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But this is the problem I have always had with statistical modeling. One assumes a particular distribution, possibly because it fits the data, or possibly because without this distribution, you cannot solve the problem mathematically.

Maybe the data is not capable of being described by any of the commonly known distributions, or by any distribution at all that can be expressed in closed form.

Then you cannot solve the problem and the statistician is out of a job. Since statisticians like to get paid, they cannot allow this.

In this particular case, in earlier times with high infant mortality, the chance of surviving the first year may not have been as good as surviving the 81st year if you got that far.

As a side note, several of the successors of Alexander, at least those who survived, lived into their 80s. As was the duty of the king in those days, he charged at the head of his troops when there was a battle. I have wondered what would happen if we revived that tradition.

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