Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Chemistry of Fear

 Safety and Justice

We believe in justice. We believe that good guys must be protected and bad guys must be punished. So if a girl die because of natural causes, it might be a tragedy . But only her family would mourn for her death. But, if the girl got raped and killed, we would be outraged. We would want to bring the perpetrator to justice.
“It’s not about safety. It’s about justice.” 

“...the fear of cancer, cancerophobia [as he called it], had become a plague in its own right. It is possible that today cancerophobia causes more suffering than cancer itself.”

Poison and Quantity

“People have this impression that if it’s natural, it can’t be harmful, and that’s a bit naive,” says Bruce Ames
Nothing in this world is poison. Nuclear radiation is not poisonous, if you take only small amount. Yet, a lot of people live in fear of nuclear radiation. The same is true for pesticide. It is the quantity, which is important.
“The right dose differentiates the poison from the remedy.”  

Dealing with Risk

Here are what you should do when it comes to dealing with risk:
  1. Use scientific method: Although it’s not perfect and could be biased, it’s better than most of the methods known to mankind. 
  2. Admit that risk is inevitable, because even not taking risk is risky. If we stop using DDT out of the fear of getting cancer, crops will be more expensive. People will eat less fruit and vegetable. And, we will get more cancer anyway. 
  3. Regulating risk is complicated: Regulating risk means replacing more risky items with less risky ones. The problem is we don’t know and we can’t quantify risk for a particular item, and there are way too many items to consider. Worse, our friends, our culture, media, good-bad rule, example rule, and so on often cloud our judgement. It’s hard to find the least risky choice. 
SOURCEThe Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain 

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Book or Audiobooks?

Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].

There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into audible.com. You can keep downloading the over and over again.

   About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.

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