BookWatch: The ‘Big One’ is a threat even if you don’t live in California

Everyone knows Los Angeles has an earthquake problem. The second-largest U.S. city sits atop 100 geological faults; a big earthquake is an inevitable part of its future. And almost everyone is afraid of that big earthquake. Many non-Californians cannot imagine how anyone can live in the state.

That fear has controlled how we respond to earthquakes. Human beings hate randomness. In the ancient past, we survived against predators with stronger muscles and bigger teeth because we could use our brains to make patterns and keep ourselves alive. Randomness means that a pattern cannot be found and accordingly, we don’t know how to be safe.

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