The Real Story of Risk: Adventures in a Hazardous World

Offering a wealth of fascinating information about health, sex, money, safety, food, and the environment, this book illuminates an often misunderstood but crucial aspect of daily life We live in a world of risk It waits for us in our refrigerator and surrounds us on the freeway It s lurking in our arteries and sitting in our 401 k accounts Given that we deal with riskOffering a wealth of fascinating information about health, sex, money, safety, food, and the environment, this book illuminates an often misunderstood but crucial aspect of daily life We live in a world of risk It waits for us in our refrigerator and surrounds us on the freeway It s lurking in our arteries and sitting in our 401 k accounts Given that we deal with risk on a constant basis, we should be good at it as it turns out, though, we re not We re blind to common risks like heart disease one in five deaths , but we shrink in fear from rare events like shark attacks one in a million and airplane crashes one in twenty thousand What accounts for our poor ability to perceive and react to the risks that really matter Starting from an evolutionary perspective, the author traces our distorted perception of risk back to our ancestors, reminding readers that we are all the culmination of a long line of survivors who fought life and death threats such as attacks from wild animals, starvation, and disease The fact that we have covered Earth with seven billion people is a testament to our skill at overcoming these risks But our spectacular success has also produced our contemporary artificial world with new threats like climate change, chili dogs, and online gambling Our brains, which evolved to deal with the ancient world, are ill equipped to process the new threats we face Croston examines the many facets of our hazardous modern environment that we only dimly perceive He explains why we let our guard down for a beautiful face, why slow moving risks like rising seas are hard to stop, how a good story though false can be persuasive than dry statistics even alarming ones , what we fear even than death, and many other intriguing quirks about our built in incompetence to adequately handle present day risks.
The Real Story of Risk Adventures in a Hazardous World Offering a wealth of fascinating information about health sex money safety food and the environment this book illuminates an often misunderstood but crucial aspect of daily life We live in a wor

  • Title: The Real Story of Risk: Adventures in a Hazardous World
  • Author: Glenn Croston
  • ISBN: 9781616146603
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Real Story of Risk: Adventures in a Hazardous World”

    1. i have been trying to read books that are out of my comfort zone but it gets complicated.i usually have a complicated time reading books like these because of their vobabulary but it wasnt that harde story has its ups and downs. when reading this book i realized how different this is to what i usually read. my favorite chapter would be chapter 1 which talked about sharks and how even though sharks are really dangerous, if sharks get extinct then the ocean will die and we will be highly affected [...]

    2. Really enjoyed Croston's writing. I loved his discussions on earthquake preparedness, SUV drivers, denial in the face of everything from climate change to heart attacks, and sexuality and attractiveness. I never would have known that risk-takers and gamblers actually get less of a thrill from their activities than others who aren't addicted to those behaviours. Only complaints I have are with all the footnotes being at the end, requiring two bookmarks for dry (but not unimportant!) citations, an [...]

    3. People are not rational. Face it, we aren't. This book is a fascinating explanation of why. We have a mechanism that constantly balances reward versus risk which has been a valuable tool for survival. Unfortunately this mechanism is not well tuned to the risks we face in modern society so we need to be especially careful of its blind spots.Subjects covered as we explore this mechanism is denial, optimism, superstitions and why we are afraid of speaking in public. Also important are tactics you c [...]

    4. This is a very readable, quick, fairly superficial introduction to risk for non-scientists. It has some good insights as to why we take or avoid certain risks. For example, our brains often interpret the anxiety associated with a risk as the risk itself, prompting us to instinctively avoid discussing, reading, or thinking about something like, say, the risk of heart disease. And, of course, understanding is the first step to managing our own risks more intelligently.

    5. Human beings do not handle risks well. There is a reason Casinos and Insurance companies use statistics instead of "gut feelings." Croston relays many total risk fails but also emphasizes the biological roots behind our bad calculations. Your teenager is a born risk taker because young mammals have to take risks; so it might as well come with delusions of invulnerability.

    6. Good intro to risk for people who is new to the subject. Mostly obvious observations (e.g. Love makes you do riskier things, superstition/religion gives you an illusion of control over risk/unknown), but do summaries what you hear/read everyday in a structured, easily followed way. Through the book is short, could have been shorter.

    7. Interesting read, though his points could have been as easily explained in a magazine article as a full length book. Better read for someone who knows nothing about human risk management. A few good nuggets for those that have a little knowledge in this area.

    8. I give it 2 stars for being well written and edited, but there is nothing outstanding about the book.

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