FlashQuiz: You’re Fearing the Wrong Things
In a nut shell, Josh McHugh’s “What Should You Really Fear?” quiz (for Wired) tries to pull the juicy, media-marinated meat of sensationalism from the comparatively small and boring bones of fact. The way he tells it:
Fatally bad decision-making occurs when the gut—the subconscious mechanism of self-preservation that got us through the pre-CNN epochs—identifies a media-amplified image, story, or statistic as a clear and present danger. The resulting inchoate sense of foreboding causes us to grossly overestimate the danger of highly unlikely threats (West Nile virus, terrorist attacks, abduction, plane crashes, shark attacks) and underestimate far more serious, if mundane, threats (car accidents).
Peel back the boogeyman’s mask and look that dipshit in the eye. It’s not so scary.