"Innumeracy" being the numerical equivalent of illiteracy; it's sad how many supposedly educated people are completely clueless when it comes to interpreting the meaning of numbers.

Fear of flooding did not appear to scare off prospective buyers at the New Town at St. Charles, a housing development whose sales office hummed with activity on Sunday, even as the Missouri River was rising. Although the community is near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, residents are not required to have flood insurance, because they are beyond the 100-year flood plain.

The location was a selling point for Ken Snider, a high school teacher from St. Louis.

“It’s not going to flood here for another 100 years,” Mr. Snider said, “and I won’t be around by then.”

100-year flood plains don't flood every 100 years like clockwork, of course, and everyone who lives near a river should know that. However, even the New York Times doesn't correct this moronic appraisal.

But critics of the developments say someone else is likely to be around then, and taxpayers in general will carry the tab after the next disaster bailout.

Even if "100-year floods" happen on average every hundred years (show me statistically significant data!) there's no certainty or claim that two won't happen right in a row. Ken Snider's reasoning, implicitly endorsed by the NYT, is baseless and betrays a total lack of comprehension of the data.

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