Stephanie's Reviews > The Science of Fear: Why We Fear the Things We Should not- and Put Ourselves in Great Danger

The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner
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Mar 19, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: psycology, 2012

This book was rather dry. With the title being fear I kind of expected it to be more dramatic. Not so much.


In this book Mr. Gardner reveals to us that the stuff we are scared of, most of the time is really not what we should worry about. He points out how the news media will pick up a story and run with it because it is sensational. Fear sells. Then we will get all paranoid about it. I could have told you that.


Pesticides for example, are not all that bad, because what we ingest is not enough to harm us. They have been demonized, but without them we would all be dying from malaria. What doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger, but I think if you can at all possible to avoid pesticides, why not?


Cancer is another thing on our minds. He points out that we are living longer than we ever have, and with increased age the odds of getting cancer increases as well. Instead, we worry chemicals are causing the increased cancer. The problem is that everything is a chemical; just some are man made and most are not. Chlorine is a chemical and some people talk about removing it from the drinking water…..bad chemical…..bad! What that would do is cause widespread death from diseases such as diphtheria.

Diphtheria kills children. Which brings me to a point that was not brought up in the book, vaccination. People in this country have kind of lost their noodles over vaccinating their children. The reason for this was someone somewhere linked autism with vaccination. This has never been proven. But a whole bunch of parents have refused to vaccinate their children for fear of autism. “Hello un-vaccinated child.” Said diphtheria.

Diphtheria + child = dead

Vaccination + Child = Alive child with maybe, but not likely, autism.

Terrorism. Another thing we all fear (well, except me). The odds of getting killed in a terrorist attack in very very very small, yet we spend a shit ton of money on counter terrorism. This money would be better spent on universal health care. By not wasting the cash on anti terrorism, and covering everybody medically, the country would save so much money.
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06/10/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by TK421 (new)

TK421 This book sounds very similar to THE CULTURE OF FEAR, which I happened to give only two stars to. Perhaps fear just ain't that scary?


Stephanie Gavin wrote: "This book sounds very similar to THE CULTURE OF FEAR, which I happened to give only two stars to. Perhaps fear just ain't that scary?"

Ha!


message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I couldn't even get through The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things. The information was poorly organized and it just wasn't very good reading. It was recommended on Michael Moore's website a while back.

The premise of the book sounded interesting to me and Michael Moore's heart is in the right place, but the book is just utter crap. It's not for serious thinkers who are looking for something insightful and revealing about our culture. I'm disappointed in Michael.


message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus The culture of fear is the time-honored way for tyrants to control the hoi polloi. It works, so they keep using it. Whenever I come across anything from "Center for Science in the Public Interest" I know that it's intended to scare me and make me angry. So it quit working.

On me.

But I'm smarter than the average bear.


message 5: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie my two greatest fears are brontosauruses and lions, in that order


message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy It's the little things that scare me - spiders, hornets and centipedes.


message 7: by Nataliya (new)

Nataliya I like that you brought up vaccination, since I quite often see kids in clinic whose parents are all like:" I will not vaccinate my child since ALL THE OTHER KIDS are vaccinated and so MY CHILD will never get the disease, and so let me just WEAKEN the herd immunity by refusing to be a part of it!" So frustrating.

And that keeps happening even though vaccine-autism link study has been thoroughly debunked, most of the authors have rejected its findings, and even the editors of Lancet have retracted that article. But people still believe Jenny McCarthy's passionate speeches of the recent past.


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Nataliya, I could have saved them all the trouble of studying it: Only one case of autism not related to vaccination busts the theory. My daughter didn't have her kids vaccinated. One is autistic, another has Asperger's, and the third has none of the above.

Link disproved. Next idiot fallacy, please.


message 9: by Debbie "DJ" (new)

Debbie "DJ" What an excellent review Stephanie. I couldn't agree more, and love your last statement. Isn't it ridiculous what we spend our money on? Universal health care...absolutely. Hey, how about just feeding so many who are starving.


Stephanie Debbie "DJ" wrote: "What an excellent review Stephanie. I couldn't agree more, and love your last statement. Isn't it ridiculous what we spend our money on? Universal health care...absolutely. Hey, how about just feed..."

Thanks Debbie! Yeah, are so silly.


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