Danger isn't our middle name

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Lau, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Lau Guest

    This is slightly weird (and potentially one of those threads along the lines of those started by some of our less intelligible members :p), but just occurred to me when reading this thread about the relative likelihood of death via incompetent car bomber versus using a flight of stairs.

    What if, instead of worrying about the things that we worry about, we had an accurate sense of danger? Currently, people avoid things that aren't really dangerous (i.e. a whole city if there's a suspected bomb, or never fly on planes) but tend to not worry so much about things that really are dangerous, like crossing the road or smoking.

    So, what would life be like if our sense of fear was directly linked to the likelihood* of death by doing something? What would we be happy to do and what would be totally different? We'd all be living in single story houses, or have Stannah stairlifts for starters. :p

    *Thanks to dynamicv for the link
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Apparently, the most dangerous thing you will do in your life is taking that short trip down your Mum's birth canal.

    Don't ask me where I heard that random thought... probably Reader's Digest while waiting at one of my many doctors. :p
  3. Lau thread starter Guest

    Well, that's the end of that thread then, cause we wouldn't be born. :p

    I also have a similar bank of knowledge garnered from reading gruesome stories in Reader's Digests at the optician. ;)
  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    keep calm and carry on. :) I wish that approach would be adopted by everyone regarding all the terrorism.
    Much more likely to die on the way to the airport than on the plane. :D
  5. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    I take that attitude that however safe we try and live we're still going to die so we may as well have a bit of a laugh whilst we're here. It's all just about having a bit of perspective about the danger. Stress too much and you'll end up in an early grave :p
  6. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    If you look at some of the finer details of my life you'd think I had no value for my own mortality. I do, I just don't want to live in fear of "what if". Suppose I've taken calculated risks, even if they only calculate with me. :p

    Among other conclusively nutty activities, I jumped off cliffs and bridges and crashed my dirtbike a lot. I'll be damned if some terrorist dick is going to wreck my day by scaring me into staying home.

    BTW, Good thread, Lau. :)
  7. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    Did anyone see the movie "Along Came Polly". Not the best movie, but this thread is basically the point of it.

    There's an amazing lot of those statistics that would drive an ordinarily sane person, that's right, insane if they thought about them. You'd never leave your home again, except that's where you're most likely to die (I made that last part up but it sounds good huh?)
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Yeah, the social cognitive researchers' work in this area is very interesting. It's a frequent barrier for health behaviors also, because people just don't want to hear about things (vis-à-vis exercise, diet, smoking, sleep hygiene, etc, etc) that they can actually do for themselves about their health. It's a fascinating example of how we do not process information like computers at all....
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Pfft. Falling down stairs... I bashed my knee something rotten falling up stairs once.
  10. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I do that a wee bit too often. Very embarrassing. :eek:

    I generally try not to buy into the 'big fear' scares like airplanes and cities that have been bombed, but I do take into account how the smaller things affect me.

    As far as being scared of stuff goes, I usually subscribe to FDR:

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

    That keeps me on balance if I'm becoming irrationally fearful of something. :)
  11. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    *sheepishly raises hand*

    I so have all these ridiculous worries.

    Like bridges? I seriously get worried and think they'll just... collapse or something. Or heights, they worry me, too. And driving cars/ car rides make me a bit anxious because of the high incidence of accidents/ injury and whatnot.

    So, er, Lau, I do think of the silly things. And er, interestingly enough, I don't leave the house much. :D I also limit my time in the bathroom and kitchen (where there seems to be quite a high number of injuries, as well :p).
  12. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    Try reading something about bridge engineering... Those things are generally very well thought!
    And remember, most of times you'd be falling on water ;)
  13. wonga1127 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2006
    Wishing for a magic bus.
  14. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Got back from Canada this morning, the plane felt like the wing came VERY close to touching the ground as a gust caught it when we landed, then later on driving my mum home I had a minor slip of attention and crashed my car, though the only damage is a wrecked wheel.

    Unlucky day?
  15. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    Don't ever take baths or showers. The number one way to die an untimely death.
    Wired mag had a brilliantly graphic representing real vs. imagined threats. Assuming that the graphics depicted US concerns (e.g., not Iraq or other war zones), terrorist-related acts was a tiny grey blip.
    A number of studies a while ago showed that people who regularly listen/read to media reports of violence, report the belief that there is more violence in their area regardless of statistical evidence to the contrary. (Sorry, don't have the link).
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Lau's obviously never watched Gremlins then.

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