Friday, April 13, 2007

scary doggy

Allie and I have become big fans of KC Dog Blog, because we love doggies. But recently the site has taken a particularly profound turn, with a series of posts called Fear Mongering in America.

From Part 2:
"We often worry about things that … are not very dangerous, but which seem it. And the reason they seem it is because of … the media who show images and tell stories about terrible, terrible things that happen," said Stephen Dubner, author of the excellent book Freakonomics. "People see those things and they think that they are the norm, and in fact, they are a great exception."

Dubner goes on to explain how "child resistant packaging, flame retardent pajamas, drawstrings on clothing, children dying from the impact of airbags, side airbags in cars" to name a few "and in fact, the loss of life in each of these is very, very small. But as a marketing tactic, it's an extremely powerful effect."

Also see Part 1.

3 comments:

Michelled said...

I HIGHLY recommend Freakanomics to everyone. Its an easy read and will change the way you think. My favorite part is the authors have tons of resources to back up their claims. The John Stossel reports from 20/20 are great too.

Another good/related post from KCDB is http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2006/12/more_unintended.html
on unintended consequences.

Michelled said...

oops

http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2006/12/more_unintended.html

joe said...

I read Freakonomics, too, and I echo your high recommendation.