# Turns out Star Trek redshirts are not likeliest to die

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/20/turns-out-star-trek-redshirts.html

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Redshirts on a landing party are likeliest to die.

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When you consider that multiple times in both the series and the films entire ships have been destroyed this skews the numbers even more, and then of course whole planets have been wiped off the galactic map several times too, so there ain’t nowhere safe in the galaxy, kiddo. Wear whatever you like, we all got it coming.

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That’s why it’s so important to know where your towel is.

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In that little two minute segment that preceded the opening credits, if you saw a new guy in a red shirt, you could predict with near certainty that he would be dead before the credit roll.

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Don’t try and bamboozle me with your fancy math, I know what I know.

That said, a redshirt doesn’t need to wear a red shirt, so obviously the ones in blue shirts count too.

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Dammit, you linked to TV Tropes…

There goes my morning

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That sounds just like what a red shirt salesman would say.

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Considering that red shirts are security for the most part, it is pretty much expected they could die. Sort of like the military, you know that you might have to take one to save a buddy or higher up.

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Yeh, but that’s “on-screen”. There’s a prior probability of a character being on screen given the color.

p(dies | color) = p(dies | color, onscreen) p(onscreen | color) / p(onscreen | dies, color) = p(dies | color, onscreen=True) p(onscreen=True | color) + p(dies | color, onscreen=False) p(onscreen=False | color)

The problem is we don’t observe the posterior, p(onscreen | dies, color), nor are any of the other probabilities related to being onscreen available to us.

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Redshirts are likeliest to die violent deaths, but Brownpants are likeliest to flee in terror.

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I was just about to point that out. If you only consider the population of redshirts on an away team the chances of death are greatly increased.
Then of course you would also need to take into account the chance of being selected for an away team and factor that into the calculation.

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The away team selection process must be pretty gruesome in a society without hazard pay o_0

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Along these lines, avoid wearing a red polo shirt if you’re going shopping at Target.

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But how many blueshirts are there? Your analysis is incomplete! I can’t live like this!

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Ships, sure. Remember Wolf 359. But planets? I can only think of Vulcan in the Kelvin timeline and Romulus in the prime timeline. Any others? I guess Praxis might count, but I’m drawing a blank on others.

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"On or about stardate 4202.1 the Constellation, under the command of Commodore Matt Decker, encountered massive destruction in system L-370 – all seven planets had been utterly destroyed. " (Of course, they could have all be uninhabited.)

There is also this episode:

Wherein all the planets inhabitants are killed, and the immortal being living among the colonists commits genocide on the attackers.

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Yeah, the planet killer mentions blowing up stuff, but we don’t see it. The Survivors is a better example, and also a great episode. Still, it’s not terribly frequent.

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