Yesterday Andrew posted an entry about a TED presentation called A brief history of violence by Steven Pinker. Take a look at his post and watch the video. The video is only 20 minutes long. In short, the presentation offers data that refutes the idea that the human race was more peaceful in the past.
At around the 9:50 mark Pinker mentions that people link the ease by which a specific incident of something can be recalled with the perceived probability that it will occur. For many years I have avoided watching local newscasts for exactly this reason. When half of the newscast talks about car crashes and the other half talks about bad things happening at local schools one can’t help but think that car travel is very dangerous and that there are ‘bad’ people everywhere.