The Real Story of Risk presents a fascinating exploration of how our brains are poorly equipped to deal with the everyday risks of modern life. We live in a world of risk. It waits for us in our refrigerators, surrounds us on the roads, and lurks in our arteries. We're blind to common risks like heart disease, yet we shrink in fear from rare events like shark attacks and plane crashes. What accounts for our poor ability to perceive and react to risks that really matter?
The Real Story of Risk traces our distorted perception from our ancient ancestors to the present day, showing how our brains – which evolved to deal with threats such as wild animal attacks and disease – are ill equipped to deal with the artificial risks of the modern world. Offering a wealth of fascinating information about health, sex, money, safety, food, and the environment, The Real Story of Risk illuminate an often misunderstood but crucial aspect of daily life.
"Beautifully researched and explained, The Real Story of Risk presents an understanding of why we do the things we do. Croston masterfully shows us why we choose short-term thinking over long-term, why we prefer willful ignorance over informed logic, and why we'd rather die than speak to a group of people. This fascinating book provides insight into our muddled human nature and answers how to overcome it and live more sustainably."
– Eric Corey Freed, founding principal of organicARCHITECT, author of Green$ense for the Home
"A tour de force on the topic of why we take the chances we do and avoid the ones we don't. You'll never look at your life's risks the same way again."
– Aaron Klein, CEO, Riskalyze
"As Dr. Croston cleverly points out, although humans are well adapted, through our evolutionary history, to react to immediate risks, we are much less able to respond to slowly approaching, less obvious, future risks. We are able to anticipate and prepare for a possible tiger attack but unable to stop eating ourselves to a heart attack or to understand the dangers of massive world changes caused by global warming. Croston provides excellent advice as to how we might better respond to these future, long-term risks."
– Robert W. Sussman, professor of anthropology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
"Risk taking is not to be idolized, nor should it be condemned. Risk in everyday life is like salt in our soup: the best amount is neither too much, nor too little. That is what The Real Story of Risk shows in an entertaining and informative way with documented data and interesting anecdotes."
– Gerald J. S. Wilde, author of Target Risk
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Glenn Croston, PhD (San Diego, CA), is a biologist who has spent more than twenty years performing research in universities and in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. He is also a green entrepreneur and the author of 75 Green Businesses and Starting Green. His work has been covered in the New York Times, BusinessWeek.com, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, GreenBiz.com, and many other websites and blogs.