View Full Version : FEAR

2004-Oct-28, 03:36 PM
News media

"... is in fewer hands than most of us realize, which also contributes to the sense that the world is a risky place. Just 22 owners of newspapers in the USA control papers that reach 70% of the total readers nationwide (Editor & Publisher, 2004). Three-quarters of the television stations informing Americans are owned by only 6% of all media corporations (http://www.tvjobs.com). Public businesses, legally beholden to maximize profits, try to gain attention for their news and information outlets to increase readership and viewing figures. A common approach is to make risks sound as dramatic, threatening and urgent as possible. The result is a 24/7 drumbeat of drama and danger, contributing to what George Gerbner called 'the mean world syndrome' - the sense we have, based on a steady supply of frightening and threatening news, that the world is a riskier place than it actually is (Gerbner & Gross, 1976).

A potentially more dangerous outcome of our misperception of risk is less obvious: the effects of stress, which create a wide range of biological harm. When we face a threat, our endocrine system releases lucocorticoids and other hormones, which together with other signals turn up the systems we need to protect ourselves, and turn down those that are not immediately useful for survival.

Although these systemic changes help protect us in the short term, they are detrimental if the stress persists. Psychoneuroimmunological testing in laboratory animals and a range of human epidemiological findings associate stress with a weakened immune system, increased cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, decreased fertility, impaired formation of long-term memories and damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. Other symptoms include fatigue, an increased likelihood of osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes, and aggravated clinical depression, accelerated ageing and even premature death (Sapolsky, 1998)."

Full article by David Ropeik at:

Maha Vailo
2004-Nov-02, 12:36 PM
So, what's one supposed to do about all this stuff that is meant to incite fear in us?

And what, if anything, should we really fear?

- Maha Vailo

2004-Nov-02, 12:57 PM
I find that by ignoring most of mainstream media AND most of the studies of psychoneuroimmunological testing in laboratory animals that I live a much more stress free life.


2004-Nov-02, 02:29 PM
Well there is the Daily show. All the news thats fit to be made up. :-D

2004-Nov-02, 03:35 PM
And of course mainstream news is much like the Daily Show in that regard, just not as funny. :o