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Panicology

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Afraid you might succumb to bird flu?* Worried that a life of penury awaits you in old age? Concerned that you might not be having as much sex as the French? And anxious that our planet is under threat from climate change, or even an asteroid crash? If any, or all, of these things worry you, take heart from the fact that you're not alone. People in different countries might fear different things (the Danes apparently worry most about nuclear power, the British about terrorist attacks, the Italians about radiation from their beloved mobile phones), yet anxiety is everywhere a condition of modern life. But why? It's perfectly clear we are living longer, safer and more healthy lives than any generation before us. Standards of living continue to rise inexorably across the western world, and even the major challenge of global warming has been recognized and is being tackled. So what's there to worry about? In this witty and revealing book, Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams strip away the hysteria which surrounds over forty of today's most common scare stories, from overpopulation and murder rates to fish shortages and obesity levels, and show the extraordinary extent to which stats are manipulated or misrepresented by vested interests and the media, keen to exploit our fears. And most importantly they offer a toolkit for scepticism -ways of helping you sort out what really is worth panicking about from the stuff that really isn't. *Don't be, unless you're involved in the ritualistic slaughter of wildfowl.
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Afraid you might succumb to bird flu?* Worried that a life of penury awaits you in old age? Concerned that you might not be having as much sex as the French? And anxious that our planet is under threat from climate change, or even an asteroid crash? If any, or all, of these things worry you, take heart from the fact that you're not alone. People in different countries might fear different things (the Danes apparently worry most about nuclear power, the British about terrorist attacks, the Italians about radiation from their beloved mobile phones), yet anxiety is everywhere a condition of modern life. But why? It's perfectly clear we are living longer, safer and more healthy lives than any generation before us. Standards of living continue to rise inexorably across the western world, and even the major challenge of global warming has been recognized and is being tackled. So what's there to worry about? In this witty and revealing book, Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams strip away the hysteria which surrounds over forty of today's most common scare stories, from overpopulation and murder rates to fish shortages and obesity levels, and show the extraordinary extent to which stats are manipulated or misrepresented by vested interests and the media, keen to exploit our fears. And most importantly they offer a toolkit for scepticism -ways of helping you sort out what really is worth panicking about from the stuff that really isn't. *Don't be, unless you're involved in the ritualistic slaughter of wildfowl.

Additional Info

Author Simon Briscoe; Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Publisher Viking
Place London
Year 2008
ISBN 9780670917020
Binding Paperback
Condition Good

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