the likelihood of death

the phone conversation with karpov is everything i could have hoped for. actuaries, in case you never learned it, are the math heads that determine how likely everything is ranging from the simple, like your car crashing; to the unthinkable, like your death; to the incredibly difficult to calculate, say the amount of money your insurance company will need to pay all claims if it decided to shut its doors tomorrow.

karpov used to be one of the latter, but now his risen a level. he's an auditor -- the guy who makes sure all the other guys have done all their math right. essentially he's a math killer whose targets are other math killers.

the conversation with karpov is illuminating and includes such tidbits as every state has a commissioner for insurance and big companies will typically have an employee that deals with just one state to make sure they are in compliance.

the big question that comes up is "what's the legals difference between warranty and insurance?" it's a question that neither of us know the answer to for sure, but if they're not the same, they're definitely similar and definitely regulated.

karpov likes the idea of a lifetime bumper-to-bumper warranty -- more from a theoretical exercise than from a practical point of view.

in fact, that's becoming typical of the people i'm talking to about this. they all treat the kind of like bungee jumping from a helicopter over a pond of hungry piranha -- everyone thinks it's interesting (and would certainly like to watch), none of them want to try it themselves.

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