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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Mortality geeks

In his interview (March 2004), Simon Carne bemoaned actuaries who work with longevity statistics being seen as ‘geeky’. This word is not listed in my copy of Collins English Dictionary, but the word ‘geek’ is. A ‘geek’ is defined therein as ‘a sideshow performer who bites the heads off or eats live animals’. I would like to point out that no member of the CMIB does any such thing, at least not during meetings. No animal is harmed during the making of CMIB reports.

Simon Carne further referred to people talking about dinosaurs being seen as ‘geeky’. In common with many four-year-olds, my son much prefers people to talk about Tyrannosaurus than American sitcoms. Perhaps the dinosaurs became extinct from trying to influence their environment, instead of having the technical expertise to deal with it?

Stephen Richards(member of two CMIB working parties and part-time dinosaur expert)