Schneier on Security: Perceived Risk vs. Actual Risk


Very serious article, but I was struck by the very humorous way he describes a natural human characteristic:

The brain is a beautifully engineered get-out-of-the-way machine that constantly scans the environment for things out of whose way it should right now get. That's what brains did for several hundred million years -- and then, just a few million years ago, the mammalian brain learned a new trick: to predict the timing and location of dangers before they actually happened.

Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain's most stunning innovations, and we wouldn't have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it. But this innovation is in the early stages of development. The application that allows us to respond to visible baseballs is ancient and reliable, but the add-on utility that allows us to respond to threats that loom in an unseen future is still in beta testing.

The rest of the article is equally engrossing -- and it's a pretty short article so go read it.  (Don't be fooled by the size of the scrollbar in your browser window; this is because there are dozens of reader comments below the article)

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