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Beware Dangerism! (Kindle Single) (TED Books) [Kindle Edition]

Gever Tulley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

If you're over 30, you probably walked to school, played on the monkeybars, learned to high-dive at the public pool. If you're younger, it's unlikely you did any of these things. Has the world become that much more dangerous? Statistically, not at all. But our society has created pervasive fears around letting kids be independent and take risks -- and the consequences for our kids are serious. Gever Tulley, the co-author of "50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do," takes on these media-inflated fears -- which he calls "dangerism" -- with surprising statistics and insights into the nature of fear and risk.

Editorial Reviews Review

Parents today are overly cautious about the safety of their children, at least according to Gever Tulley. Discussing perceptions of risk and the cultivation of fear, Tulley brings to attention several activities that were once commonplace but are today looked down upon, including playing in the yard unsupervised, walking to bus stops, and riding on merry-go-rounds. He encourages parents to allow their children the freedom to be adventurous, get into scrapes, and learn by making mistakes. For readers who commiserate with his observations, the idea is simple: stop worrying about everyday dangers. Instead, he suggests a handful of activities that you simply have to read to believe. --Shirley Hong

Product Details

  • File Size: 201 KB
  • Print Length: 31 pages
  • Publisher: TED Books (January 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004K1F3K2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,809 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Fascinating, Perfect Shorter Work. January 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow, did I find this to be engaging, intelligent, and interesting. This is the exact experience I wanted from the Kindle Singles program -- a shorter piece with no wasted space and just quality. "Dangerism" explores such topics as perceived danger versus the real deal, the media's hand in freaking us all out, the learning potential that comes with reasonable risks, the role of litigation, the opinions of others, and societal pressures to be perceived as a good parent.

I don't think you can get a group of people over a certain age, let's say 35, and ask them to discuss childhood play without someone beginning a discussion that goes something like, "when I was a kid, I'd go out to play in the morning and my parents didn't see me all day. I was climbing trees and getting into mischief, and doing crazy stuff on monkey bars -- and it's a wonder I made it through." Most everybody will nod along, relating to it, and most everyone will be smiling and looking for an opportunity to tell about the crazy stuff they did. These are the same people who are now making sure their own kids are never out of sight of an adult. It's an interesting dichotomy, because what these people are feeling is that same thrill and adrenaline rush of being a child and exploring, but it's the last thing they want for their own kids, because they are really afraid.

No one is suggesting that the out-of-sight of parents thing is ideal either -- well, at least one person in the piece says it, but I'm not saying it -- but so many lessons are lost when we go the other way. I saw an interesting interview somewhere -- Gavin de Becker maybe -- and it's touched upon in this piece, about how telling kids not to talk to strangers is rather bad advice.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights January 27, 2011
By Wilcley
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With an interesting take on our perception of risk, Gever Tulley explores the root causes of the extensive "baby-proofing" that is especially pervasive in the United States. The author looks at how parents perceive risk for their children and how attempts to shield them tend to exacerbate the problem. Various perspectives are examined, from the physiology of risk to the way news media affect our perceptions. This short book is very easy accessible and easy to read. This is my first Kindle book, and I found Kindle for PC very easy and intuitive to use. I look forward to reading more books like this.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom for worrisome parents February 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's too bad that the worry wart parents and self-appointed caretakers of our children won't read this, but it certainly would be a help to kids everywhere.
As for the price- it's three bucks, ya bunch of skinflints! It lasted longer than the vanilla latte you had this morning, and you get to keep the wisdom forever.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, my gripes. This is a Kindle "Single". It is a TED-based essay. TED is all about the free dissemination of great ideas to change the world for the better. And they charge three bucks for this? C'mon!!!! Charge a dollar at the most you greedy so-and-sos! (So lend the book as much as you can :)

Anyway, the essay itself is great, and provides a moment of reflection on our own irrational fears and reactions whether we are a parent or not. For parents, I would recommend it if you feel you may be over-protective. When I reflect on the things I did as a child, I realize how they have shaped me in a positive and productive way that I would hate to deprive my kids of.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I grew up in a mostly rural environment in middle America. My wife is a city girl.

I'm quite comfortable letting our kids dabble with "danger." My wife, is not. If she could create a bubble and drop our kids in to it, she would. However, we do talk about these kinds of things and she found herself nodding in agreement quite a bit with this. When I pointed it out to her, she said "shut-up." I take that as a success :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great info, but free on TED February 25, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
You can watch and listen to this and many other wonderful works on I can't link here in an Amazon review, but you can just go there and search for the author's name. You'll get a list that includes his talk (video) and a link that refers to an interview with him (transcript).

If you would rather read than watch, this book is the same content in text format. That might be good, as he puts out a lot of info in a few minutes. In text format, you can read a concept and then think about it for a while before moving on. My advice would be to watch the video and then if it resonates with you, get the text version for reference.

Note: I am not a purchaser. I read about 5 [Kindle] pages on someone else's Kindle, then gave them the TED info.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting article, but too short and too expensive February 15, 2011
By P. Lee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read about Kindle Singles and was very intrigued. I crave longer, more complex writing than is usually found in newspapers and magazines these days but don't always have the time or commitment to a topic to read a complete book. In addition, I love love love my Kindle, so Singles seem like the perfect fit for me!

I am still enthusiastic about the Singles concept, but found Beware Dangerism! to be too short at only 30 pages and also rather expensive at $3. I can get an entire digital month of The New Yorker for the same price which includes well written and interesting articles of similar length.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastically written and informative. Well worth a read for anyone raising kids!
Published 5 months ago by tim neal
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this. See it happen every day.
Teaching kudos, I see that most adolescents aren't allowed to learn their own experiences. This book tells all. A required read.
Published 10 months ago by M. Crutcher
5.0 out of 5 stars great quick read!
Fun quick read! Easy and insightful....makes you really put things into prospective. Gosh just let kids play!! I survived my 1970s childhood!
Published 11 months ago by Kim DeFrance
5.0 out of 5 stars Strip down a microwave oven with your kids today.
Sometimes a good book is one that confirms what you know and believe.

1. The world is a safer place than its ever been.
2. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Konrad T
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Aware of Dangerism!
I am becoming a fast fan of Kindle Singles, a format that reminds me of the thoughtful magazine articles of yesteryear. TED Book's Beware Dangerism! is no exception. Read more
Published 19 months ago by C.R. Hurst
2.0 out of 5 stars TED
I listen to TED podcasts and find them really interesting, but the book was a bit boring and didn't provide much new information
Published 20 months ago by J. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware Dangerism
I love it! When I was a kid, most of the things mentioned as, "dangerous" were just part of growing up. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Benjamin
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Reading this started a great conversation in our family about raising children and who to combat being an always afraid parent.
Published 22 months ago by N
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great inspiring book! I really enjoyed it, made me want to shoot for the stars and beyond. Great book also for new parents.
Published on April 7, 2013 by Nemo
5.0 out of 5 stars So true.
Heaven forbid we teach our kids to explore in a healthy way and brush off any marks it it might leave. Some call me a risk taker because I think like this book. Read more
Published on March 22, 2013 by B.R.Taxi
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More About the Author

Gever Tulley was raised in Northern California, in a town that barely exists now. Casper was once a bustling mill town, but when the logging dried up in the early mid-century, the shacks that housed the millworkers became the home to beatniks who wanted to "get out of the City, man." Thus began a childhood spent tagging along with his older brother on adventures that covered the deserted cliffs and beaches of the pre-touristed Mendocino coast.

The holder of numerous technology patents, Gever Tulley's first career was propelled by his voracious self-directed quest for knowledge. From operating systems to compilers to CGI, he has worked in nearly every field in the applied Computer Sciences. But in 2005, he made what he often refers to as "the greatest mistake of his life" when he started a summer program for kids called Tinkering School. The school was a laboratory where Gever could experiment with new pedagogies that focussed on hands-on self-directed learning. That first year, Tinkering School started being noticed by the media and educators around the world - because the kids (ages 7 to 16) had built a roller coaster with 120 feet of track. In the years since, kids have gone on to build sailboats, electric vehicles, and even a working hang glider. But one would be missing the point if it were just about what they built, Tinkering School is giving these kids a chance to amaze themselves with what they are capable of, and to discover just how responsible and capable they really are.

In 2007 he first spoke at TED, giving a talk titled "Five Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)." The talk has been seen by millions of people around the world, and continues to be blogged and commented on to this day. In that talk he made an off-hand comment about a forth-coming book entitled "Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)" - the comment turned into a weekly in-flux of email asking where the book could be purchased. After meeting with dozens of publishers, who rejected the idea as "not kid-friendly", he and Julie Spiegler self-published the book on Amazon - where it became an over-night sensation, stirring up the media on three continents.


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