Written by a Canadian journalist, The Science of Fear tells us that we are afraid of a lot of things that are not worth worrying about because they are extremely unlikely while we ignore fairly common dangers. So we worry about plane crashes but not car crashes; we worry about breast cancer but not diabetes; we worry about pedophiles preying on our children but not about the cars that may hit them on the way to school (well, I worry about the cars, at least sometimes…)
The author then dissects the reason for our misplaced fears: we are afraid of what we cannot control, of what is spectacular, of everything having to do with children, our own or others, and of course of what the media tell us, and the media loves to delve on plane crashes, breast cancer in young women (even though breast cancer is much more common in older women, and lurkers who prey on children. We also tend to fear what our gut tells us to fear, and that’s not always what our heads would tell us: if we would simply pause and analyze dangers we would usually make a much better assessment of dangers and correctly conclude that driving a long distance is much more dangerous than flying, for instance.
Enjoyable and informative.