Panicology: Two Statisticians Explain What's Worth Worrying about (and What's Not) in the 21st Century

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Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2009 - Psychology - 290 pages
6 Reviews
Are you afraid you might succumb to bird flu? Worried that a life of poverty awaits you in old age? Concerned that you might not be having as much sex as the French? Anxious that our planet is under threat from climate change or a collision with an asteroid? If any, or all, of these things worry you, you're not alone. Anxiety is a part of modern life. But why? We're living longer, safer, and healthier lives than at any time in human history. So what is there to worry about?
In this witty and revealing book, Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams strip away the hysteria that 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 statistics are manipulated or misrepresented by vested interests and the media, eager to exploit our fears. And most importantly they offer a toolkit for skepticism--ways of helping readers sort out what really is worth panicking about from the stuff that really isn't.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

I should have backed away slowly when I saw the blurb that started "In the spirit of Freakonomics" because I didn't much like that either. This is a cute pop-science explanation of statistics, the ... Read full review

Review: Panicology

User Review  - Sam - Goodreads

This is a fairly interesting book that attempts to cover all the things that people fret, worry and panic about and tries to explain why the media portrays events and risks and what the reality behind ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Sex Marriage and Children
Family Breakdown
The Marriage Squeeze
Something for the Weekend?
2 Health
Currying Flavor
9 Modern Science
Little Wonder
Exposed
10 Theyre Coming to Get You
Expecting Visitors
Thats When It Hits You
A Skeptics Toolkit
Notes

A Dead Duck
Its Amazing What They Can Do
Completing the Course
Sudden Death
3 Passing the Time
Cheers
The Death of Cinema
4 Social Policy
Credit Crunch
The Housing Bubble
Immigrant Invasion
Losing Control of Your Vehicle
Death by Phone
5 The Workplace
Underpaid Women
Its All Too Much
Games of Chance
6 Law and Order
Terror Alert
Bang Bang
Crime and Punishment
7 The Natural World
The Short Hot Summer of 2006
Becoming Unsettled
Pigs Might Swim
Go with the Flow
Chilling News
8 Our Declining Resources
The Cod Delusion
Not a Word
Chapter 1 Sex Marriage and Children
FAMILY BREAKDOWN
THE MARRIAGE SQUEEZE
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND?
Chapter 2 Health
A DEAD DUCK
COMPLETING THE COURSE
SUDDEN DEATH
THE DEATH OF CINEMA
CREDIT CRUNCH
IMMIGRANT INVASION
LOSING CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE
DEATH BY PHONE
Chapter 5 The Workplace
ITs ALL TOO MUCH
GAMES OF CHANCE
Chapter 6 Law and Order
BANG BANG
CRIME PUNISHMENT
THE SHORT HOT SUMMER OF 2006
PIGs MIGHT SWIM
GO WITH THE FLOW
CHILLING NEWS
Chapter 8 Our Declining Resources
THE COD DELUSION
NOT A WORD
Chapter 9 Modern Science
EXPOSED
Chapter 10 Theyre Coming to Get You
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Simon Briscoe holds a degree is social sciences and has worked in the civil service, investment banking, and has been the statistics editor at The Financial Times in the UK since 1999. He lives in London.

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at St. Johnrsquo;s College, Cambridge. He is a writer and curator and is the author of numerous books on architecture, design, and science. He lives in Norfolk, England.

Bibliographic information