Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Risk Perception
From his Facebook page:
An illustration of how the news are largely created, bloated and magnified by journalists. I have been in Lebanon for the past 24h, and there were shells falling on a suburb of Beirut. Yet the news did not pass the local *social filter* and did [not] reach me from social sources…. The shelling is the kind of thing that is only discussed in the media because journalists can use it self-servingly to weave a web-worthy attention-grabbing narrative.
It is only through people away from the place discovering it through Google News or something even more stupid, the NYT, that I got the information; these people seemed impelled to inquire about my safety.
What kills people in Lebanon: cigarettes, sugar, coca cola and other chemical monstrosities, iatrogenics, hypochondria, overtreament (Lipitor etc.), refined wheat pita bread, fast cars, lack of exercise, angry husbands (or wives), etc., things that are not interesting enough to make it to Google News.
A Roman citizen 2000 years ago was more calibrated in his risk assessment than an internet user today….