Talk:1950: Chicken Pox and Name Statistics

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 11:39, 3 February 2018 by (talk) (TEETH WEIRDNESS TOPIC COMMENT)
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I think Randall missed an opportunity to do another “make you feel old” joke here, perhaps something like “if your age isn’t on the chart, your doctors probably still thought chicken pox was caused by imbalanced humors or angry gods” or something. PotatoGod (talk) 15:24, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Shouldn't the vaccine note have been placed at age 23, not 28, if the vaccine was introduced in 1995? Rockcell (talk) 15:28, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

When do children get their first smallpox vaccine? If that's around three that might be one explanation for the position of the note. Also the vaccine wasn't only used on children born after its introduction, kids that were already a few years old but never had smallpox could still have gotten their shots. 15:52, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

This isn't *smallpox*. Smallpox was eliminated in the middle of the 20th century, so it's weird if anyone gets it. Also: my understanding is that most people who got smallpox died before they got to be old enough to be on any of those graphs.

I found the top graph very hard to interpret, so I've included my interpretation here for posterity: If you are 35 years old, then you were a young child before the vaccine was introduced and probably 100% of the people you knew as a child got chicken pox. If you are 20-25 years old, there's a 50-50 chance that you got the vaccine and, as a result, about 50% of the people you knew as a child got chicken pox. If you are 10 years old, then you more than likely got the vaccine and have a low probably of getting chicken pox. If you are under 5, you probably don't know many other kids. 17:03, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

We are so used to reading graphs from left to right that this graph, with the inverse time line (current age) and the introduction of vaccines marked, seems to indicate that everyone had chicken pox after the vaccine was introduced, but that it was fairly rare before that. So this might be a stab at the antivaxx movement as well, and their use of warped statistics. Torax (talk) 11:36, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Wait, this has nothing to do with confusing correlation with causation, right? The assumption is simply that if most of the kids your age got chicken pox, which is likely if you have certain names, you will consider chicken pox to be normal and common, which seems like a reasonable claim. On the other hand, if the comic hadn't said that, the implication would be that people with certain names cause chicken pox, which would be confusing correlation with causation. - 17:17, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

I agree, that’s how I interpreted the comic as well PotatoGod (talk) 18:15, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
I also agree, if anything this is doing the opposite and assuming no underlying causality between names and chickenpox likelihood, so that the people who get chickenpox at any given time should be distributed randomly amongst all names at prevalent at that time. 19:06, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Basically, what he's describing is a two-step correlation (of which only the second one seems causal to me, but this is debatable). First, your first name and its popularity in particular eras leads to an estimation of your age/year of birth. Second, your year of birth and the prevalence of chicken pox shortly after this year will influence whether you think chicken pox is normal. --IByte (talk) 23:14, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

People with all six of those names probably think "Why do I have no less than six names?" --IByte (talk) 23:17, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

It would be considerably weirder if we didn't have teeth. 11:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)


Logan becomes less popular at age 30. Coincidence? -- 19:09, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

That just means that Logan started getting popular as a name about 30 years ago. So maybe their parents grew up watching X-Men cartoons on TV in the late 1970's through the 1980's? Nutster (talk) 20:40, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
I’m pretty sure the above was referencing the “Logan’s Run” and “Logan’s World” TV series and books, not X-men. It was meant as a joke. 04:54, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

OK. Grammar check now. How many people actually have all six of these names? Can't be too many of them. And is it only men who have this issue?