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20% Chance of Rain: Exploring the Concept of Risk



20% Chance of Rain: Exploring the Concept of Risk

Richard B. Jones

ISBN: 978-0-470-59241-0 November 2011 360 Pages


There are plenty of books on specialized risk topics but few that deal with the broad diversity and daily applicability of this subject. Risk applications require a robust knowledge of many attributes of this seemingly simple subject. This book teaches the reader through examples and case studies the fundamental (and subtle) aspects of risk - regardless of the specific situation. The text allows the reader to understand the concept of risk analysis while not getting too involved in the mathematics; in this method the reader can apply these techniques across a wide range of situations.

The second edition includes new examples from NASA and several other industries as well as new case studies from legal databases. The many real-life discussion topics enable the reader to form an understanding of the concepts of risk and risk management and apply them to day-to-day issues.

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

1. Risk: Life's Question Mark 1

2. Measurement: The Alchemist's Base 15

3. Statistics: Numbers Looking for an Argument 41

4. The Value of Life and Limb, Statistically Speaking 69

5. The Evolution of Risk 93

6. Frequency and Severity: Weighing the Risk 107

7. What's in a Risk? Perception Creates Risk Reality 128

8. Risk, Regulation, and Reason 151

9. Earth, Air, and Water: The Not-So-Bare Essentials 176

10. Food . . . for Thought 210

11. Flying: The Not-So-Wild Blue Yonder 249

12. Risk on the Roads 278

13. An Incomplete List of Life's Risks 315

Index 337