What Are We So Afraid Of?
September 2, 2012 by un1crom
As I watched some of the Republican National Convention, gear up for the DNC, get through my own daily work, read essays, strategize about business, talk to friends and family and synthesize all the data, I just come back to this question What Are We So Afraid Of?
I decided to write this post today specifically because I saw this ridiculous commercial yesterday for ADT Pulse. http://www.adtpulse.com/ This commercial made it clear that if you aren’t monitoring your home in real time with video all the time everything you know and love was in grave danger! So, I’ve decided to figure out just how afraid of everything I should be.
Here’s some of what we seem to be afraid about as a culture.
People different than us:
Technology and Media:
Medicine, Shots, Vaccines:
God, Heaven and Hell:
Our Children’s Safety:
Large Hadron Collider:
Nothing to Fear?
So is there anything to fear? are the fears valid? well, I guess they are valid fears if you don’t have information. So here’s some information.
Most fears drilled into us aren’t founded on evidence – at least not at the level we fear them:
Unemployment isn’t really that high in this country (or most western countries), especially if you get an education:
You’ll probably have 5-10 employers in your working lifetime so assume you’ll get laid off, fired or go out of business. There will be other businesses to hire you or you can just make something yourself:
Economy will have short term blips but ultimately continues to churn ahead:
You’re unlikely to be murdered
Children aren’t taken very often (at least in Colorado)
In fact, violence has long been on the decline:
It’s ok if you forget to pray, chances are it probably doesn’t change outcomes:
And humans have been getting tattoos for a long time and the world hasn’t ended:
Oh, and, humans aren’t that different from Bonobos or Chimps, much less other humans. So, maybe we should rethink that worrying about people that aren’t just like us:
Almost every one of common fears are unwound through perspective changes aka education aka realizing it’s not black and white. Again, see the S. Pinker History of Violence link above to get an idea of the real impact of just literacy and access to information and what it does to fear.
Is it a big deal that people fear the wrong things? Yes! Especially if it leads to suicide bombing, racial profiling, not getting an education and so on.
But, c’mon, aren’t there some things we should fear?
and maybe this too
well maybe this too
In the end, methinks fearing too much is a waste of time because in the end we just don’t know what’s going to happen, right?
Knowing you can’t predict it all (thus prevent it) what’s the point in worrying to the point of being truly scared?
So, no, ADT, I won’t be buying your Pulse product.