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comment by mk
mk  ·  2471 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Cory Doctorow: The odds are stacked against us
Yes, I've found Doctorow to be hit or miss. Personally, I think the main driver behind over-concern to risk is the uneven news coverage given to these risks. MSM, not experience, keeps pedophelia and terrorism in the forefront of people's minds. It would be interesting to see the MSM start reporting tragic car crashes on a daily basis. There's endless material there. They could report the types of cars involved, the locations, the death tolls and images of the carnage... I bet we'd see calls for new legislation to fight the dangers of driving in no time.

Fear is a great story, and terrorism is fear incarnate. Great news, and great government contracts. The MSM could convince the public of almost anything. I agree the public quickly leaves it to the experts. They even leave the decision of 'what is risky?' to the experts.




kleinbl00  ·  2471 days ago  ·  link  ·  
An interesting point. One thing I think you're missing, however, is the "dingo ate my baby" angle. We fear that which we do not understand: mysterious strangers at the park, for example. How do we avoid the dangers of mysterious strangers at the park? Well, as the news will tell us, we do it by reporting all suspicious activity and keeping our kids close. How do we avoid dingoes eating our babies? We stay out of the Outback.

With cars, the way we avoid crashes is by "not driving." Which we're not going to do - and besides, when we're driving, we're in charge. We can out-drive any crash! So in the end, reporting on car crashes isn't going to have that necessary "the world will kill you in unpredictable, random ways" that drives our irrational fear.

mk  ·  2471 days ago  ·  link  ·  
I can agree with that. You are probably right that people really don't want to be afraid of their cars, they are too familiar, so they aren't inclined to be. However, the MSM could probably freak people out if they started reporting statistics about traction control and accident rates. "Are you driving an uncontrollable car?!"

We just got a baby crib that is a few years old. It's a nice sturdy crib. However, what we choose to ignore, is that since the side can go down, we will be napping our baby in a DEATH TRAP.

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/28/dangerous-drop-side...

I'm sure that in a couple of years we will find that current cribs are actually infant execution devices. Cribs are pretty mundane, but we can be taught to fear them.

kleinbl00  ·  2471 days ago  ·  link  ·  
However, the MSM could probably freak people out if they started reporting statistics about traction control and accident rates. "Are you driving an uncontrollable car?!"

And have.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/12/toyota-autos-hoax-media-opi...

http://jalopnik.com/5493693/america-you-brought-the-toyota-h...