Red-Shirt Risk

How Likely Is It That You’ll Die?

Reporting on Matt Bailey’s Analytics According to Captain Kirk, which begins with a quantitative summary of what all Star Trek fans know: “red-shirted crewmembers died more than any other crewmembers on the original Star Trek series.” — 73% of crew deaths.

However, Bailey does not stop there. The rate of red-shirt death varies considerably, and in some shows is much less than in others. Those shows share another well-known feature of the original series, which suggests a risk mitigation strategy:

Besides not beaming down, another factor that showed to increase the survival rate of the red-shirts was the nature of the relationship between the alien life and captain Kirk. When Captain Kirk meets an alien woman and “makes contact” the survival rate of the red-shirted crewmen increases by 84%. In fact, out of Captain Kirks’ 24 “relationships” there were only three instances of red-shirt vaporization.

Conclusion:
We can reliably improve the survivability of the red-shirted crewmen by only exploring peaceful, female-only planets (android and alien females included).

Exercise for the reader: Consider correlation and causality in this case.

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