History’s death tolls: a comparison chart

Here’s an interesting set of charts from the Wait But Why blog giving the sizes of the death tolls in history’s greatest massacres and from other causes of untimely death.  As W. Edwards Deming once said, no number is meaningful unless there is another number to compare it with.

Death Final1a
As somebody else once said, one of the hardest things for human beings to grasp is differences in orders of magnitude (units vs. thousands vs millions).
DEATH2
Notice the enormous range of estimates in the larger figures. It seems as if the greater the death toll, the harder it is to determine just how great it was. But we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that massacres that are lesser in numbers are not really atrocities.

DEATH3

http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/the-death-toll-comparison-breakdown.html

http://waitbutwhy.com/

Hat tip to Yves Smith (whose naked capitalism web log is listed on my Blogs I Like page)

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