…. Every day, lots of people and institutions do incredible things—and we sometimes hear about them. Yet we also have unprecedented access to the all the tragedies occurring in the world, and we hear about those with more regularity. The news has a built-in tragedy bias, which generates a grim outlook about the state of things. For every plane crash that gets all the coverage, there are millions of flights that go off without a hitch. It’s very likely that human behavior is just like this, yet the disproportionate focus on the negat…
When you are a full time Ph.D. student in the United States, you live on a budget, meaning you seek the cheapest decent housing you possibly are able to find.
While I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, College Park I was warned off living in an area named Hyattsville, an area that had some of the cheapest housing around the university. Hyattsville supposedly was dangerous as there were lots of murders etc. in the area. The warning was based on available evidence. The news really did make it seem Hyattsville was all hell hole and no light.
I and my ex wife lived in Hyattsville for 3 years (2000 through 2003), and with exception of one incidence where the window of my 1987 Honda Accord LXi was broken, but with nothing of worth stolen, did not experience any fearful events, any intimidation, any fearsome characters, talk less of any violence. We felt secure enough to have our first child while living in Hyattsville in 2002, then added another in October of 2003 shortly before we moved out of Hyattsville only because we found larger decent living quarters in another city at an affordable price.
Fortunately, I did not have any time for TV while I was a Ph.D. student, as such did not have to listen to all of the bad news emanating out of other parts of the Hyattsville area.
So, yes the news does make things look more grim than they really are in actuality a lot of the time. Guess the old adage applies, which is (I paraphrase), “we take the news with a pinch of salt.”