[ExI] [wta-talk] LA Times: Unlimited space for untold sorrow

Tom Tobin korpios at korpios.com
Wed Feb 6 01:32:53 UTC 2008

On 2/5/08, Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:
> All that illustrates the point that we dwell on the wrong dangers. But
> I also think we dwell overly on dangers of death in any case. I think
> we live in extraordinarily safe societies in the west, and have for
> long enough that we have an expectation of total safety. Thus the few
> remaining dangers are blown out of proportion.
> Really, if we are going to freak out about anything, it should be
> heart disease & cancer. If you want to publicise anything, forget
> homicides, put the heart disease and cancer stats on the telly each
> night. "The heart disease death toll so far this holiday season has
> climbed to 40,000 across the United States, an improvement on the same
> month last year." [4] But then, who'd want to watch that? Horrible.

This sounds exactly like what Bruce Schneier, a security expert, says
in his book _Beyond Fear_; he explains just how utterly *wrong* our
intuitions about danger are.  I don't remember if it's in the book,
but he's said that he tells clients to start worrying about dangers
when they *stop* showing up on the nightly news; something becomes
news by virtue of being unusual.

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