23MB MP3 Link
Psychology of bad probability estimation: why lottos and terrorists matter
Here's the audio from a South By Southwest 2006 presentation by Harvard's Daniel Gilbert on the psychology of probability estimation. This is important stuff -- it explains why we're socially willing to commit nigh-infinite social resources to fighting terrorism, though statistically, terrorist attacks almost never happen; though we barely lift a finger to help save people from routine traffic accidents, backyard pool drownings, and asthma, which mow down our neighbors by the thousands. It explains why people buy lottery tickets. It explains a great deal about many kinds of human activity. This is both sensible and entertaining audio, and it's got a great title: "How to Do Precisely the Right Thing at All Possible Times."