Headline Jan 31, 2015/ ''' ''' FEARING WELL O'' SIRES !? ''' '''

''' ''' FEARING WELL O'' SIRES !? ''' '''

''PHEW-PHEW''   -forgive me! But that's me blowing a lung full of cigar smoke:

In this part of the world, these are just about the worst of times. We fear everything. We fear reading. We fear writing. We fear great things. We fear bad things.

We fear power. We fear gas. We fear for water. We fear friends. We fear enemies. We fear hardwork. We fear just about everything.

The world in general,  is turning into one fearful society,  and one unhappy world. But, in real life, the world over- 

THERE are, for sure,  plenty of things to be afraid of.

So choose carefully:

Another year,  -another 335 days   - in which things could go terribly, terribly wrong.

But how?

Identifying the most pressing threats turns out to be unexpectedly difficult. Psychologists say that we innately misjudge risk , often becoming instinctively fixated:

On perceived threats that aren't really hazardous while overlooking real dangers because they don't set off our subconscious alarm bells..

People fear cell-phone radiation because it's a relatively new technology and the word radiation adds to the aura of  invisible malevolence   -yet numerous studies have found no convincing evidence of health risks.

Parents fear of vaccination actually ends up exposing kids to very real risk. And during flu season, we scrub our hands religiously, seemingly assuming that it combats  sneeze-borne viruses.

Cancer    : We especially fear outcomes that are painful and prolonged.  

Sharks    :  Stephen Colbert may fear bears, but the data says sharks kill more
                 people on average about six a year.

Viruses   : The 1918  influenza pandemic  killed up to 40  million people; but now 
                 you can bioengineer one.

Lightning  : Unpredictability is as terror provoking as actual capacity for harm.

Smoking   : Just because we know something will kill us doesn't mean we'll stop doing it.

Flying       : You are likelier to die driving to the airport than flying in a jet 

Insects     :  More creepy than lethal. Infant girls are scared of bugs than baby boys are..

Asteroids  :   Astronomers already have a track on everything big enough to destroy civilization.

 Gluten      :  A trendy aversion, but only 1  in 133 people are actually intolerant.

Cell/phone :  It may by physically impossible for cell-phone radiation to cause        radiation      cancer.

Conversely, as the above distinction shows, there are things you need to fear more in the months ahead. But you won't since threats consistently fail to set off our  inner alarms.

The world  consistently underestimates the the danger of driving. Why? Because they feel in control, which powerfully dampens fear. They also tend to over estimate their own competence.

Especially when texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, which dramatically increases the odds that they'll crash.

In 2011, more than  30,000  Americans died in car crashes, compared with zero in commercial  air-travel.

Do you control what you eat? Most of us would say yes, but that opinion is largely the result of what  psychologists call optimism bias. 

In America, in reality, most people are overweight and getting fatter:, undermining their health and cutting their life expectancy.

The illusion of control prevents them from feeling the jolt of terror that might spark a behavioural change.

Americans don't worry much nuclear war anymore, even though the list of nuclear states is growing. ''With current stockpiles, you could come close to wiping out humanity,'' says Charles Blair, a risk analyst at the Federation of American Scientists.

The danger doesn't register because of the mental phenomenon called the availability heuristic: we respond only to things that are easy to call to mind.

Since the media hardly talk about nuclear war anymore, Americans don't easily imagine or hear the A-bomb.

And therein lies the problem: sometimes the only thing we have to fear is is the lack of fear itself. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world . See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Sun Also Rises '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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