[gclist] Name that hypothesis

Nick Barnes nickb@harlequin.co.uk
Wed, 04 Dec 1996 16:52:49 +0000

> > "A young object is more likely to die soon than an old one".
> [...]
> I still don't think this statement is precise enough.  What I was
> trying to point out in my paper was that objects which are more
> numerous are more likely to die (in absolute terms) than objects which
> are less numerous.  If the 'null hypothesis' is that the likelihood of
> dying is completely independent of how long you have lived already,
> then the 'generational hypothesis' is one that says that young objects
> die even more often than would be expected by this null hypothesis.

I think you misunderstood me, which bodes ill for my phrasing of the

I tried to carefully word my statement so that it meant: "an object
randomly selected from the set of young objects has a higher
probability of dying in a given time interval than an object randomly
selected from the set of old objects", which is the hypothesis that we

You seem to be interpreting my statement as "an object randomly
selected from the set of objects which will die in a given time
interval is more likely to be a young object than an old object". This
is broken for exactly the reason you point out in your paper.

How can I reword my statement so that its meaning is more clear?

Nick B