Messenger Over the past three weeks the ABC program Four Corners has presented special reports on American politics, which involved one of our best journalists, Sarah Ferguson, travelling to the US on special assignment. I watched these programs and I enjoyed them.
Do We Fear the Right Things? The terrorists' goal, he says, is "not only to kill and maim and destroy" but to frighten us into inaction.
Flying is a case in point. Even before the horrors of September 11th and the ensuing crash at Rockaway Beach, 44 percent of those willing to risk flying told Gallup they felt fearful. Indeed, the terrorists may still be killing us, in ways unnoticed.
If we now fly 20 percent less and instead drive half those unflown miles, we will spend 2 percent more time in motor vehicles. Ah, but won't we have spared some of those folks fiery plane crashes? Likely not many, especially now with heightened security, hardened cockpit doors, more reactive passengers, and the likelihood that future terrorists will hit us where we're not looking.
National Safety Council data reveal that in the last half of the s Americans were, mile for mile, 37 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash than on a commercial flight. My highway risk may be muted by my not drinking and driving, but I'm still vulnerable to others who do.
From through there were 1. But we have actually been less likely to crash and die on any flight than, when coin tossing, to flip 22 heads in a row. Even if not, terrorists could take down 50 more planes with 60 passengers each and-if we kept flying-we'd still have been safer this year in planes than on the road.
Why do we fear the wrong things? Why do so many smokers whose habit shortens their lives, on average, by about five years fret before flying which, averaged across people, shortens life by one day?
Why do we fear terrorism more than accidents-which kill nearly as many per week in just the United States as did terrorism with its 2, worldwide deaths in all of the s? First, we fear what our ancestral history has prepared us to fear.
Human emotions were road tested in the Stone Age. Yesterday's risks prepare us to fear snakes, lizards, and spiders, although all three combined now kill only a dozen Americans a year.
Second, we fear what we cannot control. Skiing, by one estimate, poses times the health and injury risk of food preservatives. Driving we control, flying we do not.
Teens are indifferent to smoking's toxicity because they live more for the present than the distant future. Much of the plane's threat is telescoped into the moments of takeoff and landing, while the dangers of driving are diffused across many moments to come, each trivially dangerous.
Fourth, we fear what's most readily available in memory. And availability in memory provides our intuitive rule-of-thumb for judging risks. Small wonder that most of us perceive accidents as more lethal than strokes, and homicide as more lethal than diabetes.
In actuality, the Grim Reaper snatches twice as many lives by stroke as by accident and four times as many by diabetes as by homicide. In less familiar realms, vivid, memorable images dominate our fears.
We can know that unprovoked great white shark attacks have claimed merely 67 lives worldwide since We don't comprehend the million losing tickets enabling her jackpot. We comprehend the passengers and crew on those four fated flights.
We don't comprehend the vast numbers of accident-free flights million consecutive fatality-free takeoffs and landings during one stretch of the s. We overvalue lottery tickets, overestimate flight risk, and underestimate the dangers of driving.
It's perfectly normal to fear purposeful violence from those who hate us. But with our emotions now calming a bit, perhaps it's time to check our fears against facts.
By so doing, we can take away the terrorists' most omnipresent weapon: And when terrorists strike again, remember the odds. If, God forbid, anthrax or truck bombs kill a thousand Americans, we will all recoil in horror.
Small comfort, perhaps, but the odds areto 1 that you won't be among them. First quote was from his address to the joint session of Congress, the second from his October 11th news conference.NOTES. 1. Bush: First quote was from his address to the joint session of Congress, the second from his October 11th news conference.
2. "Commercial Aviation," Gallup Report, March/April, , pp. These are the realities of my life which people might not accept: Nobody loves you unconditionally except it is your parents.
Your life seems light for most of the people around you, only you yourself know the weight of your life. With some of the most popular reality television shows, like Big Brother, True Life, American Idol, and most recently Jersey Shore, we are led on to believe that it is all real ("The Hunger Games Theme of Versions of Reality”).
In Dubliners Joyce focuses on the restraints that everyday realities impose on important aspects of life, such as relationships. Unremarkable objects thus gain remarkable importance in the characters’ lives as symbols of such imposition, and in doing so they illustrate .
EVOLUTION TRENDS The "INFORMATION AGE" & its Evolution into the "Holographic Age" Challenges & Realistic Goals For Survival & Creating A Desirable Future. The harsh realities of life In the stories of the Most Dangerous Game and The Lottery, both authors do a wonderful job of bringing you into a somewhat normal setting, only to surprise you with what is to come. They both keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you wondering about where the author is going. Coined in a science-fiction novel in , the Anglosphere has become Australia's cultural (and political) obsession. That leaves us blind to other perspectives.
Thanks for connecting! You're almost done. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. The Harsh Realities of Brutality Towards Slaves Essay The Harsh Realities of Brutality Towards Slaves After reading Harriet Jacob’s autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I am truly shocked at what has been left unsaid regarding the slavery era in our countries past.