Actuary Sighting

Career ASA here. I failed two exams twice each, and exam C killed me. I failed it three times, and once I didn’t feel prepared and skipped the sitting. So technically three failures but kinda four. Oof.


I did fine on my ASA exams, but on FSA exams I took 3, and had (in order) 2 attempts, 3 attempts, 4 attempts for a total of 9 attempts on 3 exams.

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S1:E4 PokerFace

The guy everyone thinks is a narc is actually an actuary at Nationwide

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but we’re all narcs!


We asked them to leave aside the possibility that one of the candidates in their 70s or 80s dies during the campaign — something well within the realm of actuarial possibility and which is already on many voters’ minds.

Bump too,

Watching The Other Zoey on Amazon and in the first 10 minutes or so, Zoey explains what an actuary is to the soccer star. Seems to have something to do with statistical analysis.

In The Discarded Image by CS Lewis – listening to audiobook, and got “actuarial predictions”…
I’m like “what?!” and had to stop it.

This is about 47% through the book, so now I got to find it in the print book…

Okay, found it (ah, love e-texts): it has to do, essentially, with “astrological determinism” vs “tendencies” –

The propensity can be resisted; hence the wise man will over-rule the stars. But more often it will not be resisted, for most men are not wise; hence, like actuarial predictions, astrological predictions about the behaviour of large masses of men will often be verified.

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The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in the central limit theorem…


Not familiar with that one. Much of Lewis is over my head. Except The Screwtape Letters. And Narnia of course.

But now I shall have to try again.

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The Discarded Image is a re-packaged set of lectures he gave at Cambridge, with respect to the Medieval World view – kind of the cosmology/philosophy of the era, the sources of that cosmology, how it slotted in with both Christian and non-Christian systems, etc.

I was familiar with some of what he’s talking about (as much of what he’s talking about is on great display in Dante), but some of it was new to me. It’s not really about theology so much as how they viewed the universe worked in terms of what “nature abhors a vacuum” really means… every niche gets filled up, and everything gets mediated.

This post reminds me of The Inklings

Not sure if he was trying to infer that all belief systems with no basis in fact are equally questionable.
But that’s what i get out of it.

Good for CS, questioning belief systems and not accidentally pushing his own questionable belief system…


Or you could read the book and find out what it’s actually about

Fine… I’ll remind people that CSL was professor of medieval and Renaissance English at the University of Cambridge… which meant a professor of English language writing of that period (Chaucer, etc.)

He was trying to explain the worldview that is implicit behind the works of that time, which is not only the religious view, but how they viewed the planets, stars, creation, etc. and he didn’t just mean scientifically, because most of them weren’t thinking that way. The equivalent in the 20th century (and he mentions it) would be aspects of Freud, Einstein, and evolution. It wouldn’t be a deep understanding, but the authors would reference it or it would just be understood/implied.

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I did not know this.

Most of his books aren’t on his actual academic material because the reach was limited.

This book (The Discarded Image) is pretty accessible as academic material goes, but it is crammed full of medieval references, and much of it will not be familiar to people. Because even if you have heard of Plato’s Timaeus, for example, that wouldn’t have been what was available to medieval Europe – they had a Latin commentary on Plato from the 4th century, that had a particular take on the text. That sort of thing.

Lewis gives context, obviously, but this is information-dense.

Now I’ve moved on from the cosmology chapter, and am onto the bit on “long-livers”, or fairy-folk, but not the cute modern version of fairies.

The Longaevi, or “long-livers”, are those creatures which might be called “fairies.” Lewis gave them their own chapter because “their place of residence is ambiguous between air and Earth.”[10] That is to say, he really couldn’t find another section in the book that they’d fit into, so he just gave them their own place. Lewis sees the word fairies as “tarnished by pantomime and bad children’s books with worse illustrations.”[11] Lewis writes of the various creatures in the Middle Ages: fearsome, fair, and the separate beings known as the High Fairies.

In CodyCross daily crossword puzzle: clue: Insurance risk manager- answer: Actuary


Wicked Little Letters the Olivia Colman movie -

"Oh! Actuary!

Nance, I thought you could be an actuary!

  • What’s an actuary?

  • Well… Haven’t a bloody clue.

Rich is what it is.

Rich and clever.

And they probably give you a quill.


Would’ve been even better if they had said that.


I spotted one of you nerds posting on Reddit today, in a non-actuarial sub.

What are the odds?