NEW IN PAPERBACK: 'WHAT SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT?,' 'THE PAINTED GIRLS,' 'EXPLODING THE PHONE' AND MORE

[ Fri. Apr. 4. 2014 ]

Insomniacs will have plenty of fodder to fuel their sleeplessness after reading What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night.

...Fifty years ago, nuclear annihilation might have topped the list. War is a bit player here, with a cheery nod from Steven Pinker, who basically tells us there’s not much to worry about (but offers prescient speculation about an aging Putin bent on regaining a former Soviet republic or two).

No, what we should be worrying about is superstition, fundamentalism, anti-scientific bias, the dumbing-down of just about everything–including ourselves–and the pervasive, addictive presence of the Internet.

But I found comfort in the 21-word, haiku-like entry from screenwriter and former Monty Python troupe member Terry Gilliam: "I’ve given up worrying. I merely float on a tsunami of acceptance of anything life throws at me...and marvel stupidly." And probably sleeps at night.