 jours
Any Book Recommendations on risk?
eurocowdotcom Il y a 2 jours
Please avoid that nausea inducing background in future.
Ólafur Tryggvi Þorsteinsson
Il Sopravvissuto
Il Sopravvissuto Il y a 2 jours
Jesus Mind
Jesus Mind Il y a 2 jours
life evaluated along a single fulcrum with only two variables, plus and minus. I wish you would simplify this, I mean life is not so complex as either or, one or two. I don't recall voluntarily being born, a big risk to life and I don't recall coming to the table of life to bet the farm, the farm I did not ask to inherit. Jerking off
Abhijeet Singh
Abhijeet Singh Il y a 2 jours
"- we could accept if air travel had the same level of risk." Proceeds to show Ryanair
Jacob Yang
Jacob Yang Il y a 2 jours
Why do I feel like at the end of the video, he is directing that message to a certain president judging by the background video, *cough* *cough* trump *cough* cough*
i Believe your lies
i Believe your lies Il y a 2 jours
Lack of fear , boredom, stupidity.
Nova Flux
Nova Flux Il y a 2 jours
0:54 please don't use this animated background, it's making me sick
Товарищ João
Товарищ João Il y a 2 jours
as big man Joseph Stalin himself once said: “ The death of one person is a tragedy; The death of a million, a statistic. “
Matthew Schmitz
Matthew Schmitz Il y a 2 jours
1:11 it’s the Cyber truck that hits him lol
David Stinnett
David Stinnett Il y a 2 jours
I would argue that mountain biking is probably more dangerous than driving for the person who does both. The sample size is so different between the two activities that it doesn’t make a ton of sense to compare them directly against each other, and because so many more people drive, there’s more unskilled and uncoordinated people doing it, screwing the results to say driving is more risky, however, for the person who does both mountain biking and driving, my prediction is that they would have a greater risk of injury from mountain biking than driving, all other things being equal This is similar to the statistics about being more likely to killed by a cow than a shark. A person who lives in a city and never does beach vacations probably has a neat 0 percent chance of either thing. More people spend time around cows than around sharks, so therefor for many people a shark attack is a more likely thing but the numbers hide this
nieooj gotoy
nieooj gotoy Il y a 2 jours
1:08 “An American has a 1 in 55000 chance of dying by being hit by a car” Shows Tesla CyberTruck Well played, mate 😂
Ian Buck
Ian Buck Il y a 2 jours
The statement at the beginning that one would never walk outside if they infinitely value their life is absurd, because your risk of death while staying in your home is not zero.
nieooj gotoy
nieooj gotoy Il y a 2 jours
saving 100000 lifes. You don't even remember what you said, terrorism is as accepted as large scale natural disater ? Yeah, people were killed "voluntarily" remeber how tha
Anti-jar The magnificent
the risk comparison is wrong. an average driver drives more per year than average mountain biker mountain bikes. a fair comparison should be between risk of dying per hour of activity
hoseja Il y a 2 jours
Most of these "rules" are only true in contemporary american society.
Danila Pakhom
Danila Pakhom Il y a 2 jours
you`ve shown Russia?
Arthur Clery
Arthur Clery Il y a 2 jours
I feel like your evaluation of the risk in mountain biking is wrong. The risk of fatalities is far lower, but the risk of injuries is higher. When you come off a mountain bike, you probably won't die, but there's a good chance you'll break your wrist. So it's not really the best comparison, because one has a risk of lethality and the other has a risk of injury.
Herm Ask
Herm Ask Il y a 2 jours
Murphy’s law, Dunning/Kruger,Peter Principle,the list of fallacies ... I’m adding this one. No one could have expected that? I declare: shit will happen!
Aleksa Kovacevic
Aleksa Kovacevic Il y a 2 jours
A FFS I thought it will give me an edge in the board game...
Klerk Il y a 2 jours
Nice message at the end
Cypher791 Il y a 2 jours
I would save a cats life before I would save one hundred crackhead lives...
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