Friday, January 03, 2003

I was talking about fear yesterday -- that rational or irrational fears or anxiety govern so many of the activities of people I know, and seem to motivate much activism. I found, where people can vote on what they fear & add new fears, but it doesn't seem to have the big fears I've seen among acquaintances:Since we all fear different things to different extents, obviously some of this is irrational. If it were rational, then the biggest fear of each demographic would correspond to the biggest danger for that demographic, e.g. the 20-40 age group would all fear traffic more than food.

A professor Rosenau argues that fear has been key to success in preventive medicine and that we suffer less fear today. Rotenburg points out that some anxiety can increase performance. But I guess what most strikes me is how much fear, anxiety and pressure we continue to feel even when our lives are pretty easy. I'm sure those whose lives are truly hard feel more fear and pressure, but it's surprising that the baseline for angst is so high.

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