Everything I’ve Always Wanted to Say about Fear, Worry, News, Perception, Psychology & Murder, Said by Vlogbrother

Behold Hank Green (bro of John “The Fault In Our Stars” Green) summing up pretty much everything about why,  despite the fact we are surrounded by good news, it’s the rarest, worst news that we take to heart.

Kindly, ponder each point. Spread the message. Feel slight stabs of envy at how good this video is. But mostly gratitude that someone is saying this so perfectly:

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13 Responses to Everything I’ve Always Wanted to Say about Fear, Worry, News, Perception, Psychology & Murder, Said by Vlogbrother

  1. Steve January 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    Good video, but I don’t agree with him that bad things happen suddenly while good things happen over time.

    People win lotteries – Suddenly

    People save people’s lives – suddenly

    Great books and films come on the market – suddenly

    Many good things happen – suddenly

    Now, I know some might say, for a lot of these things there was preparation before hand, and I agree, but if you use that as an argument, you must admit that there is often preparation, or a slower moving chain of events that lead up to something bad happening – suddenly. The 9/11 atttack happened suddenly after a chain of events leading up to it.

  2. JaneW January 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Beautifully beautifully said.

    I just had a baby, and I was looking up some numbers. Since the year of my own birth, US and global infant mortality have fallen by 50%. So has global under-5 mortality, and murder and teen pregnancy in the USA.

    And yes, good things do happen over time. We never found the “cure for cancer,” but science is beating cancer step by step, year by year. People still die of it, there are still forms of cancer that we can’t do anything about, but many many cancers now have very high survival rates. Childhood leukemia has gone from hopeless to like 85% survival rate.

    And the Golden Gate bridge has still not fallen down. Nor has the Brooklyn Bridge, even after 140 years.

  3. Arianne January 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    We love the Green brothers and Crash Course videos at our house! :-)

  4. Marybeth January 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    The New Jersey court system needs to see this video!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Deborah Caldwell January 19, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    There was nothing wrong with that thesis. It had a subject, a predicate, and a joyful list of adjectives for every thought.

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  7. bmommyx2 January 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    loved it

  8. MichaelF January 20, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    The point about cognitive bias is the heart of the matter to me, people who look for worst-first tend to find incidences that reinforce that. I think Crash-Course is also on Khan Academy now, which I will have to check out now that I have been introduced to it.

  9. Steve Horwitz January 20, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Amusing that, at the end, he falls for his own bit of “believing the bad news” in his comments on income inequality (and perhaps climate change, but that’s more controversial). Even the bias catchers have their biases.

  10. ValerieH January 20, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    I like this video, yet it feels like our brains are working against us to be happy. To reply to one of the posts, many cures for cancer exist but they are not profitable so the drug companies keep looking. The standard of care insists that it be drugs or surgery that cures cancer. I met a woman who survived cancer with ketogenic diet and H2O2 therapy.

  11. Donna January 20, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    @Steve – There is a difference between known preparation and unknown preparation. Obviously, the 911 hijackers planned extensively, but for everyone else on the planet, it was a sudden disaster as we were not privy to the planning. A killer has to make a plan, obtain weapons, travel to the location, and shoot people, but everyone else is only aware of the last step in the process so it is sudden to them.

    Contrast that to a book, play or movie. Not only did years of unknown preparation go into it by the artists, the public also has extensive preparation for its release. There are commercials, previews, and hype generated LONG before the release. So while a movie is suddenly in the theaters one day, the release is not really sudden to us since we’ve generally known about it and looked forward to it for months and even years ahead of time. Same with even the lottery, Sure winning is split second, but you bought the lottery ticket and knew from that point on that there was some chance that you were going to win even if teeny tiny.

    There is good that is sudden. There is bad that is gradual. But, as a whole, the good things in our lives are a slow build up and the tragedies in our lives are split second. Much of this is because we are in control of the good and are privy to the preparation so we don’t view it as sudden, but we are not in control of much of the bad and are therefore not privy to anything that happened before our split-second involvement.

  12. Debra January 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    When did Chicken Little become the rule instead of the exception?

  13. anonymous this time January 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    He’s adorable. I like his style!