Book Review: The Real Story of Risk

Entertaining and logical, this book demonstrates how humans evolved to recognize and deal with immediate threats yet have remained unable to recognize or adequately address the large, very large problems that threaten us all. We live in fear of such improbable risks as shark attacks, snakebites or airplane crashes and irrationally alter our behavior accordingly yet complex risks are typically dealt with by simple denial. In the face of rising sea levels, out of control ponzie schemes and other issues big and small, Croston shows how humans tend to behave either by taking action, worrying or ignoring the problem. Even in practical matters like personal health where things like the risks of smoking and obesity are well understood, most people opt to take the easiest route by simply thinking those dangers don’t pertain to them.

From infidelity to the pain of social stigma, climate change to superstition, this amusing and educational book not only points out the reasons for and fallacies of our behavior but also includes ways of constructively addressing them. Filled with entertaining antidotes and lots of current, real world examples, this provides a window into why we frequently behave in ways that are completely counterproductive to our best interests in an entertaining, nonjudgmental way.

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